10 reasons why studying in Sweden rocks!


My results for the first two courses are out and I thank heavens that I didn’t flunk! While the courses were not exactly what you call a cakewalk, I think studying in Gothenburg and Sweden for that matter rocks! My experience has been quite a fine revelation and very impressive. While I think highly of the Higher education of Sweden, here are 10 reasons why you all should join my university or chose Sweden for your education!

  1. The courses are exhaustive, general and extensive.

I began by reading lots of scholarly articles slowly descending into writing papers, assignments and more and more like research work. Very extensive and packed! Very different from the type of education that I had in India, but quite a pleasant change. Of course, nothing came easy but that’s what the challenge is right?

  1. Emphasis both on theory and practical.

The semesters are designed in such a manner that balance is maintained between theory and practical. You would have lots of case studies, interaction sessions, research papers to read and presentations to skill. So mostly as a person too you have to be very calm, quick witted, strong in written as well spoken English and have great soft skills!

  1. Very helpful staff and students!.

What else could a student wish from the place they study? As much as the administrative staff is helpful so are the students too. There is hardly any sort of nasty ‘competition’ brewing among the students here and they reach out to help internationals who are new to the Swedish way of studying.

  1. Taught from the perspective of working in Sweden.

My favorite point in the list. All the courses, enactments, role plays in the sessions are designed in such a way that you can relate it easily to the working life in Sweden. They prepare you for the bigger battle outside.

  1. Learn at your own pace.

There is no hurry business here. Choose how many courses can do finish at one go. Drop out in the middle in case of a job thing. Ask what you don’t understand. Express what you feel in the class. And you can re appear for the exams, assignments if you feel you are not ready for time being.

  1. Work as well as Study!

Like mentioned earlier, one of the few universities especially in Sweden which allows you to work part time. Your pocket too is pleased and so is your brain for giving it the intellectual upliftment. Double bonanza!

  1. No studying for full days or full weeks.

You have classes only for three-four days maximum in a week. Even daily you don’t have more than 3-4 hours of classes at a stretch. Rest time is reserved for group sessions, assignments, library bookings and your personal free time.

  1. Lots of cultural events to get breaks!

You have lots of companies coming for breakfast sessions, cultural events, students meeting at a pub, something that would get you to know the Swedish way of life, a little better. A must try out! They take your mind of the assignments to write, approaching deadlines and the exam fever!

  1. Globally recognized and breathtaking campuses!

It is no secret that the country in which the coveted Nobel Prize is given has education that is of a global standard. Some of the professors have written and published their own books, and several research papers.  Students as well as the professors have worked, lived and travelled a lot abroad, studying as well as working bringing to the lectures a very diverse and global feeling.

And such green, spacious campuses with lots of rooms and corners to choose from and lunch recipes to try. And goes easy on your pockets!

  1. No language barrier!

It is very good if you can manage to speak some Swedish to later on cope up with the corporate bandwagon but even if you don’t, there is no problem. Everybody speaks very good business English in Sweden and the articles too have strong English vocabulary. You might want to brush up your English speaking skills before you join the Masters/ doctorate programmes ;)

Conclusively, if you want to be happy, make friends, enjoy a different culture, want to learn a new language ( only if you want!), work as well as study, be valued for your professionalism, have fun while learning and get yourself globally certified, nothing should stop you from checking https://studyinsweden.se/ and register yourself, friends, relatives or refer anyone you care about the wonderful prospects. Life is wonderful journey to learn, earn and re-learn, so why not start here?

Photo credits: http://www.mladiinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/University_of_Gothenburg.jpg

15 things you learn when you spend your winters in Sweden.


This is my second winter in Sweden and I am dreading it already. November hasn’t been too kind and the sun hasn’t been spied. While in between studying, writing, working, I have a fleeting thought. Don’t we learn so much while living in a cold country if I could call Sweden one of these? I have learned so much in these two years and I am sure both internationals and local students can co relate to this post.

This happens to you when winter draws near and you learn the following things. Follow me with some funny GIFs :-

  1. Plan everything according to the weather.

Your day begins and ends by checking the weather app on the phone. You play for a lunch if it is sunny outside else you sit indoors. You plan for outings if it is a sunny day else go for a movie. Wear a dress if it is sunny or wrap yourself in woolens if it is chilly. Weather is a game changer!

  1. Never leave home without an umbrella or jacket even when it is sunny outside.

It can rain or get cold anytime. So even if the temperature goes in double digits, it is better to carry an umbrella with you as it can threaten to rain. Even if it is sunny outside, it might get windy so it is advisable to carry your jacket with you all the time.

  1. Drinking coffee at any place, any time is common.

It is hardly any secret that Sweden is one of the most coffee drinking countries in the world. So naturally the consumption during winters gets even more. So winters mean hoard up more coffee. Coffee cups in between meals, lectures, meetings, presentations etc are very common.

  1. Go to gym when it turns dark, mornings and days are for being out.

Since it gets pretty dark almost around 3 pm nowadays, it is natural to ‘invest’ some quality time in oneself. Running outside makes no sense so the gym is an ideal place anytime after 16.00. Time between 8.00-15.00 is usually to spend outdoors hoping to spy some sun and get fresh air. Evenings are for gym and early dinner then cozying up in front of TV or curl up with a book.

  1. Always armed with lot of scarves, woolen caps, warm socks, gloves and positive spirit!

There is a saying in Sweden, ‘There is no bad weather, only bad clothes’. So be dressed properly and you are ready for any weather. Winters are a time to experiment with lots of colorful scarves, caps, gloves. Each and every item is precious to own. And you definitely need some positive spirit to combat the dark weather. To pep up the positive spirit you need music in your years and spring in your step.

  1. Run to warmer places in the winter vacations.

You get accustomed to run off to warmer places for at least a month for vacations. Sometimes the sun plays hide and seek and it gets dark pretty early. So running to an island or someplace in Asia is never a bad idea. For me the best thing is to go to my country, India and come back rejuvenated.

  1. Search for fleece and fireplaces wherever you go for coffee or dinner.

Winters are all about cozying up. Sweden has some pretty good restaurants for eating out. It is not uncommon to get accustomed to seeing fleece and outdoor heaters in restaurants in winters. Wonderful accompaniment to keep you warm and all cozy.

  1. Keep counting the days (or even months) of how near the spring/summer is.

In November you say that December is near and just 3 months to go. In January you say, just two months more. For every winter month you just can’t stop thinking about what all you would do when summer is here. Hit the pool; join cooking classes or just sun-bathe!

  1. Buy some summer dresses in anticipation for an early summer.

When there is a good deal on dresses or summer clothes, you buy them all. Firstly hoping that summer isn’t that far off, secondly summer clothes would be pretty expensive when summer comes. So it is better to build a better wardrobe by the time the real summer comes in.

  1. Involve yourself in indoor activities to beat the weather blues.

Winter time means playing badminton, table tennis, board games, movies, theatres and lots of visit to friends and families nearby. To take your mind off the boring weather, staying indoors is the best bet.

  1. Bathing everyday needs extra motivation, which you learn!

As it becomes more and more foggy, snowy, rainy and dark, your motivation to bath everyday becomes a major challenge, admit it or not. At home you are in your sweaters, socks and warm clothes and it gets difficult to remove all your warm clothes and get into the shower. So bathing every day- a huge motivation!

  1. Sleep is your most desired thing especially in the mornings.

You share a romantic relationship with your bed as winter draws near. Early morning lectures and rushing to work gets tougher and tougher as it gets dark, rainy and sleepier.

  1. If you just see a tiny glimpse of sun or temperature above 9 degrees, you wear dresses!

Winter days usually mean dressed in full outfits covered with layers of huddled clothes. So once you see the bright sun or temperature above 10 degrees you are tempted to get into your dresses, shorts and t shirts. Anything that gets you out of your heavy jackets is a saving grace.

  1. See the brighter side of the country when the weather turns ugly.

Whenever we are sad with the weather, we tend to see the other bright sides of Sweden. Like so many vacations, the quiet atmosphere, work life balance, and the wonderful summer. In retrospect nothing seems bad in comparison and we trudge on.

  1. Skiing/ ice skating is a must in winters.

Lastly your winters aren’t complete if you don’t learn how to ice skate or ski in Sweden. Even a kid knows them by the back of his hand. I haven’t had tried anyone of the two till now, but I intend to.

Finally, winters in Sweden can be long and endearing especially if you are not used to the weather before. But trust me you learn with time and all the activities around you. So with lots of coffee, warm clothes, schedule, friendly meet ups, books and gym visits, you would soon get over the winter fever and welcome the spring!

Photo credits : Featured image : http://static2.stuff.co.nz/1313357918/139/5445139_600x400.jpg

In which city you can see more stars on the earth than on the sky?

Is Christmas period, and we feel an atmosphere of peace and love, well… we feel the cold too! But when this season arrives, Gothenburg shows us its other face, a city full of lights that becomes cozy by itself.

P1240501Gothenburg has its own Christmas traditions and customs. And I’ll tell you some of the most well-known ones for you to be prepared in this season.

1. Twinkle, twinkle little star

By any chance did you see lighted stars hanging in the windows? Imagine a city where you can see more stars on the earth than on the sky, well that’s Gothenburg J . You will see these stars shining from the first Sunday of advent in the countdown for Christmas. You can get these beautiful stars in the shops around the city or in IKEA in a reasonable price, but don’t hesitate in making yourself; it could be a really nice Christmas present too ;).

estre2. That’s hot!

Have you ever tried warm wine? If not, come to Sweden in Christmas period and you’ll have the opportunity to try Glogg. This drink is basically sweet mulled wine (you can find also the non-alcoholic version) and you can also accompany this with almonds and raisins.

3. Kaka is always good!

You are never full enough to not eating a Pepparkakkor. These cookies are made of ginger and have the shape of flowers, hearts or stars. Once you try the Pepparkakkor you will always associate the taste of this cookie with the Christmas in Sweden. The price? You can get them from 8 SEK in the supermarkets ;) .


4. Everything is valid when is about a Christmas tree

Can you imagine a pink Christmas tree? If you go around the city in this season you will find all kinds of Christmas trees! So be creative when is about to get one.

arbol5. Donald Duck Cartoons?

Have you ever heard about the Swedish Christmas tradition to watch the Donald Duck show? Well, actually I’m asking myself if this is a myth or a real tradition. So why not check it by ourselfes? It is supposed to play in the main Swedish television channel on the 24 of December. Be prepared!

What about activities? Christmas period in Gothenburg is full of activities too, so get your friends, a coat (maybe an umbrella ;) ) and be ready for having fun!

1. Visit the Christmas markets

Ok, everyone is going home this season, you want some vacations too, and basically you don’t want to spend too much money… it doesn’t matter! The Christmas markets are not only for shopaholics, totally worth going there only for get the Christmas feeling, to see nice decoration, beautiful lights and get soak with Swedish traditions. Haga have a nice Christmas market together with Brunnsparken, but a funny thing to do is to go around the city and discover these beautiful markets. And of course if you are in the mood to make it big you can go to one of the most famous Christmas markets in Liseberg. Are you ready?

P12404072. The singing Christmas tree

The singing Christmas tree is a Christmas tree that sings…well I am not that good for explaining things but if you wanna discover what is this you should see it with your own eyes! You will find it in Drottningtorget, the schedule is in the link below ;)


3. Film show in Götaplatsen

Can you place yourself in the Poseidon? Imagine having an open showing of films here, this is your opportunity to have this public art performance on Christmas! This daily show of films and cartoons is running till the 31st of December. The schedule is in the link below.


Have yourself a merry, little, cozy, lighted, beautiful Christmas and may the force be with you ;).

God Jul!

Why is everyone talking about Lucia ?

Hej hej Guys !!! Desperate for Christmas break ??? It is almost here. Keep it up!!!

With Christmas so close, everything get so cozy and you want to sing Christmas songs  all the time aaand Of coooourse you  also  think about which present are you going to ask Santa this year ;) Besides this, if you are in Sweden like me and a bunch of other adventurous students, you might be involved with  tons of pepparkakor, glög, candles and Saffron buns.

Talking about Saffron buns, they are also called St.Lucia buns  and if  you have not heard about Lucia in Sweden you are doing something wrong ;) . St. Lucia’s day is the most expected holiday after midsummer. I have to say that swedes take their traditions really seriously, just today our lab performed Lucia to a room full of people at 8 am! yes, yes 8 am because is never too early to celebrate. Swedes say that to celebrate Lucia will give you the light you need to go through the dark winter. Which sounds really nice, as nice as to get up before the sun and enjoy her light instead :)

I really enjoyed getting involved in  such a  Swedish tradition. Practice all the songs ( just in case you are wondering: YES! :D we sang in Swedish :/ ). Even though we had, Spanish, Indian, Costarican, Slovenian, French and Chinese people singing Swedish, I would admit that we did pretty well.


International Lucia :D

Lucia is an old Scandinavian tradition originated in Italy. The story of Lucia as told from some lab-mates is quite tragic ( and I will let you do your research about it  ;) ). Nonetheless it gave birth to a lovely tradition, full of hope and light!

Lucia does not walk or sing alone in front of her public, every 13 of December all around Sweden. She is usually accompanied by her  maids,  star boys (stjärngossar) and gingerbread men.

Our Lucia team! mais, star boys and ginger breads! We even had a Santa ;)

Our Lucia team! maids, star boys and ginger breads! We even had a Santa ;)

The first Lucia to be elected to represent Sweden was back 1927 in Stockholm and from that year it became a tradition to choose a Lucia who will represent each town of Sweden. The Lucia who will represent Sweden is chosen between the lucky winners of each town . Lucia dress  in white and usually with a red ribbon in her waist, and a crown of candles that represents the light in the darkest day of the year. Before the celebration coincided with the winter solstice, making it a festival of light and hope for brighter days to come.

Our beautiful Lucia !

Our beautiful Lucia !

I encourage you to go out this Saturday 13 of December to a church and live the tradition. Get involve, feel like a swede ;) … It is a touching, lovable experience.

Also I will leave you some links to the traditional songs performed in Lucia’s day!! If you were curious about our performance. We actually sang the next songs: Natten går tunga fjät, Staffan Stalledräng, Tre pepparkaksgubbar and to be fair 2 english songs: Rudolph and Jingle bells!!




…and what would all have been without Swedish FIKA!! at the end right?


Vi ses snart,

Naza :)

Finding accommodation in Gothenburg: Nightmare or adventure?

One of the most stressing parts of moving to another country is always the housing. Day by day we find ourselves struggling for finding the perfect place to live.

I have to confess that this year I have lived in three different places already, but the last year in the first try I found a place where I stayed the whole semester. So with this I’m telling you that this is a matter of luck, faith and a lot of patience.

I can almost see myself in you right now refreshing the housing webpages every hour or having your mobile phone with the internet working everywhere.

Once you are here and you look back you see that more than a nightmare this was an adventure and you can almost laugh about it. But just to make this adventure more enjoyable I will give you some tips that may help you in this mission.


Don’t get stressed: When you get anxious about the housing sometimes you can make fast decisions that at the end could not be the best decisions. Take a breath, give yourself time, get a bit distracted doing some other things and you’ll see that afterwards you will have clearer thoughts.

Start queuing since early: Housing webpages like SGS operate with a queuing system. So if you start queuing since early you will have more opportunities to get a place. I know how frustrating is to see yourself as a +51 number, but be patient and believe me it will pay.

The perfect doesn’t exist: If you are looking for the perfect place you might get disappointed. Don’t expect that everything will be perfect in your room, maybe you won’t have the best view or the number of windows that you wanted or the color of walls that you like but hey! Is ok!, you have a place to stay and you can always pimp it for it to be yours.

accom1Think if you like more the nature or the urban: This is key when you are about deciding where to stay. Well, Gothenburg is not the best example to divide urban and nature since the nature is everywhere!. There are forests and lakes just in the middle of the city. But you can always decide whether if you like the lights of the city or the calm of further areas.

Take a look to the transport connections: You should decide if you like to walk or ride a tram. If your case is the second one then is important for you to have a look about how well connected is your place to the university or other important places for you. Don’t forget that Gothenburg is an excellent place to get a bike, and given the fact that the center of Gothenburg is not that big you can reach pretty much everywhere with this transport.


Take advantage of the social networks: Try to join all of the Facebook pages and blogs about accommodation in Gothenburg, they will give you more opportunities to find a place but also is a space where you can get information about certain places. You can always ask how does this area looks like, how good is to live in one student housing or another, or if this place is closer to the University than the other. Don’t forget that normally the people in this webpages are in your position or have been already there, so everyone is willing to help.

Finally enjoy the experience, don’t forget that this is one more step to reach the goal of coming to study here in Gothenburg and after knowing all the joys that you will have here you will see that it was worth it!. :D

The convenience of trams, trains and buses in Sweden.

Today morning while sitting in my bus to my school, I wondered how technology has developed so much. Man has reached the moon, mars and distance isn’t such a huge thing as it was before. And it is a huge blessing. It is even a greater blessing here in Sweden especially, Gothenburg to have so well connected transport system. Every single day we travel in trams, trains and buses for commutation but have we ever thought the extent to which they are beneficial to us?

Have a quick re run with me:-

  1. Better connectivity.

With all the trams, trains and buses the connectivity is super here. Everything is connected to each other so superbly that you don’t usually stand the danger of missing the corresponding bus/ train when you are in transit. There is a time of 4-5 mins minimum before you can get on to the next travel. Also there are apps like vasstrafik and schedule at each bus stops that make your travel easier.

  1. Beats any weather blues.

Whether it is rainy or chilly outside, you can always grab a seat in a tram or bus and watch the view outside. Sometimes if the weather turns ugly, you can cozy up with a book, newspaper and just take a nap with some music in your ears.

  1. Easy and convenient.

It is so easy to travel. Bus stops are very near to catch and be located. It is easy to buy the bus and train card/pass and activate it on the bus itself. Only thing that is tricky is to NOT forget your pass at home or you get a whopping fine that you need to pay through your nose!

  1. Mostly always on time.

The connectivity of the transport system is so good that it is always on time. Maybe even early at times! Sometimes owning to the weather, the trams or buses run a tad late but not that big that it can create a ruckus!

  1. Temperature controlled.

In winters, you enter into warm and cozy buses and trains. In summers, sometimes the A.C is on. Hail technology in Sweden!

  1. Boon for college and office goers.

Yes it is a huge boon for the above category that are always late for work and classes in the morning. Just check the app, the timings and make a dash for your work!

  1. Specially equipped seats for toddlers, elderly and luggage.

Almost in all the buses, trams there are reserved seats for elderly and place to adjust the trams for toddlers. There is also space to fasten your luggage in case you are travelling with a heavy bag.

  1. Super fast trains for the ‘needy’ ones.

The best of the lot are the ‘Snabb’ tags for the inter-city travel or to the nearby Scandinavia region. The ones who travel in the weekend can expect a comfortable journey with all the necessary facilities made available in the train.

  1. Easy on the pocket.

Travel in Sweden is definitely not cheap but still for people who travel daily and on weekends too, transport system is pure bliss. For cheaper passes and bus cards, you can recharge for 3 months or more too. And of course for students like elsewhere, SJ gives a considerable discount.

  1. No car hassles!

One of the most wonderful things I like about the transport system is that, cars are NOT the only means of transport when you need to travel far or near. You also become agile and active as you move around your legs a bit more to catch the buses or trains or while walking from one stop to another. Of course there are other advantages of having a car, but if you think of the exorbitant parking costs that you incur, travelling by public transport rules any time!

While this article might seem as an attempt to boost the vasttrafik or the Swedish public transport system, it is actually not :). I am actually grateful and mesmerized by the well connected transportation here and its benefits! So while you are sitting in your respective trams, buses and trains travelling to wherever you maybe, take a moment and reflect at the pros of the buses and trams in Sweden. There are so many!

Photo credits of featured image : http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/08/M32tram.jpg

The bias of equality.

Having dinner with some friends  we got to talk about things we notice in Sweden that are different from our own cultures.  When you are in an international group, somehow the conversation always head to talk about swedes and their unique way of being.

For sure one of the first things we talked about was:

EQUALITY: Which comes in a sweet and a sour taste for some of us. Back home being a girl comes with some, let’s call it  “privileges”, for now. Help with heavy bags, doors magically opening in front of you, front seat of a car full of boys. Now and then a nice gentleman will give you a seat in the bus. In Sweden gender equality is so much into the culture that you do not see these things so often (not to say never).

The sweet part of equality is, as a girl, you get to walk peacefully through the street. You do not have to worry to change sidewalk when walking in front of a construction place. No whistling, no dirty, disgusting yelling at you wearing a short skirt or a summer dress. Specially not disgusting looks that make you feel wrong. Keeping the sweet up, guys are not mommy’s boys. Swedish boys are independent, clean and helpful at home. They would not expect you to do all the cleaning on your own. They also have a big role in parenting! I have never seen more daddies with a stroller in my life!

swedish dad

In a less sweet part of equality I would like to say that in the search for being equal we have lost some things as well. I do not demand to have “girl privileges” because I do not think they are. I think that the fact that a guy wants to help me with a bag or open the door for me  does not make me weaker; when I can do the same for him. I think that caring for each other is important and guys are letting this part of themselves go away.  What if another girl wants to help you, then Will your independence be threat it?  Being a gentleman has been associated so much with being sexist that we are killing this beautiful part of being a men.

Guys are not gentleman because they will get the look “Do you think I am not able to do it myself?” and who wants that? When you do something nice for someone else the least you wait is a smile and a “tack”. They are scared to do something nice for you!

The reason why men open the door for women, the reason why they want to make their lives easier, when they can, is because of respect and admiration. They admire the strong mother at home and they respect the little sister they have. This is why at home they are taught to treat girls as a princess because they all deserve the same love and protection as their mother and sister; NOT because they are weaker. They do not intend to threat your rights as a women or your independence. They just treasure the sacrifice and work made by other women in their lives. In my point of view this is something beautiful to do and we should not give a dirty look to someone who is trying to be nice to you. Is a simple gesture of humanity in either way: girl to boy or boy to girl. So why do we want to kill the boy to girl part?

I understand the struggle we have been through to be equally respected at work and society. I DO NOT think we should quit because there is still a loooong way to go. I just think that attacking a man who cedes a place to you in the bus is not the way to get there.

I wrote this in the risk of sounding bias but I would like people to understand the beauty of being a gentleman. What we lost by quitting to it. We should take the good part of everything and get rid of the bad side. In this case, the sexism that accompanied being a gentleman. Transform the concept and keep it alive in an equal society. Where girls are grateful for a nice gesture and are willing to do the same for another human being, boy or girl.

The thread is usually in our head and when you feel strong enough to accept someone’s else help without feeling diminished. Then we have reach gender equality.

Vi ses snart,

Naza :D

Expert or Beginner International Student in Sweden? : Take the test!

You are about leave Sweden?, does your exchange period is over or maybe you are going home for a winter break?. Let’s see if at this point, you’ve become an Expert International Student in Sweden!.

1. If u know what are your chores of the day just looking at this bag: You are an Expert International Student!. bag bag2. If you spent two hours outside until you figured out that this is the key: Keep trying you are a beginner.10822627_10152919668464579_1918826118_n3. If you want a number for queuing everywhere (even in not required places): You are an Expert Exchange Student in Sweden!

4. If your only Swedish language is: Nej, tack!, for not getting the invoices in the supermarkets: keep trying you are not a pro Exchange Student yet.

5. If you want exaggeratedly to take out your shoes everywhere for getting inside places: Congratulations you are a pro expat in Sweden!.shoes6. If this kind of signs do not make you laugh anymore: Not expert but old International Student in Sweden.

10822316_10152919676729579_773529667_n7. If you feel proud of your personal number: mmmm this is ambiguous ;) .

8. If you flag down the bus: Sorry, you are not a pro exchange student yet.

flag9. If you eat breakfast on Friday: Beginner!.

10. If you get grumpy for not having a coffee and a sweet trick in the middle of the afternoon: congratulations, you are a pro expat in Sweden!.

P110009411. If you forgot how a Taxi looks from inside: You are an Expert International student!.

12. If the “Happy hours” in the bars doesn’t shock you anymore: Expert!.10649572_836405113070236_3042052721378909006_n13. If you analyzed more than three times how can ‘King’s Head’ afford an everyday afterwork: You have been too long in Sweden… :D !.

14. If your night life starts mandatory before ten (if you know what I am talking about you are really a pro ;) ).

15. If your hair is longer than never before in your life: Expert International Student!.HAIRCUT16. If when the summer starts your first purchase is a small blanket for outside: Quit the test, you are a Swede!.

17. If you think that using another person’s time in the laundry should be punishable by law: You are an expert International Student!.


Photo credits: http://blogs.trb.com/features/consumer/shopping/blog/2012/05/free_blue_bags_from_ikea_on_th.html

Yalda Vian/Glenn Franken