9 Things Studying in Sweden Taught Me in 2020

1. I learned how to be alone

Being in a new country where I don’t know anyone and then later switching to isolating zoom classes, I have spent time learning how to be alone. Aloneness does not have to be a negative state of being but rather a peace being with yourself. Being in Sweden has taught me how to be okay with being alone and enjoy the presence of my own self.

Campus Norrköping with waterfall in front
Campus Norrköping // Photo: Brooke Boers

2. I Learned How to Make the Best of a Bad Situation

When I had the idea to study in Sweden I didn’t imagine that I would be taking online classes and not being able to travel or go out with friends. When I was accepted, I didn’t imagine that we would still be in this situation in January 2021. While living in Sweden, I have had to make the best of a bad situation and have had to find new ways to go on this new adventure.

Picture of buildings and lake
Norrköping // Photo: Brooke Boers

3. I Learned How to Be More Brave

I remember the last 24 hours living in the United States and preparing to move across the world I was paralyzed with fear. Although it was my dream to study and I was excited, I was also scared beyond belief. Moving to a foreign country where don’t know the language and people is easily the most bold thing I have ever done. Sweden has helped me to become more brave by simply being here.

Picture of red house
Gamla Linköping // Photo: Brooke Boers

4. I Worked on Positivity

Being in a world wide pandemic while living on limited means as a student it can be hard not to be negative about the situation. Living amongst unprecedented times it is important to be positive and I think that living in Sweden has helped me think more positive. 

Picture of trees and water
Åby // Photo: Brooke Boers

5. I Learned How to Become a Student Again

Prior to entering my masters program I have had not been a student since 2017. It had been a long time since I studied, wrote papers, or worked on group projects. It has been an adjustment to get back into the groove of being a student. Overall, it has been a great experience and I have found that I do well with the Swedish education system. 

Picture of picnic table in a garden
Norrköping // Photo: Brooke Boers

6. Friends and Family are All That Matters

In a year full of pain and loss and living over 4,000 miles away, being in Sweden has taught me that friends and family are all that matters. Even though we are far apart, living in Sweden has actually helped strengthen my relationship with friends and family and I don’t take them for granted. 

a street with small colourful houses
Söderköping // Photo: Brooke Boers

7. I Can Do Hard Things

Moving thousands of miles away, entering a masters program, enduring a pandemic, learning a new language as an adult, and making new friends is no easy task. Being in Sweden and adjusting to my new life has taught me that I can do hard things and THRIVE!

Brooke sitting alongside a lake surrounded by trees
Åby // Photo: Brooke Boers

8. It is Okay/Good to Ask For Help

During a hard year and a year of adjustment to a new country, I have had to rely on help from friends, family, and total strangers. It isn’t easy to ask for help but it is okay and often good to reach out for it. We can’t do this life alone and we deserve to ask for help. 

Picture of snowy building
Norrköping // Photo: Brooke Boers

9. Sweden is My Home

Finally, even though I have only been in Sweden for 5 months, I know deep down in my heart that Sweden is my home. I can’t imagine living anywhere else and I am so grateful to be here! 

Brooke

Written by Brooke

29 Jan 2021