Making connections with those around us is vital to our growth in life and survival. Without connections, how would ideas spread, and how would we be supported in our endeavors? Making friends abroad has been quite an easy task. This ease could be attributed to living in an apartment complex on the same floor with other students in my program. Another factor could be the program’s size, which is around 65 students, give or take a few. Being in a small program means sharing classes with lots of the same people, and that class sizes themselves are small too, allowing for an intimate space to be shared where we get to know one another on a deeper level. My apartment complex has two common rooms specifically for the use of my program only. Students have put together social nights where we all get to spend time together and bond. After these social nights, we typically go to the city to explore the nightlife together.
While it has been easy to make friends with students within my program, it has been much more challenging to bond with local Swedes. Swedes, in general, tend to keep to themselves, and while they are very nice when having a surface-level conversation with them, it takes them much longer to open up and become friends with people like us who are only here for a short amount of time. This just means I will have to come back to Sweden and work my way into the local scene more now that I am aware of this element of the Swedish social culture.