8 Things I Love About Sweden

1. Fika: One of the things I love most about Sweden is the long-held tradition of the Swedish Fika. A Fika entails a group of people going to a coffee shop to grab a cup of coffee or a dessert, sitting down, and just talking. The whole purpose of a Fika is to forget about whatever is going on during the day and just to be present. I love this concept because it centers around being intentional with the people you are with. One of my favorite memories in Sweden is sitting with my friend Frida (pictured here), having a Fika with her and talking for hours.


2. Bike Friendly: Sweden is a very environmentally concious country. They are constantly aiming to lower their carbon footprint, so there has been a big push for increasing bike lanes in certain cities, making it easier for community members to bike wherever they need to go. I found these bike lanes to be incredibly convenient, especially when I didn’t want to pay for a taxi after having a few drinks in town with friends. Bikes are inexpensive, better for the environment than cars, and more fun to ride!


3. Chokladbullar: I have tasted many delicious desserts in Sweden, but my absolute favorite dessert is a Chokladballar (Chocolate balls). These are really easy to make, so if you are feeling in the baking mood I highly suggest clicking this link and trying them for yourself: https://thecookful.com/swedish-no-bake-balls-chokladbullar/. I promise you won’t regret it. (Here I am, happy as a clam, making Chokladballar with my favorite people) 


4. Sexually Free: One thing that I have noticed just from talking to young people in Sweden is that no one seems to care about the sexual decisions that other people make. In other parts of the world, people feel the need to make judgements about other people’s decisions. There is a refreshing sense of tolerance in Sweden that I appreciate more and more every time I visit.


5. The Subway: I have never been a huge fan of taking the subway because I usually find subways to be run-down, over-crowded, and quite dirty. The subway system in Sweden is nothing like the typical subway system that I just described. It is efficient, easy to use, and very clean. I genuinely enjoy taking the subway because I love admiring all of the work that went into building such a well-run and well-maintained subway system.


6. Social Standards: A common stereotype says that Swedes tend to keep to themselves in public. They don’t go out of their way to talk to strangers when they don’t need to. My Swedish friends have told me that they are more friendly with other Swedes, but I really enjoy the way people keep to themselves in public settings unless they have something important to say. I was fascinated by a culture that doesn’t value small talk, and I thought that it made public interactions more genuine the few times they did happen.


7. Beautiful Nature: Before I went to Sweden, I wrongly assumed that the country would be cold and snowy almost year-round with a pretty boring landscape. I could not have been more wrong. This country has lakes, rivers, mountains, and trees quite literally everywhere. Look to your left and you can see 300-year-old buildings, and look to your right and you can see tall, beautiful pine trees surrounded by bright, shining water.


8. The Education System: In Sweden, the government actually PAYS students to go school. Yep, Swedes don’t graduate college with crippling debt like us Augie students do. They take (relatively speaking) small loans with very low interest, and receive around 300 dollars a month for food, rent, clothing, ect. (Here is a photo of my friend Frida thriving at an 8:00 am lecture).