I am a schedule person, a planner, a calendar lover. Before coming to Scandinavia, I had so many questions about my room, the transportation, the classrooms, and (most of all) the schedule. This post is for you: my fellow logistics-oriented study abroad student.
Wakey wakey eggs and bakey!
Mornings for me start with a frantic rollout of bed to the floor, where I desperately try to silence my alarm. Then, I have some of the best instant coffee this Earth has ever seen and yummy watermelon. I brush my teeth, make my bed, and plug into my headphones.
I live in Högalidsgatan, which is affectionately referred to as Hog or Hogwarts. It is a beautiful and deeply haunted building in the heart of Söldermalm, a hip and fun part of Stockholm. I live by lots of coffee shops, thrift stores, and loppis (flea markets). The building itself used to be a nursing home and is now home to apartments. The second and third floors are DIS students. There is one washer and dryer on the floor, and we have a cute common room with a TV and tables. I share my room with one other student, Gretchen, who is intelligent and kind. We got along almost immediately and have even gone on adventures together around Sweden!
In Copenhagen, my living situation was a little bit different. There, I shared a room with two other amazing people and lived with two local non-DIS students. Our building was a kollegium, which is essentially Scandinavian dorms. But don’t worry! It was so much nicer than American dorms. We even had a living room with a TV, kitchen, and dining room!
I catch the metro at Hornstull station, which is a five minute walk from Hog and represented with an iconic T sign. I turn up Phoebe Bridgers and occasionally read on my way into class. After about twenty minutes, I hope off the train at Stadion station, which has a beautiful rainbow ceiling. DIS is located right outside of the train station in the Kungliga Musikhögskolan or Royal School of Music. There is a cafe inside and access to free student shows during the school year. There is also a French Bakery right by DIS that has some GREAT pastries.
My class this session is Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience. We normally have class for three hours a day, but we do have some days with longer classes because of field trips or lab sessions. Today, I have class from nine until noon. We talked about neurotransmitter and neuromodulator systems in the brain. We have been learning to use the human protein atlas and other online databases. Today, we looked at results from mouse and human brain models. We are also preparing for our study tour to Budapest and Vienna on Monday!
In the afternoons, I normally like to find a coffee shop to fika and finish up my class work for the day. Today, I went to Kaffeverket, which is located along the green line and has some of the best coffee in Stockholm. I watched the online lectures for my class, read some articles about maternal nutrition, and read a little from my book. It was a really fun way to get some work done and still feel like a part of the city!
At this point in the day, I am tired, tired, and interested in sleeping. To fight off the midday fatigue, I try to do something fun or restful. Sometimes, I go home and do some laundry or grocery shop. Other days, I like to go on a walk in a nearby park or explore a new part of Stockholm. Today, I decided to go to the botanical garden by Stockholm University, which did not disappoint. There were two green houses filled with interesting plants and beautiful places to read, walk, and decompress from the day!
This blog is being written on a very special day: the day before my roommate’s birthday! So, I had to stop by the grocery store on my way home to make the necessary preparations. Luckily, Hornstull, the metro stop by my housing, has a grocery store within the station. There is also another grocery store across the street and a 7/11. I stopped and picked up some fun decorations and a special treat!
I made dinner at home (tofu, hummus, rice, and spinach), and worked a little bit on this blog post (very meta). I also had some of the best juice of my life: blueberry and cranberry. So good, omg.
The evenings are my favorite time of day because I can watch the sun set from my apartment’s windows. Today, Gretchen and I decided we wanted an even better view, so we hiked to the top of a cliff by our housing. Here, we listened to some music, read our books, and admired the beautiful archipelago.
Brush, brush teeth. Shower. PJs. I tuck myself into bed, set my alarm, and get ready to do it all over again.
I love my life here: the pace, the friends, and the routine. Today has been an exceptionally good day, and I am feeling very grateful.
Yet, everyday here is not this magical! Studying in a new country can be stressful and overwhelming. It is in these moments that I am the most grateful for the support network DIS fosters and the constant love of my friends here. Not every day and second needs to be planned, and it is okay to not know what the next moment has in store.
See you next week! 🙂