Monthly archives: May 2014

House Hunting in Stockholm

Finding accommodation in Stockholm is considered a difficult task, I know myself I was kind of freaking out before I moved here and was lucky enough to find a room in PAX a student housing area in Västra Skogen 15 mins bus ride from the Karolinska and 10 minutes metro from the city. Nearby is another, slightly cheaper student housing area STRIX. Unfortunately on the wider basis of Sweden my info is limited, all I can comment on is my own experiences within Stockholm housing, which as you can imagine is very very crowded.

I received my room through Karolinska AB housing and I signed up within the same hour that I found out I had gotten my masters in KI! I recommend signing up as soon as possible if the university you are applying to has a housing system for international students as naturally, the earlier the better. Once arrived in Stockholm and you have been enrolled in your university you must join the student union, in Karolinska it costs 195SEK to join each semester, once a member of a student union you can continue to accrue days once the limit of 90 days without being a member of a student union is reached on SSSB https://www.sssb.se another student housing website in order to ensure you will have enough days to get accommodation next year. In Stockholm usually over 300 days is barely enough, Thus the earlier you sign up the better. This is important for me because Karolinska housing is only available for 1 year. However if you are a fee paying student you are guaranteed accommodation for the first year. Of course there is also blocker.se which offer housing, all in swedish, but I found my search so unsuccessful. There is a real bias for women and as a guy the chances of finding somewhere is low…at least in my experience.

Once I discovered I had accommodation in PAX, I discovered there was no pictures or virtual clues to what the room would look like and so here is a look at what a room in PAX looks like.I really like my room, it is a great size and it is great I have my own bathroom with shower with free access to the laundry based on a booking system. The kitchen is a ‘share’ kitchen and I share that with 7 other housemates, which is very common at least in Stockholm. We have our own designated areas in the kitchen , complete with locks!

My Room in Pax

Good luck on your house hunt!

Andrew.

 

 

Feels Like Summer ☀

This is my first time in Stockholm, as you all know, for Spring and Summer. I can say that I honestly did not expect the weather to turn so extremely Australian like! Having spent almost a year living in Australia before I moved to Sweden, I must admit it gets confusing sometimes when I wake up and my room feels like a sauna, add this to the constant sunshine, soaring temperatures and the fact I now have a bike (as I did in Australia) it feels all too familiar and unexpected in this Northern country. This is not to say I am complaining, Stockholm is truly at its most beautiful when the sun is out, when the trees and flowers are in full bloom and it is bursting with life. This is either from people cycling, jogging, picnicking or swimming or by the birds in the trees and the rabbits and squirrels running around foraging for food.


About to begin my cycle through the woods


Cycling by the Water


Enjoying the Sun in Djurgården- one of my favourite places here

It is beautiful and I am loving every minute! So this I have decided is a huge advantage of living here- the extremes in weather. In Winter you are treated to pure darkness, cold, snow and rain and vice versa once Spring/Summer hits. In my opinion I really appreciate this shift, it helps me to enjoy each season more readily, as opposed to if it were constantly hot and sunny, as was the Australian situation- as I am by no means a sun person, in fact I prefer rain (Irish remember… :D ). So now I am going for a cycle and a swim before I go to Karolinska for an event ‘How to be the the Best Leader Possible’ organized by a group of my friends who are Harvard Ambassadors here in KI ‘Women in Leadership’. I know how much work was put into this and I look forward to seeing this come to fruition.

Thats all for now, enjoy the weather in whatever country you may be!
Hej Då
Andrew.

 

Time to build my career path

Many times in my life I have experienced that the speed of the time is relative to pleasure of the moment. It still feels like that I had arrived Stockholm yesterday; however, the calendar says other way around: it says that it has been almost two years. Time has just flied reminding me that my life in Stockholm had been filled with joy, happiness and surprises. The last semester of the academic calendar which is spring semester, is about to come an end in KTH and other universities around Sweden. This implies to me and many of my friends that soon we will no more be students anymore and a completely different type of lives are waiting ahead for us.

Like many of friends, I would like to extend my stay in Sweden with a job and experience more out of Stockholm. That is why I would like to talk about Swedish work market in this blog post. Read more » >>

THE SOCIAL DAYS OF APRIL

We have just passed the April and I would like to say that April was the one of the most active month of Swedish calendar. It contains two iconic events that are called “Stockholms kulturnatt” and “Valborg”.

The night that culture activities spread through the Stockholm is called Stockholms Kulturnatt. Stockholm celebrates its cultural diversity by offering free access to a mixture of art, music and dance activities and helps its inhabitants to lose themselves in breathtaking performances, wonderful museums and elegant balls. With over 400 events, Stockholms kulturnatt invites people to experience one of the most dreamlike nights of the year.

I am personally in favorite of the after party which is given in the Stockholm’s City Hall; the very place where Nobel prizes are awarded to their winners. First of all, if you haven’t visited the city hall, I strongly advise you to visit it at once. In the Kulturnatt Ball, the building is illuminated with purple colors outside with exotic fire torches burning at the entrance. What makes it even more exotic is that the selection of the songs played at the same the moment you enter to the outer hall.

City Hall in Stockholm Culture Night

Compared to the decoration inside, indeed the outer decoration is not really significant. Read more » >>

Valborg, första maj och Gijrra.

To celebrate Valborg take one part Swedish reservation, two parts alcohol, and mix thoroughly with a generous helping of bonfires and barbeques.

Whilst in Germany Walpurgis Nacht is when witches were said to gather for their annual general meeting (say what you will, those are some well organised satanic servants) and welcome the coming of spring, Valborg is when the Swedes traditionally celebrated the end of the administrative year (…coincidence?) with a spring festival. Whereas the larger – and warmer – student cities of Lund and Uppsala celebrate with a champagne breakfast on the lawn, followed by extensive drinking and excessive partying around huge bonfires, celebrations up here are somewhat more subdued.

Read more » >>