Tag Archives: gothenburg

5 tips to live cheap in Sweden

Here are my 5 tips to live cheap in Sweden. Being a student isn’t the cheapest profession on the planet. However, we still have to eat, live in accommodation and attend the occasional party.

As a student at the University of Gothenburg I have had to learn tips and tricks of how to live cheap and keep on budget.

So here goes:

5 tips to live cheap

For a rough student budget here’s a post by ABC on the Cost of Living in Sweden in 2017. (Mostly Stockholm and Uppsala).

If you’re coming to Sweden, NB: the biggest expense for students is accommodation. It ranges from SEK 2500 – SEK 6000 and depends on the size of your room, if its shared and if you have your own bathroom, kitchen etc.

So, after paying accommodation these 5 tips should help you survive on a budget in Sweden!

Useful links:

GU Handels experiments


Second hand shopping guide in Sweden

Meal prep ideas

From Sweden with Love!

Min första snon (My first snow)

I will never forget my first encounter with snow on the 9th of February 2017. It finally snowed in Gothenburg and it stuck to the ground to carpet the city in tufts of white snow. It had snowed earlier on the year when I wasn’t around to see but this time around I was lucky to experience the full-on beauty of the winter snow.

As soon as it started snowing, I checked the weather forecast on my phone and when it said heavy snowfall due to a storm, I was hopeful that this time it meant that the snow would stick and carpet the ground. I waited about two hours to be sure before getting my hopes up and boy, did I get a surprise!

My first snow

Source: giphy.com

I put on my boots and donned my winter jacket and gloves as well as this cute fuzzy hat my mum had gotten me and told me to wear when winter hit me hard. Until now it had sat at the back of my wardrobe as Gothenburg was never cold enough to wear it. Armed ready to take the selfies of a lifetime and some videos, I left the house full of anticipation.

My first instinct was to touch and feel the snow to know it’s real. It was so fluffy and cold. I had seen so many pictures of Sweden in the snow and it looked so beautiful which made me jealous of my friends in other cities such as Stockholm and Jönköping who had already experienced the full effects of the winter snow.

Today it was my turn!

My first snow

Walking out into the snow was nothing like I could have ever imagined. Everything was covered in a blanket of serene white with the only contrast being the bricked buildings and people going about their daily lives in cars, buses and on bicycles.

It was better than I could have ever imagined. Now I know why Bing Crosby dreams of a white Christmas. It makes everything seem so peaceful and serene.

Min Forsta snon

It felt just like this quote:

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” – Lewis Carroll

My first snow will be an experience I will never forget. Sweden clearly has a lot more firsts in store for me and I’m looking forward to everyone one of them!

My first snow

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From Sweden with Love!

Master in Communication Series Part 3: What am I actually studying?

Months go by, and my Swedish academic adventure continues non stop. This time, I’d like you to find out more about another course I’ve been attending since January. First of all, do I really have to remind you once again what I’m actually studying?


Seriously? Okay… just for this time, I promise myself that’s the last!

I’m joking of course. Here we are: I’m studying a Master’s Programme in Communication at the University of Gothenburg.

The course I’m gonna talk about is called ‘Communication among professionals’. The focus is obviously on the term ‘profession’ and ‘professional’, keeping always in mind the fundamental role that communication plays within the field of the organizational domain. When I say organizational, I mean that we should consider everything that happens within the borders of any sort of organization, company or whatever: a cluster of people working together and, presumably, belonging to different positions. These positions entail a diverse knowledge owned by specific people at various levels of the organization; of course, who is entitled of the highest positions owns more power and different knowledge than whom has a lower position in the organizational hierarchy.

As it is assumed, communication has carried out through different channels, such as written forms, oral ones, non-verbal, visual or digital too. When communication occurs within a workplace context, most probably is framed in a metaphorical container that is known as ‘discourse’. Almost every kind of professional domains has its own discourse: for instance, medical discourse, scientific discourse, legal discourse, and the list goes on. If you happen to be in an hospital, perhaps you’ll listen to workers conversations, while queueing or waiting in the hallway or whatsoever situation; well, in this case, medical discourse don’t always occur: it may be normal listen briefly to two nurses talking about their family or their friends’ issues; as well, it may be normal listen to the same two nurses talking about patients’ conditions or medical treatments: in that case, we can claim that we’re in front of the so called medical discourse.

Some days ago, our class, divided into small groups, had to make a ‘professional’ presentation of a case study, pretending to be consultants: the aim of this activity saw each group presenting a case of boat rocking to the ‘top management’ (our professor and the rest of the classmates, N.d.R). What is boat rocking, are you wondering? No problem, just read this definition: “the boat-rocker is one who express dissent – in a direct, straightforward manner – within the boundaries of an organization” (Redding, 1985, p.246). The case was about a conflict that was rising between a frontline worker and her middle-managers within a healthcare provider of in-home services. I personally found this task being really interesting, and this will surely lead me to deepen the topic concerning boat rocking, as well as the one known as whistleblowing: the case of Edward Snowden reminds you anything, doesn’t it?

Waiting for new tasks and assignments, and new stories regarding my Master’s Programme to tell you!



Featured image: http://thebusinesstherapist.com/2011/10/corporate-communication-skills/

Picture 1: https://news.clearancejobs.com/2013/03/07/mastering-professional-communication-in-a-defense-industry-office/

Picture 2: http://www.tomppro.com/course-cat/people/communication/


Master in Communication Series Part 2: What am I actually studying?

Hej! How are you doing? Hopefully fine. If you try to ask me the same question, I’d say I’m fine too, and that I’m glad to be back to Gothenburg after spending holidays in Italy. Anyway… I’d say also that I’m excited to start a new semester. Remember what I’m studying, right? For those of you do not recall it, have a quick look at here or let me spoil it instead: I’ve been studying a Master’s Programme in Communication at the University of Gothenburg.

Few days ago a new course has started – it seems is gonna be really interesting, and I would add very intense as well. What am I talking about? Exactly about that: Multimodal Communication.


Source: http://praacticalaac.blogspot.se/2012/09/speak-up.html

What is Multimodal Communication? Bearing in mind the definition of Communication that I’ve already given (don’t let me spoil something again!), I think it’s useful to know also that when we interact with other people, we basically want to reach a goal – as well as the others communicating with us. There can be some means and processes involved in this activity: means going on within the interaction itself and also within ourselves. Means like turn management, feedbacks or sequencing along with the capability to process in our mind what and how to communicate, and to change/shape our thoughts, when needed.


Source: http://research.uiowa.edu/communicating-ideas-workshop

If we shrink our attention to the interaction between humans, and especially regarding face-to-face communication, we can claim that we’re coping with… multimodal communication. Two or more than two modalities are used when we talk face-to-face. Modalwhat?

Let’s put it in this way: we have sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Right? All of these are modalities, or it’s better to say sensory modalities: when I speak, the receiver is using and/or combining two or more sensory modalities in order to process and interpret my message. The other way around, when I speak I also can use two or more modalities, in this case we consider them production modalities: I use my voice, I can use gestures, I can touch, and so on.

The effects of the multimodality can vary and depend on the interactions: the message can be reinforced and the overall comprehension improved; the message can be considered more dynamic; relations can be strengthened and conversations regulated. However, it may happen to make the message unclear as well, or even confusing and disturbing.


Source: https://www.trainerbubble.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Communicating-Difficult-Messages_web-680×255.jpg

Headache? Naah, come on! Of course there would be a lot to mention, but you’re lucky: I can’t say more for the moment, as my course has just begun…

Featured image: https://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/bigstock_Focus_On_Communication_mangolanguages.jpg

48 hrs Gothenburg on a budget

Gothenburg is the best city in Sweden. I am completely bias in saying this. But hey I love this city! The aim of this blog-post is to guide you on a tour of Gothenburg on a student budget.

First, you need to:

  • Purchase a Gothenburg City Card that for approx. SEK 335 during low season (October – April). OR to be super budget friendly buy a 3-day unlimited tram/bus card from Vasstrafik for approx. SEK 170
Gothenburg City Card

Credit: Ivanna Read

  • Download the Vasstrafik app available for android and iPhone
  • Wear some comfortable sneakers, a backpack and carry a selfie stick/tripod at your discretion
  • Carry a bottle of water

KeyBold and Italic represents those who have a Gothenburg City Card

Gothenburg Tour – Day 1

8:00 a.m.

You’ve probably arrived at Goteborg Central Station.

First agenda should be a selfie at the central station and a short walk around the buildings that surround it.

Gothenburg Central Station

8:15 a.m.

Walk to Nordstan Shopping mall which is located 5 minutes from the Station. Visit the Tourist Information Center and get a free map of the city and a Vasstrafik map which will come in handy. If you haven’t bought your Vasstrafik or Goteborg City card, you can purchase them at the Vasstrafik shop also located within the mall. Alternatively you can walk if your in for some extreme exercise.

8:30 a.m.

Start with a short walk to the Alfie Atkins Cultural center at Slussgatan 1, it’s great if you have children.

Walk to the statue of Gustav Adolf II at Gustav Adolfs torg. This is a statue that is central to Gothenburg and depicts Gustav II Adolf saying here is where Gothenburg shall be built.

Gustav Adolf

9:00 a.m.

Stroll down Avenyn which is the main street of Gothenburg. If you begin at Gustav Adolf torg and work your way up, you shall pass Stora Teatern and several other wonderful buildings. Hop onto the Paddan boat tour at Kungsportsplatsen. It takes about 50 minutes. You may also choose to use the hop off and hop on bus also located at Kungsportsplatsen that takes you to several places on this post.

Credit: Göran Assner/imagebank.sweden.se

At the end of Avenyn is the Poseidon Statue. Pop into the Gothenburg Museum of Art at Götaplatsen.

Gothenburg tour

10:30 a.m.

Take a bus 52 to Korsvägen. There you will see the Gothia Towers, Liseberg and the Universeum which all present great photo ops. If you’re lucky you may be allowed to go to the top of Gothia Towers. The view from Gothenburg is amazing from up there. Visit Liseberg Amusement park (Liseberg gardens during summer) and Universeum.



2:00 p.m.

Grab some lunch at Universeum/Liseberg or walk to Burger King and grab something to go at Örgrytevägen 5.

3:00 p.m.

Take the Ringlinien train back to Brunnsparken from the Liseberg stop. Hop onto tram 2 or 4 and head to Brunnsparken. Head over to the Goteborg City museum located at Norra Hamngatan 12. You can also head to the museum and take some great pictures.

5:00 p.m.

Take tram 3,7 or 5 at Brunnsparken and drop off at Valand. Walk down the street and see the main administration block of Gothenburg University. As the campuses are spread across the city, this building acts as a main focal point for the University.

Gothenburg University

Walk over to Yaki-Da on Storgatan 47 for their after-work special which includes bottomless pizza with your first drink purchase until 10:00 p.m. Other places that offer after-work include King’s head. Various cafes and restaurants across the city also offer after-work specials.

yaki dah

Gothenburg Tour – Day 2

9:00 a.m.

I bet you had a great night at Yaki-da. So we start at 9:00 a.m. Take a bus/tram from your location to Lilla Bomen. Take the ferry called “Älvsnabben” that runs between Lilla Bommen and Lindholmspiren which is the Chalmers University stop at Lindholmen Science Park. Walk around campus and see buildings such as the ‘green’ Kuggen (Swedish for cogwheel) building which is quite beautiful.



10:30 a.m.

Take the”Älvsnabben” ferry back to Lilla Bomen

11:00 a.m.

Take bus 25 from Lilla Bomen to Pilgatan. Walk through Haga district. View art installations, beautiful wooden houses and stop by the numerous cafes for some lunch or a quick bite. Haga in known as the hippie district in Gothenburg and it does not disappoint. Pass by Feskekôrka.


2:00 p.m.

Walk to Järntorget (iron square) and take the tram 1 to Botaniska Trädgården. Admission is free to the Botanical Gardens but they charge SEK 20 for admission to the greenhouses.

4:00 p.m.

Take tram 1 or 2 to Linnéplatsen. Visit the Slottsskogen Garden if you still have some extra time. Admission is free. Head back to Centralstation on a Blå bus or tram 1 or 2.


5:00 p.m.

Goodbye! You’ll be heading back to your city from here. I hope you enjoyed Gothenburg!


From Sweden with Love

NB:*At the time of publication of this blog, I had only visited 4 cities in Sweden”


Featured image: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se

My first months in Sweden: how lucky am I?

So, what’s about Sweden? How is it? What are you studying exactly? And how is your life there? Is it really cold, right?”


And so on. These are only few of the questions that my friends have made in these last days, as I temporary returned back to Italy, due to Christmas holidays. I’ve tried to answer them, but then I thought: why do not share it here on the blog? As I may sum up, I’d say that this post is a sort of recap of my first four months in my new country: Sweden. (Do you remember why have I chosen Sweden?)

To be fair, the exact place where I’ve been living (maybe some of you already know that), is the nice and welcoming city of Gothenburg. A city that I loved from the very first gaze, from the first steps I took while getting off the bus coming from the airport in a sunny afternoon last August. The first approach with the city and its inhabitants: my landlady, people around the streets in the city centre or working in supermarkets, or in some university offices. The sound of the Swedish language, the Welcome Days for the international students in a big cinema and then in my department; the beginning of a new academic adventure and the chance to get to know new classmates from all around the world.


First day at the Welcome Days for international students in Draken, a nice cinema in Gothenburg

Yes, I’m lucky to be there, to live and study in Gothenburg. And I’m pretty sure about that every time I can shape an answer to the question: “Do you like staying there?”. You know, I come from Italy, specifically from the South. I’d say that my region is one of the most beautiful places in the world and many friend of mine told me: “You’re leaving behind this wonderful sea, the taste of our food and coffee… and up there it must be truly cold”, and so on. But you know what? I feel that a country such as Sweden fits perfectly the way how I am and how I perceive the reality and the world around me. So, have I already mentioned before? I’m really lucky to live in Sweden.

Being in Sweden means also that I had the chance to become a Digital Ambassador – and if I’m writing this blog post right now, it’s also because I’m glad to have been chosen to represent Sweden, my home country (Italy)  and my university. I’m glad to have the chance to express myself, to talk about my experience and to help international students yearning for knowing more about the Swedish lifestyle as well as the academic world. Last but not least, since the beginning of this ‘adventure within the adventure’, I cannot not mention the fact that I’ve met wonderful people being ambassador such as me.

15624273_1802148636704475_5806319901815603200_n 20161204_163320

Probably, the fact that I’ve travelled and lived abroad before helped me in coping with these first months in another, different country. However, if you’re reading this post and you’re going to take a decision regarding your personal studies abroad, and you haven’t lived outside your home country before, I’d say that Sweden may be a good choice.

No matter how cold it may be… you can always dress properly, right? And as far as I was told, Swedish summer is very nice and full of things to do in environments which share a ‘common denominator’: Nature!

Hopefully we’ll meet here in Sweden… in the meantime, I wish you all happy holidays!