About Dan Johansson

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Dan Johansson has created 60 blog entries.

My winter survival guide

Hey guys,

So, to follow-up with the article previously posted where I told you a little bit about my first Swedish winter, here are 10 tips that will probably be helpful for you.

Enjoy!

1.
Pack loads of sweaters, but also under-clothes.
Layering will be your best-friend.

2.
But don’t pack too much. You probably can’t bring a thousand suitcases with you,
and you will find good and warm clothes in stores here.

3.
Have one really good pair of boots that will get you through rain, snow, mud , etc..

4.
Buy some hot water bags. Hopefully the place you stay in will be properly isolated and heated,
but just in case, have these to place in your bed before you go to sleep,
or in your sofa when you want to be comfortable.

5.
Take vitamins ! You might want to prepare for the winter by getting a cure of multivitamins,
and then follow up with a cure of vitamin C and vitamin D during the winter.
Believe me, this winter will have a toll on your body ( and undoubtedly your mood ) if not. You don’t want to end up weeping and exhausted.

6.
Have loads of fika ! It might not be the best to stay in shape, but a warm cup of coffee and a bulle is always comforting !

7.
GO OUT ! It is very very tempting to stay at home all day long, when its cold outside.
Especially if you don’t have too much lectures and seminars in your schedule. But try to go out as much as possible.
It will be good for your moral and your social life. Fight the hibernating bear inside of your as much as you can !

8.
Travel. Especially by train if you can. The snowy landscapes are really beautiful, and Scandinavian cities wear snow […]

My first winter in Sweden: A few lessons…

Picture : Ice Hotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
Winter
If you are planning on moving to Sweden, this is probably a word that most likely frightens or fascinates you. Either way, you’ve been thinking about it, and you tried to prepare yourself to the best of your abilities ( and if you haven’t been doing so… trust me, you should have ).Of course, before moving here I was no exception to that rule.

Before arriving in Stockholm 7 months ago, I was really apprehending the winter time. As you guys already know by know, I grew up in Cameroon. This meant no winter, and temperatures above 20 degrees celsius all year long. Then I moved to France, but French winter was okay. It really wasn’t  bad, especially in the Paris region. Needless to say that, at 19 years-old, I had never experienced something even close to a Scandinavian winter. And I was quite apprehensive. The fact that every time I mentioned to someone I was moving to Sweden the first response was « oh, but its super cold there ! » obviously didn’t help.

So while I was packing my belongings to move, the only thing that I could think of was : winter, winter, winter. I packed loads of sweaters, jackets, boots, gloves, hats… hoping that it would be enough to keep me warm and going during those challenging months. Looking back on everything, the amount of clothes I took with me was definitely excessive ! But you know how the saying goes : its better to be safe than sorry.

On the other hand, and despite the fear and anxiety that invaded my mind, I was also fascinated and thrilled by the idea of living such a unique experience. After all, one […]

A glimpse into my journey… so far!

Hey guys !  Let me start this post by wishing you all a Happy New Year ( even though i’m a little bit late ). I hope you all spent amazing holidays, and that you enjoyed and cherished the time spent with your loved ones. I’m coming back today, with a slightly different type of content for you. I compiled images and videos from the past 5 months into a video, showing you what my stay in Stockholm has been so far ( kind of ).

As I explained before, it has been quite a challenge for me, to move here. It was the first time for me living by myself, in a completely new environment. I had moved before, for sure, but always in places that I had already visited or where I knew someone. After settling in my new apartment and getting to know the city a little bit more as well as the little particularities of the «  Swedish ways »,   I had to keep myself motivated and active in order to make my stay here as productive as possible.

Indeed, during the summer and fall days, it was easy to go around the city for a walk, visit a museum or grab a coffee with a friend. But as soon as winter arrived, and as the days shortened, it was definitely more challenging to keep doing a lot of activities ! Despite all of that, I managed to make each of the 5 months spent here worth it, and full of discoveries. I’ll be back soon with a more detailed article summing-up my overall feeling about those first months and my expectations for the upcoming ones.

As I write this article, I am back home, […]

Stockholm University

Top image Source : http://www.icra.it/mg/mg13/plenary_location3.htm
First impressions:
The first time I set foot at Stockholm University was two weeks before the beginning of  the Autumn Semester. I had been offered an apartment by the housing office of Stockholm University, and had to pick up the keys at a Student Union’s desk set in Södra Huset.

I have to admit that the surroundings didn’t make a very good impression on me that particular day. The Campus was empty, quite lifeless, and the clouds accentuated the coldness of the buildings that are visible from the metro’s exit to Campus Frescati.

I guess the anxiety and the nervousness of discovering what would be my study space for a year ( and therefore a big part of my life in Sweden ), did not really help. I could not really picture myself enjoying a day there : going to the library, meeting friends, having lunch…

When I got to Södra Huset, I thought that the building once again, was quite sad and monotonous. The camaïeu of green and grey that was unraveling in front of me was very disturbing. I really struggled getting around the ‘architectural idea’ of the Campus I have to say. I also have to admit that I was very used to my home university’s campus and its style. Being located in the heart of the seventh arrondissement in Paris, in the neighborhood of Saint Germain des Prés, and near the Seine, the Louvre museum and other impressive historical sites, it didn’t prepare me to an easy transition to Campus Frescati.

I left university that day, with a lot of questions, and thoughts about how I would be able to grow in love with this place.

Reflecting back on all of this now, […]

2 Months

Yep, I’ve been here for a couple of months now – don’t worry, I’m not gonna make a fuss about it. In fact, if it wasn’t for all the work we’ve been doing at school, I wouldn’t have even noticed it.
As far as life outside school is concerned, I’m still pretty much at the same stage I was when I’d just moved here: my knowledge of the city – read pubs & clubs – is still almost nil, although my mix of Norwegian and Swedish is getting more and more comprehensible for at least half of the Stockholm population.
But I guess that’s just the norm when you move to a new country, as the first month(s) usually tend to be the adapting one(s).
Nevertheless, I did have some true (?) Swedish experiences: for example, we did celebrate what I suppose was the kannelbollar day, which was indeed lovely. To be honest, food as been my best comfort lately, mainly because the cafeteria in our school makes the best chocolate muffins ever – ok, maybe they’re not that special, but they are HUGE and, yeah, I don’t need to get out in the cold to get them.
Not that it’s been that cold yet to be honest, although it did snow a lot – like around 40 cm in a weekend, which is apparently pretty unusual for this time of the year, or for Stockholm in general.
Fun fact: it appears that the municipality of Stockholm applied a “gender-equality” policy in regards to snow removal around the city, which means that pavements and cycle lanes get to be the first to be cleaned from fresh snow. Gotta love the Swedes.
Oh, by the way, I absolutely love Konstfack: yes, it […]

Recent days, winter is coming

Hello. Hej. こんにちは

It has been over a month since from my last post. I have finished taking the final exam for the October course and preparing for the next course right now. It’s getting very cold in the Stockholm, and it start snowing from these few days. I have never experienced the snow in the November before. In my city, Osaka, Japan, it snows mostly from January. There are even some years which never snows. Thus, I was very astonished that it snows from the beginning of November in here. Which means that I need to bare with colder days in January or  in here. All of my Swedish friends told me that it is just the beginning of the Winter in Stockholm, and it will be colder in the January and February. I am currently waiting for the package which contains a lot of winter wears.

(Picture taken at Stockholm University, on November 6th)

Anyway, from the last blog, I have experienced so many things.

First, I got my residence card from the Swedish migration. (Well, I got it during the October, so it was quite long time ago though). I was waiting for this card for couple weeks. Now I don’t need to carry my passport all the time. I am not sure why but everytime I go to Systembloget to buy some alcohol, they ask me to show the ID card, so I was very demanding for this card.

Also, I actually did not noticed, but I had a Swedish personal number. My friends and me could not find out this number since we came to Sweden, but one of my friends finally found it on the paper we received on the first day! With this […]

My first month in Stockholm (August-September 2016)

My first month in Stockholm was by far, the most exciting moment of my stay here ( until now ). The excitement of discovering a new city, melted with the adrenaline of experiencing life  in a completely new environment, and topped up with great weather and sunny day has been the perfect recipe for a thrilling end of summer.

As I now collect the ( still fresh ) memories of my first steps here in Stockholm to share them with you, I realize how much I learned in only a few weeks. If I had to describe my first month in Stockholm in a few words, they would be : « Oh, wow ! ». Not very chic I know, but those words have crossed my mind so many times during my first weeks here that they feel appropriate.
First impressions
The contrast was quite evident to me when I got out of the plane, that Arlanda Airport was no way comparable to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, from where I had departed a few hours earlier. I had left a very busy, noisy, and chaotic airport in the morning, and arrived in a smaller and quieter airport in the afternoon. The transition was quite pleasant, I have to say.

The international Airport of Paris Charles de Gaulle, ( which can receive up to 63,8 millions passengers a year ), tends to be very overwhelming. Even though I am now used to the whole process of checking-in, and boarding in that airport (from traveling many times from and to France), there is no doubt that the French airport could learn a few tips or more from its Swedish counterpart.

I am well aware that the two airports are way different […]

Time actually does fly!

This House Believes
…that debating is awesome! I’ve told you before that I have joined the Stockholm Debate Society, and I have had so much fun there. Last month, we actually went to a debate tournament in Riga, in Latvia (top image: house where the debate tournament was held).

A debate tournament is a tournament of one or two days (in this case one, as it was a beginners tournament) in which debate teams from several countries compete against each other. It was so cool to meet debate teams from not only the Scandinavian countries, but also Latvia itself, Russia, the Balkan states and many more – especially as a Dutch person, who never gets to meet people from these countries.

The debate tournament was a lot of fun, because everyone was so nice, and we learned so much. Because the tournament is 4 rounds of debate (5 for the finalists) you really see yourself debate better each round. The motions we debated ranged from “This House (meaning your team) regrets the negative attitude towards golddiggers” to – no kidding – a Harry Potter motion, which was “This House believes that the International Statute of Secrecy should be abolished”.

And we did more than just compete in the tournament – we went out to dinner, to a thrift shop, to explore the city, and to get very tasty pancakes for lunch. And everything was so cheap there! We travelled there by ferry, which was also a new experience. Unfortunately, I got quite seasick on the way over, but it was much better on the way back. The ship was enormous and had multiple bars, restaurants and other shops. It was quite the experience!

A new term, a new course
And of […]

Swedish Culture, Student Associations and a bit of studying

And so my first month as an international exchange student in Stockholm is coming to an end. If I may be honest, and I will, living here has already started to feel familiar and normal. Even though what I do here is so different from what I do back home, because everything is so different, it is easy to adapt to a new routine. I have university four days a week, with every day starting at 13:00. The course is really interesting and just today I have turned in my first essay. Twice a week I have a Swedish language lesson including with a fantastic singing Swedish teacher and a class of 300 students from all over the world.  It really is something, sitting there and practising how to say different countries in Swedish, and to realize that half the world is sitting right here in your classroom.

Jag kan prata lite Svenska nu, det är jätteroligt!

More than just studying

But I have of course been doing much more than going to school and getting used to ignoring the red traffic lights as a pedestrian on my way there. I have joined both the Student Union and the Erasmus Student Network, two student associations who both organize a lot of different events and activities that you can join as a member. For example, we did speedfriending with the SU: Speed dating, but only to make friends. That was a fun afternoon first talking to a lot of people in a short time – true speed dating style – and then going to a pub together. There was also an ESN music quiz, in which we tested our knowledge of Swedish music, which went surprisingly well. It is […]

Getting used to this country and the city

Hello. こんにちは。 Hur står det till?
One month has been passed since I moved to Europe, and three weeks have been passed since I moved to Sweden.

Last week, I went to Swedish Internet cafe with my Korean friends and Swedish friends. It was actually my first time to go to Internet cafe, and I didn’t thought that I can experience it in Sweden. I learned that people who are looped on video games are international thing. Because in Japan, game sometimes makes people crazy. Swedish friend actually told me that it happens in Sweden as well.
About town
I also went to Natural History Museum in Stockholm city. This is my first museum to visit in Sweden. In Japan, those kind of natural museums are mostly related to nature animals. This actually made me thought that exhibits are only about natural animals in Sweden as well. But, it was different from what I imagined. Of course there were animal exhibits, but there were more exhibits which were about environment issues, and human physical system. Because I took a environment economy class when I was in Japan, and I was really familiar with this issues, but I still learned a lot from this museum. This museum actually reminded me the importance of the eco-friendly system. Some of the European countries are working hard for the environment issues. In Sweden,  eco-friendly system for example; usage of bicycle, eco-friendly  buses, and nature energy system are well developed. These are one of the things which I was surprised. I am thinking to learn more about the environment issues during the study abroad in Sweden. Again and again, this museum reminded me the issues.

Next, I wrote about my lonely feeling of missing Japanese […]