The last five weeks have flown by and all of a sudden I’m back in New York minus two wisdom teeth.
So obviously I can’t cover everything I’ve done since my study tour in London, but I can tell you for sure that I made the most of my last month in Stockholm. Ugh, but watch me try to cover it all anyway…
- Belgrade, Serbia and Krakow, Poland
- Alright, obviously this is way too much to cover in a bullet-point. BUT over Thanksgiving break I went to visit my best friend from college for a couple days in Belgrade. Everyone was like ?? why are you going there? Which made me realize how important it is to go to countries in Eastern Europe and learn who and what’s happening in other parts of the world. My best friend, Ellie, and her peers did brilliant work there, learning about the complicated politics of the area and truly helping to change the world.
- Then we went to Krakow together mainly to visit Auschwitz. We’re both Jewish so it was an important trip for both of us and we felt lucky to be able to do it together. Won’t get into that further here, but it was a very special experience. We also visited the Salt Mines in Wieliczka, the Jewish Museum, a Museum of Modern Art, The Jewish Quarter, the cemetery, and a castle.
- Karaoke in Sollentuna
- Honestly, enough said. The pendeltåg broke down, giving us an excuse to explore our seemingly less than exciting neighbourhood. We ended up at a local pub with an eclectic mix of people and sang our hearts out to Fergalicious (yes, I know the whole rap).
- Baking tasty vegan treats and enjoying cozy company
- Madi’s birthday+vegan sweet potato brownie cake=enough said.
- (Okay, maybe also cheesy Christmas movies, candles, Ethiopian food [thank you Zena] and deep conversations added to our mysigt Stockholm winter).
- Concert and Art Opening
- Estonia cruise
- Zena and I went on a three day cruise to Estonia! You board at 5pm, travel over night, arrive in the morning, board the ship again at 5pm and return over night. It was magical (except when a water bottle fell on Zena’s computer)—but MOVING ON….
- Cafe/restaurant hopping
- Photos all vegan at Sarah’s Art and Coffee, My Vegina (the best), Greasy Spoon, and Café Systrarna Andersson
Notes/Tips for future students
- Make the most of your time
- Go out and do things! Its important to take time to yourself and do all the necessary self-care things to stay healthy and happy. But avoid the superfluous time alone in your apartment. This experience has taught me that—whether abroad in Europe or at home in school—it’s all a once in a lifetime experience. SO LIVE IT. With that being said…
- Take care of yourself and don’t stress about doing ALL THE THINGS
- Yes, that means you don’t have to travel every weekend and maybe shouldn’t.
- I watched so many people freak out about “making the most” of their study abroad experience. Which is honestly why I stayed a little more on the conservative side. Just because you’re across the pond doesn’t mean the same rules don’t apply. You’re still a human being. You need to eat and sleep and exercise and go through all the mundane maintenance that life requires. Otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy the rest.
- No need for drama
- There will always be those people who are stuck in high school. (Pretty sure that’s still true no matter how old you get). But you don’t need to play along—especially not while abroad. It’s four months and you’ll never see the people you don’t want to see again. So don’t let anyone get you down or dictate your time abroad.
- Transitions are hard! Respect that.
- Whether it’s traveling to Sweden, the smaller trips while abroad, or coming home—it’s a lot on the body, mind, and spirit! So once again, take care of yourself and have compassion.
- Honestly, coming home was way more of a shock than I ever anticipated. One day, I’m in my apartment, cooking dinner, taking my commute, going to school, getting fika with my friends. The next I’m in New York with my family. I started an entire life for myself in a new place and all of a sudden its just over. What!?!?!? Craziness!!!
My study abroad experience has definitely been transformative. I know, cliché—but it’s true! And I’ve made wonderful friends who I plan to keep in my life for at least awhile 😉
Maybe to add to my list of tips, let go of any ideas of control and try to just go with the flow. This is a completely unique experience and you can’t plan out every moment of it or predict how it’s going to go. It’s just going to go. That’s all.