Now that it is already nearing the end of August, I can’t help thinking about the day when I first arrived in Stockholm one year ago. I want to recount some of my memories of coming to Stockholm last year to give you an impression of my first experiences here and give some last-minute advice to those who are starting introduction week in just two days to add to Mauricio’s and Alexandra’s wise words about how to prepare for KI.
I remember arriving in Arlanda after my overnight flight and transfer in Frankfurt barely able to keep my eyes open. Luckily, I had signed up for the KI pick-up service that Andrew wrote about here. The fourth-year medical student who was in charge of picking me up had already advised me on a cheap way to get into the center of town using the bus company called Flygbussarna. I boarded the bus with a pre-printed ticket and headed to central station where we met. Immediately she helped me purchase a three-month SL student ticket in order to use all public transportation in Stockholm and a Comviq SIM card from the nearest Pressbyrån convenience store. After that, she accompanied me to the apartment I had rented for two weeks from Airbnb on the island of Lidingö and bid me adieu. Needless to say, I was giddy with joy when I took a walk around the island that evening surrounded by views like this one:
The next days were filled with taking in more picturesque views. I highly recommend taking one of the free ferry rides that is included in your public transportation card, where you can catch views like this one:
Soon enough, it was time to begin Introduction Week, which started with the three-day Swedish language course. As Mauricio said in the post I referred to above, I found it important to attend this course in order to meet new people. In fact, this was one of the best chances I had in the past year to meet people from the other master’s programs. Here is a picture of some us meeting up outside of the Jägargatan student home later in the week:
Soon enough, it was time to move out of the Airbnb apartment into an apartment I ended up sharing with my husband and a very nice couple for the entire academic year. They were kind enough to pick us up with their car and take care of some obligatory business, like make a run to IKEA. The apartment was actually located on a bus line that led directly to IKEA, but I’ve heard that there is a free shuttle to IKEA from the city center if you need to purchase any furniture or household supplies.
Our new flatmates last year were two sweet people who invited us along with their friends for a late summer Swedish barbecue at a nearby lake. Swedish summer really is as idyllic as it looks!
It’s great to reflect on last August in Stockholm because it makes me excited to return there in just a few days time. To the first-year students in both Public Health Sciences tracks: your course leader has invited Mauricio and me to your classroom on the first day of the new semester. We will be there to say a few brief words about our tracks, but more importantly, to answer your questions. We are excited to meet you!