INTERVIEW Meri Vaija, 22 years old, is a student from Finland.
Text: Erica Karlsson
Tell me a bit about yourself, how long have you been studying in Stockholm?
”My name is Meri Vaija and I´m 22 years old, and I´m originally from Finland. I´ve been studying in Stockholm for two and a half years, but six months of that time I studied in Singapore as an exchange student. I´m studying the Business Administration and Political Science program, it is double degree here at Stockholm University. ”
How come you choose to live and study in Stockholm?
”I lived in Münich for a while as an au pair, and while I was there I started to think that I could study abroad as well. So I started to look around for a university and a program that suited me. And after a while I found the program that I’m studying now. I liked the fact that it was a double degree.”
What does your current living arrangement look like?
”At the moment I’m living in a student apartment in Lappis with a friend of mine. She rents it second hand, and she needed a roomie so she asked me and I accepted. But when I first came to Stockholm I lived in a house with a few other people on the first floor while the family who owned the house lived on the floor above. I found that arrangement on Blocket. After that I had my exchange time in Singapore, and before I left I sign up at SSSB so when I came back to Stockholm I had enough points to get a room in a student corridor.”
What is your perspective on the living conditions for a student in Stockholm?
”Well, I think the conditions to find a place to live in Stockholm are good, it just takes time to find a place. I also believe that the living conditions are high if you compare to other parts of Europe, its rarely one have to worry about the conditions of a lodging you find in Stockholm. ”
Do you think it’s harder for an international student to find somewhere to live compared to a local student?
”I can´t be entirely sure since I only have my perspective. But I think that students who lived in Sweden have an advantage just because they know how it works and where to look. They also have a better understanding on what a reasonable price is, and which area is preferable to live in. Stockholm University gives international students some suggestions on which sites you can look in too, and it helps. But you are mainly on your own, nevertheless I haven´t had any difficulties to find a place, it just takes time.”