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Getting to know – and love – the Swedish Winter

“Winter in Sweden is dark and cold”. How many times did you hear this sentence when talking to someone about your desire to study in Sweden? In my case, a lot of times. But is it really true?

Well, yes.

HOWEVER, it’s not as bad as you may think!
In this blog post, we’ll try to uncover the secrets to withstand the Swedish Winter and what it’s really like to live in Sweden during the cold months.

The weather

First of all, the weather. The Winter weather, at least in Stockholm, is not as bad as you may think. It does rain, but it’s rarely a heavy rain – typically, it’s more like a drizzle – and you are more likely to wake up to a grey, cloudy sky without any rain. Blue skies can be rare in this period of the year, but hey, this makes sunny days even more special (all hail self-persuasion)! Moreover, Stockholm becomes incredibly charming when it snows – check out my last post on this year’s first snow.

KTH campus with snow and lamps turned on
A glimpse of KTH campus after last week’s snow

The darkness

This is probably the most-feared characteristic of the Swedish Winter. Currently (November 30th), the Sun rises at 8 am and sets at 3 pm, more or less. Yes: that’s not a lot of sunny hours. However, there are a couple of things you should take into account.

Firstly, Stockholm is incredibly charming when it’s dark. There are many lights all around the city, especially now that we’re getting close to Christmas, and every building you visit always looks incredibly cosy – this makes the dark hours a bit easier to bear. Also, I found the study rhythm here to be much higher than what I was used to: this means that you often have no time to feel sad about the darkness. You always have something to do and something to think about and, most of the time, it’s group work. This means staying with other people in cosy places, working on things you love. Trust me, it’s not that bad – it’s a toll you have to pay to enjoy the Swedish educational system and, most importantly (?), the incredible Summer months.

Building with Christmas lights all over, during the night
The city is ALL like this, a Winter wonderland

The cold

Sweden is cold. Of course, how cold you feel depends on where you come from but, generally, it’s hard to define it a warm country. To give you an idea, now the average temperature is about zero degrees, and it’s probably going to get worse in the next months – but hey, coping with cold is not that difficult: you just have to dress accordingly. I found that Swedish people genuinely like to flex on this, by saying that “There is no bad weather: just bad clothes”. This sentence is incredibly true. You can buy second-hand all around the city, and it is easy to find clothes that are warm and charming at the same time: you won’t have to walk the city in your ski suit and boots!

Ice skating track with Christmas lights
Another perk of the cold temperature: ice skating!

Overall, I think that coping with Swedish Winter is surely doable. It may not be easy at the beginning, but with the correct dose of optimism and self-motivation it may even turn out to be a surprise. Warm beverages, fika with some friends, snow over the Christmas lights of the city. So far, so good!

That is all for today. If you want some more insights on the Swedish Winter, I suggest you check out Raygo’s blog post on the topic. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to KTH newsletter and follow KTH on Instagram, to stay up to date with all the webinars and future events that will be organised in the next period!

See you in the next post!

// Lorenzo

6 thoughts on “Getting to know – and love – the Swedish Winter”

    1. Good to hear Vedant! You can find many tips on our blog 🙂 good luck!

  1. Hi Lory, thx for this useful post. Reading it push people to come in Sweden.
    Have a good time in this winter days, i embrace you and kiss a lot.
    Bye, mom.

  2. Hi lorenzo, don’t worry about the darkness, even here in Italy it gets dark at about 4,30 pm, so it’s not that different! Doing what you love in cosy places with friends around, it’s the most beautiful thing can happen. So, enjoy these lucky moments! I wish you always the best,
    Susanna (daniele’s sister)

    1. Thank you Susanna, I will! Say hello to everybody

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