Tag Archives: international student in Sweden

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. Especially not in Sweden. However, we still have to eat, live in accommodation, watch a movie and attend the occasional party and afterwork. That being said, I thought I would share some insider information for how to navigate expenses.

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.

Top 5 tips to live cheap in Sweden

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:

Signing up to experiments at Gothenburg University: GU Handels experiments

Student discounts: Mecenat

Tips on how to navigate 2nd hand shopping: Second hand shopping guide in Sweden

For ideas on what to cook for the week: Meal prep ideas

NB: At the time of posting this blog the information was up to date. I will also seek to update it with new information.

Keep it tuned for more tips for students living in Sweden.

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From Sweden with Love!

50 shades of Swedish Autumn

Autumn is here…can you feel the weather changing?

So gone are the days we used to get away with wearing a T-shirt and hoping for a few hours of sunshine . It’s Swedish Autumn and 6 degrees is here to stay and you can’t get away with wearing sneakers and ankle socks. Boot and jacket weather is upon us.

source: giphy.com

On the up side, autumn is putting on a beautiful show. Carpets of yellow, red and orange leaves litter the streets, you can’t help but stop and stare at the nature and all it’s wonders.

Autumn in Gothenburg

Vasagatan, Gothenburg

I jokingly laugh and say that back home when leaves start to fall off a tree it means that it is dying. However, here it just means they’re going to sleep and will wake up when spring time comes calling.

It’s sad but poetic in a way. It’s like when L.M Montgomery said:

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” 

My first Autumn

It has been truly magical ride. The array of colours and the picturesque views of leaves changing and apples blooming on trees has been like living in a scene of a Disney movie.

Armed with my phone and in need of a well-deserved break from being cooped up indoors, I decided to explore Gothenburg and see what autumn had in store and boy did I happen upon some amazing colours and scenes like this one at the Chalmers Lindholmen campus.

Swedish Autumn at Chalmers Lindholmen

Chalmers Lindholmen

In preparation for autumn, I have a list of 5 things you need to be prepared as a student:

  1. Coffee mug – (highly portable) for those long nights of studying or lectures when you can’t keep awake (you can find interesting mugs your local supermarket, I found mine at Clas Ohlson). They range in price from about 30-100 KR.
  2. DIY herbarium – here’s a link for a cool DIY. If like me this is your first autumn or you just love all the colours of autumn in general. This is a great way to keep some memories.
  3. A great pair of gloves – with the weather kicking in you need something that will keep your hands toasty. There is a variety of styles from ones that look like oven mits to the more traditional fleece to wool.
  4. Camera or Smartphone – you never know when you’ll happen upon a great picture walking down the street.
  5. Fika spot – in these cold times, there’s nothing better than getting out of the cold and slipping into a little café to have some hot chocolate (insert coffee for swedes) and a sweet treat to lift up your spirits.

So, enjoy Autumn. For Winter is coming.

source: giphy.com

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From Sweden with love

Study Abroad: Kenya to Sweden

“Could study abroad be the answer to all your woes?”

Are you feeling down? Weary?

Someone just stole your lunch from your communal work fridge?

Or did you just graduate from that Bachelor’s degree and don’t know what to do next?

Then this post is for you!!!

My name is Anita Mureithi and I come from Nairobi, Kenya. The country where the sun never stops shining. You spend at least 6 hours in traffic where you can buy everything from fresh crisps, the daily newspaper to car wipers or meet the occasional lion that strayed from the National Park (okay this only happened once..ok..maybe twice..)

Life in the 254

Study Abroad

So imagine the shock when this Kenyan girl arrived at Landvetter airport after a layover in sunny Turkey to rain pounding my face and hearing that it’s still summer. After the rain came two weeks of ‘relative‘ warmth. But now autumn has slowly started to creep in and all the stories from previous Kenyan students mentally preparing me for the cold seem like a hazy dream.

Sunny Gothenburg

Taken in warmer times

Apart from adjusting to the weather, in my 60 days in Sweden I have made great new friends from all over the world. Eaten more meatballs than humanly possible. Went shopping for groceries in a language that I don’t understand (this is harder than you can imagine). Danced until my feet hurt. Walked in Delsjön forest and swam in Skagerrak (next to the North Sea) , all while studying what I love on a full scholarship.

Study Abroad

So what are you waiting for? This could be your study in Sweden story!

Applications are now open for International students for first admission round Spring 2017 on www.universityadmissions.se/intl/start . Be sure to check out www.studyinsweden.se/scholarships/ for scholarship information.

There’s no degree that’s too out there. They even have a course that focuses on Japanese comic culture at Malmö University. Yup! Comics! With a choice of over 35 Universities. I am sure you’ll find your perfect fit!

Keep checking in for more of my time here in Sweden including, my first Christmas, snowfall, Swedish class and my long term love hate relationship with Google Translate.

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From Sweden with Love!

Explore Gothenburg

My Top 8 Swedish Experiences

Study in Sweden brings me so many new experiences, from trying all kinds of weird and amazing Swedish food to the love-hate relationship with Swedish weather and also the quirky Swedish traditions from crayfish party to Easter egg hunting in the woods.

Sometimes, I struggle to do activities that are out of my comfort zone – dipping in ice lake in winter, riding snow mobile, speaking Swedish etc. but then it also comes the satisfaction of conquering it. Finally able to say ‘I did it’ feels simply wonderful!

Here comes my top 8 Swedish experiences

1. Sleeping on ice-bed (without heater)

Traveled from +45°C to -35°C, first timer for a 70°C dip! The thought of sleeping overnight on an ice-bed in Ice Hotel Jukkasjärvi scares me. Thankfully, it’s only 5°C indoors and I was well-equipped with a warm sleeping bag and overalls to stay warm. No sweat.

2. Being chauffeured by 10 sleigh Dogs and a guide

These dogs are incredibly fast and they also fart a lot with the wind blows towards us, what an unforgettable experience. I couldn’t feel my legs after sitting still for over an hour on the sleigh at below -30°C but I will totally do it again.

3. Riding snowmobile in Kiruna, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle

Guaranteed adrenaline rush especially for first-timers but it was so worth it!

4. Meeting drunk moose

When the moose is more drunk than me. Quite puzzling and funny, I found out from my Swedish friend that the moose were drunk from consuming the fallen fermented apples. Both mother moose and baby moose stay put and lay there outside my friend’s house in the countryside for a few days straight in a row, by the apple tree. Such is life!

5. Swedish weather A-Z

Snow storm, hail, rainy, foggy, misty, windy, sunny, dry .. well, I experienced all here but the ones that hit me the hardest are the sunny perfect summer weather which makes me want to be out all the time and the dark, freezing, wet and snowy that sets me in hibernation mood.

6. Midsummer party and sittnings

There are many Swedish traditions but midsummer is my top favorite. Everyone is so happy, drinking and dancing around the maypole. I’m absolutely in love with those handmade floral crowns. Tip: Learn to sing ‘små grodorna‘ and join in the midsummer dance!

If you’re an international student in Sweden, then sittning is a must. It is essentially a theme student dinner party. Honestly, I would say it’s about 20% dinner and 80% party. Make new friends, get to know the Swedes, learn Swedish drinking songs and party.

7. Christmas markets and julbord

This may sound ordinary but coming from the tropics, having a ‘real Christmas’ in winter, going to Christmas markets and indulging in the julbord actually means a lot. I’m tried of fake snow bubbles and sweating over Christmas.

8. Sauna and ice dipping (on repeat)

I had strong doubts at first but once I overcome it, it’s one of the best experiences ever. Of course, my bare feet were almost numb while walking over the snow to the icy lake but the best part comes when I get to defrost in the sauna. Absolutely refreshing!

There are still so many things left to experience …

On my to-do list includes the northern lights (I went up north but sadly didn’t manage to see), tree top hotel, ice-fishing and a lot more. I’m really looking forward to checking off the list. So, what are your top Swedish experiences, do share them!