Swedish dictionary – Swish

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Swish mobile app screenshot.

Sweden is famous for (almost) being a cash-free country. Here, all shops and restaurants take credit card payments without any minimal amounts. Even on the Christmas Market, all the stores were taking the card. However, credit card is not the only way to pay without cash. Most of the time, Swedes use also Swish, a mobile-app which allows you to transfer money easily.

How does it work?

Besides owning a smartphone, in order to get Swish, you need:

  1. A Swedish bank account
  2. A Mobil Bank-ID

In other words, you obviously need to have a personal number. Once you have installed the app, it will guide you into linking your bank account and your phone number to your Swish account (it is pretty easy).

Swish? What for?

Once the app is all ready to be used, it is very useful. Indeed, you won’t have to carry cash anymore in case you need to give money back to your friends who paid you a beer in Flamman or got you a coffee during your last fika. All you need to do is enter their phone number and fill in the amount you want to transfer to their bank account. Of course, they also need to own a Swish bank account. It is so common in Sweden, that you will often hear the words: “I can just Swish you”. Pretty cool, right?

 

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Swedish toolbox – How to get a bank account

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Photo: Unsplash/rawpixel

This week I finally received my new Swedish credit card! I can finally pay in Swedish crowns everywhere I go, and that is pretty useful given the amount of fees certain banks take for every payment you do. However, it is complicated to get a Swedish bank account. But I am determined to explain how you can get one.

1. Get a personal number

First, it is necessary (not required but really easier) to get a personal number – I explained how to get one here. You can definitely get a bank account without any personal number, but I don’t know how to do it,  so I will stick to my experience. Worth noting: I also waited to get my Swedish ID Card, before beginning the process (I will explain how to get one in a later post).

2. Get an appointment at the bank

This is the tricky part. I personally went to three banks to get an appointment in November, and they all inly had appointments in… January. Thus, I really advise you to begin the process really early after arriving in Sweden. I finally opened my bank account in Swedbank, but other offers for students are available in SEB or Handelsbanken. Some banks are also online, such as ICA Bank (but I never tested it).

3. Create your Mobil Bank-ID

Once you have opened your bank account – usually it takes you 30min at the bank and you have to wait for your turn since dozens of people have an appointment at the same time – you can create your Mobil Bank-ID. Swedes all have a Mobil Bank-ID directly linked to their bank account, it allows them to identify in a more secure way. The 6 digits code allows you to unlock your bank application, to pay taxes or to use Swish.

4. Get your credit card & code

Once you’ve done all previous steps, the bank will send you your card and code by mail within a week. Then, you are all set!

 

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Shopping in Linköping – Where to buy second-hand

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Photo: Unsplash/Lauren Fleischmann

My 2018 resolution was to shop clothes second-hand, both to reduce my expenses and my ecological footprint. In 2019 I decided to keep this commitment and I have been looking for ways to stick to my promise. Thankfully, many ways to buy second-hand exist in Linköping and in Sweden, in general.

Shops

One of my favorite shops in Linköping is Myrorna. It is a second-hand shop where it is possible to buy ice-skates, as well as dresses or furniture for low prices. Whenever I need to buy a new piece of clothes I go there first. Another second-hand shop is held by the Red Cross. However, I have only been there once. Anyway, both of these shops are cheap and second-hand, which allows you to buy low-price clothes and reduce your ecological footprint.

Internet

Another way to buy second-hand in Linköping is to check the Internet. As I have mentioned before, Blocket.se is one of the best platforms to do so. It is easy to get in contact with users all over Sweden and get good prices. I actually never bought anything on this website, but it is my first reflex whenever I need something. Otherwise I used Facebook Marketplace to buy both my bike and my guitar, which is also a good way to get second-hand stuff!

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Perks of Swedish winter – Ice skating in Linköping

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Ice-skating in Linköping. Photo: Marta Herrero.

 

I could not write anymore last week, due to a problem with my computer. But now I am back, and I am able to tell you more about Swedish winter. One thing you want to try during winter in Sweden is definitely ice-skating. I tried it last Wednesday and it was so much fun!

Where to get ice-skates

To go ice-skating, you first need… ice-skates, that’s right. I bought some in Myrorna, which is a second-hand shop in Linköping’s city center. They cost me 100 kronor (approximately 10 euros). You can also find some on Blocket.se or in some second-hand dedicated Facebook groups.

However, it is possible to rent some in Campus Hallen, the gym located on campus. There, you only have to chose your size and pay 40 kronor (around 4 euros) to rent them for the day. And if you do not feel comfortable skating for the first time or if you are worried to fall down, helmets are also available.

The ice-ring

The ice-ring is located just outside campus, behind Campus Hallen. The access is totally free, and it is not rare to see families or experienced ice-skaters enjoying the spot! On the day I went there with my friends, the weather was not really sunny and it had snowed a lot before, but we still managed to spend a good time!

I find ice-skating super relaxing and fun, and can only recommend it since it is such an easy activity to get to do in Linköping!

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End of the semester – Dancing in Flamman!

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Photo: Unsplash/Modesta Žemgulytė

 

The semester is ending this week, and everyone is coming back from Christmas break for exams. However, I don’t have any of them. I only had to submit my final assignment before Friday – which I already did.

End of the semester also means some students are leaving after their exchange semester. This comes with a lot of farewell parties, where we all meet again after weeks apart and have to say goodbye at the same time – kind of sad.

Flamman, “the flame”

That’s how last Saturday my friends and I decided to go to Flamman, which is one of the best place to party in Linköping when you are a student. Only students can attend it, so you need to bring your LiU card in order to prove you are one. Then you have to pay the entrance fee, which is pretty cheap – 60 crowns (around 6 euros).

It is usually kind of crowded, and you might wait a bit long to enter. The best you can do is come early, around 11pm. The club closes at 3am, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the music. Usually, it goes from international hits to Swedish classics. Perfect for a Saturday night out!

 

 

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