Home » USA W: Alexa Rand – “40 differences I’ve encountered in Sweden”

USA W: Alexa Rand – “40 differences I’ve encountered in Sweden”

by WoV
source: Athletes Abroad

Sofie (our setter): “The United States is weird.” Many of my friends and family members keep asking me how living over in Europe is different from living in the United States. This past week, I have been making mental notes about things that I have noticed are different from what I am used to back at home.

Alexa Rand

Alexa Rand

Listed below are some of the differences that I have encountered along my journey as a professional athlete moving from the United States to Sweden:

1) Weight (kilograms versus pounds).  Everything in the weight room is in kilograms

2) Height (inches and feet versus centimeters):

-“How tall are you?”

-“I’m 6’ 3.”

-“What does that mean?”

3) Temperature (Fahrenheit vs. Celsius).  I’ll tell my teammates how cold it is back in Ohio or how warm it is in South Carolina, and they just stare at me because that number means nothing to them.

4) Money.  I get paid in Swedish Crowns.  The debit card I was given also has a chip in it.  This is common for everyone in Europe to have.  My teammates were confused when I said that no one I knew had this back at home.

*I use several iPhone apps to assist me with differences 1-4 on this list.*

5) Military time.  I finally know what time practice starts when it says 15:30, 17:00, etc. on the schedule.  (Okay maybe I still occasionally need to count on my fingers just to make sure I’m on time.)

6) Showers.  I’ve learned how to fully embrace European style showering with my teammates (one square room, several shower heads, no curtains).  Okay then.

7) Heating.  The heating system in my apartment is a bit different over here.  They have these things where you turn a knob on the side to make it warmer or cooler:

8) Birthdays.  When it is someone’s birthday on my team, we all sing Happy Birthday in Swedish, English, and then Polish.  Also, when it’s your birthday, YOU are the one who is responsible for baking for the team for that particular day at practice.

9) Outlets.  Okay, I get that plugs over here are different, but where are the outlets!?  There are very few in my apartment, and it took me about a month to locate a couple of them in Espresso House.  Outlets are everywhere in coffee shops in the US.


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