Lapland, Finland!

I’m a little late posting this but I went to Finland a couple weeks ago! It was amazing! I was able to check off several things on my bucket list in about four days. I went ice fishing (I didn’t catch anything), drove a sleigh pulled by reindeer, drove a snowmobile, went to the arctic circle, saw the real santa clause, rode on and steered a dog sled pulled by six huskies, saw the northern lights, played in snow up to my waist, and used snowshoes to walk in the waist deep snow! It. Was. Amazing.

After I got back I was a little sad because of the lack of snow, but luckily it snowed a ton in Jonkoping for a few days! I was a nice transition back. I’m basically done with classes for the first half of the semester, I finished my project presentation this morning and I have my final exam on the 19th. That’s quite a gap so naturally I decided to spend my time in London!

I’m actually writing this on the bus to the airport. I’m going to be spending a week in London visiting two of my friends from home. One of them is an exchange student like me and the other actually goes to school there. I’ll be spending the weekend in Bath and the rest of the week in Reading. I’ll be posting pictures of it and hopefully be writing a blog about it shortly after. I’m working on a video from my trip to Finland so keep an eye out for that as well.

Last night I met a few people from America who were on spring break in Sweden! They were really nice and we became pretty good friends in the short time we were together. Unfortunately, they left this morning so we didn’t get to show them around much, but it was still nice to talk to some more Americans.

Some more good news is the bed bugs are officially gone in my room! The exterminators came and got rid of them. They searched the other rooms and found bugs in basically all the other rooms (potentially the room with the source). Within the next few days the house should be free of bed bugs!

I’m super excited about London and I can’t wait to share everything about it when I get back. I miss everyone back home and I hope you’re all doing well!


Gränna And Isaberg!

Wow, what a week! I’ve been sick twice so far so it’s been tough getting out of my room, but I’m fighting through it! It’ll pass eventually.

Last Tuesday I went to the campus arena to play some of the sports hosted by the student union and it was so much fun! It felt really nice to run around and do something active again. I played volleyball, futsal, and floorball. Futsal is basically indoor soccer, but with a smaller, denser ball so it doesn’t bounce much on the hard floor. Floorball is indoor hockey without skates and it uses a wiffleball as the puck. Floorball is very popular in Sweden so there were a ton of Swedish students that showed up with their own sticks and were dressed with special shoes and I felt very intimidated. I got the hang of the game after a few minutes and after that I did pretty well. I scored a goal too! That was my only objective when I started so I was content. Afterwards, some friends and I went to a burger place called Max and I was really good. My American friend Larry and I showed our international friends the American way to eat french fries (dipped in a milkshake) and they were disgusted…until they tried it. They said it was alright but I think they were just being stubborn and wouldn’t admit they liked it. Oh well.

Friday I went to Gränna with some friends. I was a very spontaneous trip considering I was invited the day before. Gränna is a city about an hour bus ride away from Jönköping. It’s where Polkagris was invented (aka candy canes). The town is very small but it is very pretty as well. The town is at the bottom of a cliff which has a very long stairway leading to the top. At the top is an old village that has a ton of really interesting buildings. There’s also a really nice view of the city. It was a very nice day trip with some great people.

Saturday I woke up really early and rode with about 16 other people in rental cars to a ski slope in Isaberg, which is about an hour south of Jönköping. It was the first time I’ve seen snow here since the first few days after I arrived. It was beautiful. Most people here ski instead of snowboard too. I’d say it’s a 80% to 20% skis to snowboard ratio, compared to what I’d say is 50% 50% in the US. Because most people here ski, the ski lifts were designed mostly for skiers. They give you a pole to hold onto with a disc at the bottom to put between your legs that pulls you up the mountain. This is really convenient if you’re a skier and go up the mountain facing straight up, but if you’re on a snowboard this tends to be a lot harder than you’d expect! I made my friend Philip go first and he fell off about five seconds after grabbing the pole. Luckily, I made it up but my whole body was exhausted because whenever I’d find my balance I’d keep my entire body tense so I wouldn’t lose it. Basically every time I saw someone falling off the lift, it was a snowboarder. It was hilarious watching some people just accept it and let the lift drag them on their stomach all the way up. It was so much fun!

Yes Mom and Dad I am actually attending school here too don’t worry. I have several assignments due next week and the week after so I’ve been working very hard on finishing those up in my free time. Classes are going very well and are pretty interesting. Most of the lectures are over and the rest of the period will be group projects so I’m looking forward to see how those will end up.

Update on the bed bugs! There isn’t one… I talked to my landlord and he said he’ll contact the exterminators and get them here as soon as possible. That was last Monday though. It’s Wednesday of the next week right now. I emailed the accommodation office three times but never got a response. I went into their office yesterday to figure out why they haven’t responded but they were closed. I talked to someone else in the office and they said they’d tell them to email me today but as of now I haven’t gotten an email. Oh, and it turns out that two other people in my house have bed bugs now too! They will most likely have to treat the entire house for them otherwise they’ll never go away. So I don’t know exactly how that’ll turn out but I’ll let you know!

I’ve got a lot planned for the next few weeks and I am so excited for the rest of this semester. Talk to you guys soon!

Busy Busy Busy!

Wow it’s been awhile since my last post! So much has been happening and I barely have enough time to myself!

Class started last week and so far my classes don’t seem like they’ll be too difficult! Last week was also kickoff week so we had activities every night again, just like pre-kickoff the week before. Monday I finally got my overalls. Each school here: business, engineering, health, and communications have a different color overall; mine are green. Every event here has a patch that you can get that you glue onto the overalls. The more events you attend, the more patches you get, which means you can end up with some really cool looking overalls! During kick off week, each school has two or three teams made up of their “zeros” (new students) and each team competes in different competitions. My team was named after a famous Swedish writer, Astrid Lindgren. She’s the writer behind the Pippi Longstocking series. Monday we got our overalls, and had a ceremony. Tuesday was an event called “trapped in Sweden” where each team competed in several time based challenges and whoever ended up with the best times won. Wednesday was “Night Mission” which is similar to a scavenger hunt, but instead of collecting items, we had to complete certain tasks and take a picture/video to prove it happened. This was when many people really let out their crazy. It was a night full of serenades, proposals, public speeches, dancing, reenactments, and a fashion show to finish it all off. Oh, and I may have jumped into a freezing lake. Thursday was a dodgeball competition, and guess who’s team won! Mine! Friday was called “Campus Quest” which was very similar to “Trapped in Sweden” but at the end we had to use the clues we got throughout the night to solve a puzzle. Finally, Saturday was the Sittning, which is where everyone gets together and eats, drinks and sings while others preform skits and dances on stage. It was a crazy week where everyone embarrassed themselves and had the time of their life.

I’ve explored the city a little more and it really is a beautiful place. Even though the weather isn’t always sunny and pretty, the city still has this feel to it that I just love and cannot get tired of. It’s crazy to think that I’ve only been here for three weeks! It feels like I’ve already done so much and it’s amazing because I can’t wait to see what else lies ahead!

I got the chance the other day to escape the city and head out into the country a little. It was amazing to walk through the trees and experience a totally new landscape, but what really intrigued me was how familiar it felt. Even though the trees were different, the ground was covered in moss and an the land looked different than anywhere else I had been before, I felt like I’d been there. Like I knew where I was and that I belonged there. It was amazing. I want to go to more places like that. The cities and architecture here is amazing and I love to admire all the unique buildings, but the natural scenes are what I enjoy the most here.

Now that the kickoff is officially over I have a lot more down time and will be able to update the blog a little more often. I’m talking more pictures than I was at first but still not nearly as many as I want to, but I’m working on it!

Also, it’s time to add another thing to the list of things wrong with my room! (This may end up being a weekly thing to talk about) It turns out my bed has bed bugs! I found out a couple days ago because I had noticed multiple bites. So I emailed my landlord and he said the earliest he can come is Monday. It’s a little inconvenient, but luckily I have great friends and many of them have offered to let me stay with them until then. I’ll update you all once it gets resolved!

Even though there are a few issues here and there, I am extremely happy here and I’m loving every second of it. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than where I am right now. Life is good.

First Week

So it’s been a few days since my last post and that’s because these last few days have been extremely busy. This first week was filled with so much information and activities that any free time I had was spent sleeping.

To start off where my last blog ended, I woke up the next morning hungry and half frozen, so I was ready to spend some time in the warm kitchen. The only problem was my door didn’t seem to want to open for me. I was locked inside…The deadbolt that I can turn from inside the room could lock, but would get stuck halfway when trying to unlock it. This proved to be quite a problem considering my sleep schedule was still slightly off so I woke up about 3 hours earlier than most people would. Long story short, I was stuck in my room for about three and a half hours, periodically looking through the peep hole and knocking/banging on my door whenever I thought I heard footsteps outside. Eventually a girl showed up with a VERY confused look on her face (probably thinking why the heck is this kid making so much noise this early in the morning?!). I made her go outside to my window so I could toss down my keys for her to unlock my door from the outside, because that works for some reason. Her name is Gaby and we are now very good friends, so I guess I didn’t scare her off yet!

Nothing else really happened that was super crazy so far this week. This week was more for just getting settled in and getting fed huge amounts of information that most people forgot after a day (luckily it’s all on their website which they decided to tell us about AFTER the six hours they spent telling us everything). I’ve got a Swedish phone number now, so if anyone wants to text me, you’ll have to download WhatsApp which is a free texting app that you can link your phone number to; my American number is linked to that. I can text other people who have iPhones through iMessage though! But you’ll have to ask me for my new number over Instagram or something.

I’ve made a ton of friends, all of which are other international students because the Swedish students haven’t moved in yet. Everyone is extremely nice and I haven’t met anyone yet that I don’t see myself being great friends with, which is really awesome!

A very popular thing here in Sweden is Fika, which is basically a universal coffee break at around 9:45AM, but it can be at any time as well. I’ve had fika several times already and it’s great! It gives me a chance to try different coffees because I’m not really big into coffee, but after this semester I might be!

Ikea is also very popular. I’ve been there four or five times already, it’s ridiculous. Although, it’s very nice because I was able to get a few things to make my room seem a little more like home. I am going to be living here for five months so I might as well give it a little bit of character.

This week has been full of new friends, group cooked meals, fika breaks, fun late nights, tons of walking, and lots of spent money. I’m loving every second of it.



By the way, I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of my house yet. I mean to take one whenever I’m leaving, but every time I leave, I’m rushing to catch the bus. I’ll try to get one before my next post. I have pictures of my room though!

And So It Begins…

After a TON of traveling, I finally made it to my accommodation and oh man was that an adventure in itself.

To start, my first flight was at 11:10am on the 5th. We made it there on time and I was able to meet up with my friend Phillip who was luckily taking the same flights as me, so I was not alone! The first flight got delayed thirty minutes which caused a slight panic because we originally had a fifty minute layover for the next flight, but after the delay we only had twenty minutes to find the terminal and board. Luckily the next flight was delayed as well so we had just enough time to grab some lunch before the seven hour flight coming up. The rest of the flight was pretty stress free.

We made it to Stockholm at around 5am on Friday and took a taxi to the City Centre. We checked into the hotel and finally had a chance to lay down and rest. After a refreshing nap, we decided to get lunch and walk around a little. There was a huge strip mall with an unnecessary amount of coffee shops and shoe stores! The strip went on for maybe a mile or so (maybe half a mile, I’m not really sure)! After a while of exploring, Phillip bought some shoes and we headed back to the hotel. I passed out as soon as my head hit the pillow. Which is surprising because the pillows were so thin, I might’ve been better off without them.

Due to jetlag I was fully awake and ready for the day at 5am. Great! After a warm shower and a five star meal at McDonalds, Phillip and I made our way to the train station. We ended up going to the wrong station and basically had to sprint to the right one to make it on time. We boarded literally seconds before the train pulled out. Whew! It was just a little too close for comfort. Our train ride to Jönköping included a switch to a different train and as we were trying to get off the train, two women with baby strollers got on. There was only enough room for only one person to move at a time and since the stroller ladies refused to back up a little to let us pass, we missed our stop. It was a little hectic because they didn’t speak English very well and we didn’t speak any Swedish. Anyway, we had to go to the next stop, turn around and go back. Because of the whole stroller lady situation, we got to Jönköping a little over an hour later than we were supposed to.

It was about 5pm now and remember, Phillip and I hadn’t eaten since 8am so we were starving by this time. After 30 minutes of waiting for a pickup, 60 minutes waiting in line for my room keys and lease, I finally made it to my room in what the students here call “The House of Love.” It’s real name is Lövingstorp so you can probably see why it’s acquired its nickname. My room is nice, mine’s the only room with a chimney, which I apparently am not allowed to use. Which is kinda a let down. Some of the light bulbs are out and my radiator may not be working but other than that everything else is good! Yeah my radiator is not working at he moment so my room is about as cold as a yeti’s armpit (which is very cold). Typing this blog has proven to be very difficult with my half frozen pinkies by the way. I’m going to Ikea tomorrow to get some sheets and a few things to liven up the room and the landlord said he’ll fix the radiator tomorrow but until then, it looks like I’ll have to keep on the layers and stay warm.

The last two days have been pretty crazy and just getting here has proven to be quite the adventure. I cannot wait to see what the next several months here bring me, but I am more than ready! Let the adventure begin!

Welcome to My Blog!

Hello, and welcome to my blog! My name is Scott Youll and I’m going to Sweden!

Before I start this blog, I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I’m a sophomore at the University of Arkansas and I am majoring in supply chain management. I love the outdoors and going on new adventures. Some of my favorite things to do are mountain biking, camping, and kayaking. I’d like to say that I enjoy traveling too but the truth is, I’ve never been out of the country so you can probably imagine how incredibly excited I am for this next semester!

I’ve always dreamed of traveling around and seeing all the amazing things this world has to offer but I never had a chance until now. These next five to six months are going to have a HUGE impact on my life and I am so excited to share my stories with you as I explore a new continent, try new foods, learn a different culture, and finally see the things I’ve been missing out on.

I will be sharing all of my experiences and photos on this blog so if you’re interested, stay tuned. See you soon Sweden!