It is a sunny, bright, and beautiful afternoon in Stockholm as I write this. The past week has been full of excitement and adventure! We have fully gotten into the swing of academic life, and have already finished one of the assigned books for our class. It is hard to believe how much I have learned in such a short time, especially about Swedish politics and moral psychology!
I was able to explore more of Stockholm this week, and one of the best parts was when our professor took us into the archipelago. We were supposed to take a tour of parliament as a field study for our class, but unfortunately our tour guide got sick and couldn’t make it. Instead, we got a day to swim and explore the island of Vaxholm on a gorgeously sunny day! We even had our first Swedish fika (a coffee & cake break traditional here in Sweden). The restaurant we were at was gorgeous- right by the ocean! I also (bravely) dove into the Baltic Sea- it was 60 degrees!
However, I also had a health scare this week, and was incredibly supported by the DIS team. I was hospitalized with an infection, and they ensured that I had everything I needed and made the process as easy as it could be. While that wasn’t an enjoyable experience, I had fantastic doctors and nurses, and the Swedish healthcare system is superb. I was able to get all the tests, treatment and prescriptions I needed without having to worry about cost, despite being a non-citizen! It was definitely a scary moment, but I am very grateful for the support I received from my friends internationally & domestically, from my family, and especially from DIS.
One of my favorite things I did this week was take the train down to Copenhagen for a weekend trip. A huge advantage to living in Stockholm is that there are trains going to Denmark, Norway and other parts of Sweden on a regular basis! They run at all times during the day, so I could easily make it work with my class schedule. After having lived in Copenhagen my freshman year, it was such a gift to be able to return as a rising senior and see the city I love so much. I had two very active days in Copenhagen, and one of the most notable moments was returning to Tivoli Gardens. I didn’t recognize it! I had only seen it on Halloween and Christmas, and when I returned this summer, it was in full bloom.
I am almost halfway done with my experience in Stockholm, and I could not be more delighted with how it has gone so far. My goals are to explore more of Stockholm, to enjoy my study tour next week (to Budapest!), and to continue learning as much as I can from my classes. Stockholm has been such a gift, and I am so grateful for the past two weeks and for what I have been able to do while here. I am so excited to see what is in store for the next few weeks in Sweden! Vi ses!