Swedish Summer starts in May?

Q: What happens when the sun is shinning down on Sweden?

A: Everyone comes out to play

KTH Courtyard at lunch time…


Dear Summer,

Is this you? Are you here to stay or should we expect a last-minute reminder that it should be spring and a bit cold? Oh well, everyone is happy! You can feel it in the air. For me, I love the fact that we can sit out for lunch and  feel your warmth on our skins 🙂

From a person who loves the sun,
Oluchi


This week has been beautiful! The whether has ben perfect and at times like this, everyone loooovesss to sit outside at any opportunity they get to enjoy the sun’s warmth. Last year in May, it was soooooooo warm. This year felt a bit different but this week has been beautiful so far. AT KTH, The E building is like my second home. I love to sit down facing the courtyard when I take breaks.

Due to the fact that I work in a company for the thesis, I am never at KTH campus and I must say, I miss being here! I had the opportunity to be here this week and I am enjoying every minute! Have I ever mentioned that companies usually come to share their products in front of KTH. If I have not, I just told you? I got to try this very very nice yoghurt recently. 😁😁

You can tell I have missed the main campus! haha!

Till next time,

Oluchi!

Cost of living in Sweden – 2019

Recall I mentioned in the last post that another ‘hot’ topic would be addressed? I guess the title dismisses the element of surprise on the subject matter that I will be sharing on…

“I hear Stockholm is expensive? Is this true?”

” What should my average budget be like every month?”

I dare say for every prospective student I have interacted with, I have been asked the above two questions. I made a post in 2018 which I feel should be revised now, as some of the prices listed there have changed. 

Let’s set the ball rolling:

  • Accommodation

Accommodation ranges from 2900SEK to 7500SEK. This year, Flemingsberg apartment which was 2500 SEK is unavailable. Instead, there is an available apartment in Sodermalm for 2900SEK. In my opinion, this is a better alternative as Flemingsberg is a bit far from the main KTH Campus. Accommodation actually has this large margin in price because it depends on many factors: proximity to the city centre, shared room, corridor room, studios, etc. Most of these accommodations have electricity, water and internet included in the amount you pay. However, if this is not the case, it would be clearly stated.

TIP: Most students pay between 3500 to 5000 SEK after the first year. This is largely due to sssb and other available forms of accommodation that they find as they understand Stockholm better.

  • Food

Not much has changed in this aspect. If you’re big on cooking, then Lidl and Willys would fast become your go-to places as they usually have the same items at somewhat cheaper prices. Other stores include: Hemkop, ICA, Coop, In a month, if most of your shopping is done in Lidl or Willys (and you cook all that you eat), you can budget 800SEK to 1000SEK.

Also, at KTH, you can take advantage of the student discounts in most restaurants. Good to know that in the past year, these prices have stayed the same:

Restaurants in school: 65SEK to 89SEK

Sandwich: 25SEK to 50SEK (a small store close to KTH Entre usually sells for 25SEK while 7-eleven and coffice have sandwiches up to 50SEK)

Cinnamon bun and a cup of coffee: 15SEK (this applies to all Pressbyran stores if you show your student ID)

Obviously, you would want to treat yourself sometimes in the month, you can budget about 500SEK to 1000SEK to this. For example, you can buy pizza for 89SEK to 110SEK. You can get burgers starting from 50SEK to 89SEK (depends on the package you decide on). You can go for a food buffet also with 200SEK.

TIP: Always ask stores if they have a student discount. Most stores won’t mention but they usually do. Second, some stores have discounted prices close to the end of the day. Third, download Karma app. Fourth, download the apps of your favourite grocery stores and become a member to not miss out on good deals 😉

  • Transportation

Riding a bike would save you a ton of money. Also, the student price for the SL transportation card is 590SEK/month. Most students who use the public transportation system pay this capped price as it is actually cheaper than paying per ride. An average Uber ride from the city centre to KTH main campus is 160SEK (which is about 11mins driving).

  • Communication

I think this has been my cheapest expense. I use Halebop and my phone bill per month ranges from 0SEK to 100SEK. I would say the average price paid that students do pay is 100SEK/month irrespective of the service provider.  

  • Gym

The average price for a gym membership, with student discount, ranges from 220SEk to 300SEk monthly.

  • Miscellaneous

This section covers everything else you would love. You might love a night out with friends, cruises during the summer, shopping, anything else that really is not written above but depends on the individual’s personality. 

Let’s calculate👇🏽👇🏽

EXPENSES

AMOUNT IN SEK

Accommodation

2500

7500

Food (a mixture of home-eating and eating out)

1300

2500

Transportation

0

590

Communication

100

100

Gym

250

300

Miscellaneous

500

TOTAL

4650

10990

On average, the living expenses of a student ranges from 5000SEK to 10000SEK depending on the student’s preferences. 

Do you think there is a section that I missed on this list? Do you want certain specifics to prices for certain items? Feel free to ask:) If not, I am glad that this post gives you the right amount of information that you need!

Also, if you have any more questions that you would love answered in this transition journey to Sweden. I would love to also give answers either as posts or comments.

Till the next post,

Oluchi

 

 

 

KTH Faces | Jubica

“Hi there! I am Jubica. I am a first year Masters student in Engineering Materials Science, with an intention of carrying Indian learning practices to European knowledge fields. I am from Rourkela, the steel city of Odisha, India.

Since the day I arrived Stockholm, I have gained a plethora of experiences. With daylight of 18 hours to 5 hours in the span from August to April, the variation of shades during sunrise and sunset, the different colours of night sky, amazing patterns of the clouds in the sky, the appearance of the trees and the reaction of the entire flora and fauna towards the climatic changes during the four seasons, have etched a definite place in my memory. The excitement of Swedish Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, the beauty of northern lights, the calmness of the countryside and the cherry blossoms in Easter are truly exceptional experiences.

KTH to me has been a dream come true. Each day at school is a new challenge that ends with a sense of accomplishment. The learnings gained from the lectures, assignments and group exercises are intensive. Apart from the academics, there has been a personal and professional growth. The innumerable lunch lectures and career fests have helped me to make really good contacts with companies. The exposure to different companies has become a key to several opportunities. I consider myself lucky to be accepted as a student in Engineering Material Science in a University that now ranks 26 according to QS rankings in the particular subject.

In this 9 months of stay in Stockholm so far, when I walk through the memory lane I get this sudden feeling of happiness – a sense of belonging and at the same time gratitude that I’m so privileged that I can live my life in this beautiful city.”

Jubica hails from Odisha, India and studies the Master’s programme in Engineering Material Science at KTH.

Picture Credits: Nayanika Bhalla

How cultural is Stockholm?

Hey peeps, some of my friends have asked me why I decided to move to Stockholm when this city has 5 % (literally) of the population that Mexico City has, and this could mean that less things happen for me to keep me busy. Well, that’s wrong! Stockholm is such a cultural city full of museum, concerts, art galleries, and so many other events. If you are still undecided if Stockholm is or not for you, let me tell you something, you have something different to do every single week. Whether it is going to Archipelago, enjoying a glass of wine at Fotografiska museet, or walking around DjurgÃ¥rden, Stockholm will always have something to offer (no matter the weather hah). For example, have you ever heard about Carly Rae Jepsen, Veronica Maggio, J Balvin, Wiz Khalifa, or Bastille? Well, all of these singers will be part of the famous Gröna Lund Concert Season repertory starting this weekend through all summer. The best part? For only 290 SEK (27 EUR approx.) you have access to all the concerts!

Ok ok, you don’t like loud concerts and teenagers screaming around you? Then enjoy one of the many and diverse museums Stockholm has to offer! Want to have some vodka shots? Go to Spirit Museum and learn about Sweden’s long history of spirits’ production (you have heard about Absolut Vodka, right?). Want to sing along good old Swedish music hits? Go to ABBA museum and enjoy the interactive exhibition of this incredible pop band. Vikings! Of course you can learn about that in the Vasa museum while being amazed by the (huge) Swedish viking warship displayed in there.

Some family and me at the Spirit Museum

What about things for free? DjurgÃ¥rden not only is an island hosting all the places mentioned above, but is a place full of nature to get lost in. Katarinahissen, located in Slussen you’ll get a pretty nice view of Stockholm’s old town! LÃ¥ngholmen beach (in summer) is a super nice place to bring some snacks, a towel, and enjoy the Sun and water. Finally but not the last one in a long list of free activities, Kulturnatt! This is not an actual place, but a specific day in the year where you’ll be able to attend most art galleries (public or private), museums, concerts, performances like in the Opera House, and many more for free! This day just passed this week and I had the chance to attend it with a couple of friends by just walking by in the old town and Södermalm and by entering all the nice free and diverse exhibitions.

Image result for kulturnatten stockholm

Do you still think Stockholm might be too small and quiet? For my friends, think twice! Hehe. Looking forward to hear about your doubts or suggestions in more activities you could be interested in!

Finding accommodation in Stockholm

Is it really that difficult to find accommodation? Should I really take KTH’s offer? How long would I need to be on the waiting list for sssb? What kind of accommodation did you stay in? Was it a hassle finding accommodation in the second year?

At the end of the call-up week, I would say, accommodation is on the top of the list of frequently asked questions. A very basic amenity for every individual; therefore, it makes absolute sense that one of the first things that people start thinking about when moving to a new environment is a place to live. Also, it is a known fact that it can be pretty difficult for one to secure a long -term housing contract in Stockholm on very short notice.

Without further ado…

…I would divide this into two sections. The first would be focused on international students. The second part, for European students…

International Students

As an international student, I would say, “you are extremely lucky!!” You might actually hear this a lot when you finally move to Stockholm. KTH helps international students to find accommodation for the first year. The only thing you need to do is, not miss the application period and also, pay the invoice once you receive it. So, my candid advice would be, ” take the opportunity KTH gives and apply for an accommodation with KTH”.

Application period: May1-May 31

At the moment, the application link is not available but right here, you would find the link once the application starts, and extra information for students who are eligible for this service. The application is NOT on a first come, first serve basis. I vividly recall that I did not even send my application early but I just ensured it was before the deadline. This is because you need to actually pay the tuition fees before you apply for accommodation

Location

I lived on the main campus in my first year and paid a monthly rent of 5000SEK. It was a single corridor room, in which I shared the kitchen and laundry room with eight other students but we each had a room and the bathroom individually. I enjoyed my stay at DKV 71 and I definitely still miss that apartment especially my corridor mates and its proximity to buildings I had most of my classes at.

Looking through the list of available accommodation this year, I see some things have changed. For example, the DKV 71-73(the actual accommodation I lived in) and the Fleminsberg accommodation (which used to be the cheapest accommodation (2500SEK)) are not listed this year. Therefore, check the new list for accommodation here.

So, what happens after the first year…

For me, I moved into a SSSB accommodation. In fact, I think most of the students at KTH actually live in a SSSB accommodation. You can actually already sign up and start earning days(points) on the queue. You can earn up to 90 days before you actually are registered as a THS member. Yeah, the clause with SSSB is that you have to become a member of a student union of a Universtiy in Sweden. THS is the name of theKTH student union. You can only become a member once you actually start classes at KTH. Therefore, you can freeze your account once you get to the 90 days mark. In this way you actually have more days which you can use to obtain the accommodation of your choice when you finally need it.

NOTE: The SSSB is open to all students both International and European students.

European Students

I guess this is where it becomes a bit tricky. However, KTH has come to the rescue with this list right here of where you can actually start your search. My candid advice is to start now actually; the earlier, the better. Also, be very careful with people who want to sublet. Ensure you actually visit the place before you decide to pay to avoid being scammed. I would also say, Facebook is also a good place. THS has a group in which students sublet to each other. Below is an extract from my message to an incoming student and I believe it sums up the rest of the answers I can give to EU students in this section:

you can also check Blockett and then,  Facebook groups – you might be lucky there might be a group from people from your country and then maybe you can ask for help – someone may be subletting a room for a period of time. Other Facebook groups that you might check include: “Lappis Market”, “Längenheter i Stockholm”, “Hyra Lägenhet i Stockholm”. Although, I would advise being careful,  and not to pay before actually seeing the room. Never give money to someone who urgently asks for it. This year, there will be a waiting list for KTH accommodation for EU students, you can also sign up once it is open (although it is clearly stated that not everyone on the waiting list might be offered but too many options never hurt:)) One advice all European students say for accommodation is, “the sooner, the better :))

 

Oluchi Monwe

I hope with this post and all the links included, finding an accommodation will be easy breezy for everyone:)

The next post would answer another question that has been a hot topic..can you guess already??

Till my next post 😉

Oluchi

Easters in Stockholm

Literally, ghost town. No, just kidding (a bit). If you were wondering how Stockholmers spend their Easters break, well, I would have to say that many of them ask for some extra days off at work to have the whole week to rest/vacay. Why? Well, if I understood correctly, most of the jobs in Sweden give “half day” off on Thursday and full day on Friday and Monday; now, if you have some spare days, why don’t use them to have the whole week? As much as I would like to say that I spent Easters traveling around Sweden or in my someone else’s summer house outside Stockholm, I would be lying; nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the break of work!

Vår lilla glänta, or our little glade

One of the things that I enjoyed the most about this break was the opportunity to enjoy the sunny weather that has been happening for these pasts days in Stockholm (right now … 18 ºC), yes, this is suuuper good weather. People enjoying ice creams under the Sun, you can even spot some people using shorts, and of course, the smell of BBQs! That was what I did during this break, BBQ-ing with my friends and enjoying the weather in the forrest. One of my closest friends is currently living near Stockholm’s University where there is a huge area full of nature and places to have gatherings with friends.

Seems like we are km. away from the city, but no!

Of course, the friend who organized this amazing evening wanted to give it a real Easters feeling, so what he did was hide boiled eggs around the woods for use to find them. When we managed to find them all, he had prepared some aquarelle paintings for their decoration. Unfortunately, I didn’t took a pic of all the master pieces these guys did! (None of us would have succeeded as aquarelle painting artists, just saying). How did you spend your Easters? I guess soon enough you’ll be celebrating it here in Stockholm when you start your journey at KTH! 🙂