A job at last!

Posted in: jobs, Life in Sweden, Student Life on 23 April, 2018 by Rachel

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Last week, I walked into Norrköping’s brand new Nordic Wellness center and started talking with the girl who works there as she was processing my membership. We talked about music, cats, and then eventually we got into talking about jobs. I said I hadn’t found a part time job here in Sweden yet, but that I had stopped looking because I’m going back to the US over the summer and I didn’t think anyone would want to hire me for such a short period of time. But anyways, about 30 minutes after I left, she texted me saying “I found a job for you!”


Turns out her best friend manages a restaurant here in town that is desperately in need of a dishwasher. They’re cool with the fact that I will be leaving over the summer and that I can only really work weekdays. How serendipitous. So, I started my first shift yesterday and it was super fun, albeit tiring to stand for such a long time after not working for almost a year. I’m going back today for another shift.

The moral of this story is, no matter how long it takes, you CAN find a job here. Even though I speak Swedish, the girls I work with like speaking English with me. So I don’t think you’d have to speak Swedish to work at every restaurant here. Don’t give up!


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Just some piiiiictures!

Posted in: Allmän on 17 April, 2018 by Rachel

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I feel like I’ve been writing a lot of serious blog posts recently, so today how about I just share some pictures I’ve taken in the last few weeks! I’m hoping to go to Malmö for a weekend next month, so tune in later for some pictures from down there. It’s spring in Sweden and back home in Minnesota, they just had a blizzard which amounted in 46 cm of snow…which was on top of the 30 they had gotten a week earlier :O so…I definitely am glad to be in Sweden right now. Temps around 17c (60ish F) and the sun is out until 8:15 pm. Literally 5 hours longer than in January.


Me and my friend Carolina at the Gaffa Priset awards in Norrköping back in February

If you want to get your hair done in Norrköping, I suggest Södlings! Find them on instagram, Eli is amazing.

A view out the tram in Gothenburg


Took this picture while my friends were getting blizzarded upon in Minnesota because I am a savage friend.


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Applying for your Residence Permit

Posted in: Ethnic and Migration Studies, Residence Permits, Student Life on 11 April, 2018 by Rachel

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Hey everyone! Congratulations to those of you who have been admitted to a program at LiU. This time last year was so exciting for me, I know exactly how you must be feeling.

Once you have been admitted and accepted your place, go to Migrationsverket.se and apply for your student residence permit. Remember to have everything you need ahead of time, because you cannot upload additional documents after you submit your application, and if you forget something the process will be delayed. The waiting period is about 2-3 months.

You will need to be able to show that you have at least 90,090 sek per year that you will be studying, and the amount must be in your bank account, not a shared account or in the form of credit. If you have a scholarship, you can submit proof of that to compensate for part of the money you need to have. All of the information is made clear on Migrationsverket, and you can back out before submitting if you realize you don’t have what you need. Just remember, start early so that if you are missing something you don’t have a delay!


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Field trip to Stockholm

Posted in: Ethnic and Migration Studies, Student Life, Traveling in Sweden on 9 April, 2018 by Rachel

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I’m back! Sorry for the delay, the day after our class trip to Stockholm I went back to Minnesota for the week to visit friends and family over Easter. I’m now back, refreshed, and ready to start our class on EU Migration Policies. Our trip to Stockholm was very fun and out of our normal routine. First, we went to Norsdiska Museet (The Nordic Museum) to learn a little bit about the Sami people (Native nomadic people of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia) and see the exhibit there. Unfortunately this part of our trip was too short and I think a lot of us intend to go back for a longer visit. Luckily being in Norrköping makes a weekend trip to Stockholm very convenient and easy.

Also worth noting, the Museum has a lot of other activities and exhibits, including an Aurora Borealis exhibit that was very tempting as well.


From the Nordic Museum, we went to Tensta, Stockholm’s poorest suburb. The idea of the trip was to show us how segregated some parts of Sweden still are, and it affected a lot of us to see the contrast from central Stockholm. We went to Tensta’s art museum and took a tour around the city as well. Finally, we went to the Kvinnocenter, or Women’s Center, which is aimed at helping migrant women assimilate into society after moving to Sweden. With over 200 members, the Kvinnocenter holds dinners, assists women in learning Swedish and navigating the confusing Swedish bureaucratic system (which is more confusing when you cannot speak Swedish), and even childcare at times. It was great to see that a center like this exists for women who might not feel comfortable expressing their concerns or issues in a mixed room. Women from over 20 countries are members of the Kvinnocenter, which even has booked 2 hours a week at a local pool so that the women can have women-only swim time. This is great for women who cannot swim with men because of their religious beliefs, which can make it difficult for them to get out and exercise or meet people (so we were told, I don’t want to sound assuming).


Overall it was a powerful and very eventful day. Seeing Tensta and learning about life on the outskirts of society inspired a lot of us to try to make change. I think it’s important to be reminded every once in awhile that waiting for others to do something is not enough. When I begin my internship in November, I will take what I learned from Tensta’s Kvinnocenter and try to organize similar events in Gothenburg to help bring migrant women together.

I only took pictures at the Nordiska Museet, it didn’t feel right to walk around Tensta taking photos like a tourist.




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Nu är det äntligen vår!

Posted in: Ethnic and Migration Studies, Student Life on 20 March, 2018 by Rachel

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Happy spring!

Sweden is beginning to warm up, the snow is finally melting, and the sun is out longer as spring approaches. Here in Norrköping, temperatures are finally reaching a cozy 32F/0c on average, so the long walks I take with “my” dogs are much more pleasant. You can even see some of the braver Swedes having fika outside, though I don’t think I’m quite to that point of excitement yet.

Next week, I’ll fly home to Minnesota to visit friends and family, and to see how much my parents’ new puppy has grown. But before then, the entire first year Ethnic and Migrations Studies program (32 of us) will take a field trip to Stockholm for a day filled with museum visits and discussions on Migration in Sweden. The current course, which I wrote a more detailed post about already, is focused on race,ethnicity, and migration as portrayed in culture, media, and the arts. It’s quite different from the more historical/factual courses we have taken up to this point, but very interesting.

Keep posted for pictures from Thursday’s Stockholm excursion!


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Rachel Bulgach

Rachel Bulgach
Hi! My name is Rachel and I am from Minnesota. I am studying Ethnic and Migration studies at Linköping University, campus Norrköping. Life in Sweden so far is full of challenges, but it is worth it! Take a look at my blog :)

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