Well, I am officially done with my exchange in Jönköping, Sweden. It has been an amazing experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. The friends and memories I have made here are so invaluable. Before I get into summing up my trip as a whole, I want to talk about my final month here.

For the first week of May, I went on a Cruise from Stockholm, to Helsinki, to St. Petersburg, back to Helsinki, then finally back to Stockholm. It was a total of four nights on the boat and two nights in St. Petersburg. We left from Stockholm on an overnight trip to Helsinki, stayed in Helsinki for a day, took an overnight trip to St. Petersburg, stayed in St. Petersburg for two nights, took an overnight trip back to Helsinki, then took a final overnight trip to Stockholm. The cruise ship was so much fun. Everything was extremely cheap in the duty free store, there was a casino, live music, and the ship had everything that a normal big tropical cruise liner would have.

Finnish Cannon                  Russian Castle

St. Petersburg Squad

The rest of May consisted of me working on group projects and studying for finals. The typical end of the semester stuff that every student dreads. Although it was a bit stressful, I still always get the same feeling of relief when it is all said and done and I realize that I am free!

After I finished finals, it really hit me that my exchange was over. I had everything packed up and was on my way to the airport to hop on my flight home. There are so many people I have met that helped make my exchange amazing and I cannot believe it is actually over. However, on a more positive note, there are so many awesome things you can take away from going on a semester exchange:

  • You get to get to say you have actually lived in another country and fully invested yourself in the culture and way of life.
  • You will most likely have had the opportunity to travel to many other countries and can now say you are sooooo well cultured and traveled.
  • You will probably have picked up a bit on a new language and can engage in basic conversations with that language.
  • You can put on your resume that you have attended a university in another country. Employers really like this because it really shows that you are able to adapt to completely new situations and are not scared to move outside your comfort zone. It also shows employers that you are diversified in your life and cultural experiences (see bullets one and two).
  • You will have friends all over the world. So if you do decide to travel to somewhere where you have friends that you met on exchange, you will be able to see a familiar face.
  • You will make memories that will last a lifetime and that you will be able to tell your kids and grandkids.

If you are thinking of doing an exchange in Sweden, here is my list of the main things that you should be aware of:

  • Yes, it is true that all of the women are blonde, blue-eyed beauties.
  • Yes, it is true that they listen to a lot of electronic music
  • Yes, it is true that they dress up for everything and are very fashionable. You will get weird looks if you come to class in sweats and a t-shirt.
  • Yes, it is very cold. You will be wearing a jacket until at least May. However, when it is blistering hot back home in Texas during May, a hot day in Sweden will be 75 degrees.
  • Yes, during the winter, the sun sets really early. When I arrived in January, the sun was completely down by about 4:15 in the afternoon. By the end of May, it would not be completely dark until 11:45 pm and the sun would rise around 3:15 am.
  • Common things like going out to eat, alcohol, transportation, and normal everyday items are more expensive than compare to the US because of the high tax rates that Swedish citizens pay. However, if you are able to budget your money correctly, these increases in price are really not going to make you go broke.

Sweden was an amazing place to do my exchange. A lot of my friends have gone to places such as Spain, Austria, Germany, etc. Although those places were so amazing when I visited them, Sweden seemed an atypical place to do an exchange and it seemed like a country that I would not think to travel to. However, I am 100% glad I chose to come. I am so happy to have been able to call Jönköping, Sweden my home for 5 months, and I am going to miss it dearly. Until next time…

Sweden Squad