On kitchens and strangers*

*who soon become actually really good friends who you go on road trips and celebrate birthdays and drink tea with.

When deciding where to go on exchange, I knew I wanted to go somewhere that I could have the ‘student living experience’ which I feel like I miss out on when I’m in Canberra. Living at home is great, and I really don’t think I’d have liked doing my whole degree away from home, but there was always a feeling of wanting to experience what it would be like living in student accommodation.

Enter: Lappkärrsberget.


Or as everyone who isn’t Swedish and can’t pronounce the name correctly/at all calls it: Lappis.

I love it here. It’s a ten minute walk into the main campus and has super easy access to public transport. We are basically in the middle of a botanical garden so there are loads of pretty walks to do, particularly along the waterfront. “Lappis Beach” which is really more of a lake with a bit of sand and some barbeques was where we spent pretty much every night the first two weeks we were in Stockholm.

I live in a corridor with about 12 other people. Everyone has their own room and bathroom, and we share a kitchen. I really wanted to make an effort to meet and get to know the people in my corridor. I didn’t want to be that person that only says hello as we’re both entering and leaving our apartments. Luckily the people I live with are pretty awesome. We’re from all over the world: India, Australia, Sweden, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, to name a few. Between us the average number of languages spoken is probably three (but that’s only because I single-handedly bring down the average quite dramatically by only being able to speak one language).

Photo from when a few of us went on a road trip to Fjällbacka

We’re a bit of a funny bunch but we all have a good time when we get together. My favourite thing about living in this corridor was that there is always someone around to talk/ joke/ cook with. I’ll be honest, my kitchen isn’t the cleanest, or the newest. The chairs at the dining table are mis-matched and there is quite a bit of clutter from people who used to live here. The power often goes out and one of the ovens works I’d say 50% of the time. But I have a cupboard with my name on it and we all leave little notes/jokes on post-its for each other. I also share a fridge with my neighbour who often lets me use his milk because I always seem to be running out (#teadrinker).


With everyone still away on Christmas break, the corridor feels quite empty to be in. I’m not looking forward to having to say goodbye to everyone in ten days, but I know that if I’m ever in Europe again I can visit any one of these guys and they’d be happy to show me around their home towns. And I’d be the same for them.


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