I was remembering how was my first time coming to Sweden. I came on the 19 on January of 2013 and I remember all the feelings that I had inside me: anxiety, nervousness, happiness, curiosity but of course I felt a bit scared too for starting an unknown chapter in an unknown place with unknown people. Who could say that this was the beginning of a life change experience and the reason why I am here now.
When you are new here you have to jump into the pool, you have to dare to try everything and more!.
First of all don’t hesitate to talk with everyone even if they are not so willing to talk, sometimes some are shyer than others.
Don’t forget that all of us are in the same position: we are in a new place by ourselves so be sure that everyone is looking for friends or people to hang out. Sometimes a simple chat can develop a lifelong friendship. I will never forget how I dear myself to talk with a group of girls that were waiting in the tram stop, these lovely Austrian girls are my best friends until now! And not even the distance separated us 🙂
One good advice is to attend the entire welcome program that the university offers. These are the crucial weeks where you will find your mates for the rest of your exchange experience. Normally in this welcome activities they have dynamics to ‘break the ice’ and get to know each other, even if sometimes you feel that is fool or boring believe me it works perfectly and at the end of the day you will leave the place with ten new friends!. Yes, I know, is cold, the snow, blah blah, but go!, no matter what attend all the welcome activities, it worth in the end, trust me 😉
You are new in the city and in the culture, so don’t be afraid to ask! J I remember myself the first week and my question mark face when some people told me to go to an ‘afterwork’, million of things went through my mind when I heard that word, and even once there I was not sure what is it about, being sincere I didn’t ask what the hell ‘afterwork’ means. Sometimes you will stumble with things like this that is good to express and you will see how a lot of people is in the same position as you.
If you are living in a student’s residence and you share a kitchen listen to me: the kitchen is one of the more important places for making friends in a residence. Not only because is a common place but also because you have to spend some time there while cooking or eating, so if there’s someone in the kitchen try to spend time with them too, is a good way to meet new people and to have a nice house environment.
Given the fact that you are in such a multicultural group of people don’t be afraid of talking about your culture, the people is as interested as you in each other’s cultures. Of course be prepared for the craziest questions about your country and culture, but hey! this is the funny part of being in a group full of diversity. Don’t be afraid to ask too no matter how crazy your question is ;).
From now on you’ll start meeting new people that regardless the background, country or culture is similar to you. You will travel, party, laugh, cry and build memories with them so be prepared because the experience starts now! 😀