Photo of card with quote

Celebrating “Friendsgiving”

The days are quickly getting darker in Sweden and the morning greeting between my peers is usually followed by a quick exchange of complaints about the cold weather. Yet, I continue to feel surprisingly cheerful. I have no doubt that this is because of the great friends I have made in the three months I have lived here. 

This past Friday, a group of friends and I hosted a “Friendsgiving Dinner” to enjoy a lot of good food in the company of wonderful people. We wanted to show how thankful we are to have met so many incredible people at KI and be able to experience life in Stockholm with them.

Photo of dinner table

The preparations for the evening started several days in advance. There was a lot of cooking, baking, decorating, and, unfortunately, the occasional burnt finger from mindlessly picking up a hot tray. However, the stress leading up to the dinner instantly disappeared once the guests arrived and flooded the dining room with chatter and laughter.

As I looked at the many smiling faces, I felt immensely grateful. Grateful for having the chance to study at KI. Grateful for being surrounded by such fun and kind-hearted people, especially in a time where togetherness cannot be taken for granted. And grateful for the freshly baked bread, roasted vegetables and delicious pies that we were about to enjoy 🙂

After a toast to health and friendship, it was finally time for food––lots and lots of delicious food. Mashed potatoes, mushroom wellington, roasted carrots, Brussel sprouts, focaccia and cornbread piled on top of plates. Around the candlelit tables, people shared what they were thankful for. They engaged in lively conversations with friends they knew well and with those they had just met.  

Photo of people around a dinner table

This close-knit community is one of my favourite parts of studying at KI. The large community kitchen in the Solna residence has hosted many similar celebrations already, from birthday parties to de-stressing, multicultural brunches after exams. This has allowed me to meet wonderful friends from various programmes and research groups at KI.

After some musical performances and a bit of dancing, everyone left with big smiles and full bellies. I’ll certainly remember this “Friendsgiving Dinner” as an evening filled with joy and gratitude. Now I look forward to many more fun memories in Sweden.

I hope this blog gave you a glimpse of the social life at KI and in the Solna residence.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at

Sarah 🙂

Sarah Pechtl – Public Health Sciences, Health Promotion and Prevention

Sarah Pechtl – Public Health Sciences, Health Promotion and Prevention

Hej! My name is Sarah and I’m excited to share my experiences as a Public Health Sciences, Health Promotion and Prevention student with you! I grew up in Salzburg, Austria but completed my bachelor’s degree in the United States where I studied nutrition and sociology. When I learned about KI‘s emphasis on collaboration and the diverse student cohort, I knew that KI is where I wanted to pursue my master’s degree. In my free time, I love having “fika” with my peers, spending time outdoors, exploring Stockholm and––on colder days––knitting.


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