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### Insights from My Semester Abroad in Stockholm with Erasmus

Studying Journalism and Law at the University of Galway in Ireland provided me with the opportunity to participate in an Erasmus program at Stockholm University in Sweden. During a transformative five-month period, equivalent to a single semester, I delved into the rich tapestry of Stockholm’s culture, academia, and community.

Upon reflecting on this remarkable experience, I’ve compiled some valuable insights and practical tips for fellow students contemplating their own Erasmus journey in the Swedish capital.


When seeking accommodation, there are two primary options to consider: on-campus and off-campus. Upon securing your Erasmus placement, the university will furnish you with an acceptance letter and instructions on applying for on-campus housing. However, it’s important to note that not all applicants are guaranteed on-campus accommodation.

In my case, I had to explore social media and online platforms to secure housing after not being allocated on-campus. Eventually, I found a suitable place through a Facebook group. It’s crucial to exercise caution as international students are often targeted by scams when searching for accommodations online.

Getting to Stockholm

Stockholm offers various transportation choices depending on your point of departure, including ferries, trains, and planes. The city boasts four airports: Arlanda, the largest in Sweden; Bromma, primarily for domestic flights; Västerås Airport, situated approximately 110 kilometers from the capital; and Skavsta Airport, roughly 150 kilometers away.

Upon my arrival at Arlanda Airport, I was captivated by the breathtaking aerial views of the city’s landscapes. The Arlanda express train proved to be the swiftest and most convenient mode of transport from the airport to the city center. Additionally, local buses, direct inner-city buses, and taxis are readily available.

Opting to land at Bromma Airport, merely 9 kilometers from the city center, is highly recommended if feasible. Once in Stockholm, the user-friendly SL app provides access to all public transportation modes, including buses, metro trains, trams, and commuter trains.

Academic and Cultural Exploration

In terms of academics, I observed a few distinctions from my home university. Unlike my university’s fixed semester schedule, Stockholm University’s schedule varied weekly. Furthermore, while evaluations at my home institution typically involved multiple assessments with varying weights, many modules at Stockholm University were assessed based on a single exam or assignment.

As an Irish individual, I didn’t encounter significant culture shock in Stockholm, given the widespread proficiency in English. However, enrolling in a beginners’ Swedish language course proved beneficial, offering insights into the language and cultural aspects such as the Law of Jante—a concept emphasizing modesty, conformity, and equality.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Stockholm is comparable to that in Ireland; however, individuals from countries with lower living costs should be prepared for higher expenses in Sweden. As a student, you can leverage discounts through apps like Mecenat and, which also serve as student identity cards essential for accessing reduced public transport fares.

Despite the financial considerations, the opportunity to immerse oneself in a new culture and embrace independence is an invaluable experience.

Integration and Social Life

Engaging with the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) provided a fantastic avenue to connect with peers from diverse backgrounds through organized activities like outings, sports events, and excursions to various destinations. Joining relevant Facebook groups facilitated the formation of social circles, enabling participation in group activities and events.

Adapting and Settling In

For those inclined towards travel and cultural exploration, the Erasmus program offers a fitting platform for personal growth and cross-cultural immersion. Networking through organizations like the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Sweden can help establish connections and alleviate feelings of homesickness.

In my case, networking opportunities led to securing an internship at The Local, extending my stay in Sweden and broadening my professional horizons.


For individuals hesitant about embarking on an Erasmus semester, I wholeheartedly endorse the experience. It fosters personal development, fosters lasting connections, and facilitates a deep dive into diverse cultures, ultimately broadening one’s perspective and enriching their life journey.