Fika and Fun in Sverige December 28, 2021

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/21/2021 to 12/18/2021 with

DIS Stockholm Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about Sweden, myself, the world, Europe, what I want to do with my life, and the kind of friends I want to have. This semester was a one of a kind experience that I would do again in a heartbeat. It was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Although the program was not as rigorous as at home, the learning was different in that there was a lot more learning out of the classroom than in the classroom. However, the academics in the classroom varied from teacher to teacher, with some being more difficult and others less difficult.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I thought the administration was very helpful and easy, but it had a few people doing many jobs. This made it harder to find people with in depth knowledge about certain topics.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I did not mind the building or the arrangements, but the two student housings were very far from each other, which made it hard to socialize with each other. It was also somewhat challenging in that my apartment was pretty far from the center of Stockholm.

* Food:

Food in Sweden was expensive and usually pretty good. DIS gave us a discount to the cafeteria below, which was exceptionally good and very affordable.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was easy and fun to integrate into Swedish culture. DIS made it super easy with the Swedish Culture and Language classes. Also, the housing placements forced us to go out and explore the culture and the city, which helped.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Overall, it was good, but Sweden has a very loose handling on Covid and does not clamp down as hard as any other countries. The program adopted the same strategy, which frustrated many students. It was a big culture clash in that way.

* Safety:

Stockholm is a big city and the usual precautions should be taken when traveling there. However, Sweden felt very safe and there were no issues.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The program was really great for me and I feel that it helped me achieve all that I wanted to achieve this semester.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Sweden is expensive. The average dinner in the area the program is in can go up to about $25-30 per person. This would get much more expensive if you were to order alcohol. However, groceries were very affordable. This said, I started the program spending a lot of money on food and activities, but by the end of the semester, I would spend about $60-80 a week and being more than comfortable.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would definitely plan out how much you are going to eat out each week and buy food in the grocery store accordingly. If you are going to eat out, lunch is much cheaper. I would also talk to your fellow students and discuss buying things such as flour and sugar, so that you do not have to throw it all away at the end of the semester. Most of all, I would stay away from buying alcohol, especially cocktails, at restaurants and bars. The minimum for anything stronger than wine will be about 150 SEK, which is about $17.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I took 3 years of Japanese
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Nearly everyone in Sweden you will come into contact with will be completely fluent in English. This makes it very difficult to practice Swedish. I spoke most of my Swedish with fellow Americans because it was fun! Although that's what I did, many people would speak to cashiers and other locals, which is not only helpful, but recommended!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Ability to travel
  • Academics
  • Cultural emersion
* What could be improved?
  • More in specified staff
  • Could be easier to reach staff
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that it would go by so fast. There were weekends I did nothing that I should have used to travel. I also wish I knew not to over pack.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.