I arrived into Stockholm at the end of August with anticipation and 30kgs of luggage. I was lucky enough that my parents were over in Europe to get me settled, so after a few teary goodbyes I moved out of my hostel and into my halls of residence – Lappis.
Lappis is the largest student housing complex in Stockholm, with a variety of students from many universities across the city. Lappis mainly holds international and masters students, meaning there is plenty of cultural diversity and nightlife.
My room is a corridor room which means I have my own bedroom with an en suite, and share a kitchen with my 11 other floor mates.
The complex holds over 2000 students and has everything you need to live including a supermarket and free laundry services. Most of my friends I’ve made have been my neighbours so I’m never short of company, which has been such a blessing to curb any homesickness. One of the nicest parts of my accommodation is that we are surrounded by nature, with a number of bush walks right at our doorstep. My favourites have to be a lookout point situated behind our halls looking out towards the archipelago, and Lappis beach where isn’t uncommon to spot the northern lights on a cold winter’s night!
One quirky thing about Lappis is that every Tuesday at 10pm, residents open their window and scream out of it. What is now known as the ‘Lappis Scream’ is apparently designed to relieve study stress, which I only found out after my first Tuesday thinking there was a massacre going on downstairs.
After about a week of settling in, socialising and orientation I began my first week of classes.
I’m studying an Arts and Commerce conjoint and doing a bit of both degrees while on exchange, so I have to navigate multiple campuses. Frescati campus is the main campus at Stockholm university and has a massive library and student common areas – this campus is where I do all my arts based papers. Kraftiket is the business campus and is wholly separate from all other campuses. Being located in Lappis, we’re super lucky that a bus basically takes us door to door to both campuses, meaning lazy students (me) can make it to class in about 10 minutes.
Academically, Stockholm University is structured quite differently from Auckland. Instead of doing all four papers at once and being assessed for each throughout the semester, my semester has been split into four periods of about a month each so I do each paper once at a time. This means I’m able to fully focus on one subject at a time so I’m learning a lot, however there are so many more required readings and you are always jumping straight into the next course load as there are no holidays between periods.
Classes are split between large lectures, intensive seminar groups and optional study groups. We are mainly taught in English so my classes are filled with a mix of exchange students and Swedish students (who all have impeccable English). However, there is also a large focus on group work which makes it super easy to meet both Swedish and other exchange students.
My transition into Stockholm and University life has been smooth (enough), however some tips for making the move as easy as possible would be:
- Do your research – before I left Auckland I had done plenty of research about standards of living in Stockholm, experiences of the Swedish winter, other exchange student blogs…the works! You can never be too prepared.
- Opt for a hall of residence if you can – this will make meeting new friends so much easier, especially if you’re introverted like myself.
- If you can, pick papers that have group work (never thought I’d be saying that!).
- Go to everything! Universities usually put on a heap of events for incoming students, both to get your bearings and to socialise.
If you have any questions about Stockholm or anything at all, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I’ve just finished up a month of travel around Europe, Africa and Asia so my next post will be all about the highs and lows of travelling solo. Until then!