Studying abroad in just ONE suitcase: Yes, all you need is ONE SUITCASE!

Happy August Everyone!

I can’t believe the summer is already almost over! Enjoy the remaining weeks you have left before you set off to your new Fall adventures!

Some of you may be preparing for a semester/year abroad to another country. Ever wondered how you can fit all of the stuff you need in just…

ONE SUITCASE???

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Well look no further! I am not an expert, but after traveling and studying in Sweden for a semester, I figured out what is ESSENTIAL for you to pack!

NO NEED TO SEND PACKAGES OVERSEAS TO WHEREVER YOU ARE STAYING!!!

First, you need to check and see how many bags you are allowed to take on the airplane (or boat if you are traveling that way).

Also, check and see the maximum weight limit for your check-in bags. (*Note: British Airway’s weight limit is 51 lbs./23.3 kilos.)

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*CAUTION: BE AWARE THAT YOU MAY HAVE TO DRAG YOUR SUITCASE/ HAND BAG AROUND FOR LONG DISTANCES IN ORDER TO GET TO YOUR DESTINATION. DON’T BRING BAGS THAT YOU HAVE A HARD TIME CARRYING OR MOVING AROUND.

Now here comes the fun part. All you need is ONE SUITCASE. Yup, just ONE!

Some people prefer suitcases with 4 wheels, some prefer duffle-bag like suitcases. Before I left for Sweden, I found a 2 wheel suitcase that also had a backpack that you can zip on and off the suitcase! (:

Here is what I think are essential to bring anywhere you go:

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1. Weather appropriate clothing (don’t bring your whole wardrobe; bring enough clothing that will last you a week and that you can mix and match).

2. Weather appropriate shoes (if it is snowing where you are landing, boots are absolutely needed! Your feet will thank you!)

3. Toiletries that will last you for a couple weeks: Hair brush, tooth brush, tooth paste, floss, soap, face wash, etc.

(don’t bring anything in a big bulk; you can buy more of your toiletries where ever you are staying).

4. Medicine: Bring the medicine that essential for your well being that you may not find easily in the country you are staying in. (Medicine such as pain killers, vitamins, etc. can be found easily in your country’s drug store.)

5. A mini First Aid kit: Hey, you never know! Just bring a little bit of what you think you may need. It’s better to be prepared!

6. Laptop: Like any other student in the country you will be studying in, you will need the technology to do research, write papers, make presentations, etc. But like most college students, our laptops become our best friends because of the internet!! XD

7. Charger and plug adapters: Depending on where you are studying, you may be in a country that has a different plug than the one in your home country. Bring at least one adapter so you’re not caught with a useless charger and less than 5% battery on your laptop, phone, etc.!

8. A photo album: Photos are great to have to decorate your room with! Seeing the faces of family and friends will make your transition into a new environment easier! (:

9. Extra currency: In the 1/1,000,000 chance you get ripped off, make sure you have extra cash of the currency of the country you will be studying. Better safe than sorry.

When you pack your suitcase correctly, you can get all of these materials in; and even more stuff if you want. The key is checking to see what you really need or can just get at the store when you arrive at your final destination. Whatever else you want to pack is up to you!

Materials such as these should NOT be in your suitcase because you can always buy them later on. And depending on your housing situation, they may be provided for you:

1. Bed linens and pillows

2. Closet hangers

3. Kitchen ware

4. Tons of food

5. Shower curtains, waste baskets, and other bulky bathroom materials.

6. Tons of school supplies.

7. Any bedroom materials that are bigger or taller than your own suitcase/hand bag.

Basically, anything too big or things you know you can live without for 6 months-1 year (or longer) should not go into your suitcase.

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You may be surprised with how little you can live with and still be happy! 😀

Moose Park

Hej all!

As you know from my last post, I visited Småland’s Kosta Factory. On the same day, I also went to a MOOSE FARM! No Swedish adventure is complete until you see a real live moose “up-and-personal”!!

The Moose (Elk) is called “Älg” in Swedish. It is one of Sweden’s national animals; it’s very popular as an icon for tourism. Whenever you go to a souvenir shop in Sweden, you will see something (be it a keychain, mug, magnet, t-shirt, etc.) that has Sweden’s national animal on it. Guaranteed! 🙂

Here is a picture I took which gives a little bit more information about moose:

Information about moose

Information about moose

In particular, I went to Grönåsens Älg Park. It’s not too far away from the Kosta Factory. It is 60 SEK (currently around $9.16 USD) per person. You get to walk around the vast park, walk into a err, “kind of sad and gruesome” (in my opinion) moose museum, and have the ability to enjoy your *fika. There is even a farm that is filled with pigs, goats, chickens, and even a scary turkey!

*Fika: in Sweden, a “coffee break” that you can take in the middle of the day with others. I will make a post about “fika” later on! 😀

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Look out for this guy! He's vicious!!

Look out for this guy! He’s vicious!!

There is also a souvenir shop; you can buy a lot of things… even MOOSE SAUSAGE! If you are only used to eating chicken, beef, and pork like me, it may seem weird to eat moose. But it is definitely worth it to try once.

I saw about 8 moose while I was walking around the park. Be sure to respect the nature around you and don’t be screaming and shouting. Loud noises in particular will scare the moose away and your chances of seeing them will be greatly diminished. Towards the end of my walk, I was so close to a moose, I could even touch it! I didn’t though because I was too scared..

Here are some pics of the moose I saw:

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“Why hello!”

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It was nice to take a stroll around the moose park and see one of Sweden’s amazing animals. If you are from California like me, a moose isn’t the type of animal you see every day. Not even in a zoo! If you ever want to check out this moose park in particular, here is the link. Enjoy! 🙂

That’s all for now! See you again soon!!

Kosta Factory

Hi every one! 😀

I’m sorry that I have been MIA (Missing in Action) for the past month; being an exchange student has kept me VERY busy! I am now officially done with my academic semester at Linnaeus University (hooray!). Time to get ready for summer vacation!

During the month of May, I traveled to a really cool factory. There is one thing that Småland is known for world-wide:

Glass pieces (a.k.a. “The Kingdom of Crystal”)

 This area of Sweden has a ton of glass factories you can check out!

So yes, I visited a glass factory…. KOSTA!

Kosta Glass Factory

Kosta Glass Factory- working since 1742

Unfortunately, since we went to the Kosta factory during it’s “off season” (the less touristy time of the year), there weren’t any tours. But, we were able to watch workers make beautiful glass pieces.

Here are some photos of their creations:

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My favorite glass pieces were “cosmetic” masterpieces!

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Glass cosmetic set with “hot lips”, lipstick, and nail polishes.

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The Kosta glass factory even has a couple of outlets (so you can buy glass pieces at decent prices), an art gallery, a shopping mall, and even a hotel! You can check out the details from this website:  http://www.kostaboda.com/about-kosta-boda/the-glassworks

If you are traveling from Linnaeus University or Växjö, it is about a 30-45 minute drive. Also, the Kosta factory is very close to a …. MOOSE FARM! 🙂

Stay tuned for my next post. We will be searching for Sweden’s national animal!

A Collage of Swedish Cuisine

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A Collage of Swedish Cuisine

As a fellow “foodie”, I will take advantage of every opportunity I get to take a picture of whatever I am eating. (; I am going to miss some of these delicious “delicacies” when I return home!

From top left to right: Chocolate croissant, Semla (a Swedish pasty with heavy cream and almond filling), Custard pasty, my home made open-face lox bagel, seasonal pasta, salad and home made Swedish bread, Sweden’s version of Hawaiian pizza.

Welcome to my blog!

“Hej!” Hi every one! 😀

Welcome to my first and official blog! This blog will be focusing on the adventures (and ‘MIS ADVENTURES’!) of a short, Asian American college student studying in Sweden and discovering Europe’s magical wonders.

A little bit about me….

  • I am currently studying at Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden for my Spring 2013 semester. While my spring semester is almost over, I will share with you my past experiences and whatever I remember about this past semester (whatever is left in my brain).. :p
  • I grew up in glorious sunny California, USA. While my college, San Francisco State University, is not necessarily “sunny” (more foggy-like weather at least 75% of the time… -___-), I have yet to find myself bored in San Francisco. (:
  • I am an International Relations (IR) major- just a student willing to learn, try, and get the knowledge and tools needed to change our local and global community.

I hope my blog will be entertaining and motivating for everyone: especially those college students who are interested in studying abroad and those who want to travel around the world! So what are you waiting for?! Grab your favorite drink and a comfy blanket and discover Sweden with me! (:

“Traveling is the only thing you spend money on, that makes you richer.” – Those who decided to discover the world for themselves