It has been one year and a half but I still remember the arrival to Gothenburg as it was yesterday.
I was on the plane, all alone, getting crazy by moments. I was going to a country never visited before… And I was going to stay!! There was no plane back!
My nervousness was increasing by the fact that I was going to live in the house of a Swedish family, and I couldn’t keep thinking, how would they be? People always say about how cold and introvert are people from Scandinavia. But then I had my first nice surprise, they were super nice! As it happens also with practically all the Swedish population in Gothemburg. So lets get rid of myths! 😉
Once I was here and I was sure that I had a good place to live, I had a lot of stress about the admission process, some papers seemed to be missing, and I wasn’t fully accepted to the master. I was already thinking that they would kick me out before even having started. But then I discovered that it was the same for everyone! We all had to show some original documents that we had sent in form of copies. It took only 5 minutes, but for me it was like a century until the student counsellor said “you are in“.
The last thinking shared by everyone, and probably the one making you feel worse was Am I going to meet nice people? Am I going to make friends? For some people living in student residences it is easier, they share kitchens and they have events there. But I was living in a house with no other students nearby. Here is where it comes the welcome week!
The University and GISA organizes a lot of events and activities to get to know each other. During those days you are going to meet people that you will add on facebook but don’t talk or meet ever again, but you are also going to meet people that will stay with you during your whole adventure in Sweden. And even if you don’t find your people in the welcome week, the university becomes the perfect place to make friends. There are so many international students in the courses that are as lost as you are. Meeting swedes can become a bit trickier, but we can talk about it in another post.
One thing is for sure, you are going to find people to be with. It is kind of what happens in summer camps when you are a kid, there were 2-3 weeks spending all your time with unknown people that at the end of it were your best friends promising to never loose contact. Here that period of time extends to 6 months-1 year (or even more!) and everybody feels alone just by staying at home, so there is no weekend that you don’t plan something and you get to know people really fast and in a really intense way.