Before moving to Stockholm I had the impression that I would adapt and enjoy living here. After one year and a half as a resident of Sweden’s biggest city, I have to say that I absolutely love it! There are many reasons why I enjoy living here, but here I have summarised my top five ones for all of you that are currently trying to imagine how your future life as a Karolinska Institutet student will be.
1. It’s not ahuge capital city
Stockholm has a population of less than 1 million people in its municipality, which makes it a not-so-crowded capital city, when compared to others. Moreover, the city is not so big in size either, which makes it very convenient to commute or bike from one place to another. For me this makes it a more “humane” city, because is very vibrant and full of life but does not carry the stress of other bigger capital cities with it.
Another great thing about its reduced size is that not only urbanites get to love it. Stockholm is also suited for those nature-lovers that feel the need of being close to forests or lakes, since there are plenty of them in and surrounding the city and takes no time to escape from the urban noises to the relaxing Swedish nature.
2. Endless oportunities
Stockholm is a great destination for entrepreneurs since it has plenty of start-ups and high-tech developments. The opportunities offered by the city also extend to areas other than work-life or studies, such as culture, hobbies and of course student life. There’s always something going on for all tastes.
3. Swedes take it easy
This reason might me influenced by the fact that I was used to a faster, more vibrant lifestyle in Madrid. At the beginning it was a bit hard for me to get used to the fact that some simple things take more time here, like ordering a coffee. However, I learned to appreciate this “take it easy” mentality, which reflects the Swedish work-life balance for me: work hard, but also take care of yourself and enjoy other things in life, like your hobbies, family and friends.
The weather might not be one of the reasons that most people move to Sweden, and it’s easy to get afraid by the little amount of sun hours during the winter months. However, the amount of sun hours during the summer months is in-cre-di-ble. Last summer I felt so energetic and happy all the time that all the long, dark days in November were worth it just to enjoy the incredible sunny days in June and July!
Just as a quick interlude: winters are also beautiful in Stockholm. If I don’t sound convincing enough just look at how stunning Aula Medica looks on a snowy day.
5. It’s not hard to feel at home
It is not always easy to deal with homesickness and cultural shock when moving to another country. Stockholm, however, is a very multi-cultural city so it is quite easy to find something that makes you feel at home when you most need it. This is also another thing I really like about the city: you can try many things from different cultures! And studying an international programme makes it easier since you make a lot of friends from all over the globe to share these experiences with :D.
What are your favourite things about Stockholm? Are you looking forward to experiencing any particular aspect of the city? Let us know in the comments and, of course, drop me an email if you have any questions about life as a Karolinska Institutet student.
LinkedIn: Inés Rivero García