Hej, hej from Stockholm! If you haven’t had an opportunity to take a look at my previous posts, please do so! There are a variety of subject areas I will be touching on during my stay here. For today’s topic, I will be addressing my living situation here in Sweden.
I currently live in a Residential Community in the Tabellen apartment complex located in the suburb of Sollentuna (a.k.a Tuna-Town – termed this by some of the other DIS students). It resides roughly nine miles from downtown making for a 45-50-minute commute to DIS Stockholm each day. This trip consists of two train rides; one on the Pendaltåg (Sweden’s commuter line) and one on the Tunnelbana (Stockholm’s underground metro). I greatly appreciate my time on the former in particular. It provides time to do some reading on the way to and from school, as well as the opportunity to see Stockholm’s surrounding area. Don’t get me wrong, the city itself is a wonderful place, with an endless amount of things to offer a visiting student, however, I am quite happy being in Sollentuna. I feel that many of my classmates, who join me in Tabellen, would agree that there is a certain beauty offered by the towns in Stockholm’s surrounding area.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of Stockholm itself, one may have a hard time getting to see the residential life of Sweden. Nonetheless, in my case, with DIS Stockholm being located in the city and my apartment in the suburbs, I am exposed to all different aspects of Swedish life. Sollentuna is an area that could be characterized as very family-oriented. On a warm day in August a few weeks ago, I was able to take a leisurely stroll to the water side where I found a number of modest houses and running trails; a truly remarkable sight. Being so far away from my own family, I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by so many parents with young children in Sollentuna. Therefore, the suburb’s residential characteristics are a wonderful remedy to a long day of work in the city.
I share my apartment with two other guys who have become some of my best friends here in Stockholm. Drew and Connor, both in their own ways, bring diverse perspectives to the living space we call “home.”
Drew attends the University of Colorado at Denver and absolutely LOVES it. The only thing he may enjoy talking about more than American football and the gym is the city of Denver, Colorado itself. Drew began at a community college in California, later moving on to be a Division II athlete at Colorado State University Pueblo. As of late, he transferred to his current alma mater in pursuit of a degree in criminology and sociology; subject areas he is extremely passionate about. In the next four years he hopes to be working for the United States government in one of its many counter-terrorism/foreign policy departments. His dreams and aspirations are truly inspiring to me and I am so happy to share this experience with him.
Connor is a junior at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he, like me, studies political science. Vassar has a long tradition of being extremely progressive and in tune with ongoing social issues; having previously been one of the most acclaimed women’s colleges in the United States. Therefore, the process of having political/social discussions with him is remarkably enlightening. In the last month and a half, I have been opened up to various perspectives and ways of thinking I was not previously privy to. Although we may not always share the same opinions regarding a particular topic, I am truly grateful to be living with someone who understands the value of a civilized and orderly debate. In my previous experience, people are oftentimes too quick to jump to conclusions and become confrontational when views clash. It is quite intellectually stimulating to converse with someone who enjoys listening to the opposing side’s opinion before then posing a different argument in a concise and respectful manner.
All in all, I have greatly enjoyed my living situation here in Sweden. In this program, I am surrounded by roughly 60 intellectuals; each of whom brings something unique to the educational space that is DIS Stockholm. Getting to live with two of my best friends has been a wonderful experience to say the least. Nonetheless, despite being a seasoned roommate, I will never completely adjust to sharing a bathroom; let alone with two other grown men. I take great pride in making sure my face is in good order – shaved and groomed each day – however, this is often quite difficult when bumping elbows in front of the bathroom mirror.
My experience here has shown me first hand that DIS does a thorough job in reading housing application essays and in placing individuals together whose interests and personalities align. So with these words of wisdom, I must stress the importance of taking them seriously! Yes, in saying this I’m referring to all you perspective students out there. 😉
Until next time my beautiful children!
Xoxo… Well, Me?