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Stockholm University, Sweden

Before this UTS Global Exchange, I have travelled round Sweden multiple times between November – February during the winter season where the weather is freezing cold and snow covers the ground beneath your feet. I’d never experienced a Swedish summer before and felt as though now was a great time to experience this and study in a country renowned for its incredible education system. So, it is safe to say landing in 33-degree heat in the middle of July, in a country I thought I knew inside out was a total shock to the system! That’s right believe it or not a Swedish summer can hit temperatures as drastic as 30+ degrees. Although the heat was quite unbearable, it was the beautiful Swedish nature with its crystal-clear lakes and bright green trees which turned things around for me. It was like I was seeing this country for the first time with fresh eyes!

Seeing as I had a few weeks break before my exchange was to start at Stockholm University, I made the most of my time exploring the city centre, testing my fear of heights at Stockholm’s famous summer theme park Gröna Lund, taking multiple FIKA (Swedish expression for coffee & cake) breaks and visiting some of the many swimming spots scattered round the various archipelagos of Stockholm. I also was lucky enough to have one of closest friends from Sydney come visit me in August, and together we spent some time in Sweden as well as sailing along the coastline of Croatia.

It is now September which means summer has officially come to an end and the Autumn weather has most certainly kicked in. Already the leaves on all the trees are turning orange, and you can see everyone is preparing for the freezing temperatures to come. However, September also means the start of my global exchange! Last week was our University’s orientation week which consisted of various activities coordinated by the Student Union (SU) which is a student-run organisation in charge of various Uni related events, dinners, parties and activities. SU are also dedicated to helping all incoming International students assimilate as quickly as possible and make various new friends from all around the globe. You can buy a SU membership for the semester which gives you a range of privileges and discounts around campus, so I’d highly recommend joining if you’re considering Stockholm University. Seeing as I wanted to meet as many people as I could I made sure to attend every activity such as the IKEA visit, guided bus tour of Stockholm city, speed-friending event, pub crawls and welcome parties. Already I’ve met some amazing people and have been even lucky enough to make some Swedish friends (which they do say is quite impossible!). The thing with Swedes is they’re very reserved people at first which is hard for Australians to understand, but once you get to know them they’re so kind and welcoming.

This week my classes are now in full swing and seeing as I used my free electives to go on exchange, I am studying three subjects called ‘Sweden – Society & Everyday Life’, ‘Education in a Multicultural Society’ and ‘Swedish Language for Beginners’. I’m excited to learn more about this country and its culture, and I look forward to the coming weeks. The beauty of Swedish Universities is the semester is divided into two periods, so I’m technically only studying one subject per period with the Swedish language course on the side. This leaves you with loads of time to travel, party and socialise with your new friends. Oh… and to ‘study’ as well!

Thank you UTS for this incredible opportunity to study abroad, and I can’t wait for the next 6 months of my exchange.

Chloe Howard
Bachelor of (Business) Management
Stockholm University
Sweden

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au

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