Moving to Uppsala: Hej Sverige!
Yesterday I moved to from London to Sweden, and now here I am in Uppsala! This move marks the beginning of the second semester of my Master’s degree, and I’ll be spending the next 4 months studying at the 500-year-old University of Uppsala. I’ve been to Sweden once before, in August 2015, for a long weekend with my friend Imy and I absolutely adored the places we visited: Stockholm and the island of Sandhamn in the Stockholm Archipelago. Uppsala is just 45 minutes north of Stockholm so I’ll be able to return to the capital city often and show my visitors around both cities. I’m so excited to be living here in a new country and to have this opportunity to properly experience a Scandinavian country. Norway, Sweden and Finland are always ranked so highly in every single criteria around, so I’m really interested to find out how they manage it all and to surround myself in all that Scandi goodness.
I have to say that this move has been a fair bit easier than my move to the Netherlands back in August 2016, as I’ve now got the hack of moving my life and my possessions. This time I have streamlined my belongings and packed less (leaving out some of the things I never used in the Netherlands), I’ve sent ahead a suitcase via courier (rather than lugging it via public transport to airports), I’ve had my accommodation organised for longer in advance, I know what to expect from the Master’s subject matter and workload, I already know a few friends and contacts in Uppsala and I feel a lot more prepared in the logistical sense.
On the mental preparation side however I feel less ready than before the Netherlands. When I moved to Groningen back in August for my first semester, I was dying to leave my job and the UK, and I was counting down the days to having control of my own time again. It was a manic last few days pre-move as I didn’t know what to expect from the Master’s. I was also super keen, so keen in fact that I signed up for far too many extracurricular courses, activities and a bit of paid work, and I ended up being rushed off my feet! Since leaving Groningen on 23rd December I’ve spent the last 5 weeks at a much more relaxed pace, with Christmas celebrations, some important essays to submit, a week’s holiday skiing in Switzerland and weekends in London with friends, but otherwise it has been super chilled and I’ve felt so, so happy and grateful all January long. I mean, I actually spent two weeks in the same small village in Hampshire without getting into a vehicle of any kind – it was just bliss! But I couldn’t have stood more than 5 weeks at “home home”, so it feels like the right time to be leaving again, although I do feel a bit surprised to be here!
This time around, I’ve learned my lesson and I will try not to commit myself to too much “stuff” in Uppsala. I’ll have between 6-8 hours of lectures per week and I’m hoping to start a 4 hour/week Swedish language course. I also want to do lots of exercise in Uppsala and travel around Scandinavia, but apart from that I want to take things a bit easier and appreciate the city properly. Last night I went to dinner with a friendly Swede, Linda, and I arrived in my new flat, which I’m in the process of making feel homely with all my postcards. Over the next week I’ll get everything set up and explore the city a bit more before my lectures start on 7th February. After falling in love with Groningen and the Dutch lifestyle, Uppsala has a lot to live up to, but fingers crossed I’ll like it here!