Monthly archives: December 2011

The Past and The Future

This year has been a crazy one, full of lots of adventures and new experiences. Living in a new country is always interesting, it comes with both good and bad; the one thing I know for sure is that there is never a dull moment. I have really grown to love the Swedish lifestyle, however there are still many small things that I miss regularly about Canada.

Obviously, I’ve spent most of my time in Sweden this year going to school and studying. To some this may seem like a boring way to spend your time, but it’s not quite the same for me. My friends like to call me a life long student. Going to school, sitting in a lecture hall with a cup of coffee and learning from some of the smartest people in my field is what I like to do.

Besides studying, I have had a lot of time to really experience student life. There are an endless amount of corridor parties, nation pub nights, gasques, and club nights. There is no doubt that the student life here in Uppsala is lively and experiencing it all is a must if you are student.  The pub nights are a great way to relax and get away from schoolwork and the student gasques give you the opportunity to get into your formal gowns and suits, while eating a 3 course meal and drinking snaps.

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It’s Christmas Time

Christmas is the time of year when family and friends get together to eat food, have drinks and exchange gifts. In Sweden the celebration is no different. There are many parties, lots of Christmas food, and plenty of good times.

One of the great things about Christmas is there is no shortage of things to do. In North America we typically celebrate Christmas on Christmas day with presents in the morning and turkey at night. In Sweden, most people spend Christmas Eve with their families. This involves an abundant amount of food in the form of a Christmas table, lots of sweets and goodies, followed by the exchanging of gifts.

There is no way you will leave any Christmas party hungry! You may even need to roll out the door. This year we spent the day of Christmas Eve baking and decorating ginger snaps. We may not be artists, but it’s a good way to spend the morning. So, there was definitely no shortage of sweets.  Read more » >>

Top 5 Reasons to Study in Sweden

While many out there are working away on their applications to study in Sweden, I thought I would compile what I think are the top 5 reasons to study in Sweden. There may be many reasons and it may differ for everyone, so this is my opinion.

The main university building in Uppsala. Photo By: J. A. Alcaide (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Becoming Lucia – A Prestigious Tradition

In Sweden, Lucia is celebrated in the form of a procession or a concert; Lucia leads a group of star boys, santas and her handmaidens, all carrying candles and singing traditional songs.  It is a very special privilege to be chosen as Lucia; one girl or boy gets the opportunity to lead the procession and be the center of the celebration.

The competition can be very tough. All of the contestants are posted in local newspapers or Internet sites and locals are invited to vote. Everyone gets a chance to participate and spread the light of Lucia.

The outfit is fairly simple with a typical long white dress and red sash; however, if you’re afraid of fire I recommend you simply sit and watch. Many Lucias have real candles on their heads, while some now opt for the battery powered.

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A Guide to Meeting the Nobel Laureates

Have you ever wanted to have an in-depth discussion, listen to the logic or even just brush arms with some of the world’s greatest thinkers? Well, if you are a student in Sweden you may just have that chance to do so. In fact, you have three chances! You can listen to a lecture, enjoy the Nobel Banquet, or celebrate the Nobel NightCap.

1. Take part in a lecture by a Nobel Prize winner

Stockholm University hosts lectures by the Nobel Prize winners every year.  Whether it’s physics, chemistry or economics, everyone has the chance to listen to some of the world’s greatest minds.

The traditional Nobel lectures start December 8th, beginning at 9:00 and continuing until 14:10. The lectures are held in English and available to both the public and students. If you cannot make it to Stockholm there will be a live Webcast of the lectures at For a complete list of the lectures check Stockholm University’s Website.

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