During the application phase and even afterwards before coming to Sweden, you probably have a million different questions on your mind. Don’t worry! It was the same for me before coming here. Today, I want to share some of the things you should not worry about, so that you can be a bit more relaxed about your upcoming journey!
Getting a cultural shock
Moving to another country also implies getting to know another culture. And even though everyone might know that it can be pretty rewarding to live in another culture, a cultural shock during the first days of your journey can be completely normal. Things might work different in Sweden than you’re used to, the food is different, and all your surroundings look and feel different. But hey – it’s the start of something great! Also, Swedish culture is very open, and Swedes want to give foreigners a great experience with their country. So, there is nothing here you have to worry about!
Not finding any friends
This is something that you should immediately ban from your mind! You’ll not be the only international student at the university and everyone else will be in just the same position as you. It is important to be open to start a conversation or join some events and organizations (if the situation allows) to meet new people. You don’t have to be the most talkative person, but it’s good to show interest and join the fun!
Making mistakes speaking English
If you don’t have English as your first language, you might be afraid to speak as you could make mistakes. But mistakes happen to all of us and it’s natural. You also need to remember that by making mistakes, we’re all learning. The more we speak and the more mistakes we make, the better we can learn and improve our language skills.
Not being able to follow the courses in another language
With the fear of making mistakes when talking might come the fear of not being able to follow the university courses in another language. For me, this fear was one of the biggest even though I was abroad before. Before starting my master’s I could imagine having lectures in English but when thinking about having to do my research in another language as well as writing exams and in the end a whole master’s thesis in another language got me quite worried. But I can assure you, this is something you should definitely not worry about! All professors are very helpful and understanding. They have many international students and know that for all of us it’s quite a big step to study in a foreign language. And in case you couldn’t understand something, you can also ask your classmates for help! This is usually a good ice breaker too!
Is Sweden a safe country? Actually, Sweden is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world! You need to be aware that Stockholm is a capital city and that you can potentially be confronted with an incident. However, violence is very rare in Sweden. And as long as you use your common sense to avoid scammers, petty criminals and thieves, you’ll be perfectly fine!
The darkness during the Swedish winter
This point comes probably to everyone’s mind when thinking about Sweden. Honestly, this oppressed me as well, but I was very open-minded as I thought every Swede living here has been experiencing long and dark winters for their whole life! And what should I say? Yes, you need to get used to the darkness and the cold, especially when you come from countries that have a different climate than Sweden. But it’s not as dark as many people might think. Once the winter season starts everyone is putting up Christmas lights and the whole city is lighted up in wonderful colors! And also: at some point, the winter will be over again, and as soon as the days start getting longer again, you won’t think about the darkness anymore.
I know that making the final decision to come to another country is full of uncertainties and questions. But I hope that with this article you can overcome some of your worries. If you have any further doubts or questions, feel free to share them in the comments!
Don’t worry too much!