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Reisverslag My first weeks at Jönköping University
17 september 2014
My first weeks at Jönköping University
He he, finally I’ve found some time to write my second blog! The last few weeks were soooo hectic! Oh well, they were not that hectic, but I had the feeling that I had no free time at all. I can better call the weeks ‘busy’, just because they were! And okay, I admit I love to exaggerate things, as the most of you peepz know :)
I decided to write my second blog in English because of two reasons. 1. I can practise my English writing skills and 2. The lovely non-Dutch-speaking-people over here can now also read my stories about my adventures in Sweden.
On Monday the 1st of September students life began again for me! This first period of 10 weeks I’m just participating in one course, namely: ‘Swedish language, culture and society 1’. The course is split up in two parts: ‘Swedish language’ and ‘Swedish culture and society’. I have Swedish class for about 6 hours per week and I’m overloaded with homework. The system of the Swedish class is comparable to the system on my former high school. It’s just the level that makes the difference. However, I have to get used to go back to school…
The Swedish language is not that difficult. Oh well, I expected it to be more difficult. It is really similar to Dutch. The only thing that I think is difficult is the pronunciation and the melody of the words. The additional letters ’ä’, ’ö’ and ’å’ are a little bit crazy and tough to pronounce. The Swedes also speak really fast. They swallow a lot of letters at the end of a word/phrase. That’s logic of course, because I do the same in Dutch. But for a foreigner who wants to learn the language it’s really hard to follow what they’re actually saying. They barely take the time to take a breath, haha! My Swedish is by the way not that overwhelming yet. I can count to 100, I understand the difference between the present tense and the past tense and I can order a cup of coffee in Swedish: ‘Kan jag få en kopp kaffe med mjölk, tack?’. Furthermore, I learn a lot of new words, but using them in a sentence is still tough. Next week we’re going to learn how to have a conversation with the shop assistant in the mall. We have to prepare and do a role-play in front of the whole class! Exciting! :-)
The culture part and the society part of the course is more formal. I think the Swedish culture is really interesting, but in this course the Swedish culture is not discussed as much. From the 6 hours of Swedish class per week, 2 hours are about the Swedish culture and society. And then, after 4 hours of class, they expect from us that we can write an assignment in which we compare the Swedish literature to the literature in our home countries. Sillies… My assignment was by the way about Stieg Larsson and Appie Baantjer. I’m really curious about my mark!
School and its assignments are at the moment a little bit a side issue. I’m doing a lot of fun stuff! Every Tuesday evening there is movie night in the HJ Aulan at HLK. That’s chill. They run movies on a big screen and because of the comfortable chairs it’s like you’re for free in the cinema! I also played floorball last week at Campus Arena. Floorball is comparable to hockey, but we use big plastic hockey sticks and a plastic ball. For 50 SEK per semester students can do sports three time per week. I mean, that’s no big deal! There are also a lot of activities organised by the Studentkår and by students their selves. Last Sunday there was for example the JSU Color Run. At first we threw a lot of coloured powder on everyone, then we did the 4.5 KM and at last we threw a lot of powder on everyone again on the beat of the music. It was a fun party! When I came home I took a swim in the lake with three other roommates to clean ourselves a little bit. De powder was EVERYWHERE! The water was ice cold, but at least I can say that I did it. Bucket list: check! After that cold bath I took a hot shower. Oh men, at some moments you appreciate the heat of the shower the most!
Almost every week I have about 2 party’s. Some of them are in the clubs and some of them are in student accommodations. It’s really nice to get to know new people in that way! Most of them are also internationals and they’re most of the time really social or as we say in Dutch ‘gezellig’. Last week we had a barbecue in Cyklamen, where I live. That was really nice. I taught my Romanian roommates some weird sentences in Dutch (‘keuken’, ‘douche’ and ‘wasmachine hok’). They expand my Romanian vocabulary. Crazy Romanian people, haha. Crazy, but that’s why I love them! :-P
The food here is by the way good, but generally I, of course, have to take care of myself. When I want a warm dish, I have to cook it myself… or beg my roommates haha. The cooking goes pretty well. The first time I was cooking a meal, I failed. I was frying potatoes and fish fingers. I putted the stove on 6, what is way too high for just frying. Result: the kitchen was full of smoke. Result of that: the fire alarm went off. Result of that: the firemen had to come. Damn, I felt so stupid. In the end it turned out that it was not really my fault. The firemen told me that the cooker hood was full of dirt and that the smoke could not get away through that. Hereafter it was not a bad idea to set off the fire alarm. Now we know at least that the cooker hood is not working! Good luck through bad luck, haha! :-)
Sweden is by the way a really beautiful country! At some moments I still cannot believe that I live here, for real and for a whole year! A week ago on Saturday I went hiking in a forest what was about 50 KM away from our dorm. It was so beautiful with those typical Swedish coniferous trees, the hills and the gorgeous tiny lakes. We also picked blueberries there. Last Monday Krišs and I made blueberry jam. The jar is still in the fridge, but I cannot wait to taste it!
Last week I also bought a bike for 300 SEK! That’s about €32,-. I’m planning to go to school by bike this whole month. Oh well, I have to, because I spent the money for my bus card at my bike. When I’m going by bike to school, I’m cycling next to the lake. Damn, the view is breath-taking! It’s even more beautiful when the sun is shining! Behing my dorm there’s a small path towards the lake. I’m really blessed with this place, even though the kitchen is not always that clean ;-)
I’m also having my horizons outside of Jönköping. Last Saturday I went to the candy city Gränna and the island Visingö with Alina and Barbara. It was really nice! In Gränna we’ve seen LIVE how the candy makers make those famous polkagris sticks. Of course I bought some of those myself and I have to say that they’re really sweet! Next Friday I’m going to Stockholm for the weekend with three of my roommates. Our old-roommate Danish has some contacts over there and we can stay there for the weekend. So nice! I’m really excited! So if you, as my beloved and loyal readers, have some tips about Stockholm, let me know! :-D
Last but not least: I have some news! I have a job! Well, I won’t get paid for it, but it’s a really nice opportunity and it’s good for my CV! I’m going to write articles for the JIBS United Magazine. That’s the magazine of the business school here in Jönköping. Anastasija, one of my roommates, also writes articles for that magazine and because of her I got in contact with the Editof in Chief. That girl invited me for a small talk and I am, besides I’m not a business student but a communication student, hired! Tonight we’ll have our first meeting. We’re going to have a barbecue in the park and after that we’re going to dance in the nightclub Akademien! That’s a nice first meeting if I may say that. I’m really excited about the job. I also applied for becoming a writer for another magazine: Kårsordett. That’s a Swedish student organisation who has to fill 16 pages in the monthly expenses of Metro, that free newspaper that you can find everywhere in the world and also in Sweden. They want their pages to be filled with both Swedish and both English stories. I haven’t heard from them though, but this is also a nice opportunity to spare my free time!
Det var min historia vor i dag! Tack vor läser! :-)
Foto's bij verslag (20)
21 april 2016 23:21 | Door: Andy Garcia
Hello, I read your article about your year in Sweden. Am going to study in Jonkoping University next semester Ago 2016, I was wondering if you could recommend me dorms or activities or just share which were your best trips so that I don't go in blank as I am now. Am from Mexico so this will really be totally new for me.
Andy from Mexico
22 april 2016 13:17 | Door: Eline Bouwman
Hi Andy! Great to hear that you read my article. Also amazing that you're going to study at Jönköping University! I will assure you that it will be a very special period in your life. Of course I can advise you from my experiences, but in the end you have to make decisions yourself.
During my time in Jönköping I stayed in the student-dorm called Cyklamen. It is a dorm in the Vilhelmsro area next to lake Vättern (about 10 min walk) and I lived there with 20 other internationals in the middle of the nature. It had advantages and disadvantages. For example it was very peaceful and quiet and I loved that! A bad thing about the place is that busses don't go that frequently, neither until late in the evening (except during the weekends). It felt my housemates were my family and that was great. We had a lot of house parties together, what really bonded us.
Another great place to settle down is called Råslätt. It's an area south of Jönköping. In the past it was kind of known as the "ghetto" with a lot of immigrants, but now it's a very nice place. Internationals at the university have about three buildings of 6/7 floors and in the middle of the buildings there's a common house, where you can play games or watch TV. Also the best parties are held in Råslätt's common house. As 'citizen' of Råslätt your automatically invited. As 'outsider' you have to sign up for the guest list. In Råslätt you share an apartment with two or three others. Busses go pretty often to Råslätt and that's a big advantage.
So that's a bit more about the dorms I'd recommend :)
Ehm, about the trips you can do. Well, I suppose you stay for one semester, so I'd recommend you to make the best out of it and visit loads in Scandinavia. I stayed for two semesters in Jönköping, so for me it was easier to combine everything such as trips, parties and studying. You should really go to Stockholm at least once. Love the capital of Sweden. It's very beautiful when it's sunny. Also you should go on the Norway trip the university is offering. The landscapes are amazingly stunning and it will be really worth your money. If you're exchange period is next semester, you will see the beauty of Norway at fullest. I've also been to Lapland in Finland in the beginning of December. That was a really trip, since we were kind of abandoned from the world playing with very cute husky dogs and chilling in the sauna (plus an arctic swim). And maybe you'll find yourself lucky to see the Northern Lights. You should really go there! :D
Further, you can go on weekend trips to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Åland Islands, Helsinki, Malmö, Gotland, camping on Visingsö nearby Gränna. I haven't been on many trips the first semester cause in Jönköping there are loads of student parties as well. So you have to decide for yourself what your main goal will be during your stay.
If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask them :)