When I moved to Stockholm for my PhD this January, I came from living in flatshares in London for about 8 years. Now, flatshares in London can be the best things ever for 1 reason – the amazing people you meet. However flatshares in London can be awful for about a billion reason like awful landlords, damp houses, dysfunctional heating, mice, lack of recycling, never having hot water that works, not to mention the mindboggling rents. So needless to say, my move to from London to Sweden was full of anticipation, not just for my new PhD position, but also for a life upgrade in terms of accommodation.
BUT, and here is the big BUT, getting your hands on some of that life upgrading accommodation in Stockholm is like finding a needle in a haystack! My dreams of a fancy pad in the middle of the city quickly turned into dismay at the idea of having to live with someone’s grandpa in a tiny room in the suburbs, which smelt like the bad kind of second-hand, and paying out of my nose for it until I was 40.
So I asked ‘what to do if you come to KI or to Stockholm as a PhD student??? Sleep in the printer room at KI, commute from Nyköping??’ No, just no – you are here to enjoy not only your studies but also the city life. Resourceful as I am, (read desperate) I therefore started flat hunting in every possible way. I have complied my tips about how to start looking for a place. It is nothing new, but if you have never tried to find a place in Sthlm (just like me) it might be a good place to start.
- Social media – it not only runs the world, it runs the accommodation market in Stockholm. At least for a lot of flatshares and room lets. Advertise that you are looking for a place on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and if you don’t know anyone in Stockholm email all your colleagues and let the world known you are looking for a place.
- Look up sites on Facebook like ‘Kollektiv I Stockholm’ and ‘1a & 2a hand samt byten & Rum i Göteborg & Stockholm’, where rooms in alternative forms of living are advertised.
- Blocket.se – there are so many rooms and apartments on here but be smart. Figure out what you want to pay, roughly how far you can consider commuting and demand pictures and all numbers upfront before you go see a place.
- Look up student accommodation in Stockholm and get in the housing cue for those as early as you can, you could get lucky!
- Don’t stress too much – you may not find a great place at first, but give it a few months and as your network grows so will your chances of getting a place that you like.
Now I am going to be one of those annoying, smug people and get to the end (and really the main, selfish, purpose for writing this whole post). I just got a new apartment i Vasastan! Of course it was all luck and through a friend of my brother, but I take that as a sign that it could happen to anyone right? Here are some pics from my new pad, including my great flatmate. Living proof that staying calming and doing very little can sometimes lead to getting very lucky.