Studying in Sweden: An Eye-Opening Experience Past Review

By (English/Political Science, Nebraska Wesleyan University) for

ISEP Exchange: Sodertorn - Exchange Program at Sodertorn University (Södertörns högskola)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was truly the best extended experience of my life. I learned a lot about who I was, gained confidence, had so much fun I don't even have to the time to rehash the stories I could tell, met people from all over the world, developed a better understanding of global/cultural differences, and made some of the best friends I've ever had. I would recommend this experience for anyone.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I learned a lot through my work in the classroom, but it wasn't typical academic learning. The work was much easier than at Wesleyan, but I learned a lot about myself and other cultures from interacting with students from all over the world.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I liked that the administration gave us a lot of attention the first two weeks and then let us use our study abroad experience how we wanted and didn't try to be too intrusive in our lives. I still felt they were available throughout the semester if we did need help though.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Bjornkulla which was good distance from the school. It could be a real hassle getting back from Stockholm late at night, but there is really nothing that could be done about this. I loved the community kitchen aspect. The only complaint I have were the laundry machines. They often broke, took an excessively long time, and were too small for the number of people living in the building.

* Food:

The cafeteria food on campus provided some good Swedish food. The buffet style cafeteria below the library offered a decently priced meal for how much food you received.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Even more so than specific events I attended, the act of studying abroad is a unique and eye-opening social/cultural experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Luckily, I never had to go to a doctor while there, but there was a hospital right next to the university that offered student health advice/care. Stockholm always felt like a much safer city to me than a city of a similar size in the U.S.

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


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Stockholm is an expensive place to live. Eating out will almost always cost at least 10 U.S. dollars, and this is the cheap food. Expect to spend about $350 on a public transport pass for the semester. By comparison shopping at grocery stores, you can buy your food at prices comparable to the U.S. If you're a drinker, alcohol is extremely expensive both at the liqueur store and in bars/clubs. Basic goods, like toiletries or stuff for around the apartment, are comparable or slightly more expensive than in the U.S.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save up for travel, social activities, and emergencies.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Really random, but three pieces of advice I received before going overseas that proved useful. 1. Do something crazy (and obviously appropriate) during orientation week to make the other international students notice you. They will be your peer group for the next year or semester, and you want to put yourself out there. 2. Bring a small collection of desk supplies (rubber bands, paper clips, etc...) They might be hard to find where ever you're going. 3. This is an opportunity to be whoever you want to be for a semester or a year. Don't forget that because the experience will end and you will go back to your real life eventually.