Reading time: 5 mins.
Its almost been a month since the class of 2020 started their first semester at KI. How they’re finding it won’t be for me to say, that will be the next digital ambassador’s (DA) job. They’ll be hand selected by a great editorial team.
So, for my last foray into the world of KI blogging, I thought I’d impart some light knowledge. I wouldn’t say wisdom as there is nothing really discerning in here. Just facts mixed in with opinions, so much so you might not be able to separate out the two. I’m going to tell you about the apps I found most useful. Some were used every day and some just on the weekends, but you get the gist.
Flygbussarna are the airport coaches that take you from airports to several stops in Stockholm city. I found this app to be reliable, simple to use and super convenient. I also love the fact that you can collect reward points for Norwegian (the airline), they might have the same agreement with other airlines – who knows. I’ll leave that for you to discover. However, do check if you can take public transport to say Arlanda Airport if that’s where you need to fly to/out from, as you would only need to use your SL card* then.
2. Stockholm Public Transport – SL
I’ve already alluded to its use above. It’s the public transport app for Stockholm city. It covers the metro, bus, regional rail, tram and archipelago boat network. I found it was more reliable than Google. Huh!!! Shock, horror – something potentially more reliable than the affable Google? Yup, I said it. If the man with the elaborate handlebar moustache, is still the “poster boy” of the app, and isn’t a pull to use the app, then I don’t know what will be.
If you want to discover Sweden in one of several sustainable ways then it’s SJ that you want! I’ve found travelling around this part of the world to be incredibly hassle free and reasonably priced, especially considering the region’s well-deserved reputation for being expensive. When you get the chance, get out of Stockholm, see the country and all it has to offer. Whilst you’re at it, if you’re close to the border feel free to explore Copenhagen or Oslo!
Sörmland is south of Stockholm and a lovely province to visit (as are other provinces). I just happened to head out here. As with everything there’s always a story, but this blog is not the time and place! I ended up using this app, which was super straightforward.
If you’re not from Sweden, then this app might be handy when trying to figure out exchange rates. I just happened to start using this one years ago. Basically, use any one you’re used to or find the first reliable one at the top of your app store list and, “Bob’s your uncle.”
The most useful thing I found about this app, is the fact that you have your student card on your mobile phone. You’ll need it to purchase student tickets on public transport and discounts in all manner of establishments. Your physical Mecenat card takes ages to arrive and most of the time seems to have a mistake on it. I found it a real nuisance dealing with them on the phone to get it sorted. Go with the app!
The local lingo (language)
Again, go with a language app that you prefer. I wanted a free one and this was one of them. Although, I must admit that the first phrase I was taught was rather puzzling. Maybe it goes some way in telling you about the culture you’re about to immerse yourself in? The first phrase Duolingo taught me, was not “Hej”, it was: “Jag är en kvinna.” I am a woman. I’ll just leave that there with you to ponder.
2. Google Translate
It does what it says on the tin. However, please don’t suspend common sense. The translations definitely don’t always make sense.
Out and about
1. Kungliga Promenader – Royal Walks
This app was great in terms of showcasing interesting walks in regards to Swedish culture and history. The sights offered on this app are related to nature and royal history. This was the only “touristy” app I downloaded.
2. Dating apps
After canvasing my classmates, this is one of the apps, some found integral to their life here. If you’ve happened to come to Stockholm single, I have it on good authority that if social tourism is also a point of interest, then exercise the same level of cautiousness you would elsewhere and enjoy what the modern Swedish dating scene has to offer. The locals are well dressed, not too short, respectful, sincere and egalitarian. You might be surprised and find something you weren’t expecting.
Basically, that’s all from me. I’m now passing on the baton to my successor and can’t wait to read what they write. What can I say? Its been nice having the opportunity to share aspects of KI, the Global Health Masters and Stockholm from my perspective.
*SL card: It’s a bit like an oyster/octopus/metro card. If you know, you know. A plastic card that you can load season tickets (tickets that are for extended periods of time, usually longer than 7 days) on. It’s better than using paper tickets – keeping it green.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this blog are not the opinions of KI and I have not been approached by any of the companies or received any payments. These are the experiences of a user, so they have been tried and tested – to some degree. Of course, they could have improved or not since I last used them. Or they might not be to your liking. In any case, give them a try or don’t, it’s up to you. No offence taken.