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4 Things That Surprised Me About Sweden

Looking back over the last few months I have spent in Sweden it has been full of laugh, joy, excitements, surprises, hard work, ups and downs. In comparison with 10 months ago, I feel much more at home, relaxed, and comfortable. However, there are still many things that can surprise me.

Vibrant Cities:

If you go through the blog posts on the Study in Sweden, you’ll find many information about different cities in Sweden. What does every Swedish city have in common? Despite their differences, there are always various ways to enjoy the city life whether you are living in a small town such as Norrköping, Jönköping, Uppsala, Lund or big cities like Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg.One thing I love the most in Sweden is that people like to go out and hang out with friends, family and colleagues. Especially on weekends, you’ll see restaurants, bars, and cafes full with people enjoying a nice and cozy evening or fun and energetic night! 

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Great Food & Sweets

I remember the time when I talked with my friends as to what kind of food they eat in Sweden. It didn’t take long for me to realize that food variety in Sweden is huge. Swedish food is basically based on meat, fish, mashed potato, lingonberries, pickled herring, crispbread… Besides traditional Swedish food, you can easily find wide range of international food such as burgers, taco, pasta, pizza, salad, falafel and kebab.

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I have always a sweet tooth. Dessert are crucial! I have been amazed by the variety of desserts in Sweden. Cookies, pastries, waffle, pannkakor (pancake), semla (cream filled bun), kanelbulle (cinnamon bun), princess cake, kladdkaka (sticky chocolate cake) and more! 

Swedish Culture

The midsummer celebrations take place in June, on the longest day of the year. This is a day filled with parties and dancing around the traditional maypole that is decorated with birch leaves and wild flowers. Midsummer and Christmas are the most important celebrations in Sweden. As the summer draws to an end, crayfish parties with snapps and singing are very popular. In the lead up to Christmas there are the Lucia celebrations, where processions of boys and girls in white gowns holding candles charm the crowd with beautiful songs. Christmas is celebrated on 24 December.

Lucia celebration with a lucia choir

SWISH

Maybe, you’ve already heard Sweden is very close to be the first cashless society. There are many shops completely cash free. If I am planning to go another country I always consider to have some cash. However, things are a little different in Sweden and Swish is an actual proof of it. It’s practical, easy to use and fast. But what exactly is Swish? It’s a mobile payment app that you can transfer and receive money. Swish comes in with a magical combination of the following three; a Swedish bank account, BankID and a Swedish telephone number. Here comes another question. What is BankID? BankID is an electronic identification system very commonly used in Sweden.

Trying to split the check after eating out with friends? Make it easier. Somebody from the group will offer to pay it and the rest will say: “Thanks! I’ll Swish you.”

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