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A week in my little Swedish life

I loved this week so much. It consisted of so many of my favorite things— as well as a few new experiences— that I’m eager to tell you all about.

KTH library + À La Lo Café & Cantine 

À La Lo Café & Cantine celebrated their third birthday with … wait for it… BIRTHDAY CAKE! So I had to go. My roommate Lexi and I hopped on the pendeltåg and made our way over to my favorite place in the world. I’ve had the pleasure of trying almost everything on their menu, so when they announced that they’d be having a limited edition birthday cake for the day I was ecstatic.

After enjoying our delicious cake (as well as a real breakfast), Lexi and I headed to the KTH Biblioteket. KTH is the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and it’s where I like to go if I’m ever missing the feel of a college campus. With a student-staffed 7/11 and green courtyards, KTH provides me with all the campus-esque vibes I could ever dream of. The KTH library is one of the most beautiful academic buildings I’ve ever seen, and it comes in handy during lunch hours when the majority of Stockholm’s cafes implement their “no laptop” policies.

Football (soccer) match

If you’re planning on studying abroad in Stockholm in the future, this is one activity that I highly recommend you check out. Not only did I love it because I played soccer for ten years, but the energy in the stadium was like nothing else I’d witnessed in Sweden. Typically, Swedes are pretty nonchalant when it comes to patriotism. They don’t feel the need to boast their country’s strengths and accomplishments. Therefore, it was wild to see people chanting out “Sverige! Sverige!” while dressed head to toe in blue and gold. I attended the Sweden vs. Azerbaijan game, and Sweden won 5-0. I don’t go to too many games in the States (maybe a Cubs game here or there), so it was fun to be in a stadium full of team spirit for the night.

ABBA museum

On Wednesday, I visited the ABBA Museum with my Glued to the Screen Course for a field study. We had recently learned about music television, specifically regarding how televised competition contributes to popular music. We spent a lot of time looking into ABBA, who won the Eurovision competition in 1974. Stockholm is home to many amazing museums, and this one is definitely one of the most fun and interactive. We were able to get on stage and sing karaoke to ABBA hits like “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia.” There were also dozens of on-stage costumes on display, including the outfits that all four band members wore when they won Eurovision singing “Waterloo” (left image). But my absolute favorite part had to be learning about Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid. I was very familiar with ABBA’s music before getting to Stockholm (admittedly due to the Mamma Mia movie), but didn’t know much about the people ABBA was comprised of. For instance, I had no clue that Agnetha was already famous in Sweden before joining ABBA, that Anni-Frid is actually Norwegian, or that the band was made up of two couples.

Amsterdam for the weekend

I ended this week in Amsterdam with about 15 people from my housing site. A few weeks ago, someone had pitched the idea of going to Amsterdam, and over time more and more people signed on. So on Friday afternoon, I left straight from my Neuro of Emotion lab for the airport with a bunch of my friends. I was also excited because my twin sister, Julia, met us there.

I had never been to the Netherlands, and boy was it an experience. The best way I can describe Amsterdam is beautifully chaotic. There was not a single moment in this city where I didn’t feel overwhelmed or overstimulated, but I appreciated the change in pace it provided. I’ve gotten into a routine in Sweden and while I do love this routine, I’m working on getting better at dealing with change lol. I had an amazing time visiting the tulips at Keukenhof, seeking out vegan cheese, touring the canals, and avoiding getting hit by bikers. The food was also really delicious in Amsterdam. I ate a lot of olives and Thai food (such a random combo wow), so I was over the moon.

I was also really grateful for the opportunity to visit the Anne Frank house while in Amsterdam. As a Jewish person, it was really important to me to make sure that I visited this museum. Even though I’m not personally religious, I’ve grown up surrounded by Jewish culture and appreciated the chance to learn more about the horrific reality that Anne Frank and other Jewish people lived through in the 1930s/1940s. I was able to tell my grandparents about my experience the following day. It was so meaningful to be able to talk to my grandparents about this experience, especially since I grew up hearing all of the stories that their relatives passed down about fleeing to the States in the 20th century.

A quick note about traveling while abroad— I know I mention traveling a lot in my blogs. Whether it be a weekend trip to visit my friend or a DIS-run study tour, I’ve featured quite a few trips. The last thing I want to encourage is spending every weekend abroad in a different city. I chose to study abroad in Stockholm so that I could learn what it’s like to live here. Taking off to a new place every five days would jeopardize that goal. I’ve only spent three weekends away from Stockholm (not including the designated Study Tour travel weeks), so don’t feel like you have to go on a million trips to make the most of your abroad experience. My favorite, and most meaningful, memories have been made right here in Stockholm. So find your go-to lunch spot, become a regular at a coffee shop, and appreciate the art installations found in Stockholm’s metro stations. You might not have another opportunity to really live here, don’t waste it!

Hope you all have a great week 🗣🗣🗣


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