I spent an exchange semester at the Jonkoping International Business School in Jonkoping Sweden in fall last year. It was a quiet beautiful time. Days were longer, the sun shined brighter, the air was colder. I took a flight from Mumbai to Delhi to Arlanda, Stockholm with two other students from IIMA. When we landed these guys ran into another student attending the International Marketing program at the same university. So, that night of 1st September 2017, four of us, boarded the Flixbus from Arlanda to Jonkoping. This was to be the start of my time in Europe.
Jonkoping is quaint. Sometimes it is colorless. At the time when this post is being written, unusually so. I met a 48 year old man on the way back to New Delhi, he lived in Nord, and he tells me that the temperature there is a negative 24 degrees. The woman I shared an apartment with regularly sends me pictures of snowfall. I did see snow in Russia, a first for me, but and thankfully so, I have not yet watched inches of snow. I was asked in a job interview if I would be willing to work in Alaska, I, invariably, laughed. No, I said, not a chance, it is too cold. I don’t like too cold. I think its restrictive. And depressing.
That’s me prepping up for the minus temperatures at the Yashwant Palace Market in New Delhi. Mink is a sin and it looked like sin. I finally settled for a Dolce and Gabbana coat.
The Airbnb that the two guys had booked in Jonkoping was well-equipped – huge TV, playstation etc, a complete kitchen, great balcony, candles and lights, Ikea furniture and sheets. Everything was within walking distance, that is one of the things I liked about my time there – one could walk for commuting purposes, it did spoil your hair and skin, but then it was doable, and sometimes you had to do it since you know, student on a budget. I walked for the first 10-12 days, then when I shifted to a permanent residence which was 6 kms away from college, I got a bus pass made. I would not have had I not got lost in a cemetery one morning when I had a 8 am class. At this point I did not have an active phone connection, free wifi sufficed. In fact, I purchased a call plan only when I started traveling post the completion of my study-term which ended on the 45th day in the country.
Nearby our college, there were lots of cafes. I took a liking to Wayne’s coffee. I spend a couple of evenings here with that stranger we had picked up at the airport. I also spend another evening here with a student-friend who had come visiting.
Before I write about my time in Stockholm and then the 10 other countries I visited, below are some more pictures of Jonkoping –