The SBS Student Blog

Life as a student at Stockholm Business School


What it’s like to study at SBS

Hey everyone!

Last Friday I took my flight home to Dallas, Texas as I am doing an internship here with Ericsson this summer. You can check out Stockholm University’s instagram page (@stockholmuniversity) to see my posts as the student guest editor this week where I will be sharing what is going on in my life starting a new job!

 

Today though I still want to reflect on Stockholm and share some photos that I took before leaving. For those of you who are interested in possibly studying at Stockholm Business School or even just Stockholm University in general will get a chance to see what our main campus looks like!

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A shortcut to the library under the trees.

Choosing to do my studies at SBS was the best decision I ever made and I am very proud to show off my school to other people! Living in a big city like Stockholm is great because it isn’t overwhelmingly big. There is endless possibilities of things to do and places to eat, so you will never get bored.

The student life may not be like in a college town, but don’t be fooled that it doesn’t exist! At the beginning of the year I shared with all of you information about the welcoming programs at SBS — this is the beginning of student life with Föreningen Ekonomerna if you are a business student. In addition to this, you also have multiple associations you can join on Frescati campus such as the humanities, science, or social studies associations. These three associations have houses right on campus and they hold events or parties almost every week during the school year. If you are coming as an exchange student, you are bound to hear about Café Bojan located right outside the metro exit. Every Thursday night during the year you will find a party here which provides the perfect opportunity to meet new people and have some fun with friends! Things are pretty calm there until around 8:30 when the tables are moved to become a dance floor and the crowds start arriving. Getting there at 10pm is always busy, so if you don’t want to wait in line I would recommend going before 9:30. For those of you who want something more laid back, I would recommend the Green Villa and Yellow Villa. They are great for being able to sit with your friends and have a conversation while still being in a fun environment.

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A view of one of the science buildings and the fields where many students like to relax on.

 

As for studying in general, be prepared to spend most of your time in the library instead of class! You will most likely only have class 2-4 times a week and most of your work will involve you being responsible and scheduling your time wisely as it is mostly self-study. Estimate about 20-30 hours a week in reading and assignments. I happen to love this system because it gives me the opportunity to be flexible if I need to be and to create my own hours. Taking one class at a time and having an exam every month is also something I particularly like. It allows you to really focus and dig deep into the class you currently study if you want to, and if you happen to not enjoy the class then you will be happy that it is just a month long instead of a semester long!

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The walk up to Södra Huset and the library. 

Group work is very popular here at SBS/SU and Sweden in general. It helps you to learn to work with other people, even when you may not get along with them. It is great preparation for the work place after studies and provides experience. Most of the time you can choose your own partners to work with, but be prepared that sometimes it will be assigned. Not having a lot of class time is supplemented by group meetings along with your self-study. The amount of time you spend in meetings will vary on the project and the group you work with, but it will usually be about 2-6 hours a week depending. Group work also allows you to build relationships with people in your classes and perhaps make some friendships!

Although brief, I hope this was helpful in giving you a little bit of insight into life at SBS… Feel free to ask any questions you may have about studying here and I would be more than happy to answer!

Until next time,

Alexa


Enjoying the sun in Stockholm!

Hello everyone,

With the wonderful weather outside today I had the opportunity to enjoy the sun and start to work on my tan while studying. It seems that all the Swedes start to come out of hibernation as soon as it hits twenty degrees and the sun comes out!

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On the walk towards the beach.

Today I visited some friends who were hanging out at Brunnsvikens strandbad (or beach), which is located as a five minute walk away from both the main Stockholm University campus and the business school campus. It is right down the path of the Brunnsvikens kanotklubb (canoe club), which is right across the water from the business campus. To get here you can take Bus 50 from Universitet towards Hornsberg and get off Universitet Södra, the stop right before Albano (which is the business campus). From the bus stop you will see a road down to the water and the canoe club where you can follow the path down to the beach. Or you can even hang out by the water on the business campus side, where a lot of students go in between classes to hang out.

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Overlooking the water where you can kayak.

It was absolutely stunning outside today and if the weather prevails this week I urge you guys to go outside and take advantage of it! If you are studying for exams, why not just bring your material with you and combine studying and enjoying the beach? Vitamin D is good for you and necessary after enduring the long Swedish winter, so I think going to the beach should be a mandatory assignment!

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Viewing the business campus (SBS) from the canoe club across the water.

If you are already done with exams or are looking for something extra fun to do this weekend, why not go to the canoe club and go kayaking with some friends? It is a super cheap activity to do for either two hours or the whole day! The best part is that you even get a student discount!

Check out: https://www.bkk.se/uthyrning/kayak-rentals/

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Me kayaking last summer at Brunnsviken.

Well I hope you all have a great rest of the week and good luck on your final exams for this year! Don’t forget to take a break and enjoy yourself every now and then! 🙂

-Alexa


2 Comments

Hejdå VT16.

It’s no news that Spring semester 2016 is coming to an end, but for some reason it’s way too easy to find a window spot in the university library. Where are you, people???

As much as I have been enjoying these past months (have you noticed correlation between temperature and amount of people in the city on weekday nights?), I can’t wait to Autumn as I’ll be moving to Paris, my most favourite city in the world, to do an exchange at SKEMA. For some reason, every time I mention studying in Paris to someone, I hear “Oh, are you going to Sorbonne?”… Has it happened to anyone else?

Anyway, back to my point. You know how you are in a new city and have a long list of places to visit, things to try etc, but somehow end up postponing it till the very end?
I took the liberty and composed a, surprise-surprise, list of things you MUST do before leaving Stockholm. That is, of course, if you have been here on exchange and are going home soon. Otherwise, hope this list inspires you to go and explore the city!

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Ivar Los park @ Södermalm

Here we go (in no particular order):

  1. Queue for an hour for a table at Flippin Burger.
  2. Complain about Systembolaget’s opening hours (every week, preferably).
  3. Eat focaccia at Prego in Kräftriket for lunch >3 days a week.
  4. Make as little eye contact on the bus/train as possible.
  5. Freak out when someone on the bus/train starts speaking to you.
  6. Get used to paying 60-70 kr for a beer (who am I kidding, we’ll never get used to it!).
  7. Realize that McDonalds has an app with cheeky discounts. (no shame)
  8. Have meatballs at Meatballs for the people in Södermalm.
  9. Visit Gröna Lund (Johnny Depp will be there next week!!!!!!!)
  10. Miss last train on a weekday and wait for that night bus (RIP Uberpop). 
  11. Learn the true meaning of “Jaha!” and “Jasså!”and start using it.
  12. Have a picnic on the top of Skinnarviksberget.
  13. Take advantage of “kaffe+bulle” for 15 kr at 7Eleven in Frescati.
  14. Become a master of finding events with free drinks/free food on FB.
  15. Or become friends with that person.
  16. Visit an office of a cool tech company (e.g. Spotify, King, Dice)
  17. Hear “Can I see your leg” for the first time and be totally confused (note: legitimation in Swedish = ID card).
  18. Post a photo of the “Slutstation” sign on FB. Don’t deny you’ve done it. 
  19. Be amazed with the insane 3G connection we have in the city.
  20. Never get a haircut because…expensive.
  21. Have the biggest kanelbulle of your life at Café Saturnus in Östermalm.
  22. Become addicted to Snapchat. Swedes love Snapchat (Source: me, 2016). 
  23. Follow me on Instagram -> @stockholm (#SelflessPromotion).

Jokes aside, I hope you have had the time of your life here in Stockholm and Stockholm Business School. Make sure you stay in touch with your friends because then you can travel the world to visit them and stay for free!

Maria

 


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Undergraduate Programs at SBS in English

Hey everyone,

With the end of my first official year of university coming to a close, I wanted to discuss more in detail the current program I study: Business Administration and Political Science (BAPS).

I am sure that some of you have heard of this program, especially if you have looked into programs at SBS or have even applied (I hope to see you here next year!). My program is a dual-degree program where we spend three semesters studying business and 2-3 semesters studying political science or possibly an elective course. The Global Management (GM) program is another english-taught undergraduate program where you study business administration for two years along with a specific language of your choice for one year.

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Emma and Agnes, two of my BAPS best friends! From our first finsittning last Autumn. 

In BAPS, there was also a compulsory study abroad period during the second year… However this has been changed to the third year to be at the same time as when Global Management students study abroad and it is no longer compulsory. I will be having my exchange semester this autumn and I am so excited to be attending the University of Manchester for a semester! I cannot wait for the experience of studying in a new place (again, haha) and I can not wait to hear the stories from all of my friends when we get back from studying all over the world. Some of my friends are going to the United States, some Australia, some Singapore, some France, and the list goes on! You have so many options for study abroad through SBS’s partner institutions, which you can check out here: http://www.sbs.su.se/en/General/Exchange-studies/Our-exchange-partners/

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My fellow buddies from the buddy program earlier this Spring at another finsittning!

One of the things that I love about my program is that BAPS students and GM students shared all of the first semester classes together, and as of next year the students will share a whole year of classes together with the change of the program outlines! This allowed me to meet so many more english speaking students and make friends who were not studying my exact same program. Another cool thing about the Global Management program is that all of the students will go on to study different languages during the second year. Similarly, BAPS students go on to study a year of political science. This gives you even more opportunities to meet more english speaking students and lots of exchange students as many will be in your courses. It has been great to meet new people every semester while still maintaining your friendships with friends from past courses – it really gives you a big circle and provides you with a large amount of networking connections for when after you graduate!

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Me with Maja in Södermalm, one of my best friends from Global Management!

Something I want to touch on that doesn’t just relate to undergraduate programs here is the huge variety of international backgrounds of the students studying at SBS, excluding exchange students. Studying here has allowed me to meet so many amazing people from all over the world and it is so cool that we all ended up in these programs together with the same idea. But don’t worry, I have plenty of Swedish friends as well as this is a Swedish school after all! If you think you have an interest in studying one of these programs or coming for exchange or even for your Master’s, I STRONGLY urge you to apply and take the leap! You will not regret it!

If you would like to read more about these two programs, you can do that here: http://www.sbs.su.se/en/Study-with-Us/Bachelors-Programmes/

As always, if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Until next time,

Alexa


Case: Valborg in Uppsala

Hej!

You may or may not not have heard of a celebration called Valborg, or Walpurgis Night as it is called in English. But chances are that you are going to Uppsala today or tomorrow with a bunch of friends to celebrate something.

Let’s start with the definitions. Walpurghisnacht is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga, an 8-th century abbess in Francia (credit: Wikipedia). In Sweden, however, this tradition has got very little to do with religion and much more with drinking celebrating the beginning of Spring. And no wonder, it is the 29 of April and Spring has barely made it to Sweden.

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Credit: savateev.com

Back to 2016. If you are going all in, you have already planned your days and bought a gästleg which is required if you want to visit some of the student nations, a.k.a nationer. Well done!

My friend from France is visiting this weekend, so we are going to Uppsala tomorrow morning because I am a good host (hehe) and…well, how often do you find yourself in a foreign country where there is a day when the entire city is consuming alcohol from early morning to early night? I am personally not a big fan of this day, but it’s definitely fun to hang out with a bunch of friends in a student city and hope that it doesn’t start raining all of the sudden (although, according to yr.no it will be relatively sunny the entire day. fingers crossed..).

So, what not to miss in Uppsala during Valborg. 

  1. Champagne breakfast at 8 am. Because, why on Earth will you not drink champagne with your breakfast?
  2. Don’t go hard on that champagne, because it’s not even 10 am by the time you are done with the most important meal of the day. You next task is to (I automatically assume you are the responsible one in your group) try and gather everyone in one piece and get to the city centre for The River Rafting  Event, or Forsränningen. It is the highlight of Valborg in my opinion, so go check it out (it starts at 10 am!)

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    /photo taken from here

  3. The rest of the day is sort of up to you, but I will most likely be at some park trying to find my classmates.
  4. LAST BUT NOT LEAST. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try catching the last SJ train from Uppsala. I tried to do it a couple of years ago, and the train that arrived at the station was so small that we didn’t make it on the train and had to wait for a night bus to Arlanda, then another one from Arlanda to Stockholm.. I think I got home sometime after 5 am that day. I don’t recommend that.

Have a lovely Valborg and do not forget to bring an external charger for your phone!

Maria 


2 Comments

Spring Break Fun!

Hey y’all!

Today I wanted to share my recent trip to Amsterdam and also explain how ‘breaks’ or more like ‘a little time off from classes’, works here at Stockholm Business School and Stockholm University in general.

So there are no official breaks during the semester, leaving the only two officials breaks to be summer and winter break. Summer break usually lasts about three months, ending in early June and starting again in early September. Winter break is usually about two and a half weeks depending on your class, with the fall semester continuing into mid-January and perhaps you may have a one or two day break before beginning your spring semester courses.

Now this does not mean that you will have no time off at all during the semester, as the truth is you will have plenty of three-day weekends and sometimes a few days off during the week. You also have the opportunity to create your own spare time depending on what seminar groups you choose throughout the semester and how much work you can get done before wanting to take it easy. You and your friends who study different courses are not guaranteed to have the same days off, so keep this in mind if you want to plan a trip with friends. We usually receive all of our schedules at the start of the semester, so you can use this to plan ahead and let your family know if you can make a quick trip home. 🙂

With the time I had off between lectures last week, I had the opportunity to go to Amsterdam with some friends! We managed to book a flight with KLM from Stockholm to Amsterdam back in February for about 700kr which was a total steal! After passing along this information to a few of my friends, we all took advantage of the opportunity and booked a hostel for four nights right in the city centre near the Red Light District. We would highly recommend staying in the area because it is actually the safest part of the city while also being very close to all of the action and the central train station!

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Posing by the canals in the Red Light District

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Red tulips!

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One of the biggest canals in Amsterdam

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In front of the Rijksmuseum

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Cactus galore, I wanted them all!

Taking short trips to new countries close to Sweden is very common with students here at SBS, and I guarantee you will always find people to go with you! RyanAir is a great budget airline flying out to many locations for a cheap price, and many students take advantage of it. SAS youth also has a ton of great deals for those under 26 and flies to a decent amount of locations in Europe. There is always the opportunity of taking the train to somewhere new in Sweden, such as the up north to Umeå, or maybe down south to Gothenburg, so you don’t necessarily have to spend a bunch of money to travel and experience something new!

I hope you all are having great semester so far, and if you have any trips planned I hope you have a great time and take lots of pictures! If not, start researching and see where you can travel next! 🙂

Until next time,

Alexa


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Homesickness

Sunday evenings are just made for swaddling up in a cocoon of blankets and having some high quality doing-nothing-relaxation time, or for me at least that’s how I’ve spent the past hour. Chilling in my blanket roll, contemplating the day I’ve had and beginning to think ahead to the new week, I take a glance out my ground-floor window into the forest just to the side of my view and have a moment where I re-remember that I’m actually quite far from home. Living this close to forests filled with real life wild deer is certainly not an everyday thing back in England and for sure it never gets old to gaze out at the view. Although in this moment of beauty was also a sad pang, was it just the realisation of how far I am? Was this the phenomenon of homesickness finally kicking in? Or was I just still feeling slightly sorry after a long Saturday night?

Whatever the feeling was, I thought it would be interesting to follow it and write a post on a topic a little more introspective. I remembered a student health care leaflet I had in my bag with an interesting text inside on the transition to a new culture as an exchange student, it was cool in that it resonated in many ways even as a full-time international student; it talked of this ‘W-shape’ curve in the effects of mood as you go through the phases of cultural adaptation.

 

Sad meals like this can cause homesickness

Having been born in Sweden and with some family I’ve visited before in other cities, whilst I knew I’d still have some adapting to do, I didn’t think I would be affected so much as I was familiar with the culture. However now I come to think of it, this W-shape curve is not entirely wrong. Although you’re busy with school work and constantly around a buzz of going to see and do fun things, there are in fact times of dips in the curve. But it’s not always so noticeable because everything is so hectic in the beginning anyway with your brain on hyper-alert by all the new things. It’s more those days where all you crave is mother’s cooking and to be around the home unit with all its comforts; I guess I’d always imagined homesickness as some horrific, depressing thing. In fact it turns out it’s a sort of achey lovey kind of feeling, it makes you realise how much you appreciate people and things back home when you’re so far away from it – especially knowing this is where you’ll be for the next two years.

 

Good old Lappis in the sunshine

It’s not so much the mechanics of moving to a new country that’s difficult either, because there’s always an information desk that can help, but it’s more the coming to feeling connected to a place which naturally takes time. You may for example find that being surrounded by so many students from other countries that you adjust the way you say things, as I’ve slowly learnt some jokes and phrases don’t translate over in the same way and often you may just find you’re the only one laughing at your joke (!). Whilst sometimes those pangs of loneliness may come when you realise familiarity in culture and people is no longer around, it’s recognising the gain that ultimately comes from being challenged to think and interact in different ways.

Although some days the last thing you want is a challenge, I’ve definitely felt the W-shape curve does begin to flatten out. I would say it took my first semester to fully say I had my foundations down and was settled. Now the feelings of homesickness become more home-excitement as the weather begins to come in to signal summer and eventually a return home to catch up.