Hello, mina vänner (my friends) and välkommen (welcome) to my second blog! (Can you tell I’m practicing my Swedish and it’s not working that great for me?) Anyway, I’ve been all over the place since I started the dreaded GOC of the biomedicine bachelor programme. (General and Organic Chemistry but more on that later, I promise.)
It’s been about five months since I moved here, a full semester! It wasn’t a long time but I certainly enjoyed going back home for the holidays. Also, I started to appreciate the international environment KI has to offer ever since I came home. Here at KI, you meet and befriend people from all over the world. Personally, I never thought I’d have friends from every continent but here we are! I noticed how cool it was to tell my old friends about all the new connections I made and all the cultures I got to dig deeper in. But, through talking to my friends I wondered. Does living in such an environment affect you? Does living in Sweden affect you at all?
Being the scientist (nerd) that I am, I decided to find out. I put on my ‘best researcher shirt’ and I snuck into every free fika event I could find, searching for the answer. DISCLAIMER: I’m not a professional, this isn’t a real psychology study, or any study really. The little scientist in me was curious.
I only interviewed international students (duh) and I asked them some questions to learn from their experience. The questions were pretty basic and straightforward, which were;
What’s your name/age?
Where are you from?
What do you study?
How long have you been living in Sweden?
Do you feel like living in Sweden changed you/your personality?
I summarised the interview in a few sentences down below. Feel free to scroll to find out which one relates to you the most!
Christos Karampelias / 26 / Greece / PhD student / 3 years
“I feel like ever since I came here, my scientific perspective improved, thanks to the KI environment. I started to appreciate the harmony in the Swedish order and system. My love for cinnamon buns grew. I’m not the biggest fan of the slippery weather, though.”
David Grommisch / 27 / Germany / PhD Student / 3 years
“This is the first time I lived abroad so this experience was new to me. I was forced to become more open and accepting of other influences and cultures. KI is pretty international so you’re always exposed to different cultures and people with different backgrounds. I started drinking way more coffee. But, overall, not a huge difference since Germany is pretty similar to Sweden.”
Muaad Hussien / 21 / Finland / Medicine
“Moving here has not made me more social but more motivated. The environment here at KI has helped me become more ambitious. It has pushed me to become more focused and determined. I really like it here.”
Achilleas Fardellas / 24 / Greece / Toxicology / 18 Months
“Firstly, I was really affected by internationals here. The international environment has pushed me to become a better scientist. I became more ‘European’ and open-minded, especially when it comes to accepting different cultures and backgrounds. Sweden was really different in culture and mentality, but I was able to adapt. I haven’t really engaged with people outside KI, so I think this is mostly the KI effect.”
To sum up, most people said that living in such an international environment made them more open-minded to different cultures and backgrounds. Personally, I feel the same ‘KI effect’ being apart of an international community brings out the best in the best way possible. I will admit that at first glance it might be intimidating to join a new community that seems to be in perfect harmony but trust me when I say, everyone can add their own tune!