When going abroad, a great way to meet locals is by getting involved in activities and trying something new! Some of the former student bloggers have shared their favorite ways to get involved while studying abroad. Read along for advice on how to spend your time like a local.
1. Join Stockholms Studenters Idrottsförening!
During her semester abroad Isabelle joined SSIF, Stockholms Studenters Idrottsförening (Stockholm Students’ Sports Association).
“SSIF was one of the most unexpected and best parts of my semester in Stockholm. When first coming to Stockholm, I did not plan on working out much while I was here. I had just left the varsity volleyball team at my university in December, and I did not enjoy the relationship I had with working out.”
“My semester abroad was a journey of rebuilding my relationship with exercise and working out, and SSIF helped that in the best way. All of their classes were incredibly fun, and you can tell the instructors love what they do. As a student through DIS, we got a discount on the SSIF All-In pass, which allows you to choose up to 6 classes/week out of their 30+ class options for $50 for 5 months! It was 100% worth it and really shaped my time here in Stockholm. While it is targeted toward students, anyone can join, which made it a great way to meet locals. Over the semester, I tried 13 of the different options, going for over 30 classes total, and I enjoyed them all!”
Read more on Isabelle’s blog: SSIF – One of the Best Parts of My Semester
2. Volunteer as a English Language Mentor!
Chris decided to volunteer as an English Language Mentor at Jensen while studying abroad. DIS recently started a partnership Jensen gymnasium Norra, a charter secondary school down the road from DIS.
“The mentorship program interested me because it gave me the opportunity to interact with Swedish students and share my knowledge of the English language and American culture with them. I was matched with Mr. Ioannou and his Eng 7 Course on Law and Economics. My first day there, I was nervous about what the students would think of an American student and what the classroom set-up would be like, but I was greeted so warmly by Mr. Ioannou himself, his students, and his fellow colleagues.”
Read more on Chris’ blog: First Day as an English Language Mentor
3. Join the Outdoors LLC
Before coming to Stockholm, Jonah signed up for the Outdoors LLC housing option.
“I would wholeheartedly recommend joining the Outdoors LLC if you love being outside. It has been so great to participate in organized events that encourage you to get active and make friends with other DIS students. Not only have I had the opportunity to go camping, but I’ve also done high roping, reflection running, and ice-bathing. Even though we’ve had our last event of the semester, I am still so glad that I have been a part of this community and I will definitely go camping again once I’m back in the States.”
Read more on Jonah’s blog: It’s Spring, Get Outdoors!
4. Take advantage of free cultural events in Stockholm!
Stockholm has free cultural events you can attend throughout the year, one of them is Kulturnatt! Zoë checked out Kulturnatt with her friends.
“Kulturnatt is an annual festival that showcases Stockholm’s cultural scene and includes free admission to museums, art collectives, churches, theatre, and more. I rounded up a couple friends and decided to hop over to Djurgårdan–Stockholm’s museum district–to tour some museums for free! Our first stop was the Vasa Museum because I have been wanting to go there since the beginning of the semester, but never got around to it until now. The Vasa Museum houses the Vasa ship that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. The warship spent 333 years on the ocean floor until the 1960s when it was salvaged and preserved in the museum for visitors to come see. This museum was really cool because the ship is massive and in mint condition–the most shocking part is the fact that the ship was able to be dredged up after living in the ocean for centuries.”
Read more on Zoë’s blog: Kickin’ it at Kulturnatt
5. Explore local sports!
Maggie has always loved soccer, while in Stockholm she decided to pursue her passion in a new place!
“Throughout the past three months in Stockholm, I’ve used my love of fotboll, or soccer, as a way to stay connected with Swedish culture and my life back home. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of traveling or the stress of classes, so I looked for an outlet to keep myself grounded and present during my short time living in Sweden. I went to a Hammarby women’s game in Södermalm with my roommate, which was a super fun way to experience Swedish fotboll culture and enjoy my favorite sport. Back when I first met my Visiting Host Family, we bonded over our love for soccer, and now we’re planning to go to a Djurgårdens IF match together next month. A lot of public parks in Stockholm have small soccer fields, so I’ve also stopped by to kick a ball around with my friends when I have free time or need some exercise.”
Read more on Maggie’s blog: Dreaming of the Damallsvenskan
Want to get involved while abroad?