Dear first year students (no more prospective☺️)
Welcome to Stockholm!
I hope you have enjoyed your first week in Stockholm and wish you a successful academic year. In this blog, I am going to talk about some habits (based on my experiences in the last two semesters), which I believe, would be helpful during your stay here.
- Punctuality: When we talk about punctuality, it is known that most of us do have different experiences depending on where we came from. Some of us might be very committed while others could be of the other extreme. In the Swedish context, it is good you always strive to be punctual. This is very important weather you are going to a formal meeting, class or even just to meet a friend of you. If you have an appointment but you are not sure if you can arrive on time due to any reason, it is good if you let the person/s that you might be late as early as possible.
- Respecting the queue: If you go to some office seeking for service or you are waiting for bus or train, most likely you need to stay in a queue. In most offices like banks, tax office and health facilities the queue could be assisted by queuing number. Look for the queuing number dispenser and get your number as soon as you arrive. If there is no queuing number, sit or stand at the end of the line and wait for your turn.
- Do not interrupt people while they are talking: If you do not get an attention or response for your question from an individual working in some service delivery or even in store, most likely s/he is engaged with another customer. People do not like to talk to the next person in the queue before they are sure that they have properly served the current costumer. You should be happy with this as you can be sure of getting satisfactory service when it is your turn. So, be patient and wait unless there is a special reason that makes you to excuse and interrupt them.
- Being polite: You might have heard or read that Swedes are polite. Yes! They are very polite more than I can describe. I can tell you some manifestations of their politeness, if you did not already recognized them. Haven’t you seen them using the words ‘ursäkta’, ‘tack’ and ‘förlåt’?. Sorry, you have to ready my next blog for the meanings of these words if you have not already known them☺️ Did you see them holding open the door in the metro station, until you pass through? If you have asked someone about a place or direction, most probably you were assisted very nicely; sometimes the person you have asked might follow you until it becomes easier for you to go by yourself. Have you ever seen more politeness than this? So, I believe if every one around is polite, it is odd for you not to be so. That is why I have the opinion that you should be polite.
- You should have a reason to talk to someone you did not know before: In some countries, it is quite possible to talk to someone during your waiting or travel time even if you did not know each other before. May be you will have some question/point to start with and then you will expand it to the extent you want. That is not common in Sweden. If you have a question or need for help, you can ask and you will definitely get a response. However, if you ask just for the sake of talking or you try to continue your talk unnecessarily, it is less likely the other person will be comfortable.
- Asking consensus before deciding on issues involving others: This is also quite important for your day-to-day activities as a student since you will have to do a number of group assignments with your classmates. It is always better to ask for agreement of your group mates before making any major decision.
- Avoiding aggressiveness and confrontation: If you are working with a Swede, it is less likely that s/he will be aggressive and confront you whatever bad you might be doing. So, my assumption is your friend also, most likely, expects you not to be aggressive in any case.
That is all for today. If anyone has something more to say on the topic, please feel free to do so down in the comment area. First year students, if you have any questions or a something specific you want to read about, do not hesitate to contact me.
See you in my next blog☺️