My new international family

​It’s been a year since the new adventure of moving to Sweden. This is how I made friends that made me feel like I was at home. 


In September it was my 25th birthday and for the first time since I was 18, I had a birthday party. I invited all my friends, who I met during my first year at Chalmers. While sending invitations I surprised myself that I have so many of them, that I know them so well. I feel I am happy. I feel I am there where I should be. But it was not like this at the very beginning.

Since I got an admission letter to Chalmers and Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability, I felt I couldn’t be happier. But the sooner it was to a moment of moving out, the happiness was getting lower. Imagine that you have lived for over 20 years in the same wooden house with a fireplace and a big garden. That you have to leave your mom and a cat which you have rescued and travel hundreds of kilometres away. No more morning coffee chat with mom, no cuddles with the cat, no often meetings with your best friends. Yes, it was heart-breaking for me. But both I and my mom knew that this is for the best, that I do it for my future.

Arrival time was hard for me. I came by myself to Sweden, and although there was a Swedish family which I lived with, I was missing home. But when I came to Chalmers, I realised I am not the only one. All of us had the same experience – moving out of their own home. We all felt the same feelings - anxiety, fear, doubt, exhilaration, excitement, happiness, exhaustion, relief and so on. That it was no different for me.
Day by day, I started to know new people and began to take advantage of this chance for which I worked so hard to get. Through the welcome month at Chalmers, I joined many activities and started to know more Swedish culture. Together with other students we played Kubb (an outdoor Swedish game), went for hiking trips and tours around the city. Slowly, everybody was finding their soulmates. 

During one of the breaks between lectures, I started to chat with a girl next to me. It went fast for us to become good friends. Together we found places we both like such as a sauna at a gym or a cafeteria where we like to play board games. Since then, we meet every week at the university, we go out together and care about each other. Whenever I am missing home, I know I have her.

And she is not the only person I can tell you about. There are many more people, who made my life happier here, who made me feel good. Who made me feel like at home. Nothing is ever going to replace my family, but you know what? I feel it doesn’t matter where you are, it does matter who you are there with. Although it’s just a year since I started at Chalmers I feel that this is my new place, because I managed to meet people with whom I feel like in a new family.


Published: Mon 18 Nov 2019.