Tag archives for Swedish society

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

Jympa is fun!

Earlier this year I decided to make that all important new-years resolution, to get into shape! I signed up to a local gym through the KI (thus with a discounted rate) and knowing that I’d committed myself financially I sure had to make the most it!

Taking Jympa to the Stockholm waterside. Photo: Anneliese Lilienthal.

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“Oh when I look back now that summer seemed to last forever”

For me, as for Bryan Adams (please, don’t judge my music taste) and for a lot of you I guess, summer is a special time of the year. As one Russian song says: “Summer is a small life”, meaning that it’s a whole life on its own, isolated from the rest of the year.

At the end of every scholar year I have the feeling that summer is going to bring something, something exciting, something incredible in my life.

And here, in Sweden, the relation to summer is even more particular.

I had a conversation with a Swede who told me that for a lot of people in northern Europe, Scandinavia and especially in Sweden, summer is a sort of a huge getaway. Summer is the time that everyone is waiting for, the time during which we can do everything we were dreaming about during the cold winter. And especially in Sweden summer brings hope and people believe that it will arrange things and everything will be better afterwards.

Summer is here, and then there is nothing.

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You know you’ve been in Sweden too long when you…

* Call your friends to go for a “fika“…

instead of inviting a friend to go for a coffee, it becomes natural to ask:

“Are you up for a fika around 4 p.m.?”

 

* Write “hej” instead of “hey“…

when you begin text messages. And no, it is not misspelled.

 

* Get angry when people do not recycle properly…

because everyone should know what plastic and what carton is.

 

* Think it’s usual to see cows on the way to uni…

when you’re walking from the student residence Lappkärsberget to Stockholm university.

 

* Appreciate the smallest ray of sunshine…

when it’s the only one you’ve seen since several days/weeks/months.

 

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These little things I love about you

I was sitting on the waterfront of Strandvägen and couldn’t believe that it was 20°C and that it was in Stockholm and that spring has finally (finally!) arrived. I had a book with me but I couldn’t concentrate on it and was just discreetly observing people walking in the streets, sitting near the water, laughing, talking, eating sandwiches.

On the other side of the water was the Radisson and further on the left Djurgården and you could see the beautiful building of Nordiska museum. So I was sitting there and when I was closing my eyes all I could see was the red color of my eyelids.  And all I could think of was: “I love Stockholm, I don’t want to leave!”. It’s almost the end of my Erasmus year and all my international friends are leaving in a couple of weeks.

A woman was standing on my right side, several meters away from me and was looking at the water. Suddenly a little boat arrived navigated by a smiling man with a big brown dog on the bow of it barking. The boat moored in front of the woman, she jumped on it and they went away.

People on the waterfront didn’t even glance at them and I thought that I have had never seen anything so special turned to be such a casual thing and that Stockholm is special because of these small things. So here what I’m going to miss about you, Stockholm.

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