“I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need, if I die by four o’clock.” Henny Youngman
I knew that here the life was more expensive than in Italy. But I still didn’t have the time to realise how much more expensive it was. (After having lived almost 9 months in this country, I have to admit that there are a few ‘luxuries’ that are far far more expensive than in Italy, but, overall, if you work here, you can manage to survive more than decently 🙂 ).
One positive thing about my new room was that I had a wardrobe built in it, so here it was something less that I needed to buy. Together with my new really kind Swedish flatmate, V., I paid a visit to Ikea the very first day (I mean, it was actually the second, since I had arrived around 10 pm the previous night) of my staying.
I didn’t need much stuff to begin with, just a bed with a pillow, a table and a chair. I did consider to sleep on the floor for a while, but after the first night, I’ve just decided that a bed was needed. You need to sleep well to live (and consequently think and study) well, as much as you need to eat well to live (and consequently think and study) well.
Gosh, once we started looking at the prices of the single beds in Ikea, my hearth bit doubled in a few seconds.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney.
When I first arrived to my new apartment, the good news was that it was furnished. The bad one was that the whole apartment was furnished, but my room. I mean, my room was literally empty. When I had arrived – after 2-hours train, 30 minutes bus, almost 3 hours flight and another 2 hours train – there was a mattress on the floor and a box full of food and stuff that I had sent from my previous location, London. So, thanks to the Royal Mail (God bless the Queen and the Royal Mail) I had something to survive for the first couple of weeks.
I was already counting how much money I could spend on furbishing my room without finishing my savings in a week and it turned out that it’s difficult, but not impossible. You just need to keep calm.
“I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.” – Albert Einstein
In my opinion, the campus is huge. I mean, my University in Italy (Genoa) was big, but all the buildings were situated in different points of the city and you did not have what you call a ‘Campus’. Here the Campus is hugely built in one sole area (the Faculty of Medicine in the City Hospital is the only exception), with every building that seems to have been built for the students, with bookable rooms for group works or study groups, with dozens of computer rooms with any kind of computers and printers, with dozens of tables, chairs, sofas and armchairs where students can socialised or study, with a working air conditioning unit in the summer and a working heating system in the winter.
When I had been accepted to my programme (around April 2012), the first e-mail that I got from the Uni suggested me to start as soon as possible to look for a place where to stay in Linköping. After a month I had found what I was looking for on the University web-site (! – yeah, students have their own notice board for any need!), a 3-rooms apartment to share with a Swedish student. An empty room in a quarter of the city with an unutterable name (Skäggetorp) was waiting for me.
P.S.: I am not following a real chronological order of my experience, I know, but thinking about what preceded and followed my arrival to Sweden after this ‘long’ time (it has been already 16 months!), the memories fight with each other and pop out with a random order.
P.S. 2: As you may have already noticed, I like quotes.
“Audendum est: fortes adiuvat ipsa Venus”
(“Be bold: Venus herself aids the stout-hearted” – Tibullus)
I remember that, when I first came here and spent a few weeks at the Uni, I had realised that the University here was… as I’ve always dreamt it. Open 24/7, possibility to borrow up to 50 (yes, ladies and gentlemen, FIFTY!) books per time from the library, expert teachers speaking an incredibly good English, bikes everywhere, weeks of classes, lectures and activities to welcome the new students to a new system, strict control during the exams and severe punishments for the cheaters, professors thanking you an infinite number of times per day for having chosen their University, teachers that invite you to contact them via e-mail, phone, mobile, in person for any need, answering your e-mails in less than 24 hours and that threat you as a valuable resource for the future.
This was my first impression and as the time passed I couldn’t help falling in love with my new University.
I’ll try to tell my story, step by step, about how you can move to Sweden to follow a dream, with a few savings but always smiling thinking about the future.