Another week has flown by here at Stockholm Business School and, as another course period winds down, we are all busy with exams and final assignments. With all of our hard work wrapping up for this period, it is important to keep a good work:life balance! I try to manage my workload between Mondays and Fridays as best I can, so that I can enjoy all the incredible things Stockholm has to offer over the weekends.
One of the most exciting aspects of being an international student here in Stockholm is that, as a foreigner, I get to try new Swedish traditions on a regular basis. While I missed the traditional Kräftor (Crayfish) party that usually takes place in August, I am fully prepared for next year’s celebration. I have learned some Snapsvisor (traditional drinking songs) and learned how to catch, clean, cook and eat crayfish. I don’t want to wish my time away, but I am already excited for summer. The Stockholm Business School buddy program hosted a Crayfish party, among other events, for international students and while I was unable to attend, many international students enjoyed the party.
Over the past weekend, I had some friends visiting from Berlin. One of them is originally from Stockholm and he suggested we try a traditional Swedish restaurant called Ulla Winbladh. This is a fabulous restaurant located on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm. This restaurant is famous for their Köttbullar (meatballs) with potatoes, special cream sauce and lingonberry jelly, a traditional Swedish meal and three out of four of us ordered this. I had the Skagenröra, another typically Swedish dish, which is a creamy shrimp salad seasoned with lemon, dill, and fish eggs and is quite unique. I personally love experiencing new cuisine and expanding my tastes, and for any like minded individuals, I would highly recommend this restaurant.
Another favourite activity for Swedish people is the the After Work or A/W with friends or colleagues. Throughout the month of September, the weather was quite nice here, and we were able to enjoy some of these evening activities outside. I can recommend a nice bar called Strandbryggen. While this bar is a little pricier than some bars in the centre, the price of admission is worth it! This bar is completely open air, and is located on the docks in Stockholm harbour close to the Vasa Museum. It is possible to sit in the sun and watch the boats go by and people watch on one of the most luxurious streets of Stockholm.
Another favourite Swedish tradition is Fika. This is a short break for coffee and/or a sweet bun, generally enjoyed with friends, colleagues and family. There are several good places to go, but my favourite so far is Chokladkoppen (The Chocolate Shop) in the old city Gamla Stan. Heading to Chokladkoppen for Fika is a good way to tour around the old town as well. If you head into Stortorget, one of the oldest squares in the city, you can see the Nobel Museum, and during the month of December you can enjoy the open air Christmas market.
Speaking of the holiday season…I recommend visiting at least one Christmas market and looking at all the unique crafts and products, and tasting Pepparkakor (ginger snaps), Glögg (spiced, sweet mulled wine) and Lussebullar (saffron buns) to name just a few holiday traditions. While many international students will likely return home for the holidays, these markets generally open at the end of November and continue through the holiday season. There are several around the city and these markets are a great way to pick out unique, budget friendly gifts for friends and family at home.
It is easy to focus only on school work and a part time job if you have one, but it is also important to take the time to enjoy a new city and culture. Spend some time outside exploring and I guarantee you will find this city rich in history, culture and entertainment.
Having just completed my exam yesterday, I now have a four-day weekend and look forward to seeing more of what this great city has to offer. Also, as an international student, I am open to new suggestions of places to visit…so for anyone more familiar with that city than I am, feel free to post recommendations for fellow readers!
For current students: good luck on final assignments and exams!
Until next time,