I’m currently at the airport, waiting to board my flight to Amsterdam. Mixed feelings. I’m extremely excited to go back home, bike around Amsterdam and give everyone I’ve been missing the biggest hugs. But going home also means I’m leaving my new home for a while. Because Stockholm and the people here are my home now too. So yes, mixed feelings. But what better place to write a blog post and look back on the past weeks than on an airport, officially closing the first semester of school?
The last update ended with me coming back from Riga and having a week off. One of the things I did in that week was go to a JP Cooper concert together with my classmate Steve! Going to a concert was on my bucket list, because I think it’s such a good way to feel like a local and do a non-touristy activity in the city. And this concert was nothing short of amazing. The opening act was incredible (dare I say, better than JP Cooper?) and the venue super cosy. Definitely planning on going to another concert while I’m here.
November 2nd – 4th
A day later, Maud and Katja arrive in Stockholm. My first visitors since I’ve moved! They arrive Thursday night, so after some late night conversation, we fall asleep. The next two days are filled with walking around the city, eating loads of food (of course), taking pictures and having ‘fikas’. We also go to Fotografiska, forever one of my favourite museums. For a more extensive and hilarious overview of the weekend, you can find Maud’s vlog here.
What usually isn’t too much of on the blog is school work. Mostly because it’s not that interesting to write about, or take photos of. However, it is what I’m doing most of my time in Stockholm. A large part of the school work is done in teams, a new one every period. And for a team to work well together, you need to do fun things together. And what’s better than sharing a few bottles of wine and a home made dinner?
November 24th – 26th
It’s happening. The entire family, and I mean entire family, is arriving in Stockholm. Incredibly excited to see and hug everyone again, but also having a slight panic attack thinking about having to host 18 people at the same time. But everything turned out great! We celebrated my birthday early at a restaurant with the most amazing Swedish meatballs. We visited my school and sang our heart out at the ABBA museum. We had a big Italian dinner and walked around Gamla Stan. It was amazing and I still can’t believe everyone came all this way to see me. A weekend to remember!
It’s my birthday! I don’t have any big plans, because it’s a Wednesday and we have a huge amount of school work to do. I decide to invite everyone to go for a beer at Hirschen (the bar close to school) after class. When I get there, there aren’t that many people present. Just as I’m about the text the class whether they still want to join for a drink, I get blindfolded and put into a taxi. Turns out they organised an amazing surprise party back at the building I live in. I’m completely surprised, pretty close to crying happy tears. I shoot tons of polaroids and hug everyone about four times. What a birthday. And for all classmates reading this, thank you so much. You guys are incredible and I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have all of you as my friends.
It’s December and Stockholm is getting Christmassy. Together with a few classmates, we decide to visit the Christmas market in Gamla Stan. We get a glögg (Swedish version of gluhwein), walk around a little and discover that we don’t need much time to see the entire market. It’s small, very small. Oh well, it looks pretty! After a while, we need something to warm us up, so we drink some hot chocolate at a cafe nearby. Best hot chocolate I’ve had in a long time. So, a successful day after all.
December 8th – 10th
As mentioned a little while ago, I’m a digital ambassador for Study in Sweden. And as part of the ‘job’, we meet up with everyone four times a year. This time the meeting is Umeå, which means I get to go on my first trip in Sweden! I’m a tiny little sad in the beginning, because going away for the weekend means I’m missing a goodbye party and a big banquet back in Stockholm. But I also realise that not everyone gets the opportunity to just travel through Sweden and watch a little Mamma Mia on the plane to cheer me up. The next two days are filled with exciting things, like seeing all the other ambassadors again and making videos. Not to mention getting to see how pretty Umeå is!
Turns out the surprises didn’t stop on the 29th. As birthday gift, Luca, Michael, Coco, Sebastian and Kathy brought me along on a birthday morning and afternoon. Yes, I am celebrating my birthday for almost an entire month by now. First we go for brunch at Greasy Spoon, the place that arguably has the best eggs in Stockholm. And then, highlight of my day, we go ice skating! It’s snowing, we’re dancing and ice skating at the same time and I cannot stop smiling. I live in Stockholm, get to study at an amazing school and am surrounded by some of the most incredible people. It sounds so corny, but how did I get this lucky?
December 12th – 14th
Christmas is coming closer and people are packing their bags and going home to see their family. We try to see each other as much as possible by organising dinners, watching movies and going for drinks. It’s gonna be weird not seeing these people for almost a month, especially since we’ve been seeing each other practically every single since we’ve arrived. What’s even more strange, is that all second year students are not gonna be there when I get back. Everyone is either going back to their home school or starting their exchange semester. It’s all part of the programme and there’s nothing you can do about it, but it’s a little sad for sure. Can’t believe the first semester is over, time flew by.
And since the writing of this blog post took a little longer than I had to wait at the airport, I’m now finishing this one back in The Netherlands. Ready to celebrate Christmas with my family, hug my friends in Amsterdam and Poeldijk and soak up some sun in Spain. But not before I finish two group assignments, a take-home exam, a reflection paper and an internship video interview. You can leave Stockholm School of Economics for a while, but it never leaves you…