Bringing the learning home (Australian Learning & Teaching Council)

Greetings from Sweden!

Hej hej! Greetings from Sweden!

Well this post was written in February, but for some reason I could not post a blog until last week.. So this post is kind of overdue but still, since it’s my first attempt to write here, i’ll just post it up 😀  Things have changed and so as some of my feelings, and I’ll write more about it pretty soon. Spring is (finally) here but the winter photos are still memorable. So enjoy!


First of all, I must say that this website makes me homesick by only spotting the words “Australia” and “kangaroos”. Lol I know this is silly, and Australia is in fact not my home country. However as a student who has studied in Perth for two and half years, I must admit that I miss Perth and my friends there a lot more than I expected myself to be. And of course I miss Malaysia where I was born and grown, but believe it or not, there have been so many things happening since I came to Uppsala a month ago, until I don’t even have much time to get homesick as seriously as I did when I first came to Perth!

Ok let’s go back to the beginning. It’s been a month to stay in a freezing cold country where normal temperature is ranged from 0 to -16 (just in the city!). Being the only student in my campus to exchange to Uppsala for this semester, I took a 16 hours flight alone and I know there’s no one that I can rely on in the far far country up north. I am not a very adventurous person – and my mom was actually so worried about me 😦 – but I know I will be fine. It was a very complicated feeling, mixed with excitement, curiosity, and anxiety.

I stayed in the hostel nearby the city for two days before checking into the housing. There is no housing area specially offered for students, but exchange students are guaranteed with accommodation when they applied studies. I didn’t know accommodation was such a big issue here until I heard some experiences from some friends. Perhaps more houses have to be built in order to cope with the rapid increasing number of students in recent years.

Talking about my feeling and impression to this city, no doubt, I felt like a stranger. In fact I felt the same when I went to Perth, because my English was not very well that time, and living in an English-speaking country was just different from where I came from. However, the strangeness that I had in Uppsala is much more intense. Even though English is very common in Sweden and most of the locals can speak very good English, it’s still very strange because you can’t understand a word from the signboard to the menu. Walking in the middle of the street, I just felt like a total outsider, having lost in the city where everyone speaks the language I couldn’t understand… But the people are quite nice and friendly. I met some Singaporean students, and they said if you stand in the roadside long enough with your maps, someone will probably come and ask if you need help.

Days have become better when I get to know more international students.  I went for some activities prepared for the international students in the first week (just like the O-Week in Murdoch). I tried snow-sledging, tasted some traditional Swedish food, and I even attended a Chinese New Year celebration organized by the Chinese Students Associations here. And I’ve also been to Helsinki last weekend! It’s been a wonderful experience taking on a cruise that moves on the frozen sea.

And I think I shall write about my study (which is supposed to be the first priority? Hmm :p) next time, or I’ll never finish this post. I am actually (ahem) still in the honeymoon period, but so far I’ve done two presentations, coming up with a literature review and group project. Soon it will be time to be serious, but not now. lol

Well I’m really missing the green green grass, blue blue sea and the big big sun in Perth and Malaysia. I kinda feel myself becoming colour blind by looking at the pure whiteness all the time.. But before I can see the colourful nature again when in spring and summer (finally) come to town, I will (and I am) enjoy the feeling of not feeling my fingers and toes all the time, as I know this would possibly be the longest period in my life to stay in Northern Europe for study purpose. So, jackets on, time to explore more!  Hej Då!

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A little compilation of Uppsala, Sweden from January to March~



One response

  1. tonialeannegray

    Hi Sharyn —

    Sweden through the eyes of a Native Malayasian and someone who has lived/studied in Australia … a really lovely blend of cultural diversity.

    Yes, I can see you are experiencing the honeymoon period — and a little bit of “fish out of water” too. Everything seems to be novel and intriguing.

    Keep writing from Sweden and charting your SA experience.

    Best wishes

    May 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

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