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Memorable Sunday evening in Stockholm, gathering cherished memories for the student life in the city

Cheers to the unforgettable moments we've created! On October 8, 2023, the City of Stockholm rolled out the red carpet for international students at the prestigious Stockholm's City Hall, creating an atmosphere for friendship and cultural exchange. The well-coordinated event not only provided a fantastic platform for us, the vibrant community of international students from Södertörn University representing a multitude of nations, to connect but also to foster lasting friendships and share our diverse experiences with peers from across the globe. It was a collective celebration, uniting students pursuing bachelors, masters, and exchange programs from nearly 13 universities in Stockholm.

Reception at City hall

The Welcome Ceremony was truly enchanting. We were introduced to the heart of Stockholm and its iconic City Hall, a masterpiece with its spire featuring the golden Three Crowns. Its story from 1923 and its different uses over the years was truly attractive. This architectural gem, a prime example of national romanticism, was crafted from eight million bricks and designed by the visionary architect Ragnar Östberg. In the meantime, students from Stockholm Academic Forum warmly welcomed us through heartfelt speeches, generously sharing their experiences while we enjoying in the delightful Swedish fika. I even had the privilege to engage in meaningful conversations with Master's students from the medical university, Karolinska Institutet.

Our journey then led us to the Golden Hall (Swedish: Gyllene salen), a banqueting hall within Stockholm City Hall. Stretching 44 meters in length, it earned its name when its walls were decorated by mosaic designs created by the artist Einar Forseth on a proposal by the City Hall architect Ragnar Östberg. The hall is best known as the location of the ball after the annual Nobel Banquet in the City Hall's Blue Hall. While visiting, we delved into our feelings about Sweden, university life, and the adequate balance between academia and the unique experiences that enrich our student journey. A fellow student thought reminded us, "Missing an exam gives us a second chance with a re-exam, but missing a party means that moment won't come around again." A sentiment that resonated with each one of us.

Our evening continued at the Nobel Prize Museum, a stone's throw away from City Hall. Here, international students had the privilege to trace the transformative changes of the 20th century through the lens of Nobel laureates and the visionary Alfred Nobel himself. We explored the brilliance of over 900 creative minds, showcased through captivating short films, original artifacts, and cutting-edge computers. The evening concluded with an interactive quiz on the profound legacy of the Nobel Prizes, with every international student enthusiastically participating.

As I reflect on that memorable Sunday evening spent in Stockholm, I can't help but feel grateful for the cherished memories etched into my student life in this vibrant city. Here's to the City of Stockholm, a gracious host to our international journey!

About the author: Shehara Wedeha Pathirana is an International Student Ambassador at Södertörn University. She comes from Sri Lanka and is studying for her Master’s in Economics at Södertörn University. She is passionate about inspiring and raising the aspirations of international students through her student life in Stockholm.

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