My journey to find home… – By: Sam

As a second-year student and student ambassador, often times I have been
asked the question: why Uppsala University? The world is filled with various other
prestigious universities and gorgeous countries rich with opportunities. But I
have chosen to study in Sweden. A Northern country known for the cold and hard
winters, gorgeous nature, and, of course, the famous Ikea. But I come from a
country where the sun kisses my cheeks everyday and where the beach is
always 5 minutes away. I lived in the Netherlands, where the tulips bloom and
where boats sail through the canals. So, why did I choose to come Sweden of all

I wanted to start a new adventure. I’ve lived in Aruba for 18 years and after high
school I decided to move to the Netherlands. I love Aruba and it will always be
my home, but I longed for the cold and seasons I didn’t have. I wanted to see the
leaves fall of the trees, feel the cold air on my skin and experience the flowers
blooming in the spring. I yearned for a new beginning and a new experience. I
lived in the Netherlands for 5 years. Started my Bachelor and finished it.
Experienced the sorority life and Dutch culture of riding my bike to every corner
of the city I lived in. I enjoyed meeting new people, having cool roommates and
experiencing the beautiful countryside of the Netherlands. A place I could call
home again. But then corona hit…

It was an isolating life. I finished my Bachelor thesis and was looking at a
master’s degree, but I felt trapped in my home. I love the place and it is very
close to my heart, but I wanted a new beginning again. Somewhere new to
explore. So, I looked for places abroad to continue my journey and happen to
stumble upon Sweden. A country up North I have never been to nor ever thought
to explore. In one google search I saw nature I have never explored, a cold I have
never experienced, a country I’ve never even thought about. An interesting and
new place. An unexplored area, a place for me to discover. My new home

I found various programmes that caught my eye, but which city will I pick? The
country is so big. I am from a small country, an island even. In the Netherlands, I
lived in a small city. I can’t move to a big city, that’s a big step. A step I am not
ready to take. So, why not a smaller city, a less dense city? But I want to
experience the capital, so perhaps a city close to the capital? How about
Uppsala? I quickly type Uppsala into my search bar and stumble upon a quaint
city surrounded by nature, rich in history and buzzing with student life. I find a
city that excites me and makes me want to call it home. I immediately apply for
my programme and await the day I get accepted.

It’s the day of the results. I am nervous. I am scared, but I am most of all excited.
As if my body knew I would get accepted. As if my heart new it could find a new
place to explore and love again. I open the website, and I read my result. I am
accepted! I jump in glee; I run around the house and cry of happiness. I did it!
Flash forward to the day before moving to Sweden. I am leaving behind close
friends, leaving behind family once again and leaving behind a country I once
called home to pursue a new adventure. It’s a bittersweet ending to such an
exciting start of an adventure I had in the Netherlands. It’s reliving the sad
feeling I had when I left my island of Aruba to pursue my future in the

Netherlands, but also the excitement of a new start in a new and unexplored
country. I wake up the next day, grab my luggage, leave my apartment and go
to the airport. I am ready to leave my home away from home.
I arrive in Sweden. I am welcomed by an excited team of students and all the
information I would need to start my journey. I reach my apartment and settle
my things. I start my programme, meet new people, make new friends, explore
new areas, find comfort in new things I never could have imagined. A year has
passed, I walk through the city with a smile on my face remembering where I
was a year ago. A scared but excited girl with so much awaiting her. A girl ready
to face anything coming her way. A girl that has yet again, found her home.

1 Comment

  1. Ateke Martin Nkeng

    Wow! Just as i was reading tears drop off my eyes, i love your story Samantha, it touched my soul, am inspired.

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