What to Expect From the Spring Semester in Stockholm

By: Silvia Lopez Prieto

Even though the second part of the academic year in Sweden is called “spring semester”, the semester begins in January when Stockholm is about as far away from spring as it gets. Are you going to be in Stockholm during this semester? Here are some things you should know!

1. Be prepared for the darkness

My first year in Stockholm I was so excited about living the winter and be surrounded by snow as shown in the movies. Then I realized that I underestimated what darkness was! The snow is so beautiful but enjoy the sun as much as possible before coming and don’t forget to add vitamin D to your suitcase!

2. Be ready to learn what week it is

A really interesting thing in Sweden is that people refer to weeks for scheduling things and not to days. Be ready to hear: “this assignment is due in week 12” and to spend some time thinking when that date is.

3. Some libraries close early 

I love studying at libraries but the concept of late in Stockholm is not the same as in the country I come from. Some of the city libraries close around 19. The great thing is that they open early! Just don’t forget to check the opening hours in advance.

4. Be on time

This is so so so important! For lessons, meetings, EVERYTHING! In Sweden is so important to be on time and being late really is considered very impolite. Plan to be always 10 minutes in advance, so then you will be sure you are on time!

5. Everyone in Stockholm speaks good English

If you are a little bit scared about coming to Sweden without knowing any Swedish…don’t worry, EVERYONE speaks really good English in Stockholm and you will be able to speak with any local person without any problem!


6. The light will come

When you have survived the first few months of darkness, you will be overcompensated with all the light that summer brings. (You might actually need a sleeping mask from the beginning of May since days will be getting longer and it will be almost no darkness!) So, if you arrive to Stockholm in January, things will only get brighter!