I’m moving to Sweden!
I’ve got some exciting news! I’m moving to Sweden in January!
My Master’s degree involves moving country every semester, and last week I had to submit my preferences for the location of my second semester… I had 8 different universities to choose from, in 8 different European countries, and I wrote a blog post here comparing the pros and cons of each university. That helped me narrow it down to two contenders: Uppsala in Sweden and Kraków in Poland. Thanks to everyone who commented with their favourites or gave advice on all the different options: I think from a public poll of you all, Kraków probably came off the winner! I’ve never been there before but a lot of you really seem to love the city!
After a lot of umming and ahhing however I finally chose Uppsala as my first preference and Kraków as my second. One reason being that I’ll be spending a week in Kraków next June anyway, another being that I adored Sweden when I visited Stockholm and the archipelago last year, and another being that the subjects offered in Uppsala are closer to my interests than the subjects offered in Kraków. Yesterday I finally received confirmation that I’ve been placed in my first preference, Uppsala, which means… I’m moving to Sweden!
Bring on the snow, white nights, meatballs, saunas, fika, ABBA, Ikea, Nobel prizes, Stieg Larsson-esque thrillers, forests, islands, minimalist Scandi interior design, beautiful architecture/landscapes/people and the tall men!
While Uppsala is a relatively small old university town, it’s very close to Stockholm Arlanda airport and only 40 minutes from the capital Stockholm. Which means I really need to catch up on my long overdue blog posts about Stockholm from last year…
In addition to getting excited about Uppsala, I’m also dying to:
- Hop over to Norway – to visit my Norwegian friend Ingvild in Oslo and maybe also the fjords
- Fly up to Finland – to Helsinki definitely, and potentially also Lapland, but would it just be quite similar to Iceland?
- Go by boat to St Petersburg – to practice my Russian and by boat it thankfully doesn’t require a visa!
- Visit the Baltic countries like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the last two of which I almost visited with my sister in August this year, but which we couldn’t find the time for in the end
What would you add to this list? What can you recommend I do and see in Sweden itself?
I’ll be in Uppsala for 4 months, from the end of January until late-May, which doesn’t leave a huge amount of time for all the travelling above, but if I manage even just a few I’d be very happy! And somewhere in that busy schedule I’ll have to do some actual studying as well, of course! It all sounds like such an adventure – I cannot wait!
One reservation I did have was obviously the cold snowy weather for the first few months that I’m there… I thought about this long and hard, and then I remembered that last year I didn’t really have a winter – I jetted off to sunny Sri Lanka and Nepal and I missed the whole of post-Christmas winter and spring. So 2016 for me was an exceptionally hot year – October is really the first month this year that I’ve had to actually check the weather forecast in the morning and choose the number of layers to wear accordingly. So I shall just stock up on warm layers and find a nearby sauna to warm myself up in every now and again!
It seems odd to think that while I was swanning around Stockholm in August 2015 with my friend Imy, soaking up the sun, the amazing galleries, the nature, the beautiful everything and the relaxed happy atmosphere, we were talking about what a great place it would be to live in. At that point, the idea of this Master’s hadn’t even entered my mind and I was in no way considering ever actually living in Sweden myself. And now here I am: moving to Scandi land in T-3 months! It’s all just a bit too exciting!