I’ve been living in Linköping since the middle of August, so it’s been approximately two months now and time flies! It’s great to live in a new country and make new friends from all over the world. Before coming to Linköping to study Applied Ethology and Animal Biology, I went to Sweden quite often with my parents for holiday (but never to Linköping actually). Visiting Sweden on holidays created some expectations of the country, and after two months of living here I feel like I get around quite well in Sweden so it’s time to look back at those expectations.

When I think about Sweden and Scandinavia in general, nature is the first thing that pops into my mind. The nature is different in the north and in the south of Sweden, but it’s both nice. Near Linköping, you can find some great nature reserves.  Some recommendations that are on biking or hiking distance are Tinnerö and Vallaskogen. One nature reserve that I’ve visited is Omberg, which is a little bit further, but it’s worth the journey. I can say that the nature around Linköping lives up to my expectations, however I would like to go more often.

One concept that everyone should know in my opinion is ‘fika’, it’s a small break with coffee/tea and something sweet (kanelbulle is my favorite!). I didn’t realize it was such a big thing in student culture, but at Campus Valla you can get fika everywhere. We also have a lot of fika breaks during the lectures, which is always something to look forward to. Coffee is a big thing here in Sweden, when I mention that I don’t drink it I get some ‘oh really’ looks, but you’re never the only one that sticks to team tea. I expected life to be more hectic in Sweden, but it’s been a very nice and chill experience and that’s also due to the fika breaks.

My program at LiU is all about animals and their behavior, so it’s no surprise that there are some wildlife enthusiastics in my program! During holidays, we often went more to the north and saw a lot of reindeers, moose, and some cool birds of prey.  On the wildlife part, I had a little bit less expectations since Linköping is in the south of Sweden, however it didn’t disappoint me at all. Me and some friends went out with a car to look for wildlife and we saw birds of prey, moose, and lots of deers. Even driving around without seeing any wildlife is a great way to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and lakes in this country. I would recommend taking the car (you can rent one as well) and drive around the Swedish countryside, when you’re lucky you might even spot a moose!

I’ve never visited Linköping before coming here to study, and this was kind of weird since you’re going to spend two years in a city you’ve never been in. After two months, I can say that I really like the city. It’s not as big as like Gothenburg or Stockholm, but it has its charms. A big pro of living in a smaller city is that everything is close, and the bike is your answer to everything! You can bike to almost everything in the city within 15 minutes, even though biking back from the city center to Ryd is a lot of uphill biking so it often takes me a bit longer.

I’d love to know if you had any expectations before coming to Linköping or Sweden in general? And did they match the reality or was it a big shock when you arrived here?

Thanks for reading, see you soon! /Milou

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