8 Essential Tips for Adjusting to Life as an International Student in Stockholm

Discover the essential tips for adjusting to life as an international student in Stockholm, from embracing the language to exploring Swedish culture.

8 Essential Tips for Adjusting to Life as an International Student in Stockholm
Photo by Sweden SE

Stockholm, the beautiful and vibrant capital of Sweden, attracts thousands of international students every year. With its excellent higher education institutions, rich culture, and high quality of life, it's no wonder that Stockholm ranks as one of the top student cities globally. However, moving to a new city and adapting to a different culture can be challenging. Here are five essential tips to help you adjust to life as an international student in Stockholm.

1. Embrace the Swedish Language

While most Swedes speak excellent English, learning Swedish can significantly enhance your experience in Stockholm. Approximately 10 million people worldwide speak Swedish, and by learning the language, you'll be better equipped to communicate with locals and immerse yourself in Swedish culture. There are numerous language courses and resources available for international students, including free language courses offered by universities and local organizations.

Hemavi understands the importance of language compatibility and can help match you with a Swedish-speaking roommate to improve your language skills in a comfortable home setting. By using Hemavi's platform, you can specify your preferences, ensuring that you'll find a roommate who shares your interests in language learning and cultural exchange.

2. Get Familiar with the Public Transportation System

Stockholm boasts an efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and an extensive subway network called the Tunnelbana. According to the Stockholm Public Transport (SL), over 800,000 trips are made daily on the Tunnelbana alone. Familiarize yourself with the transportation system to navigate the city confidently. Make sure to purchase an SL Access card, which can save you both time and money on your daily commute.

3. Make the Most of Networking Opportunities

Sweden ranks 2nd in the world for innovation, and Stockholm is a hub for startups and multinational companies. Networking is crucial for your professional growth, and international students have access to various networking events, seminars, and workshops. Take advantage of university-organized events, join clubs, and participate in extracurricular activities to expand your professional network and make valuable connections in your field.

4. Embrace the Swedish Concept of 'Fika'

Fika is an integral part of Swedish culture, essentially meaning a coffee break accompanied by pastries and socializing. The average Swede consumes 3.2 cups of coffee per day, ranking Sweden among the top coffee-consuming countries globally. In Stockholm, you'll find over 200 cafes offering the perfect setting for a fika. Embracing this tradition can help you make new friends and adapt to the Swedish way of life.

5. Prepare for the High Cost of Living

Stockholm has a high cost of living, with Numbeo estimating that a single person's monthly expenses, excluding rent, are around SEK 9,000 (approximately USD 990). Create a realistic budget that accounts for expenses like groceries, transportation, and leisure activities. To save money, consider shopping at budget-friendly supermarkets like Lidl and Willys or utilizing student discounts available at many restaurants, cafes, and retail stores.

6. Explore the City and Its Surroundings

Stockholm is known for its stunning archipelago, consisting of around 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks. Make sure to explore the city's unique neighborhoods, parks, and nearby natural attractions to fully appreciate its beauty. Take advantage of the city's bike-sharing program, City Bikes, or the affordable ferry system to explore the archipelago during your free time.

Living with roommates can also make exploring more fun and affordable. Hemavi's platform can help you find roommates with similar interests, making it easy to plan weekend trips, cultural excursions, or simply enjoy Stockholm's vibrant social scene together.

7. Adapt to the Local Climate

Stockholm experiences cold, dark winters and relatively mild summers. The average temperature during winter months ranges from -1°C (30°F) to 1°C (34°F), while summer temperatures average between 13°C (55°F) and 22°C (72°F). Prepare for the changing seasons by packing appropriate clothing, such as warm winter coats, waterproof boots, and layering pieces for the summer months.

8. Embrace Swedish tradition and holidays

Experiencing Swedish traditions and holidays can help you better understand the local culture and connect with your Swedish peers. Some notable events include Midsummer, celebrated in June with dancing, singing, and flower crown-making, and the St. Lucia Day procession in December, which marks the beginning of the Christmas season.


Adjusting to life as an international student in Stockholm can be a rewarding experience if you are well-prepared. By learning the language, familiarizing yourself with the transportation system, networking, embracing Swedish culture, budgeting wisely, exploring the city, adapting to the local climate, and experiencing local traditions, you'll be on your way to a successful and enjoyable stay.

Hemavi's matchmaking platform can help you find the perfect roommate and shared accommodation, making your transition to life in Stockholm as smooth as possible. Sign up today and take the first step towards an unforgettable study abroad experience!