A Day in the Life: Studying Abroad in Stockholm
This is part four of my summer study abroad series! Follow along this summer as I post about my travels in Sweden and Denmark while I study in Stockholm and Copenhagen through the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS).
While you may have read about what daily life is like at Barnard, you might be wondering what daily life is like during your semester abroad and whether it’s similar or different to life back in the States. My answer: yes and no. Of course, you’re not taking a semester off during study abroad -- part of the deal of going overseas is that you will take classes and learn in a different, but still structured environment. However, given that you are abroad and your instructors will know that (that is, if you’re specifically in a study abroad program targeted towards students at American universities), life will be slightly different while abroad.
As a small disclaimer, my days here in Stockholm during summer session are probably different from what students doing an academic year session experience. I’m only taking one intensive class at a time: class usually begins at 9am and ends around 12:30pm and we have class four days per week. Students here during the academic year — like at their home institution — typically take multiple classes and their schedules may resemble the one at their home institution a little more.
If you are looking at a summer study abroad, this schedule might be what to expect. Here’s what a day in Stockholm looks like for me!
7.00: Get up, make breakfast, and get ready to go to class.
8.00: Leave the Studentboende (university student apartment -- more on that in my next post!) and walk to the local T-Bana (metro) station.
8.15-8.45: Take the train to Stadion, the T stop which brings you right to the front of DIS’s classroom spaces in Kungliga Musikhögskolan, the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm.
9.00-12.00: Class! I’m taking a course on cultural norms reflected in television. We watch an episode of a television show together. This morning, it’s an episode of I Love Lucy, followed by a short discussion about the episode before talking about the topic for the day: American society reflected in sitcoms. Then, we watch an episode of Parks & Recreation and talk about it in relation to our readings from the previous night.
12.15-13.15: Get lunch at Restaurang Oktav with some classmates. This convenient restaurant is on the ground floor of the school building and they offer a student discount on their extremely generous lunch specials, which come complete with unlimited salad, bread, coffee, and water.
15.00: After dropping my backpack off at the dorm, doing some reading for the next day’s class, and consulting my Stockholm bucket list, decide I’m going to visit Stadsbiblioteket, Sweden’s public library.
15.45-16.45: Arrive at Stadsbiblioteket and browse through books that may be older than the United States itself (just kidding...maybe), in Swedish, Norwegian, Latin, Italian, English, Danish...you get the point. I take some pictures in the library’s iconic round main room and I even locate the children’s section and find a book in Italian for about my skill level!
17.30: Go to Nostalgipalatset, which is exactly what it sounds like: nostalgia palace. In here, you can find hundreds (probably even thousands!) of records, some in mint condition, among other things. I get my dad a record by his favorite 70s band for $10.
18.30: Stop for a fika, a coffee break (often accompanied by a pastry or some other sweet) and get a $2 cappuccino on my way to the T-Bana station.
19.15-20.30: Run to the nearby supermarket to get food and cook my dinner in the student apartment. Tonight for dinner, I’m making vegetarian Swedish meatballs with broccoli and pasta.
20.30-22.00: Eat dinner and hang out with other students in the program and some of the locals. Though my class is only six students, there are about twenty-five students from around the U.S. staying in the Studentboende and we’re taking many different classes.
22.00-0.00: Watch some TV as per my professor’s advice and get some well-deserved relaxation time. The program of the night is Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is on Swedish Netflix.
0.00-0.30: Write about my adventures in Stockholm in my study abroad journal.
1.00: Time to go to sleep! (And thankfully sleep in the next morning!)
Now that you’ve seen what a typical day looks like for me in Stockholm, I’ll be talking about what it’s like living in a studentboende with local students. Until next time!
Want to read more about my study abroad adventures? Check out my other posts: