This post will finish up discussing events from my first month. Not every day is included; I focused on things that seemed pretty distinctive to me. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section! The following posts will involve me trying to catch up to the present, so stay tuned!
7 september 2015
I found out I made it into Basic Swedish 3, which is the highest level; both exciting and terrifying. The entrance exam was reading comprehension and grammar; I’m more comfortable with reading and writing, so I think that’s what helped me get into the course. Now, I’ll get to work more on my conversation, which was one of the reasons I came here!
I had some more bonding time with my flatmates when we cleaned out our kitchen, which was really nice. Sometimes, we keep more to ourselves, so it’s good to spend some time together. A moment of advice: make the effort to get to know and talk with your flatmates. You’re living with these people for however many months, so it’s a good idea to build relationships with them in case you need to discuss something about the household situation or if you want to hang out and be friends.
10 september 2015
The first day of my Swedish course has come! It took place at the Arkivcentrum. We had quite a lot of people. I had a friend in my class, so that made me more comfortable, but I still stumbled over my words. But I’m here to improve and get over this nervousness!
When I got home from my class, I had a conversation with some of my flatmates in Swedish, which boosted my confidence because they actually believed I was a competent speaker haha.
11 september 2015
This was the day of our first Stockholm trip! We set out in the morning, just after a quick spontaneous fika. I, of course, really enjoyed the train ride (because I rarely get to take them at home). It was a gorgeous day out and we spent the majority of the day walking around and checking out the sites. We decided to leave museums and such for another time and just get a feel for the city. I particularly enjoyed walking through the smaller, older streets with all the shops and restaurants.
We stopped at one restaurant for a nice lunch.
Eventually, we made our way up to Skinnarviksberget, which is basically a mountain with the most incredible view of Stockholm. We spent quite a bit of time up there.
Here are some photos taken by one of the other women on the trip:
12 september 2015
Kulturnatten! This is a city-wide festival that celebrate Swedish and Uppsalian culture. There’s music, food, several types of entertainment performances, tours, and lectures in the historical buildings. On this night, the city transforms and people can be found in every direction. My friends and I walked around, got some goodies to eat, and even watched a fire show.
One of the events we attended was a lecture at the Gustavianum; what we didn’t know was that it was going to be completely in Swedish. Hannah and I could understand a bit, but the rest of our friends were completely lost. It became quite humorous.
16 september 2015
I had my first Kalmars choir rehearsal in the evening. I had an audition on the 14th which consisted of a group rehearsal and then four-part performance of the song we had learned; and I made it! The first rehearsal was really enjoyable and comfortable. The instructor was funny and had us do a few exercises to get to know one another before running our warm-up (during which I identified several techniques that we use in choir back home). In the middle of the rehearsal, we took a break for fika. For this semester so far, we’ll have songs in Norwegian, Swedish, Saami, English and Russian.
After rehearsal, I walked with another member of the choir to Gotlands nation for the SFQ welcoming event. SFQ is the Swedish Federation for Queers and we have a branch here in Uppsala that organizes events for students of varying sexual and gender identities. I actually joined right away at the International Fair; I’m excited to see what they put on. The guy I walked with had some friends from a course there and I knew a young woman I had met on the shuttle the first day I arrived. We had a really nice time talking together.
18 september 2015
We had our second pizza and Harry Potter movie night; this time at Hannah’s. This is becoming one of my favourite traditions here. We have so much fun cooking and goofing off together. And we watch Harry Potter in Swedish, which is funny because we know the films so well that we hardly need the English subtitles anyway.
P.s. I don’t eat cheese, but my friend Hannah (who is vegan) introduced me to vegan cheese. It’s great.