It is always daunting to start a new program in a new city not knowing anyone. In an international University, most of us at Karolinska Institutet have been in exactly that situation one year ago. While you will be that person in a couple of weeks. I have been “new” in cities more times than I can count. It’s not always easy but I have a few tips to help you on your way. Have a look at Karolina’s blog for practical help in your first week in Stockholm such as personal number, student discounts and other important information.
Join sports classes and start your hobbies!
Most of my friends throughout the years are actually not from my university classes but from similar hobbies. It is one of the easiest ways to meet people who share similar interests as you. Your hobby creates a neutral ground where you can effortlessly get into conversations and connect with people. It lowers the hurdle to make the “first step” because you are already spending time with them. At Karolinska Institutet, you can sign up for a wide selection of sports and other classes through Wondr for free.
Participate in new events!
Depending on your personality you can find your people in different places. That’s why it is important to know some of the organizations at KI.
The largest organization at KI is Medicinska Föreningen (MF), the student union at Karolinska Institutet. They provide plenty of opportunities to participate in events ranging from career fairs to social gatherings. MF contains various committees that organize all kinds of activities throughout the school year. For instance, every Friday they have a pub at the Solna Campus. Nonetheless, they also plan career fairs at KI and sports days. However, there are also plenty of other smaller organisations such as Students for Sustainable Development, Decolonizing Global Health, and many others.
So stay up to date with their events through social media and websites!
Do the first step!
This might be one of the most challenging tips to start but also the one that will pay off the most. Everybody wants to be invited to explore the new city or for dinner but no one wants to be the first person putting themselves out there. However, stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing a new challenge can bring you a long way. If you overcome this mental barrier you can form lifelong friendships and have incredible new experiences. Whether it might be your classmates, people in your building, or someone you just met, reach out to them and invite them for that hike, BBQ, or Fika inside the city you had on your bucket list.
Most people at KI are in the same situation as you and are waiting for someone to do the first step. They just moved to Stockholm not knowing anyone or anything and would be happy to have someone to talk to, explore or share a meal with. If you want some inspiration on what you could do check out my previous blog about activities with classmates! Generally, everyone is very open and friendly at KI so you have the chance to meet plenty of wonderful people if you give yourself a little push 🙂
I hope this insight took some of the fear out of your first couple of days in Stockholm! Being in a new city can be challenging at times but with the right people around you anything is possible. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me via email or by commenting down below!
I am Tade. I am Nigerian/German and the blogger for the Master’s Programme in Nutrition Science. Before KI, I was studying in the Netherlands. My whole life I was interested in food and sports, and that is why I decided to study nutrition. When I learned about KIs group-focused teaching and the international environment I knew where I wanted to go. When I am not exploring or trying different foods I am playing basketball in Solna. If you are ever up for the challenge, you know where to find me!