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Carolin Knapp @ Konstfack University, Stockholm, Sweden

Carolin Knapp, 21, 4th semester BA student in Industrial Design is doing a study abroad her field Industrial Design at Konstfack University Stockholm, Sweden.

Hej, simply 'Hello' and welcome to my intermediate report on probably one of the most natural and friendly countries in the world.
For my semester abroad I decided to go to KONSTFACK University in Stockholm, Sweden. After the first excitement about the new country and the new part-time school had subsided and we had moved into our rooms, everyday life could begin here in Stockholm.

School

As a start into the new semester there was a guided tour through the former Ericsson factory building, where the Konstfack is accommodated today. It is worth mentioning that the school is located at the subway station 'Telefonplan'. Since the area is huge, there are many possibilities for learning, working and keeping busy. I particularly liked the fact that 'the Classroom' consists of a large light-flooded room, in which each student has his own work area with table, light and shelves. Next to it there is a small computer room, one of many. In contrast to Pforzheim, here you work in weekly projects. So far we have completed a total of 3, some in cooperation with the local primary school or a large household goods company.A 'printing room' with about 15 3D-printers and 4 laser cutters makes the heart of every industrial design student beat faster. Also the 5 workshops for wood, clay and metal offer a lot of space to work on projects or smaller hobby projects.

Accommodation

All exchange students live in a house 2 minutes away with many rooms. Each student has 15-20 square meters for himself including kitchen and bathroom. Monthly I pay the equivalent of 510 Kronars  (about 500 Euro). The rents for June and July are free and offer the possibility to live in the city even after the end of the semester and to explore a bit more.

City

Since Hägersten, the school's district, is just outside Stockholm, the subway offers the opportunity to get from accommodation to the city quickly. Small fact here: The subway in Stockholm is the only subway in Sweden. Some stations are beautifully decorated with antique objects or murals.In the centre itself there are many possibilities to spend the day or the evening. Beautiful cafés but also many museums invite to stay here. We recommend 'Gala Stan' (the old town) with its beautiful buildings and small islands close to the water. 'Södermalm' and 'Slussen' on the other hand invite you to secondhand shopping, which is very popular for students as everything is a bit more expensive.

Students

Meanwhile it has finally got a little warmer, everything starts to bloom slowly and also the students seem to wake up and do more. My year (3rd - 4th semester) consists of 10 people including me and another Exchange student. Through a lot of group work within the school we have become a close community and mostly do something together, like a visit to the amusement park, a beer after school, visit the furniture fair or simply sunbathing in the grass.

Language

I am especially happy that most of the time English is spoken and the local students even try to speak English to each other. Nevertheless, I have already learned a couple of words and reading signs is not difficult because of the similarities to German and English.

Outside Stockholm

Countless islands offer possibilities for day or weekend trips, at Easter, for example, we went together to a small, red wooden hut near the water (Norrtalje). But also ferry trips to 'Utö' or forest walks through 'Kungsgarden' offer possibilities to enjoy nature.

In conclusion, I can say that I have been able to get some new design knowledge and impressions of Stockholm and I am looking forward to the next weeks.