12 Weeks Later…

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In two days’ time, I will have been in Sweden for 3 months. They say that you’ve officially lived somewhere once the 3 month mark has passed, so there you go. I live in Sweden.
I feel like I’ve been here forever, yet at the same time, it feels like no time has passed at all. When I look back on the whole experience, I can’t believe that everything I’ve done has been crammed into 12 weeks. There are only 8 more until I’m home for Christmas and then before I know it, I’ll be half way through my first year. 12 months ago, I would have had no idea that in a years’ time, I’d be 1,500 miles from home. It’s crazy how much can change in a year but more so how much it can change you.
I would say that I’m pretty independent, I’ve lived in student housing for the past two years back in the UK and I’m more than capable of looking after myself. You think you have it all under control. You’ve convinced yourself that you’re prepared for adulthood and it can only get easier from there. Then you move abroad…
You’re a stranger, a foreigner and you know no one. All the food in the supermarket has a funny name and people act differently to what you’re used to. You’re also living in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and if that’s not enough, you have all your studies to content with.

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What’s the Swedish for hot-dog buns? I can’t find hot-dog buns; will I find hot dog buns in Sweden ever again? I can’t deal with this.

Even though it may seem overwhelming, you find yourself gradually conquering each task and finding things a bit easier. It’s not that everything is getting easier, but that you are getting a little stronger, more used to your environment. I guess it’s something everyone fears, not being able to keep going, but if you wait it out, give it a chance, it always gets better. I say this because I found it hard moving here, although there was nothing wrong with Uppsala, it was hard for me to adapt. I now look back on the last three months and I’m happy to say I’ve overcome the silly little struggles that once seemed like mammoth tasks. As I feel more content with myself and where I am, I realise that I’ve adapted and grown up and that in itself is exactly what I set out here to do.
All the seriousness aside, I guess I could update you on my latest movements! Firstly I recently just sat my first exam here… I’ll not quite discuss how that went aha, but what I’ll tell you is how strange the experience was! First of all there are toilets IN THE EXAM HALL… like what is that about?! I mean, they’re in individual rooms, not cubicles (that would be embarrassing!) but I find it fascinating that you can just get up when you want and wander to the toilet for half an hour if you wish. Secondly, you are allowed to eat, and I don’t just mean small snacks like a chocolate bar or whatever; people are bringing in boxes of pasta, sandwiches, full on meals that they just sit and munch on mid exam. I’m used to the whole ‘put your hand up and you’ll be taken to the toilet’ and ‘no liquids that aren’t water’ scenario, but there are people drinking tea and coffee and whatever they fancy. I am amused.

Oh I also have a vendetta against one of my neighbours. I mean, I’ve never met him/her but I know that they’re somewhere close since I can feel the vibrations of their music almost every night. I’m not one to complain, but he/she played dubstep at 8am once on a Sunday morning. There’s a word for people like that but I can’t say aha.

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If you’re going to play it loud, at least play something good -_-

I go home in 5 days for a quick visit to see my family and boyfriend. Free periods are like gold dust here since they don’t have reading weeks (it’s a week off class to ‘read and study’ – yeah right ha). One module finished and another immediately begins but my timetable freed up so I booked a flight and I’m very excited for that! Anyway, must dash, I’m dressing up as a pumpkin tonight for a pre-Halloween party and I must buy orange face paint.

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Francesca avatar

2 Comments

  • Filipe Faria • 30 Oct 2014 at 8.28 pm Reply

    Hi, Francesca.
    I liked so much to know your experience report.
    I’m from Brazil and PhD student in biology. One of my dreams is to know Sweden, who knows, someday, to live and to work in this beautiful country.
    Thanks for share a little bit of your student life therein.
    My best regards
    Filipe

    • Francesca Martin • 4 Nov 2014 at 6.43 pm Reply

      Olá Filipe!

      se estiveres interessado em trabalhar ou estudar na Suécia podes te informar aqui neste site:http://www.ibg.uu.se/?languageId=1
      A universidade de Uppsala é excelente para estudar biologia. Obrigada pelo teu comentário e espero que gostes do meu blog! 🙂

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