Sophie during her internship in Stockholm
"What I learned from my internship abroad is that even though you are working full-time, you always have to try to find time for fun things." Read Sophie's story!
- Internship Abroad
- Studying Abroad
- Living Abroad
- Working Abroad
Hey! Who are you and where are you from? Where do you study/live/work?
Hi! My name is Sophie and I'm from the Netherlands where I study International Business & Management. For my study I have to go abroad for a year and therefore I'm currently doing my internship in Stockholm, Sweden.
What was the first thing you thought when you got off the plane? (bus/train/car)
I arrived in Stockholm at the end of January, in the middle of the winter. So the very first thing I thought when I arrived was: "Wow, it's so cold here".
What was the most shocking difference between your home country and your new country?
Since I am a student, the alcohol price is the biggest difference for me. There is a lot of tax on alcohol, making it a lot more expensive compared to the Netherlands.
What does your usual working day look like?
A work day in Sweden is usually 8 hours. I start at 9 o'clock in the morning and go back home around 5. In addition to lunch break, we often have a cup of coffee together. Next to working hard, people here also think it's important to have social contact and a good working atmosphere.
What's the working-atmosphere at your internship-company like?
The atmosphere at my internship company is very good. We have a young and international company, so everyone speaks English, which is very nice for me as I only know a few Swedish words. Furthermore, we work together with organizations that aim to improve the world (mission driven organizations), creating a positive atmosphere in our company.
Did you ever feel homesick? How did you cope with this?
Since I have already been abroad for six months earlier, I am used to being away from home. I have not really had any homesickness yet.
Did you feel at home in your new country? Why (not)?
I feel at home in Stockholm right now. In the beginning you always have to learn your way around but now I have really found my place. Nice roommates, nice colleagues and a great city.
Was there a type of local food you could NOT handle?
It is not a dish that I am talking about now, but I have become a fan of Fika. Fika is coffee and cake in the afternoon, which is very well known in Sweden. So the best thing here are all the cakes.
Please give us tips about who to befriend when living abroad. The Russians? The Irish? The Chileans? (Honestly, we want to know some gossip about other internationals you’ve met.)
Since I am doing an internship here, it was very important for me to become friends with my housemates and colleagues, as you spend most of your time with them. I live here in an apartment with 2 other very nice students, 1 from Belgium and 1 from Spain, which I have been very lucky with.
Describe the inhabitants of the new country in three words.
Helpful, friendly, polite.
What did you learn from your experience abroad? Was it the loving community you liked? The cheap cocktails? The overwhelming nature? Or was the experience less helpful than expected? Details, we want details!
What I learned from my internship abroad is that even though you are working full-time, you always have to try to find time for fun things. Like, going for drinks after work and making nice trips during the weekend.
My experience of my internship in Stockholm is better than expected, my internship company suits me completely and because of this internship I also found out what kind of company I want to work for later. Stockholm itself is better than expected, the city has everything to offer, nice shops, lots of culture, good restaurants and fantastic (but expensive) entertainment.