Washing your clothes: the laundry room

To have you masters in another country means that you probably will live by yourself and it is also likely you gonna need to wash your clothes. When living in Ryd, or other accommodations provided by the Swedish housing companies, you will have access to a very well equipped laundry room.

For each building there is a assigned laundry facility you can access with the same key you use to enter your apartment. In some places you need to book a time to use the laundry but there are others you can just come in and use if there is free machines. In my neighborhood I don’t need to book, what can make things difficult once there are some days it looks like everyone decided to wash clothes at the same time.

The laundry is open every day between 06.00 and 24.00 and you don’t need to bring washing powder or softener once the machines already distribute it automatically and free of charge, as the washing itself. Yeah, I know, Sweden is great. Besides the washing machines, there are drying machines and a some “closets” where you can lock your clothes inside a warm vapor and let them drying, which is great because it works almost the same as a iron. And that’s it, there is no drama when washing your clothes in Sweden.

 

 

Living in a corridor room

Living in a corridor room has its perks. It is close to the university, you have your own bathroom and you get to live with other students like you. But, what is exactly a corridor room? That was one of my questions before coming to Sweden and the only thing I new for sure is that I would be living in one for the next year at least. But it is not that complicated. The thing is that is works as an building with different apartments, but with a shared kitchen and living room. In a corridor room, you will have 20m2 just for you and a private bathroom. All rooms have wardrobes and some are furnished and others are not, so be aware of what kind it is yours, I heard some people that only discovered this little detail once they had no bed to sleep in their first day in Sweden.

If you are coming with a contract made through the university you can chill, it will be furnished. Right now I’m living in Ryd, the most common area of student housing here in Linköping, probably where most international student end up. It is pretty cool in Ryd because you are very close to the university and to a mini services center, with supermarket, pharmacy and restaurants. Besides that there are great bus lines going around here that can take you to all important places.

I believe every corridor has its own dynamics, mine does not have so much party people, what fits me well. But I think it can vary a lot. Either way you will always have yours space and great facilities near you. Here are so pictures so you can see a little bit how is it inside a corridor room. It is a great quality of student life.

 

Finding Housing in Sweden

I don’t know if you know, but housing in Sweden is an issue. The demand is way higher than the offer and the prices are elevated. If you are a international student from outside Europe, the international office at LiU will set a room for you automatically so you don’t need to do anything at first. That was my case. The thing is that the leasing contract they give you is only valid for one year with no possibilities of renovation. So, if you masters is a 2 year program, as mine, you will for sure need to find another place to move in.

Given the difficulty that is to find accommodation, it is better that you understand the system as fast as you can. I didn’t take this recommendation so seriously and I wish I had. Here they have this queue system, where for each day you are registered you get a point and those with more points get the rooms. I took too much time to register and thought I would not get any offer. Thankfully I got a new room, but didn’t get to choose so much. Another option is to find some accommodation outside of those systems, with friends or in facebook groups, but they are more uncertain and possibly more expansive.

There are two main leasing companies, Studentbostäder and Heimstaden. In their website you can apply for different kinds of accommodation, being the most common for students the corridor rooms (that I will talk about it in my next post). Another tip is to not wait until the end of your contract to move out. The demand for rooms are lower during winter and hence it is easier to get an offer during this period. So hurry up and if you are planning to study in Sweden register as soon as possible for accommodation, you will thank me later.

Going around by train

Linköping is greatly located in Sweden when it comes to accessing other cities around Scandinavia! From the central station you can take busses or trains for all around the country and its neighbors. Besides the fast trains going and coming back from Stockholm in less than 2 hours, there is also the option of others capitals such as Oslo or Copenhagen. Norway’s biggest city is about 6 hours by train from here and Copenhagen only 3 in the fastest alternative.

To be so close to Copenhagen is especially nice once you can have another option of airport when planning your trips abroad. Tickets from there are sometimes cheaper than from Stockholm and if you plan ahead you can find trains at almost the same price, a very fair one and you get to go straight inside the airport what makes things even easier! The trip itself to Copenhagen is worth taken it, besides all the things you can se there the trails on you way there goes under the ocean, when it passes in the Øresund bridge, and you will have a amazing view from your window. In the website of the train company of Sweden you can search for and buy train tickets with student discounts. Linköping is close to everything, but not too close, what makes it just perfect.

The Swedish Institute Scholarship

If you are from a country outside Sweden you need to pay a tuition fee to have your studies here. The values for the courses can be challenging for some of us and thus a scholarship is a great option.

When I started to look for masters abroad I knew I needed a full scholarship once I had no means to support myself in another country. I was already interested in studying in Sweden since my semester in Norway as a undergrad. That was when I came across the Swedish Institute, a government fomenting agency that gives scholarships for students from selected countries. This year the scholarship changed a little bit from last year, but is is essentially the same. The scholarship includes: 

  •  – Full coverage of tuition fees 
  • –  A monthly extipend of 10.000 SEK (about 1.000 euros) 
  • –  A travel grant of 15.000 SEK
  • –  Be part of the Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL) 

Before I come to Sweden I had no idea what this Network meant, but it ended up being a great surprise. The NFGL is how the Swedish institute invests, supports and enhance our potential during and after the masters. Within this network you will meet your fellow colleagues from around the world, have the chance to participate and organize events in different topics and take part in study visits all around Sweden, so it is a great plus that should not be taken for granted. 

They have different categories of scholarships depending on your country, so you need to check your applicability. To apply you need to fulfill some requirements, such as: 

  • – Have at least 3.000 hours of working experience that must be proved (different activities can count as those) 
  • – Leadership experience that also needs to be proved, but it can be within your current position (it was my case)
  • – Two recommendation letters 
  • – A motivation letter

As I explained in another post, you apply for the scholarship in the Swedish Institute website after you have applied for admission in one of the eligible master’s programs via University Admissions. 

Swedes are very detailed in their instructions, so if you read the website carefully it is very possible that you won’t have any doubts, otherwise you can ask me anything, I know how it can be overwhelming.

Although it looks very difficult to get this scholarship, just show your true self in the application and trust your motivations. That was what I did and it worked out, can’t still believe sometimes!! So believe in yourself and who knows, next year might be you writing this blog.