Last year I decided to spend a semester abroad in Sweden, but what I did not know was that it would change my life. I made the choice to go to Sweden to gain experience for my life and see other places in the world. I chose Sweden because of the ice hockey tradition which Sweden has and my friend and I are in love with ice hockey, but I also favored Sweden because of its fabulous landscape.
It was 9 January 2014 when my friend, Jürgen, and I took a plane to Borås in Sweden to experience a life changing semester abroad. It was the first time I had to be fully responsible for myself and that in another country with another language, culture and many different people with different attitudes to life. That gave me another view of the world.
In the first few weeks, it took some time to feel at home but as we started to meet new people and get to know our surroundings, it became easier and we started to feel at home. Beside the courses which we had to attend, the university organized many events and that is also how my love story in Sweden began.
You are all familiar with the Erasmus baby statistic and a lot of students find their love during the Erasmus period. Yes, it also happened to me. It was on a so called “Tandem” where I met Stina, my girlfriend, for the first time. Tandem allows you to learn a language from a native speaker in exchange for your native language. As you can guess, I was sitting at the German table and that is where it all began. Meeting Stina, on top of all the other amazing experiences, made my stay abroad something really special. I could experience the real Swedish way of life and discover parts of Sweden I might not have seen otherwise.
Furthermore, during my stay in Sweden I got to know so many new people from all over the world. I lived in a student home with my friend. After a few weeks, we soon had our own family. We found new friends and we did a lot together. We cooked, we talked, we laughed, we traveled and we had a lot of fun.
If I had not made the choice to go to Sweden, I would not have seen so many different places. We traveled to Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and we were in the north of Sweden, in Lapland, where we could see the truly fascinating northern lights.
But now back to my love story. After we first met, it took a while before we met again. I do not know if it was destiny or just luck that I met Stina, but it was the best thing that could have happened to me. After a while we got together and had a great time. For one month, I could live with Stina, in Uddevalla. But there was one thing that was always had on my mind: the time will come when I have to go home.
The time came and it was hard to say goodbye, but knew it was not forever. I knew Stina would make a semester in Torino, so it was not so far away from my place and we managed to see each other once in a while and stay together. Consequently, I also briefly enjoyed the Italian Erasmus experience. Again, I could see something new, which I would not have seen if I had not met Stina.
After a long search, I also managed to find an internship in Sweden and so I am again in Sweden with Stina. I know it will not get easier but I know that it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
So take the step and go abroad. It is well worth a try. I have never regretted my choice because no one can take this experience from me, experiences which have enriched my life both personally and professionally.
Final year Business Management student