Tag archives for exchange student

Homemade Sushi

What do you do with yourself when you find a free weeknight? Well, get together with friends and make some sushi of course! At least that’s what a few of us thought last week.  You can buy all the ingredients for making your own sushi from a local grocery store, although shopping at a local Japanese market will save you money and will probably get you better quality items. To do this, you will definitely need sheets of the seaweed covering (nori), some short grain rice, vinegar and lime, and whatever else you want to put in your rolls.

To start with cook the rice as you normally would. When it is done add some salt, vinegar, and a little lime juice. Lay out the nori and add a layer of rice. Then add whatever sliced ingredients you wish. You will end up with something looking like this:

Now you cut it up into slices and eat! Simple, right? To be honest I don’t know if this is the exact recipe for making sushi, but this is what we came up with. What fun is making food if you can’t be creative? :)

Acute Dentistry

Last month I found myself sitting in class and minding my own business when all of a sudden I started to have an incredible toothache in the back of my jaw. It was my wisdom tooth pressing in as it usually would once a month or so. I had stopped being surprised by the pain and started learning the best way to endure it. However, this time was especially painful. I felt that I had to see a dentist.

The dental system in Sweden differs a little bit compared to the States. Back home if I had an emergency with my tooth (that was not bad enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room) I would make an “emergency appointment” with my local dentist and they would usually move their schedule around a bit to fit me in right away. That is not possible in Sweden. Though there may be exceptions, the appointments set by the local dentist are rigid. I cannot simply walk in and demand to by seen right away. Instead I had to go to an “Akut tandvård”.

When I arrived I went up to the welcome window to present my information, and they gave me a number and pointed to the waiting room. I sat down and waited along with about 5 people ahead of me in the queue and I was to wait until my number was called. Waiting took 2 hours, though I have heard when the clinic is busy you can be waiting for up to 4+ hours, so make sure to bring something to do if you ever find yourself in that situation. The trick is to come early. The earlier you show up, the less waiting time you will have. When it was my turn to see one of the dentists, I told him about my pain and he took an x-ray. This showed us that my wisdom teeth were impacted and I had to take them out sooner rather than later. Though there was not anything he could do for the pain (I guess Sweden is much stricter about handing out pain medication compared to the States), we made an appointment for me to come back and extract my wisdom teeth once and for all. For anyone’s reference, the full price for the extraction range’s between 1000-2500 SEK depending on the complexity of the extraction.

The quality of dental work here is similar to the States. It really will depend on the dentist him/herself and how much effort is put into the work. I was lucky to have a very skilled and engaging dentist.

After a month I am happy to say I have taken out the trouble makers and never have to worry about the random pain events again.

If you are interested in making an appointment or visiting a dentist I recommend you start here: https://www.folktandvardenstockholm.se/

The akut tandvård by St Eriks sjukhus – Photo by: Kazem Behbahani

The cost of living in Sweden

Being in Sweden is one of the most satisfying experiences to have. There are plenty of attractions throughout the country and an abundance of culture to take part in. However, as a student, staying in Sweden can be challenging. Coming from the US everyone was under the impression that Sweden was a “more expensive” country than a America. To a degree that is true. So for anyone out there who is thinking of moving to Sweden for whatever reason I would like to go over the monthly costs that you will have to face:

  • Accommodation: 3000+ SEK. Accommodation is the hardest thing to find when coming to Sweden because it requires you being in a queue for some time and may be the reason that some people won’t come. So if you are able to find a place to stay consider yourself lucky. On the low end you can be paying about 3000 however you will probably will be sharing a flat or a corridor. The more you are able to pay, the better your accommodation will be.
  • Transportation: 560 SEK (student price). Getting around Stockholm is very easy with the public transportation system. You are able to buy a monthly SL pass that will give you unlimited access to that system for the month. For anyone new to Stockholm I recommend getting it so that you have a good chance to explore. If you are looking to save money though you might not have to get this pass if you live close to school and perhaps a grocery store. Some people also buy bikes a ride those around during the warm months and only buy a pass for a month or two in the winter.
  • Food: 1200 SEK. This amount will depend on what exactly you eat and will vary. 1200 is the value that I spend on average a month for food.
  • Insurance. Remember you have to get insurance, both home and health/dental. If you are a student find out what insurance you can get abroad.
  • Phone: 150 SEK. I have a smartphone and use Google Maps a lot to get around so I had to make sure I got a plan with data on it. There are plenty of companies to choose from. The most popular one for students is Comviq. I have a prepaid plan from Telenor. I pay 150 SEK for 3000 minutes, 3000 texts, and 500 MB of data for 30 days. I have never reached any of those limits so I though this was the best plan for me.

Putting everything together, at the very least you will be spending about 5000 SEK per month living here. That does not include things such as: eating out, buying books, or any extra expenditures that you have. I hope this information is useful for anyone considering on coming over to Sweden.

Photo of an ice cream cone and Mehsum Rupani at Kista Centrum – Photo by: Kazem Behbahani

How to survive at a Swedish university.

The end of the scholar year is approaching and I realized  that I hadn’t written anything about the university system in Sweden. So let’s talk about studies before summer holidays start.

When I arrived from France the first thing that surprised me the most was the fact that I had only about 6 hours of class per week, whereas back in Dijon I had more than 30. “6 hours?! Wow!” I was delighted and made a lot of plans for the free time that I would have. But I shouldn’t have been happy too fast: in fact this time was supposed to be spent on reading the abundant course literature. For each course I had in average 3 books to comprehend and when you’re not used to read in English… well, these 3 books can seem to be veeeery long.

Another thing was that the books are quite expensive. So, 3 books per course, 4 courses per semester, 24 books per year..  can turn to be harmful to your student budget.  Read more » >>

How I ended up Here!

I think when people ask me how I made it to Sweden they expect some amazing and inspiring story: I have roots in Sweden, I have dreamt about the land of moose and northern lights my whole life (come on, I am from Canada), I have always wanted to study in the land of innovation and equality, I have an abounding love for meatballs and lingon berries, or I have always wanted to date a tall and handsome, blond man.

While some of these might describe how others made it to Sweden, my  story is not quite as exciting.

I had always dreamt of going on exchange somewhere while I was in university. When I was younger I had a babysitter who did a semester abroad in France and I think that is where the thought came from. Since then I had been thinking about where I wanted to study abroad. Read more » >>