Celine från Australien spenderar sitt utbytesår i Stockholm, och det finns flera anledningar till varför just Sverige blev landet hon valde för sitt år utomlands.
For those who don't know, "fika" is a coffee break where you can drink coffee, eat delicious foods and talk with friends. It is a typical Swedish routine. The best thing about fika, other than the amazing food, is that you can literally talk for hours without even realising. It is a casual and easy way to get to know people really well - something I think is very important as an exchange student!
2. The language
People say, "Why would you want to learn Swedish? You can only speak it in Sweden." But I say "Why not?" Wouldn't that be cool to know a language that only 9 million other people in the whole world can speak? Why not learn a language that is unique and uncommon? And plus, it sounds so beautiful! Swedes use a lot of expression and their sentences flow like a harmony. It really is like music to the ears.
3. Their perfect English
Sweden is the best country in the world when it comes to English as a second language. This means that you will be able to communicate well with almost whoever you meet. This makes it easier to express your feelings well, which is very important as an exchange student, especially when you're going through a tough time. (Obviously this only applies to English speakers, but I am assuming that if you are reading this article, you can speak English.)
4. You will gain a lot of independence
You will gain independence wherever you go on exchange to but I believe you'll gain a particularly large amount in Sweden. By nature, Swedes aren't typically outgoing and talkative with strangers. They will always be a nice and friendly face but if you want to break past that "Hi, how are you going?" stage, you will have to make an effort. This does not mean that Swedes aren't friendly at all. In fact, they are very warm, kind and make wonderful friends once you get to know them. I think this makes you value the friendship more once it eventuates because you know that they are true friends. In the mean time you gain a lot of independence and learn to really believe in yourself, and at the end you will have a new-found confidence in yourself. Meeting new people becomes a piece of cake.
5. Teenagers are given a lot of freedom
Swedish adults are very laid back and give their children a lot of freedom. This enables you to have lots of fun and not have to worry about living on a tight leash. With this comes a lot of responsibility to respect the trust they have placed in you, and not betray that trust. This also applies in schools, where you don't have to ask permission to go to the toilet and don't get in trouble for handing in an assignment a couple of days (or weeks) late. It's a perfect environment to learn to take responsibility for your own actions and do things because you know you need to do them, not because someone is telling you to.
6. Swedish society is so equal and fair
Swedes are very democratic and fair, especially when it comes to social issues. You will be accepted in Swedish society as long as you are a good person with good morals, no matter what your religion, ethnic background, gender or sexuality. Even if you are lucky enough to have never faced discrimination in these topics, it's a great feeling to be a part of such an open, accepting society and now have the desire to promote that type of society in your own country.
Läs Celines första blogginlägg här>>