By Amaraizu Genius
Arrival Day Matters
You want to arrive one, two or more weeks before your studies start. This gives you the ample time to familiarize with your new environment. If you’re living in the school housing, it is best to arrive within the arrival days of the university. By arriving within this period, you can solve 20% or more of your needs without breaking a leg. The arrival days are organized to provide assist to new students and it is usually same week of orientation. During this period, expect to receive your housing key with ease, expect to make your first purchases in Sweden at ease and also make your first friends. I have written previously on this in an article “5 Things to Do before Your Arrival Day to Stockholm”.
Culture Shocks Are Real
You may think you have read so much about Swedish culture and life in Sweden that nothing will get to you as a surprise. That was exactly my case, but I still had so much surprises waiting for me. I remember entering the elevator and greeting everyone “Good Morning.” Well, no one responded. It was awkward at first, but now I know better. Nobody wants to disturb the silence enjoyed in an elevator, and not even greetings should disturb that.
On another note, there are culture shocks that have refused to change for me. I am still working on them though. First, I knew people prefer to be called by their first name and not by any title or by names out of some sort of respect. That is un-African for me to call an elder by their first name. Back in the day, I will be reprimanded if I did that anywhere in African soil. I still find it very awkward to call my professors by their first name. To make it easier and comfortable to me, I address them as Professor. That is fair to all concerned.
Some other shocks can cost money. I remember entering the store to buy groceries, and after my purchase, I saw some branded bags for packaging. I picked the big bag. Back in Nigeria, branded bags from supermarkets are free and a form of advert for the mall. I never imagined that I was going to pay for the bag that had the company advert boldly printed. But yes, in Sweden, you pay for the bag, or bring your own.