Leaving your home behind for your education is tough.
Bild av: Valgerður Lilja Björnsdóttir
Malmö: A new home and a new beginning (and lots of good food)
By: Valgerður Lilja Björnsdóttir
Published 16 july 2021
Moving and leaving behind your home and your security net is scary. Change is scary in general. It’s uncomfortable to leave everything you know behind and throw yourself into a place you do not know. It gets even scarier when moving countries as you have to adjust to a whole new society, its rules and customs. But it is also lots of fun and so gratifying!
I moved from Iceland to Malmö in 2019 to study at Malmö University. I arrived fresh-faced with dreams and ideas that might or might not have been a little unrealistic. I was excited to move to a (somewhat) warmer country and to have a chance for a new beginning. You know, “new year, new me” but instead of year it’s “new city, new me”.
Moving on my own to study has been a lot of fun: I’ve met so many new people, made friends that I would never have met if I hadn’t moved, experienced so many new things and I’ve pushed myself to try things that I’m interested in (I probably wouldn’t be writing this if I was still back home). That being said, it has not only been a dance on roses. As I mentioned above, I have a tendency to romanticize situations before I’m in them and therefore I had sort of unrealistic expectations. I had this idea that I would feel at home in this new place as soon as I moved, turns out, it does not work like that.
Being far away from family and old friends definitely took a toll on me in the beginning even though me and mom agreed on calling each other every other day. Along with missing my friends and family I also miss my home country. The nature is very different and I keep finding myself feeling homesick to the mountains and ocean. Also, no one told me how long it takes to make a new apartment feel like home – especially on a student budget. So there were absolutely some ups and downs that followed moving. It took me a while to start feeling at home in Malmö, but after a while I realised that the city had grown on me more than I ever thought it would.
I think my favorite thing about Malmö is how multicultural it is. It’s a very different experience from Iceland. In Malmö I’ve had the opportunity to observe many cultures I’ve never been close to before and I’ve gotten to try foods that I had no idea existed (food is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to share culture with others).
So, welcome to Malmö. I hope you enjoy being able to bike everywhere you need to go, experimental restaurants and cafés thriving in a growing city, the mix of people and cultures and the beautiful old town and parks. And of course, if you start feeling tired of Malmö, Copenhagen is only a short train ride away.