The passion for certain subjects take us across the world in quest of knowledge. While this is an extremely exciting journey, it is not devoid of challenges. I moved to a different continent (or must I say a different world?) for my master’s program and this how I tried easing through the transition period:
It is not surprising that there are vast differences in culture among countries. KI provides a truly global environment and you get to meet people from all across the world in your class. This is ofcourse extremely beneficial to broaden your horizons. But to be able to do that, we must first overcome the inhibitions we have while interacting with people who would not necessarily think like us!
The key to this is the orientation week! The more people you meet and the more acquaintances you make during the initial weeks, the better. It does take time to be able to hold conversations that do not necessarily involve the “Swedish weather” talk or to even understand the humor when our backgrounds are so different. But trust me, you will get there!
Stop resorting to fiddling with your phone around people. Always remember that the other person could be feeling as awkward as you are and it does not really take a lot of energy to say “hi”! Out of ideas about starting a conversation? Do the “weather talk”. Duh! Stockholm is definitely going to give you alot of reasons to either curse or praise the weather so use that to make new acquaintances. Do remember to go beyond that 🙂
Are you very picky about how you want your Asian curry to be served? Are you a big fan of “authentic” Indian food?
It’s then time to start learning how to make those yourself! There is a fat chance you wouldn’t find a good restaurant that serves your favorite cuisine in all it’s authenticity in Stockholm. Even if you would find one, you probably wouldn’t be able to afford to eat there regularly.
Don’t expect to find typical food in some far away country. You would get the ingredients, you would get frozen food so make those small adjustments and stop complaining about it all the time. Try new food and you might even reinvent your favorites! But be prepared to make small changes in your food habits. There is nothing to worry about if you are lactose intolerant or a vegan or a vegetarian. The supermarkets will cater to your needs. See, it’s not all that bad!
I was in a tropical climate all my life and I was sure I would not make it through my first Swedish winter. Well, I am alive and spring is almost here (although it is still snowing in the last week of March). There is nothing that good clothing cannot fix so don’t be perturbed if you have never seen the snow or something. Just come prepared with vitamin D and really warm clothes and you are all good to go.
While none of the adjustments are easy to make, I can assure you that once you start getting along, you will be just fine. There could be some hiccups in the initial month but what is life without challenges right?
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Hope to see you here soon 🙂