I guess I was lucky: a lot of students struggle to find a place to live in Stockholm, which is not the easiest task, but I was lucky enough to get a room at the campus Lappkärrsberget, or Lappis for the intimates.
One of the biggest advantages of Lappis is that it’s only a 7 minutes walk from the University campus Frescati and 9 minutes by metro from T-Centralen, the central metro station of Stockholm.
What I love about Lappis is that it has a very special atmosphere.
First of all, it’s situated in Djurgården park so the campus is surrounded by the forest and walking from the campus to the University in early autumn or spring you actually pass by grazing cows (one of my friends has complained that these cows very often wake him up in the morning…).
A five-minute walk – and you’re at the lake, called “the Lappis beach” where we swam and had a bonfire in the beginning of September.
In my mind a proper campus, with corridors, rooms and a common kitchen has always been associated with the real student life, but I had never experienced it before. You share a common kitchen with nine other students coming from all other the world. People are always coming and going, so sometimes it is quite difficult to remember the names, and especially I have huge problems with remembering names of guys from Asia (which can be very embarrassing when you introduce your corridor mate to your friends). The big disappointment, though, is that I hoped to meet more Swedes, but they are pretty few. I guess it’s because the particularity of Stockholm University is that the majority of Swedish students come from Stockholm and so they live in their family home.
The corridor-life varies from corridor to corridor, and I have seen corridor mates that look more like a family, and ones that can’t stand each other. In my case, the guys that surround me are pretty cool, and sometimes we organize “corridor dinners”, a famous campus tradition. As the word suggests, each of us cook something and then we have a big dinner with a lot of food. Actually that’s how I first tried Janssons frestelse, a typical Swedish dish with potatoes, onions, pickled sprats and cream, prepared by my Swedish corridor mate Andreas.
Another reason why Lappis is famous is because of its “corridor parties”, an important concept known to every international student. Even if other campuses, like Kista or Kungshamra, have also their corridor parties (and I think everyone has heard about the party in the laundry room of Kista), in Lappis they happen every week, and even several times a week. Out of the blue someone decides to throw a party in his corridor, the rumor spreads, and at the end it’s transformed into a massive party where no one knows anyone, but everyone talks to each other. It’s great and it’s part of the Erasmus life. Although last week I met a guy who told that he had lived in Lappis for six years and that he has been going to corridor parties for six years… Not sure I would survive that.
Oh, and I almost forgot about “Professorn”, the Lappis pub, with beers and shots at good prices, pizza with banana and, of course, you can never get tired of the cabbage salad. There’s also the “Lappis bookstore” (at least, that’s what is written on the sign), which is actually not a bookstore, but a room in the basement with occasional parties, all of which are part of a Lappis resident’s experience.
In a sentence, the life in a student accommodation in Stockholm is an important part of your experience in Sweden.