Yes, I talk a little Swedish but it’s really just a tiny bit. I went to Sweden for 5 months last year for a semester abroad (with Erasmus programme) and there I also had a Swedish course at university. It’s sad you unlearn languages if you don’t use them regularly.
So, Sweden.. I really love this country. I’d never been there before but I was always fascinated by the Northern countries. I wasn’t too far North though. My university was in Kristianstad and that’s also where I lived. Kristianstad is a cute little town. I stayed in a hostel for students and shared a room with a French girl. And it really was just a big room with a small kitchen corner and a tiny bathroom. So there was no privacy because we didn’t even have separate rooms to sleep. I never thought I could stand something like this for a long time ’cause I’m a person that needs a lot of alone time but you can accustom to anything if there’s no other option. 😉 I just couldn’t afford another accomodation because Sweden is very expensive.
I went there for studying but I didn’t really have a lot of work to do for university. I’m also lucky to still work in home office for the company I used to work at before studying. We’ve been told that it’s quite hard for foreigners to find a student job in Sweden if you don’t talk Swedish.
As I had a lot of freetime I was able to travel around a little and to spend a lot of time with other international students. I have to admit that we partied and drank quite a lot there. I also got to know lots of Swedish students and it’s true, they know how to drink.. 😀 We also had lots of Fikas together. Fikas are the swedish coffee breaks. They love their coffee and their sweets so they actually have them whenever possible or that’s what I was told. 😀
At that time I wasn’t really living the healthiest life I’d say but I don’t mind. I had the time of my life and was very happy which is also important for your health. And of course I was still running in Sweden. Our hostel was located in a rural area and I had an amazing running trail, I really miss that one. It was really flat so I almost always ran about 12km. Here in Germany it goes up and down a lot so it’s harder and takes longer to run long distances. I went to some of the sport offers like football, volleyball and boxercise at university as well.
Like I said, I also visited other places than Kristianstad. I went to Sweden by car so I was quite flexible. Often I went to Åhus which is a beautiful small town where it only took me about 20 minutes to get to. There also was the beach. Sadly it was too cold to swim in the Baltic Sea as I went to Sweden from January to June. I only went into the water together with my father one time around Easter when my parents visited and stayed in Åhus. Little side fact: Åhus is also the town where the Absolut Vodka comes from. 😀
Bigger cities I visited together with my parents or other students were Gothenburg, Lund, Ystad and Malmö. Of those Ystad really was my favourite with all the beautiful nature. Lund is a lovely university city where we spent too much time in a museum though. In Malmö we mostly went shopping in the biggest shopping mall I’ve ever been to, we even got lost there. In beautiful Gothenburg I had my first and so far only Hardrock Cafe visit. 😀
I also visited Stockholm, of course, but it was just a short visit when we came back from Lapland and decided to spend some time in Stockholm before going home entirely because it was along the way back anyway. (I will make a seperate post about Lapland and also about a trip to Copenhagen from Sweden.)
I also got to visit two beautiful national parks, Stenshuvud and Dalby Söderskog, which were not that big but really beautiful and peaceful. I was happy there weren’t too many tourists around. I guess most people visit South Sweden in summer.
We also went to an animal wild park together. I’m not the biggest fan of any kinds of animal parks but this one really was okay. The animals had a lot of space and there were only native animals. The highlight was to see moose. You even could see and cuddle them, they were so adorable. I didn’t know that moose can be that tamed and cuddly. Sadly I didn’t see any moose out in the nature, I only saw lots of “Attention, Moose!” signs. 😀
Altogether I had the time of my life in Sweden. I visited amazing places and met lots of wonderful international people. I still have contact with some of them but of course it’s difficult to stay in touch with everyone. I’m not always happy with my studies but I’m so thankful I got the opportunity to go to Sweden and for that reason alone studying was totally worth it. So if you get the chance to study a semester abroad, take it! You may have some trouble with getting credits for courses, missing exams in your home country and stuff like that (I think that’s why lot of people I study with didn’t wanna go) but in the end it could be worse.
Oh, I almost forgot: Swedish supermarkets are the best ’cause they have such a wide range of crispbread! The alcohol monopole is not that great though. There’s only one special shop called Systembolaget where you can buy alcohol stronger than 2,5% and it’s damn expensive. 😉