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How to feel a bit more Swedish

To all of you who are soon coming to Stockholm and start your studies at KTH, you might already be super excited what lies ahead of you. Surely, there will be some things that are different than in your home country and you’ll want to feel at home as fast as possible. Here is how you can understand Swedes and their way of living a bit better 💪

Get active and enjoy the outdoors

Swedes are super active! And this pays off: Sweden ranks among the top 10 most healthy countries in the world. To quickly become a part of it, find something that you love to do outdoors: whether it’s running, biking, hiking or just taking a walk. Being outside and enjoying the sun is very important for the Swedes and you’ll soon understand why – once the days get shorter and winter approaches you’ll be happy that you have enjoyed so much time outside! ☀️This is also a great way of making friends, just ask someone who likes the same sports as you to go on a run, hike, etc. together.

Let’s get a fika

You have probably heard of the magical word Fika. For everyone who hasn’t, it’s similar to a coffee break that you can take anytime during the day, just grab some of your friends, get a coffee and a pastry and enjoy the off time together. Fika-breaks are actually said to improve productivity ☕ Also, did you know Sweden is among the top three countries in the world in consuming coffee? “Bryggkaffe” (brewed coffee) is usually the most famous Swedish coffee – and many Swedes drink it black 😲 If that’s nothing for you, don’t worry, there are also many other sorts of coffee in the cafés and you can of course also get a tea.

Fika break

Queues everywhere

If you’re in Sweden for the first time, you might find this a bit weird, depending on the country you’re coming from. But the Swedes love to queue. It’s makes everything seem very organized and you can find queues everywhere: in the supermarket, in the post office, when entering the bus or going to the bank. Even though I was used to queues as well from Germany, one thing I thought is very special here: the calmness with which Swedes stand in line. While I as a German get super nervous when nothing is moving forward in the queue, the Swedes just take it as it is and wait until it’s their turn.

Try to be organized

I know that this might be quite hard for some of you but being punctual and organized is very important in Sweden too. For meetings, whether it’s at university, at your job or in private, you usually show up some minutes before rather than being too late. Planning ahead is also something Swedes like to do, so you might be invited quite some days in advance. But just take it relaxed – you’ll get the hang of it!

When coming to Sweden, I recommend paying attention to the things you feel are different than in your home country. And instead of being confused or even sad that everything seems different, try to get an understanding why it might be working this way. If you just try some of the things above out yourself, you’ll quickly feel a bit more Swedish yourself – I promise!

Have fun trying it out yourself!
// Maria

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