Carolin @ Stockholm

Host University:
Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), Stockholm, Sweden
Spring 2018

Organisation:

  • Visa and insurance: Not necessary for European citizens
  • Application process: Very simple, SSE will contact you with all the important information, just make sure you don’t miss any deadlines (e.g. for housing application)

For more information visit: https://www.hhs.se/en/education/study-at-sse/global-opportunities/student-exchange/incoming-exchange-students/

Accommodation:
I lived in the student housing offered by SSE, which I would highly recommend as it is (comparatively) cheap and there’s always something going on. All exchange students receive an email 2-3 months prior to starting their exchange with the information about how to apply for student housing. Application is possible for Saltis (right next to uni) or Lappis (15min bus ride to uni) and for either single or double rooms. Due to the excellent location right next to uni and very close to the city center, I would recommend Saltis. In my year, all of the CEMS students that applied for housing got their first preference.

Expenses:

  • Housing: ~600€ /month (6000 SEK)
  • Food: Eating out in the restaurant is really expensive (25-30€), but there are a couple of places which offer lunch for reasonable prices (e.g. Babel Deli and Reload close to SSE or Kungshallen in the city center). There is no canteen at uni, but only a small café, so most of the students bring food cooked at home. The cheapest option to buy something is certainly Lidl, which is located right next to SSE
  • Drinks: Unfortunately, alcohol is (as in all Nordic countries) quite expensive. A beer costs ~6-7€, a cocktail ~15€. The cheapest bars close to uni are Hirschenkeller and Crazy Horse, but it’s also worth it to check out (at least once in a while) some of the rooftop bars such as Urban Deli or TAK

Everyday life:

  • Party: Clubs are (surprise) very expensive, both in terms of entry and drink prices, but fortunately SSE has its own club, the Rotunda, which hosts quite a lot of parties (organized by students) during the semester. In addition, there are 3-4 banquets every semester, which are gala events where people dress up, get a 3-course dinner and drinks and sing traditional Swedish drinking songs 😊 In summer, there is a famous outdoor club called Trädgården which is worth a visit
  • Coffee: Swedish people are known for “Fika”, which is basically having a drink and/or cinnamon roll in one of the countless cafés. There are a lot of really nice cafés, such as Café Pascal and Café Malqvist
  • Activities:
    • Ice Skating: During winter for free at Kungsträdgården (you only need to pay to rent the skates)
    • Museums: Vasa museum (must see), Nobel museum (not that special but you can enter for free on Tuesday evenings), Fotografiska (a bit expensive, but sometimes very interesting exhibitions)
    • Gröna Lund: A rather small, but very charming theme park right next to the water. You need to pay entrance and in addition pay for the rides. However, if you love theme parks (like me) and plan to go more often, you can buy the season pass for 290 SEK (~29€) and have entrance for the whole season for free. In summer, there is every week a concert in Gröna Lund (including famous artists such as Macklemore), so the season pass is definitely worth the money
    • Opera: Very interesting guided tour
    • Free Walking Tours
    • Parliament Tour: Every Saturday and Sunday at 13:30h there is a free guided tour (in English), just make sure to arrive 30-45min in advance to collect the tickets
    • Djurgården: “Museum island” with a lot of green areas. Very nice to go for a walk, both in summer and winter. Check out the Rosendals Trädgårdscafe once you are there
    • Skinnarviksberget: Lookout point in Södermalm, absolute must see!
    • Södermalm: The hipster island of Stockholm
  • Hiking: There are a lot of amazing (national) parks around Stockholm, which are great for a day hike, e.g. Hellasgården, Björnö Nature Reserve, Tyresta National Park and (in summer) the Swedish archipelago
  • Trips: Once you are in Sweden, you should definitely take a trip to the North (Kiruna) to see some Northern Lights, drive the Snow Mobile or get driven on a sled by huskies. SAS offers cheap flights, especially if you are below 26 they have a special youth fare

CEMS:
The overall social life was great! Initially, the CEMS Club was not as active as in Vienna, thus it was a bit hard to get to know the local students. However, it’s always about what you make of it and once I found the right people, I had an amazing time.

Best 3 moments

  • Final Party: Celebrating the end of the semester with all CEMSies and afterwards watching the sunrise on Skinnarviksberget
  • Nordic Forum: Meeting a bunch of other CEMSies in Helsinki, partying together and getting free food from corporate partners😊
  • Rotunda Parties

Awesomeness:
ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. Stockholm is an amazing city with loads of things to do, so there is no reason to ever get bored. Even though SSE is more work than other universities, I really liked the university as everyone was very dedicated and the courses were quite interesting.

Differentiation:
The semester in Stockholm is split in two terms, with the courses lasting either both terms or one of the terms. Make sure to take less courses in spring/summer term, as Stockholm is far too nice to spend your time at uni. Course selection is very easy and usually everybody gets a spot. As the university is far smaller than Vienna, the atmosphere is very personal. If you encounter any problems, you can always speak to the professor or CEMS staff and they will find a way to help you. Feedback is taken very seriously, and the courses improve every semester based on the feedback from the previous semester. SSE cooperates with other universities in Stockholm and offers some courses jointly, thus the course selection is bigger and does not only include standard business classes but also courses such as Behavioral Economics, Data Science Strategy, Personal Development, Tackling World Challenges etc. Make sure to make use of this opportunity and select some courses which are not available in Vienna! Available courses can be found here: https://www.hhs.se/en/education/study-at-sse/global-opportunities/student-exchange/exchange-msc/

The courses are in general more academic, i.e. they involve reading a lot of academic papers (even for the business project). Also, there is a bigger focus on reflection compared to Vienna, which means that a lot of classes require to write some kind of (short) reflection paper at the end.

Secret tips:

  • Take a trip to Russia (if you arrive by boat from Stockholm, you are allowed to stay for 72h without a visa, there are several companies which offer these trips for reasonable prices)
  • Check out the events from SASSE. They organize not only parties, but also workshops and lunch lectures (where you get lunch for free while listening to an interesting talk)
  • Celebrate Valborg (Walpurgis Eve) in Uppsala (including the famous “champagne gallop”)

Would you be okay with being contacted by future outgoings if they have questions?
Reach out to me via Facebook: Carolin Oelschläger