Hello everyone. My name is Andrew. I am from Ireland and studying the master degree in Bioentrepreneurship here in KI. I am very excited to be a new student ambassador representing my masters and the Karolinska Institutet.
I have decided to briefly detail my experience of coming to Stockholm and a little on my feelings and experiences in this very first month. This was not just my first time in Stockholm but also Sweden. I arrived in the end of August and my amazing mum and dad made the journey over with me (not just because I had way too many bags to carry myself- thanks mum and dad!!:)).
Coming to KI and Stockholm was not a huge decision in my mind because I knew this was the right decision even before I arrived. I had always known that I wanted to study in Sweden and also that I wanted to branch out from lab work which my bachelor (BSc Environmental Chemistry) had tied me to. The reputation of the Karolinska Institutet and the possibility of learning another language were enough for me to be nothing but excited about the next 2 years here.
This feeling was almost cemented when even on the flight my parents and myself were having a conversation with the flight attendant (a native Swede) about my studies here. She had nothing but great things to say of KI and Stockholm. When we were about to land another flight attendant came over to wish me luck as she heard from her colleague about my studies, which was so nice.
Once at central station I was met by the Karolinska pick-up service rep and she could not have been nicer. It certainly put me at ease meeting my very first swede in Stockholm. She had kindly collected my key for my accommodation and brought me to the building. It was great to not have to worry about where to go once I arrived to the city. I arrived a few days before the intro weeks started and so my parents and I went on a tour of Stockholm. Djurgården, Skansen and Gamla Stan being the highlights. The great little coffee shops and random stunning areas of greenery you can find here are inspiring. We also happened upon this great spa/coffeeshop/bar in the middle of the city yet surrounded by vegetation and water features.
View of Gamla Stan from the ferry going to Djurgården
Mum and Dad enjoying Skansen in Djurgården
However I then said Goodbye to my parents, with reassurances they were coming back as soon as possible as they are in a word obsessed with Stockholm 🙂
The intro week began. It was all a bit daunting but honestly everyone here was in the same boat as me and no one knew anyone, so everyone you meet is a potential friend. Although a month ago now, the one thing that stands out in my mind is unfortunately not the very informative ‘welcome to Sweden and KI’ lectures but the fika! We were supplied with a never-ending supply of coffee and food and it was fantastic. I am now a caffeine addict!
Since then I have had the beginning of my classes and meeting all of my 25 classmates. Quite small compared to other programmes but for me this is perfect. Our class is small enough that everyone knows everyone and we all get along perfectly. We have already gone on some trips together such as our trip to the outlying archipelagos of Stockholm and have had plenty of fika. It has been a good way to bond and listen to each others life story so far.
Class bonding in Vaxholm
As I write this I should be doing an assignment and I am currently the only person remaining in the KI library… but I figured a blog would be a good distraction and a way to introduce myself and let you know that I will have many posts coming up covering different areas of academic and social life in KI and also Stockholm.
I think one my next blogs will be about a topic I myself am excited for- the Swedish language and my experience learning so far. I will also write about the area I live- a very popular student housing area PAX which I was lucky to get through Karolinska housing among much more. I will try and base each blog on my own experience of being a perspective student and looking at these blogs myself, before I started here and of course anything that inspires me along the way.
Hope you enjoyed this first post.