Almost two weeks have gone by in my time abroad, but it feels like it’s been so much longer. The past week has been filled with classes, studying, exploring different parts of Stockholm, and of course, lots of fika.
For those of you that don’t know, fika is a Swedish tradition that means coffee break, and it is traditionally held at 2’clock in the afternoon. Everyone will stop working, sit down with a cup of coffee and a kanelbullar (Sweden’s version of a cinnamon roll – so good) and just relax. Even after being here for just two weeks, I can tell Swedes take their fika very seriously. It’s a top priority for everyone during the day, and its a nice reminder to take a step back from the stress every now and then. I already know I’m going to make fika a thing at my college when I go back home.
This past week, I’ve already had the opportunity to take two field studies with two of my classes! It’s a nice way to break up the school week since Wednesdays are always dedicated to exploring around Stockholm. Last Wednesday, during my forensic psychology introduction and orientation, we were given a case study on a famous murder that took place in Stockholm in 2011. But it didn’t stop there – our professor then took us on what she called a “murder tour,” where we actually visited the site where the murder took place. I don’t think I’ve ever done quite anything like that in a class back home, but needless to say I’m not complaining.
Yesterday was my second opportunity to take a field study, and this time it was to the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan with my Swedish Language & Culture class. We had a guided tour with a theme of representations of power in the Swedish Monarchy. I really appreciated going with my class instead of on my own like I was originally planning to do, because it felt a lot more meaningful to study the site rather than just play tourist.
Field studies are usually only half a day, so around lunchtime, I was free to do whatever. My roommate Kaitlyn and I decided to check out Drottningholm Palace. It’s on an island a little west of the city center. The Royal Family actually lives here now, while the Royal Palace is used strictly for official business. We didn’t go inside Drottningholm, but we spent about an hour walking around the gardens and it was beautiful. It reminded me a lot of the gardens at Versailles, but a much more toned down version. Still a must see if you ever find yourself in the Stockholm area!
This weekend I have a few more adventures in Stockholm planned, complete with touring the ABBA museum on Friday and going to my visiting host family for dinner on Saturday. After that, my core course will be traveling to the other side of Sweden to study in Gothenburg for a few days. So, lots to look forward to!