Katja‘s blog

To be Stockholm´s  “Dancing Queen“

To be Stockholm´s “Dancing Queen“

Hej everyone!

As you might know I am taking a Swedish course at the university twice a week. In addition to that I have been studying Swedish on my own through an online course called “Babbel”. Although most of the Swedes speak English perfectly, I think it is only beneficial to know some Swedish. For me it is also fun to learn the language because it is so similar to German!

For this blog I decided to write a short treasury of Swedish phrases that one should know when coming here! I have written the translation into English and also how you would pronounce the words in English…


Hej! (Hey!)  – Hello!

Hur mår du? (who more do?)  – How are you?

Jag mår bra, tack! Och du? (Ya more bra, tack! Ock do?) – I am fine, thanks! And you?

Vad heter du? (What hater do?) – What´s your name?

Hur gammal är du? (Who come Al air do?)  – How old are you?

Jag tar gärna en kopp kaffe. (Ya tar gairna an cop kaffee.) – I will have a cup of coffee.

Jag vill ha en kanelbulle[1]! (Ya will ha an kanailybulle!) – I´d like to have a kanelbulle!

Tack så mycket! (Tack so Mick Ed.)  – Thank you so much!

Varifrån kommer du? (Wh´are e fron come air do?) – Where do you come from?

Jag kommer från Österika. (Ya come air fron Osterecka.)  – I am from Austria!

Var ligger museet? (Wha ligger muse ate?)  – Where is the musuem?

Tack för hjälpen! (Tack fur hale pen!)  – Thank you for your help!

Ursäkta! (You´re shack tar!) – Excuse me!

Hej då! (Hey dough!)  –  Good bye!

/Vi ses! (We says!)  – See you later


I really like Swedish and will continue studying it assiduously!

This past week was so relaxing. I have finally created an every- day rhythm here. Since my course at the university is only once in two weeks, I can do all of the things that I enjoy, like: wandering through town, visiting museums, attending dance classes, meeting up with friends and studying Swedish.

I have discovered my favourite part of town, which is called “Östermalm”. There are many shops, nice buildings and cosy cafés in this area and I really like spending my time there.

My favourite activity during he week though, was dancing! Usually I dance ballet- I started when I was 7 years old- but for the last two years there was hardly any time to pursue it in Vienna. It makes me really happy that I now have the time to do as many dance courses as I want to!

After having tried out “Zumba”[2] and “Sh´bab”[3] in the sports- centre on campus this week, I have discovered a new dance, which is called “Lindy Hop”. It is a type of Swing and apparently Stockholm is famous for that dance! I actually had to dance in my socks and jeans because I decided to join the course pretty spontaneously, after having spent the morning with a friend at the Royal Palace “Drottningholm”. It was beautiful and we had a fun time! Dancing “Lindy Hop” was the cherry on top of great day!

Here are some pictures for you showing some more different events that happened during the past week:

Gamla Stan kajen

On my way tot he „Fotografiska“- museum


Pancake kitchen

Tuesday is pancake- day!


Icy water Gamla Stan Stockholm

Gamla Stan surrounded by ice!

Katja selfie with snow

Selfie- time… to capture the snow while it´s still here…


The battleship Vasa

At the Vasa Museum: admiring this amazing ship!


Katarinahissen Södermalm Stockholm

View from Södermalm


Drottningholm Royal Palace

Visiting Drottningholm- Palace


Royal Palace park lake


Vi ses! Yours,




[1] „Kanelbulle“ is a special Swedish paistry that could be transilated as „cinnamon bun“.

[2] Zumba is a work out and a combination of different dances (mostly Latin dances).

[3] Sh´bab is also a combination of different dances such as Hip- Hop or Break Dance and I will probably never do it again….

Week 2 Från måndag till söndag…

Week 2 Från måndag till söndag…

It has now been exactly two weeks and one day since I have arrived at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm.

I have settled in by now and am starting to feel at home in Stockholm!

Here you can read about a few events that have happened throughout this week!

I have….

  • …finally gotten the packages (containing more clothes and nick- nacks of mine) which my parents have sent to me two whole weeks ago! In Sweden there are no post offices and I guess this explains why it took a while to get them. Luckily the postman decided to leave the parcels at the nearest supermarket to my dormitory. Although it took a week longer than expected for them to arrive, it had one advantage when I finally got the parcels: it felt like Christmas as I opened them all at once!
  • …met all of my corridor- mates! They are all beautiful souls and I am lucky to have gotten a room in their corridor!

On Thursday they organized a welcome- lunch for me and Dan, another newcomer at the dorm, at a “mysig”[1] Lebanese restaurant and that gave me a chance to get to know all of them a bit better!

One conversation topic at the table was them telling me that I shouldn´t be worried if I heard anyone screaming out of a window on a Tuesday night. Apparently this is an old “Lappis”[2]- tradition in order to let out the stress that has impounded from all the studying!

Learning Swedish with others

  • …attended the first seminar of my course: “English for Young Learners”, which was really interesting! We are a small group of teachers and I am looking forward to learn more about how to teach English to children!
  • …visited the Mall of Scandinavia which is supposed to be the biggest shopping centre in Scandinavia!
Mall of Scandinavia

Mall of Scandinavia

  • …had my first Swedish lesson! We are about 200 or more people in one lecture- hall and that was a lot of fun! I am very interested in the language and very eager to learn it!
  • …been to different parties! The Stockholm´s student Union and Erasmus Student Network (ESN) organise a lot of parties for the exchange students! I think this is great because you not only get to know more people, but also get introduced to fun locations in Stockholm.

For example there was one Party on Thursday night that took place at a club in the Stockholm´s Opera House! It was so beautiful that I wanted to take a picture of myself there. Funnily that moment when I was about to press the release button on my phone´s camera, a random girl which I didn´t know jumped to my side. I guess she really wanted to be in the picture as well…. Anyway, at least I have captured a funny moment at that place!

Katja selfie with photo bomb

Girl and I

  • … wandered around town a lot. Stockholm is very beautiful although it is coated in a grey veil of fog these days. I wanted to take my camera to town with me and make a movie for you so that you would get a better impression of Stockholm, but I am waiting for sunnier days to do that!
Södermalm Stockholm Mariaberget

On my way to Södermalm

Lappis under purple sky

Lappis under the purple sky!

In the mean time I have decided to introduce you to my room at Lappis and shoot a movie of things that I do in my room when it is too rainy and windy to go outside….

Hej då and stay posted!




[1] „Mysig“ could be translated as cosy. The Swedes love “mysig“ atmospheres.

[2] Lappis ist the name oft he dormatory that I´m staying at.

Hej there, Stockholm!

Hej there, Stockholm!

“Hej” there, my dear readers!

I can´t believe that I am in Stockholm! All the planning and preparing for this adventure made the actual beginning of it seem so far away…

Now it has actually been more than a week since I have arrived in this snowy winter- wonderland!

This passed week at Stockholm University was called “orientation week” and was organised for all the newcomer- students and Erasmus students. The university offered various guided tours in- and off campus, different presentations with helpful information and many events in the evenings!

There has been so much to do and to see these passed few days, so I am very happy to have found some time for myself right now and write the first post of my blog!

Stockholm winter panorama

I have been wondering what my first post should be about…

Should I fill you in about my packing crisis in Vienna before I departed? Or should I tell you about the experiences I made in the hotel, which I stayed in over the last weekend, where the rooms looked like ship cabins? Or would you rather be interested in what I have been up to in Stockholm so far…?

I have decided to give you insight into my list of top 10 “fun facts” about Sweden:

Top 10 Fun- Facts about Sweden

  1. Not ALL Swedes are blonde!
  2. Don´t walk around in Jeans in a – 11°C weather!
  3. Everything you do should be “lagom”!

“Lagom” is the Swedish meaning for moderation or being in balance. It means: not too little, not too much, just the right amount. For example you should put the “lagom” amount of sugar in your coffee- not too little and not too much. In Sweden it is not only a saying but a lifestyle!

  1. Gender equality makes Sweden famous! This crystalizes very quickly when- e.g. you need to go to the bathroom, since most of the time men and women share the same public bathrooms!
  2. Since everybody is considered equal in Sweden it is to understand that nobody is better than another person. This means one should publicly behave just as one would wish others to behave.

One can experience this cultural principal for example in the “tunnelbana” (underground). It is so quiet on the trains because everybody assumes that everyone else is just as busy as they are. Therefore nobody would dare to disturb anyone else!

  1. The church is separated from the state since 2000! Only 26 per cent of Swedes claim to be religious- many inhabitants are without religious domination!
  2. How to act when invited to a Swede´s house: First, take off your shoes when you enter the house! It is wet and muddy outside because of the snow and you wouldn´t want to carry all the dirt into your friend´s apartment!
  3. How to act socially: Work in groups! Swedes love to work in groups and make decisions together!
  4. The relationship between employer and employee are very good in Sweden! Often you can call your employer by the first name and share a congenial relationship!
  5. Last but not least: the most important thing to remember: never forget your “fika” of the day! “Fika” can be explained as a coffee- brake, where you gather with your colleagues or friends and discuss personal matters, have political debates or just talk about the weather. It is considered as a very cultural thing and even the state encourages workplaces to provide “fikas” for their employees!

These are some things I have learned over this past week!

In addition to my “fun facts”, I have gathered some pictures from my first impressions of Stockholm for you!

Stockholm University campus winter

The university campus

Stockholm winter skyline

Stockholm´s skyline

Stockholm University campus park winter

Stockholm University campus park winter

Stockholm winter night

Twilight at 3:30 pm

I am extremely happy to be here and consider Stockholm as a beautiful and exciting city!

Be sure to check out my next blogs soon!

Hej då and good- bye!