There is a lot to be excited about when you decide to move to a new city or country. Not to mention experiencing a new culture but also expanding your network and making new friends. I thought I was going to take this journey alone until I learned that one of my classmates was also from Malawi. I quickly asked within the circle who this person might be and not long before I started asking, I had her phone number. We started making plans to travel to Malmö together and how to prepare for our stay in in the city.
Firstly, Malmö is located in the Southern region of Sweden called Skåne. Malmö is the largest city in the Skåne region and the third largest city in Sweden after Stockhold and Gothernburg.
Fast forward to the day we arrived in Malmö. The first thing we did was walk around the city (after we got some sleep) to do some sightseeing and gett familiar with our new home. Here is a general background of how you should start creating your life in Sweden:
- Research transport options available
You will need to get around during your studies. You have two options as a student, actually three depending on how adventurous you are :o).
First option is the bus. As I talked about in the Welcome to Malmö blog, the transportation system in Sweden is great. Buses usually run every 10 minutes (except on Sunday’s). There are two different type of buses: the Green or Yellow buses. The green buses run within the city limits and the yellow buses run regionally. For instance, if you want to travel outside of Malmö.
- Find out about health care
As a fee-paying student who is staying for less than one-year (in my case), you are covered by comprehensive insurance – FAS by Kammarkollegiet. Students staying more than one-year are entitled to the same health benefits as Swedes, provided they register for a personal numer. Find out everything you can about accessing healthcare in the case you fall sick during your stay in Malmö. For students coming from the EU, you should register for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in your home country before coming to Sweden. You can find out more information about health care here https://studyinsweden.se/life-in-sweden/health-insurance-and-medical-care/.
- Download useful apps
Sweden is one of the countries leading in the use of digital technologies. The first application you download should be the Google Maps. That’s the only way you’ll be able to navigate through the city and easily find places. Secondly, download the Skånetrafiken app, where you can buy train and bus tickets and retrieve the train and bus time schedule. Download the Canvas and Kronox app (see previous blog on the Swedish study and education system). You can also make use of the Revolut app, which is fintech company that offers banking services. I used the Revolut app because my VISA card from Malawi would get declined at some places. With the Revolut app and VISA card, I was able to transact easily.
- Make friends
Now it’s time to get connected with other students and make friends! Whether you’re staying in the University Housing or in a shared apartment, get to know your floormates and roommates. They will be your family for the next year or two. Make friends and find similarities and explore the city together. It is nice figuring things out as a couple or group than doing things by yourself.
Moving to a new city is excited as well as scary but once you have the right tips to creating a new life, you’ll do just fine!