Sweden in the Winter?!

Hej! My name is Callie, and I will be studying with DIS this semester! I am a junior at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and my hometown is West Hartford, Connecticut. Over these next few months, I will embark on my most exciting adventure yet: three months in Stockholm, Sweden!

Quite a few people, even those who attend school in Maine, questioned why I chose such a dark, cold climate for my abroad experience. Their skepticism is fair, and my best rebuttal is the pictures below. The beauty of this winter wonderland makes every layer I put on worth it. Plus, one thing I learned from conversing with Swedes is that the dark days make the sun so much more beautiful when it does come. Even I have already noticed this appreciation; when the sun does show its face, Swedes everywhere will stop to soak it in, and their moods immediately lighten. Sometimes you need to see the darkness to appreciate the sun!

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A view from the forest right by my new home
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A few DIS students in Gamla Stan, which is Stockholm’s charming old town
My classmates enjoying Stockholm’s view of the water and islands across the way


This semester I will live with a wonderful Homestay in Nacka, which is about 9 miles outside of Stockholm. Nacka is close to Sweden’s archipelago, so a forest, lakes and the sea are all just a walk or run away. For me, this accessibility to nature is ideal; I experience the thrill of the city during the day and come home to the peace of nature in the evening! My family in Nacka consists of an inspirational host mom, who has competed in multiple Ironmans as well as the world triathlon championships; a master chef of a host dad, who is a role model for any American interested in protecting the environment; and a football playing 16-year-old host brother, who is really good at not laughing at me when I screw up the simplest Swedish words or tasks (thanks, Simon). Every night they spoil me with a delicious meal and a family dinner, which is such a treat after a busy day!

The view of Stockholm from a forest right by my home in Nacka.


My core course for the semester is Forensic Psychology. During the first lecture, our highly qualified professor told us that she has her Ph.D in lie detection, so we shouldn’t bother with “I forgot my homework” or “I’m sick” excuses … she will always know! Later in the semester, she will give us a lesson on lie detection, so I look forward to bringing that skill back to the states.


The DIS building rests in one of the nicest parts of Stockholm, so there are plenty of cute restaurants and cafes to go for a fika, one of my favorite new routines! A fika is a time when families, friends, or coworkers take a break from their busy schedules to drink coffee and eat some pastries. Fikas have allowed me to get to know my fellow DIS students, who all share my eagerness to learn from our new city and call it home.

Cinnamon buns are a must have at any fika

Thanks for reading, and I hope you come back soon! Vi ses (see you later)!

4 thoughts

  1. Just shared your beautifully articulated Blog with 4b from Worthington Hooker School in New Haven, CT. Their mouths are watering for one of those tantalizing cinnamon buns! And, several aspiring students announced they’d like to follow in your footsteps and study abroad in Sweden! We enjoyed a great conversation about your adventure from nature to the environment to Ironman competitions to sweet treats and the importance of enjoying down time each day. 4b also thought Forensic Psychology should be a requisite course for all teachers!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and observations, and continue to soak in all the beauty, culture, and hospitality that Sweden and the Swedes so abundantly offer!

    Love you, Cal!!!!

  2. This makes me so, so anxious to get over there and see and experience such a beautiful country! Great article!

  3. I can support any country that has a mandatory daily coffee and snacks rule! Good luck to you Callie. 🙂 I’m sure your host family feels very lucky to have you.

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