Tag Archives: 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. 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!

When technology helps humans to be more… human

Nowadays the world has to face diverse issues that are inevitably changing and affecting the lives of so many people. Wars, catastrophic phenomena, and the list goes on: people must leave their own hometowns, in most of the cases their countries. In the past years, but especially in the last one, a huge and massive move of refugees has been acknowledged to have the status of main priority regarding the issues to be solved.

I was lucky enough to come into the world in a relatively safe country, Italy, and live my first 28 years as human being in a relatively state of peace; when I say relatively, I mean that yes, I haven’t experienced a firsthand situation of danger (whatever it could be), I haven’t fled from my hometown and spending cold winters or hot summers in a tent, trying to queue whenever possible in order to get a piece of bread or having a quick shower. However, can we really say that we live in a peaceful era, according to many the most peaceful era after the end of the WWII?

When I found out the piece of news I’m gonna talking about, I felt good. There still are some kindness, some goodhearted souls that have the means and the knowledge to make something up that is useful for other human beings, in moments imbued with sorrow and grief.


This piece of news is linked to a design award, that is to say the Beazley Design of the Year 2016, given to flat-pack shelters planned to host displaced people, letting them have a safe and comfortable place to live. Behind that, there is a Swedish social enterprise called Better Shelter, whose aim is to give humanitarian assistance as effectively as possible through a key concept: sustainable design. Some years ago, Better Shelter started a partnership with IKEA Foundation and UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) in order to design and plan shelters. Shelters that are innovative: they use recyclable plastic to make them; moreover, these flat-pack shelters are not only suitable for people living in a condition of emergency, but also quite practical: it is possible to assemble them in few hours.

How to cope with crisis as promptly as possible? How to help people and make them live in a shelter capable of giving them a sense of a real home? These were the starting points that have characterized Better Shelter and their partners at the beginning of their adventure. The results, so far, can be summarized by one of the award juror’s words, Jana Scholze:

“Better Shelter tackles one of the defining issues of the moment: providing shelter in an exceptional situation whether caused by violence or disaster. Providing not only a design, but secure manufacture as well as distribution makes this project relevant and even optimistic. It shows the power of design to respond to the conditions we are in and transform them.”

A perfect world doesn’t exist. However, such initiatives and projects as the one I’ve written about in this piece, have the goal to help those people and families by making their sad and sorrowful ‘inner’ world a little bit… perfect.

Source Featured image: http://www.bettershelter.org/about/

Text source: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/27/design/design-of-the-year-2016-ikea-refugee-shelter/index.html

Picture one: https://www.dezeen.com/2015/03/24/ikea-flat-pack-refugee-shelters-go-into-production-better-shelter-unhcr/

Picture two: http://inhabitat.com/ikeas-modular-better-shelter-housing-unit-is-a-solar-powered-emergency-home-for-refugees/better-shelter-housing-unit-1/

11 Things Swedes Do According to Me

Swedes are an interesting species to analyze, so I decided to make a participant observation and then I took some time to make this infographic (the first one that I make in my life) about things Swedes do, if you guys noticed something else during your time in Sweden let me know in the comments.

Here it is:

Hope you guys liked it, I will keep my participant observation and of course I will let you know about my findings!


Provocative digital screens for an innovative marketing campaign

When it comes to dealing with social and ethics-related issues such as smoking, it’s not expected to convince people to stop making use of cigarettes or whatever. There might be many reasons why people start smoking – however, there might be many reasons to make them change their mind, likewise.

People normally smoke outside and especially in public open spaces such as streets. So, in order to let them know how important health is for human beings, a good and efficient way would be advertising something that can try to let them think about their choice: smoking. Anyway, a big question mark arises: how to get the attention of so many passers-by?


You’re watching a man coughing in a billboard, aren’t you? Now, watch some passers-by’s reaction:


She’s kind of surprised: something unexpected has just happened. She just passed by the billboard!

I guess you can have the answer just watching this video:

The Swedish pharmacy chain Apotek Hjärtat came up with this cool advertising innovation with a specific aim: helping people, or it’s better to say smokers, to stop smoking, and to sort of push them making this resolution for the New Year, started some days ago.

I wouldn’t say it’s an indiscreet way to change someone’s mind regarding smoke. Rather, it’s something that doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s capable of capture your attention, make you turn and look for the reason you did it. And out of the blue you see a man in a strange box coughing just because you held a cigarette or you were lighting one.

It’s not news for Apotek Hjärtat to inspire such original piece of marketing.

Anyway… if you happen to be in Stockholm, it’s there where you can spot the billboards of this provocative campaign!

Loved in Sweden, loved worldwide. Remembering the Thin White Duke

Trying to describe David Bowie is kind of impossible. It’s like trying to define where we come from, or where we are heading or whatever you can put along with the term ‘impossible’. One thing is indisputable, anyway. When you pronounce his name, you are disclosing the world of music itself.

Why am I talking about him? Well, exactly one year ago (10 January 2016) he left our material world and reached the one he actually came from – the world of the stars, the universe.


Photo: http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/01/11/exp-ns-stout-giddings-david-bowie.cnn

A man capable of transforming music in something which can be close to be defined as art. A man living continuously in a tenacious way: he has always wanted to do and write what he had in mind and he was able to come up with some characters which became immortal icons. And most of the time, let’s say every time, these characters were one only person: David Bowie.


Photo: http://rollingstoneaus.com/music/post/david-bowie-15-great-performances/2967

King of many faces of the modern rock, always eager to experiment and be influenced by different genres, David Bowie touched the heart and the mind of million of fans around the world over the course of his life and career. A career that has lasted until the very final moments of his terrestrial time – just two days before his death, the day of his birthday (8 January), his last album was released, called Blackstar.

Through his music, Bowie has been able to conceive a new kind of rock, a sort of ‘global art’: he opened the doors to contaminations between rock music and cinema, theatre, mime, dance, comics, visual arts. We probably won’t see another artist like him. We can easily claim that he has been and always will be inimitable.


Photo: https://sunvalleymag.com/articles/the-photography-of-andrew-kent/


As you can see from the last picture above, David Bowie would perform a live concert in Stockholm: it was his first one in Sweden, on 26 April 1976, at Kungliga Tennishallen. Here you can hear what the artist said to Radio Sweden after the concert!

As mentioned before, he travelled and performed in many countries, and regarding especially Sweden, fans have taken part to his live events 16 times – concerts spread out between Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Olofström. His last concert was in the capital, dated October 8, 2003. Sweden has been the most visited country by Bowie in the Scandinavian area.

You are not among us anymore, still you’re everyday in the ears of an uncountable number of people. Thanks for reminding us that we can be something special, just for one day.

Featured image: http://www.phillymag.com/tag/david-bowie/


Travel Journal: Lapland

Do you guys get goosebumps just by remembering an amazing landscape, or simple an amazing experience? Well, this is how I feel right now. I don’t even know where to begin. This year I went on a trip to Lapland with my friends, all the way across the arctic circle, and this is definitely the best way to start the year. So let me begin by sharing with you guys what was my trip about.

Day 1: “1,700 km”

We started our journey from Gothenburg where we took a morning train to Stockholm, this was our meeting point with the rest of the group (have I mention how much I like trains in Europe? It’s the best way to move around and appreciate the landscape at the same time!). From Stockholm we got in a bus to begin the 14-ish hours journey to Kiruna. So yes, basically the first day we were trapped in a bus for 14-ish hours, but contrary to what you might be thinking, it was actually ok. We played Monopoly in the iPad (in my opinion the best 5 EU invested).

Day 2: “Northernmost town in Sweden”

After what it seemed an endless bus ride, we arrive to Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, where we checked-in the hostel and immediately went to the breakfast buffet. After a having frukost (breakfast in Swedish) we took a walk aroun the town. Kiruna is known for being a mining town, so everything is settled around the iron mine.

At mid day we went on for the combi tour (dog sledge and snow mobile), and let me tell you… it was THE most exciting thing i’ve ever done in the past years. I didn’t wanted to think much about the dog sledge before going to the tour because I didn’t want to build a high expectation and be dissapointed after, but it was impossible not to think about it, at the end it was AMAZING, I was so excited that I wanted to buy 13 dogs and move around Gothenburg in a dog sledge (how cool would that be?). Im going off track now, so…yes…we splited into groups of 3 and each group hopped in a dog sledge to begin the tour, after 30 minutes we meet the rest of the group to swap from dog sledge to snow mobiles and viceversa.




Zamba Husky Dog Sledge

Wait, before we swapped we obviously had FIKA! Going through the snow in a dog sledge means that you will move through the air faster, so this will make the thermal feeling way worse, and now imagine having -14 degrees air in your face. After 30 minutes I could  feel how my ears were about to fall off my head. So we drank coffee and tea and had muffins in this place.

DSC_0184 (2)

After the snow mobile tour we headed back to the hostel to have a couple of drinks before going to the New Year’s dinner. We had dinner in Scandic Ferrum Hotel in Kiruna and then off course we went to the club (probably the only club in Kiruna), I don’t have pictures of this part but you guys can imagine what happens if you put students in a club after a few drinks.

Day 3: “Let’s go further north

9:00 – alarm sounds *hits snooze*

9:16 – alarm sounds again, and now I know that it’s time to wake up, take a shower, pack our things and hop in the bus again. This time we were heading the ice hotel! The ice hotel is in the outskirts of Kiruna, so it was pointless removing all the layers. Just outside the town center  (like 1 km… kidding, it was more like 16 km) the ice hotel is located, in here we took a tour were the guide explained how the hotel is built, how it started, and so on. After the tour we got free time to explore the ice hotel.




Before moving on to our next destination, we stopped by Rensjön where we visited a Sami family, in there they explained us how they live, their traditions, and everything about reindeers.



Abisko was our next destination, where we stayed in Abisko Turistation STF Hostel, an amazing place in the middle of nature, a resort with cabins, a hotel and the hostel. A tourist meeting point for everyone interested in what Lapland has to offer. We arrive to the hostel around 17:00 so we went straight to the kitchen to cook something to dinner (we forgot the food we bought in the hostel in Kiruna, so we literally had bread with sauce for lunch).

Afterwards, we went to a tipi to have some marshmallows and glogg (hot wine with spices, popular in Sweden during the winter).

Tipi Abisko

Day 4: “Crossing the border

I’ve never considered myself a morning person, probably I will never be one. But something weird happens when I’m traveling, somehow I wake up much more easily. On the 4th day we went to Narvik, a town close to the border between Sweden and Norway, on our way to Narvik we saw even more amazing landscapes, and you know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words“.




After a long day we returned to Abisko, where we had dinner and then we went to the sauna, we basically turned the sauna into a party. We got to see the auroras but I didn’t had my camera with me, they were amazing!

Day 5: “-22 degrees”

Final day. You might have heard that in Sweden there’s only a few hours of sunlight during the winter, it’s true…but It’s not as dark as you might think. Anyway, we decided to explore the area where the sauna was located, mainly because during the night we couldn’t see much. On our way to the sauna we found this spot.



1.2 km later we reached the sauna, and behind the sauna a lake with steam coming out of the water surface, it kinda looked like one of those crime thriller scenes, the ones you can imagine when you read any Nordic thriller.

Sauna Abisko Turistation


We packed everything on the bus and started our journey back, after 15 hours we were back in Stockholm.

This was the perfect way of ending a year and starting a new one, with a lot of new experiences and very good memories. I’m looking forward to explore more places in 2017.