Life In A Small Swedish City

When I got accepted at Linköping University I was of course excited and happy (because I really really really wanted to move to Sweden), on the other hand I was a bit worried and scared. Linköping… I have not heard much about this city except that they have a good university… When I googled it became clear why… 104.000 inhabitants, somewhere in the middle of Sweden, not exactly a metropole.

I believe that many other students have the same fears as me: not only is this a new country, a new culture, a new language around you, but you’re in a small town, somewhere in Sweden, that you maybe know nothing about. Will I even make friends there? Is there anything to do in such a small town? Will I like it? That is what I asked myself and more.

In this post I want to tell you how it is to not live in Stockholm or Göteborg, but in a small, cute little city in Sweden.

Where I came from

Before moving to Sweden I did my Bachelor’s degree in Groningen a medium-sized city in the North of the Netherlands. The city was not big (350.000 inhabitants) but densely packed with students, cafes, bars and clubs. During the 5th semester of my Bachelor’s I did my Erasmus semester in Budapest, Hungary, and I absolutely fell in love. The city is incredibly beautiful, full of museums, cafes, restaurants, beautiful buildings, parks, and spas. Walking through Budapest felt like a never-ending sight-seeing tour. I lived 5 month of eating out, shopping, partying, traveling, and exploring something new every single day. Ever since I knew I need to move to a big city to be happy. I love the cultural offers, the never-ending supply of things to do and places to visit, and an never exhaustive list of places to discover.

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Budapest, Hungary


But somehow I ended up here, in Linköping, a small swedish city in Östergötland. I guess life here is different than in a big city, but not bad, just different. From the beginning on I discovered the surroundings a lot. Me and my friends did many bike tours to closeby lakes, along the river, or just through town. I go for many walks through one of the many forests, and have participated in an organized hiking trip a bit further away (my mamma is proud!).

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One of the things that I have noticed is that it does not necessarily matter how big the city is, but how many students there are. Linköpings University counts over 17.000 students (and I think somewhat around 900 Erasmus students) so you definitely do not feel lonely here! With so many students of course there are many parties! We have bars and clubs like other cities do too and, maybe that is unique about Linköping, many parties organized by the university! I met so many people here right away that you are almost always invited to some corridor party or will find someone to go out with you, make dinner, or have some drinks.

And the city itself is beautiful too!!! We have a nice shopping street, a beautiful park, and very cute cafés. There is a swimming hall, several gyms, and many more things to do.


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One of my favorite cafés in Linköping: Babettes Kafferi

Linköping is also located perfectly! Not only is it surrounded by nature, lakes, forests, wide fields and all those cute little red houses, there are many nice cities nearby as well: Linköping’s historic twin city Norrköping is only one short bus ride away, it takes only 1.5 hours to Stockholm, and there are direct trains to Malmö, Lund, Copenhagen and so many more cool places!

By the way, I personally like exploring the smaller cities of a country. After all, you want to discover Sweden, and Sweden is not just Stockholm! Just like the Netherlands is not just Amsterdam (seriously, visit Groningen if you’re in the area, it’s great), and Germany is not just Berlin. All the other cities, the countryside, and everything in between make up a country, and in my experience they are really worth exploring!

After 2.5 month here I am really starting to feel home. I met so many people from all around the world, I try new things, that I have never done before, I do not feel bored or locked in here and if I do feel like I need something else I just book a bus or train ticket to one of those new places that I am surrounded by 🙂

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Trip to Lund in September

So do not be too worried, you won’t get bored here, you will find friends, and you will spend your time doing many things you would not usually do at home!

Stay tuned for more!


Justine avatar


  • Chelsea • 7 Dec 2016 at 6.22 pm Reply

    Hi Justine,

    It all sounds amazing! I cannot wait until I go to Linköping in January as an exchange student (from Nijmegen, The Netherlands).
    Luckily, I was able to get a room at the campus, but that’s only from February. So I am searching for a cheap hostel or somewhere else to stay for 2 weeks before February, but I have difficulty with finding a cheaper one than 35euros per night..
    Do you maybe have any tips of places to stay?

    • Justine
      Justine • 7 Dec 2016 at 9.25 pm Reply

      I sent you an email 😉

  • Elhoucine • 7 Dec 2016 at 5.09 pm Reply

    Hello im frome moroco i have degré technicien électrique i wish find à job in sweden pleas help me

    • Justine
      Justine • 7 Dec 2016 at 9.24 pm Reply

      Hey 🙂
      International students are allowed to work in Sweden during their studies and no special work permit is needed. After graduating international students can also apply to extend their residence permit up to six months when trying to find a job if you’d like to stay and work in Sweden. If you find a job it is possible to stay in Sweden and apply for a work permit on a more long-term basis. You can read more about working in Sweden at
      Hope that helps! Good luck 🙂

  • Zara Fish • 25 Oct 2016 at 11.38 pm Reply

    Great post girl 🙂 can you recommend me any nightclubs with good music?

    • Justine
      Justine • 26 Oct 2016 at 10.06 am Reply

      Haha yess! My living room 😉

  • Michael • 25 Oct 2016 at 5.42 pm Reply

    Oh I feel inspired when I read this Justine . I missed sis scholarship 2016 and it was one of the universities I got admitted in for my master. Hope God will help this time haaa…

    • Justine
      Justine • 25 Oct 2016 at 6.18 pm Reply

      Ohh that is nice to hear Michael! I hope that things will work out for you! All the best, Justine

  • Chase • 20 Oct 2016 at 6.05 pm Reply

    The longer you stayed the higher North you move, Try the Artic circle! Love the Student parties, the air and the boredom there! Enjoy your stay 😀

    • Justine
      Justine • 21 Oct 2016 at 2.56 pm Reply

      Thank you Chase 🙂

  • Adnan • 20 Oct 2016 at 1.17 pm Reply

    It’s so great to hear what you had to say about my university, and that you’re encouraging other people to come too. 🙂

    • Justine
      Justine • 20 Oct 2016 at 5.17 pm Reply

      Thank you Adnan, I am also really excited about this 🙂

  • Ellen • 20 Oct 2016 at 11.30 am Reply

    I´ve had my exchange semester in Linköping two years ago and I miss it so much! If you´re into bigger cities you should definitely visit Copenhagen. It became my favourite city when I visited it with the esn group for a weekend. Greetings from South Germany!

    • Justine
      Justine • 20 Oct 2016 at 5.18 pm Reply

      Hey Ellen, funny that you say this, I just went there last weekend and I absolutely agree! I am going to write my next blog post about my trip there so keep your eyes open 🙂

  • Clara • 20 Oct 2016 at 11.20 am Reply

    Haha, I know that Linköping is pretty small in comparison to Stockholm, Amsterdam, London and so on. But it’s not really a “small town” if you ask a swede (only if that person comes from Stockholm). We don’t really have big cities here and I believe that Linköping is the 6:th “biggest” city after Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Uppsala and Västerås. Small towns here in Sweden are probably what you would count as a villages somewhere else!
    Really hope you like Linköping and Sweden, have a nice stay!

    • Justine
      Justine • 20 Oct 2016 at 5.19 pm Reply

      Thank you! Yes I definitely like it so far and am noticing the advantages of a smaller town in the middle of the nature! And there is always time to move to a big city later on in life 😉

  • Olof • 20 Oct 2016 at 10.47 am Reply

    By Swedish standards it’s a quite large city, so it’s funny to read the references to how small it is, since I think of it as quite big.

    • Justine
      Justine • 20 Oct 2016 at 5.20 pm Reply

      Haha I hear that from many Swedes. I think for internationals (depending on where you come from of course) it is rather small. But let’s just agree its the perfectly sized swedish city 😉

  • david • 19 Oct 2016 at 11.22 am Reply

    Hi justine.I”m a student in iran and i like to study in your university.who can I do it?
    can you send e-mail me?

    • Justine
      Justine • 20 Oct 2016 at 9.37 pm Reply

      Hello David 🙂 My e-mail is not set up yet, but keep your eyes open, I should have one soon! You can find infos on how to apply here:
      I wish you the best of luck, and see you soon in Linköping maybe 🙂

  • Phil • 18 Oct 2016 at 9.12 pm Reply

    Hi Justine,

    Your description makes me want to visit. It sounds fantastic.

    • Justine
      Justine • 18 Oct 2016 at 10.15 pm Reply

      You should 🙂

  • Agnieszka
    Agnieszka • 18 Oct 2016 at 5.16 pm Reply

    Hey Justine! Great to see your first post! All the pictures are sooo nice. I can’t wait to visit Linkoping myself ;). Small cities have so much charm. Good luck with blogging! / Agnieszka

    • Justine
      Justine • 18 Oct 2016 at 8.24 pm Reply

      Thanks Bila! Give me a call when you’re here and I will show you around! Also looking forward to all your posts 🙂

      • Yassine lamimi • 20 Oct 2016 at 12.16 pm Reply

        Hello. Could you please tell me how can I apply at this university

        • Justine
          Justine • 20 Oct 2016 at 9.38 pm Reply

          Hello Yassine. Your first step is to find a programme that you are interested in. For a complete list of programmes in English you can refer to our database here If you know what programmes you are interested in you can read more about how to apply here You can apply for up to eight bachelor programmes or four master programmes in Sweden through University Admissions, the site used to apply online to Swedish universties and university colleges.
          Hope this helped 🙂 Good luck with your application!!

  • Emilia • 18 Oct 2016 at 5.00 pm Reply

    Wow, girl! Lovely afternoon reading! Looking forward to the next post!!!! 😄👍🏼

    • Justine
      Justine • 18 Oct 2016 at 8.24 pm Reply

      Thank you Emilia 🙂 <3

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