Looking back over my last few posts, I think that it’s time to have something a little more light and practical! To give you a taste of my practical life experiences here in Malmö, I want to talk about some quick tips about studying on exchange here! For all those secret Sesame Street lovers, these tips have been brought to you today by the Letter ‘B’, and the Number 10.
1. Bicycles. I know it sounds strange for many of us Australians, but in fact bikes can be used for purposes other than just being children’s toys! Since Malmö is really quite compact compared to Adelaide, you can ride pretty much everywhere which makes life really simple! No trying to guess whether today is the cheap day for petrol or not! So it’s cheap and it’s environmentally friendly. Couldn’t ask for anything better than that!
2. Books. At every introductory lecture I think I have been to back at home, I can almost always be certain that we were told to “keep up with the READING”. Here at Malmö Högskola, this even more important! Rather than doing four subjects simultaneously, the academic structure here is one where each sub-module is completed separately, and will usually take around one month to complete. This means if you get behind in the reading for just one week, you are already a quarter of the course behind! Solution: make sure you plan to do the reading, and then DO it.
3. Breathe. Always remember to take some time to stop. Smell the roses. Breathe the air: even if it is cold! Don’t get too caught up in everyday life. There are some fantastic parks here in Malmö that are really great to just relax in. There are some beautiful buildings, and best of all, I have seen some of the most gorgeous sunsets!
4. köttBullar. The famous Swedish meatballs (can be easily found at IKEA stores around the world) are perhaps one of the most versatile meats I’ve ever found. You can use them for everything! On their own with vegetables, with pasta, in pilaf, in stews, and in any other conceivable dish. You are only limited by your own creativity!
5. Bike-locks. Bicycle security is a big issue here in Malmö. One of my Swedish friends told me that it is strange that for ‘safe’ society such as Sweden, he finds it bizarre that for some reason bike-related theft is one of the biggest crimes here. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, secure your bike. With a lock. Preferable a big one. At all times. Simple as that.
6. Baguettes. This item only made it on the list because I found it a bit funny. Back in Adelaide, we call the long, thin, round bread that originally came from France, a French Stick. Pretty logical if you ask me. But here however, they call them baguettes: the same name for the thing that is like Subway, but only more sophisticated. Gotta love it.
7. Bro’s. Or as my brother would pronounce it: ‘bruzz’. Friends are what make this experience so incredible. I know that I am loving being able to meet people from all over the world, and sharing my time with them! Whether it is travelling, watching movies, studying, or walking along the beach, it is the people that makes it all worthwhile!
8. Bravery. The right side of the road is your friend, not your enemy. Just because the Swedes (and the rest of Europe for that matter) got their rights and lefts mixed up and ended up driving on the right side of the road, this doesn’t mean you need to be afraid of riding your bike on the right side. Just remember: in Sweden you drive on the right side of the road. In Australia you drive on the correct side of the road. In this case, I don’t care about statistics 😉 This link does give some really interesting (even if it is potentially inaccurate) information about why the British decided that driving on the left was a good idea: http://users.telenet.be/worldstandards/driving%20on%20the%20left.htm I do like the opening line on the page though: “Visitors are informed that in the United Kingdom traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road. In the interests of safety, you are advised to practise this in your country of origin for a week or two before driving in the UK.”
9. Boisterous. I’ve noticed that in groups, Australians always seem to stick out of the crowd. Even if they are small in number, they are always some of the loudest! Perhaps it’s because in the international student context, they have an advantage because of being a native English speaker. Regardless of the reason, I suppose that if you can’t beat them, you just have to join them!
10. Bath-towel. For anyone who has read Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, you will already know why the towel is your most important item of luggage. For everyone else refer to this link and be informed: http://thelotussutrachronicles.blogspot.com/2009/03/importance-of-towel.html