Travel Guide | Denmark

10 Signs You’ve Studied Abroad In Scandinavia

How to know you’ve spent some time in Scandinavia

1) You’re Happier Than You’ve Ever Been Before 

Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland are consistently ranked in the list of the top ten happiest countries in the world, according to annual reports conducted by the United Nations. Studying abroad in these countries means it’s inevitable that the locals’ carefree attitudes and appreciation for life’s little joys will rub off on you, too.

Scandinavia Happiness

2) You’re Broke
Scandinavia isn’t the most student budget friendly destination. In fact, Norway and Denmark are two of the top five most expensive countries in the world to live in.  Although you’ll come back home with a significantly smaller savings account, the high price tag is worth it.

3) You’re Obsessed With Biking  

Scandinavia is home to the world’s most bike-friendly cities.  After a semester filled with memories biking around everywhere  you need to go, the thought of having to drive a car or relying on public transportation broke your heart. Chances are, selling your bike at the end of your study abroad experience was probably one of the hardest goodbyes.

Danish Bike

4) You Never Partied Harder Than You Did in Scandinavia 

High school graduation celebrations in Norway consist of renting out private buses, road-tripping across the country and parading around the city streets.  Now just imagine what college parties in Scandinavia are like.

 5) You Gave Up Trying to Learn the Language    

Friends studying in Spain, Italy, and Germany often come back home with a strong grasp of the local language.Meanwhile, if you’ve studied abroad in Scandinavia for a semester, you’re lucky if you picked up about ten words or phrases of the local language. Chances are you’re not even pronouncing them properly.  With four extra letters in their alphabet and a lot more additional vowels in Scandinavian words, you’ve quietly accepted that the native tongue will simply remain white noise.

6) You Were Outdoors Every Chance You Got          

Even the biggest city lovers can’t say no to the splendor of Scandinavia’s nature.  From kayaking on the majestic fjords of Norway to gazing at sparkling Northern Lights in Lapland, Finland, you’ve developed a newfound appreciation  for nature that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life.


 7) You Either Love or Hate Black Liquorice  

Scandinavians are obsessed with the salty and sweet treat. If there’s a flavour option in Scandinavia, you can bet your kroners that there’s a liquorice option.

8) You’ve Become a Better Chef  

One of the funniest conversations I’ve had abroad was trying to explain the concept of boxed macaroni and cheese to my Danish flatmates.  For the life of them, they couldn’t understand why anyone would want to eat something made from powdered cheese.   While not every culture can appreciate this North American dorm room delicacy, everyone who’s lived in Scandinavia knows locals love cooking their own meals from scratch. Over time, you’ve learned that it’s to better to use fresh ingredients and cook from home, too.

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9) Purchasing your Fjallraven backpack was a rite of passage    
It was a sign that you’ve truly assimilated into the Scandinavian culture.  Fjallraven, a Swedish backpack originally designed for elementary students, are all the rage right now amongst college students. They come in a verity of different colors  and are the perfect size for class or for a short day trip.

10)  Black Clothes Make Up A Majority of Your Wardrobe  Scandinavians  wear a lot of dark clothing and always look effortlessly chic. Without even realizing it, all of your new clothes are either black, grey, navy or white.

Scandinavia Black Clothes

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Angela Serednicki

Ryerson University | 11 stories

Angela Serednicki is a writer living in Toronto, Canada.

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