Swedish student comes to UConn, spends time with friend
Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2013 23:10
This article is part of a series profiling this semester’s exchange students and their experience at UConn.
Typically seen around campus with headphones on and a proclaimed music lover, Swedish exchange student, Axel Dalman, said he spent half a year taking time off of college to work at a radio station and trying to become a recording engineer.
The 22-year-old said it was the norm in Sweden to take a semester off during school and that a lot of students try to become professional deejays in the country native to big names like Swedish House Mafia and Avicii.
“I’m more into the English and German music scenes,” said Dalman, “but I’m really into all different types of music.”
The nightlife in Sweden is centered on student run organizations called ‘nations,’ which host deejay’s every night, Dalman said, and while big names perform on the weekends, the weeknights are a good starting point for student deejays.
Dalman ended up studying abroad at UConn after he returned to school and met and became friends with UConn student, and Daily Campus associate managing editor, Jimmy Onofrio doing exchange at his university in Uppsala.
“It’s the main reason I came, to hang out with a good friend for a year,” he said.
The language differences were never a constraint to having an English-speaking, American friend. He said English was part of the Swedish curriculum since he was 8, and because of the American media influence, people in Sweden speak English well. When Dalman is with his Swedish friends he says they sometimes even throw in American phrases that they heard in movies.
“My favorite thing about America is the Americans, that’s why I came back so many times,” he said, “People are so happy to have someone from abroad come.”
Dalman said he found an interesting difference between the two cultures to be how welcoming to foreigners Americans are, while he said Swedish people could sometimes be more reserved when first meeting someone.
In general, he said traveling is a huge part of the Swedish culture, and easily listed off ten countries he has traveled to. He said he has been surprised to meet people at UConn that have never gone beyond New England.
Another difference Dalman mentioned was the cost of college. Going to university in Sweden is free and students are given a stipend to pay for living expenses, he said. Because of this, the taxes are high in Sweden, but Dalman said it is a safe place to grow up.
“The flip side is it tends to get a bit boring, that’s why I like the U.S., the culture is vibrant. There are influences from different countries, it’s a bit crazy and doesn’t always work well,” he said.
On the Swedish store Ikea, Dalman was familiar with the name, but called it “generic” and said it is where college students would buy furniture, or his family if they needed a basic piece such as a trash bin.
He said the modern, minimalistic style that Ikea furniture has is popular in Scandinavia though.
On the subject of furniture, Dalman also talked about his job, where in one instance he met the Queen while helping her do some furnishing.
The job is at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. He said he tells people not to take photos or touch the paintings when the palace is open to visitors, but he has also been able to meet the prince and princess.
Working in the palace was not going to change Dalman’s study abroad plans though. “I feel like you really miss something if you don’t go abroad, it’s been the best two months of my life so far, such a cool experience,” Dalman said.