Skip to content

Stockholm Accommodation Tips 

At this time of year, newly admitted students are usually searching for accommodation around Stockholm for August. The application for housing through KTH opens this Sunday, the 1st of May, so check out the KTH Accommodation page to apply or find out more about this. You can also check out some previous blogs to get an insight into about studios or shared apartments around KTH.

Not everyone lives in on-campus accommodation though. To show another option, I’m going to tell you a bit about how I got private accommodation when I came to Stockholm first – and what I learned from it! 

My first house in Stockholm
My first house in Stockholm

The most common place to start looking for accommodation is at SSSB. This works on a queue system, where you earn points the longer you are registered. So be sure to sign up as soon as possible! Myself, I looked through the usual rental sites; SSSB, Akademisk Kvart, Blocket, etc.. What worked for me was actually a post on a “Stockholm Student Accommodation” Facebook page. I wrote a little piece about myself and got a few messages and offers from people renting out rooms. One was from a guy living near Telefonplan in the south of the city. We did a video call and became friends immediately. He showed me around the apartment and soon I was sure this was the place to be.

Facebook pages can sometimes be unsafe, so always be careful and remember never to pay anything in advance. Students paying in advance, only to arrive and realise it was a scam, happens far too often. You may need to take a hotel or Airbnb for a few nights to have a chance to go see an apartment, but this is definitely worth it.

Kungshamra Student Accommodation
Kungshamra Student Accommodation

My friends all had similar methods of finding accommodation, trying different sources and websites until something came up. It might take some time but it usually works out. Others also find short term accommodation to sublet for a few months so that they can get to know Stockholm before deciding on something more permanent.

I was lucky and loved my first rented apartment. I had a great roommate and a great area around the house. After a year of living there though, I decided to move to get closer to the university. By this time I had earned enough queue-days to easily get a corridor room with SSSB and was happy to move to a new area full of fellow students. This was also much cheaper, which was a great bonus.

There is a lot more info about finding accommodation on the New at KTH page. Best of luck!

~ Declan

Being at KTH during uncertain times

The last months have been challenging for many people, and I was no exception. Since the end of February, my life has drastically changed, and I took some time off blogging to process these changes. 

Now I’m back, and in this blog post, I’d like to share my experience of being Russian during these times at KTH and Stockholm in general and how my friends from all over the world and I try to support those affected the most.

Sergels Torg in Stockholm

First of all, I have to say that in Stockholm and Sweden, people value you for not where you are from but for who you are, and I deeply share this vision. For the last two months, I haven’t faced any hatred or neglect for being from Russia; on the contrary, I was treated with nothing but support from fellow students, professors and coworkers, including Swedes and internationals. Even people who don’t know me personally never fail to express their respect and support, sharing the opinion that this is common grief for all. 

I strongly support the values of freedom of speech and actually believe that speaking up might make a huge difference. And, being a media student who speaks Russian and can understand some Ukrainian, it is natural for me to analyze all the sources of information to provide people who don’t know these languages with an understanding of the primary sources to help them see the big picture.

Also, I’ve met many amazing people from Russia, Ukraine, Sweden and other European countries who try their best to help people in need, including refugees and people who have not left the country yet. 

For instance, my classmate Sasha, who is from Russia too, dedicates much of her time volunteering to help those coming from Ukraine. She welcomes refugees in Stockholm and assists them in finding jobs and everyday needs like hospital visits. She is now organizing a project to create first-person narrative videos about refugees fighting propaganda and sharing real stories about the war. That’s what she says about her work: 

“I think as a Russian person it is important to take a place in the fight for the truth and safety, and stand against propaganda. I feel that it is one of the only things I can do now”.

In conclusion, I’d like to share one picture I took in the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C. in November 2018. Every time I see it, it reminds me that in times like this, it’s essential to not look away and keep doing things you believe in, even if it doesn’t affect you personally.

Martin Niemöller’s famous quote in Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

Stay safe and take care! 

\\ Valerie

Preparing for your career after KTH

Image of a simple chalkboard drawing: a person walking up stairs, approaching the words, "What's next?"

Whether you’re graduating in June or beginning your studies this August, it’s never too soon to prepare for your career. Although 40% of KTH students have a job before graduation, many students use the months after graduating to apply for jobs. As a KTH student, there are many resources to use and actions you can take to pave the way for your future career:

NETWORKING

I know everyone brings up networking, but for an international student looking for jobs in a foreign market, it really is important. There are approximately 80,000 KTH alumni worldwide and 10 official alumni chapters, so in addition to the connections you make on campus, there will be many opportunities to connect with alumni working in your field already. I’m currently doing a lot of research for my own job applications; on LinkedIn, most companies have had at least one KTH alumni working there.

However, “networking” shouldn’t be only about short-term connections – it’s getting involved and building relationships over time too. Some amazing ways to do that include: 

  • Follow/subscribe to companies you’re interested in and join recruitment events

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Did you know that the founder of Spotify is a KTH alumnus? KTH is a proud supporter of innovation and entrepreneurship, so if that’s a future path you’re interested in, you’ll want to check out KTH Innovation. It gives students support in commercialising their business ideas, and over 14 percent of KTH alumni go on to start their own company. 

DEGREE PROJECT

For most students, the final semester of studies is comprised of a degree project. It is common for students to do this in collaboration with a company, and it can be really beneficial for applied learning as well as future work opportunities. Each year, over 500 degree project proposals are posted on the KTH project portal by companies like Ericsson, SAAB and Scania. Over 20 % of the students get their first employment through their degree project. 

Securing a degree project with a company or research team can be competitive, so it’s wise to start applying to companies with your proposal and keeping an eye on posted degree project positions several months in advance. 

WHERE TO FIND JOBS TO APPLY TO

Most companies post open positions on their website, but of course, if you’re doing a broader search, sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, GraduateLand, and Indeed can be great starting points. I’d also recommend doing some Google searching to find industry-specific search engines for your specific area of study.

This KTH page can offer more inspiration for where to look for jobs. Resources are broken down into specific categories of work, from internships and traineeships to remote work and full-time positions. 

RESIDENCE PERMIT EXTENSION

Did you know – after studying in Sweden as an international master’s student, you can apply for a special residence permit for 1-year to stay in Sweden and apply for jobs or PhD positions. As a non-EU/EEA student, this is a great opportunity that I’m already in the process of applying for. Although I’ve been applying to jobs on the side of working on my thesis, it’s nice to know I’ll have more time if I end up needing it.

AND MUCH MORE…

For other things like career coaching, lunch seminars, and the KTH career blog, check out KTH’s career page. Good luck!

// Claire

Stockholm’s Woods and Waters

I’ve found that most students that come to study at KTH choose the university for its career opportunities, its reputation, its campus facilities, etc.. If you ask students living here what their favourite thing about Stockholm is though, the answer is often “I love how close I am to nature!”

Map over Stockholm

It’s definitely one of my favourite things about life in Stockholm, how easy it is to get into the nature reserves and forests around the city. When you move over and get settled in the city you’ll find that there is a close connection between the city and the wild natural areas. People love getting out to go hiking, camping or picnicking. At different times of the year there are festivals and activities that people go the countryside for, such as Valborg in the spring, Midsommar in June or mushroom picking in the autumn.

A view in the forest

With Stockholm being stretched over 14 islands, and over 70% of Sweden being covered in forests, it’s no surprise that the water and the woods play a big part in the Swedish lifestyle. Boating and swimming are very common here in the summer time, or ice skating in the winter. There is also a law here called “Allemansrätten”, which ensures that the public has the right to camp, hike, swim and paddle basically anywhere.

Another forest view

The city is planned so that everyone has easy access to green spaces. The suburbs I have lived in have felt like house blocks within forests. Since I’ve moved to Stockholm I have always lived walking distance from parks, woods and lakes, or just a short bus ride away from nature reserves and wild landscapes.

A view across a lake

I’ve added some of my favourite photos from my trips around the parks in Stockholm, but check out Valerie’s post here or Claire’s post here to see some more pretty photos and stories!

~ Declan

Apps that make student life simpler

In Sweden, digitalisation is seen as a key way to increase efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of society. KTH is a big believer in this mission, which is why digitization is actually one of its pillars. Throughout my time as a student, the number of apps in the “Sverige” folder on my phone has only grown, but it’s made my life here easier to manage. Here are my top suggestions:

Apps for: Swedish

Välkommen till Sverige! If you’re like most international students, you won’t know much Swedish upon arrival, and that’s alright. 

  • Google Translate – still an essential app for me. The scan-translating function is really useful.  
  • Folkets Lexikon (“the people’s dictionary”) the most accurate Swedish <> English translator, though you can only search individual words. It’s a great tool for Swedish class.
  • Duolingo – For learning Swedish on your own time, this can be an engaging (and free) starting point.
Screenshot of apps

Apps for: Transport

While living in Sweden, I’ve rarely ridden in a car. Planning my path from A to B has never been easier, thanks to a few apps and Stockholm’s infrastructure.  

  • Google Maps – In my case, for determining whether taking my bike is faster than jumping on the metro.
  • SL app – Short for “Storstockholms Lokaltrafik” or Greater Stockholm Local Transport, this is Stockholm’s public transport app. I buy tickets in the app and then scan the QR code to access any SL bus, tram, metro, ferry, or commuter train. (See SL ArtGuide for learning about the history and art installations in the metro stations along the way).
  • SJ – Short for “Sveriges Järnvägar” or Sweden’s Railway, this is your app for booking a longer-distance train trip. 
Screenshot of apps

Apps for: Staying informed

This is the catch-all category of apps I use to manage my life and stay informed about everything from classes to the weather.

  • Canvas – Canvas is the digital learning platform used by KTH. Although it has a web version too, I use the app to keep an eye on my coursework, updates, and communications for studies. 
  • The Local – A popular news outlet in Sweden which writes informative articles in English, though the free version has limited access. 
  • Naturkartan – For finding everything from hiking trails in national parks to local swimming spots, this app is one of my favourite guides to the outdoors.  
  • Aurora – An app for keeping an eye on the geomagnetic conditions (especially from September to April). Earlier this year, we saw the northern lights from Stockholm.  
Screenshot of apps

Apps for: Discounts

These apps are a good foundation, but for more tips on saving money as a student, check out other blog posts.

  • Mecenat; Studentkortet; ISIC – Once you have proof of registration for your first semester of studies, you can activate your digital student card in all of these apps to access all kinds of discounts. When people ask for verification of student status, Mecenat is what I usually show here, as it’s specific to Sweden.
  • Too Good to Go; Karma; OLIO – Apps like these are great for reducing food waste while saving money on things like produce, bakery goods, and takeout.
Screenshot of apps

Apps for: Finances

One thing that makes my life simpler is having my credit cards in my phone’s digital wallet; contactless payment is very normal here. As for the apps that fall under this category – most of them aren’t necessary until you’ve registered for a personnummer and bank account. But still:

  • Your bank’s app – There are many banks in Sweden, and most have an app. I use my Swedish bank app for a lot of things, like paying my rent or transferring miscellaneous debts to friends. 
  • BankID – It’s basically an authentication app that can be used for many things, from verifying payments to signing documents. You can read more here
  • Swish – An app for making instant transfers or payments directly from your Swedish bank account to someone else’s, requiring only their phone number to do so. BankID is used to authenticate and confirm the transaction.
Screenshot of apps

For even more information on how to prepare for studies in Sweden, be sure to check out the upcoming KTH webinars. Good luck with your digital, and other, preparations!

// Claire

Excited for Sweden? Series, Films & Books

Want to get to know more about the Swedish culture? Interested in getting an insight into the life of Stockholm? Want to find a new series to pass your time? I think I can help…

I remember getting accepted into KTH, being so excited but knowing very little about the place I was travelling to. I found that watching films and series and reading books helped me to get into the culture and made Sweden a real thing. So I’ve put together a collection of some of my favourite films, series and books to help you get in the mood.

Scene from Young Royals TV Show
Scene from Young Royals

Series

Watching a show on Netflix can be the easiest, most accessible way to get a glimpse into a new culture. These few were all made around Stockholm and aside from giving a sense of the place, they’re just quality entertainment.

Quicksand – This was the first show I watched when I was thinking about coming to Sweden.

Snabba Cash – Drugs, gang wars and violence, the Swedes like their shows dark. Although this might show otherwise, I swear Stockholm is actually a very safe place to live!

Young Royals – It’s not easy being a prince… This is the series I’m currently obsessed with, watching it in Swedish to try learn at the same time.

Scene from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film
Scene from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Movies

In the film world, Sweden is known as bit of a powerhouse.

The Girl with the Dragon TattooNordic Noir films have been popular around the world, and this one is especially famous.

You, The Living – This is one of those wonderfully artistic films, almost feels like theatre. It has a brilliant aesthetic and dry humour

Mamma Mia – Okay, maybe not art-house film, maybe not even a Swedish movie, but if you haven’t fallen in love with Abba yet, now’s the time.

Pippi Longstocking Illustration
Pippi Longstocking Illustration

Books

If you rather cosy up with a nice book, this part is for you. Although they’re written in Swedish, you can usually find these as ebooks translated online.

City of My Dreams – This is a classic about moving to Stockholm. Although it’s a teenager in 1850 and not an university student, you might relate. It’s a great historic view of Stockholm and just stuffed full of great stories.

A Man Called Ove – This one is a bit more contemporary. It’s one of those heartwarming books about a cranky old man, and it’s also been made into a film.

Pippi Longstocking – You’ve probably heard of this one. Pippi is one of the most famous characters to come out of Sweden, and the books are lovely to read, even if they are written for kids.

Enjoy!

~Declan