I know, I’m a day late with this post. But, I can’t believe how FAST time just flew by. It literally seems like yesterday that I was writing my “Life in Sweden: One Month Later” post; and now I have reached the two month mark.
I was going to continue the trend of listing certain differences that I’ve noticed between America and Sweden, but I don’t feel like doing that anymore; because in reality, my first post contained the most “shocking” differences for me. Now, if I notice anything different it’s not as shocking or it’s not a big different. So, instead, I will give you an update on my life at this point. I’ll tell you what I’ve been up too, what’s going on, how life is, etc. Basically, I’ll give you all the “juicy” gossip (not really that juicy).
However, I’ve decided to break this post into different categories, instead of me just rambling on and on about certain things. Keeping it more organized that way. I’ve spilt my life into different categories to talk about and they are; personal, university, and adventures. I’m sure that over time, this list will grow or change but, for now, these are the major categories in my life.
Don’t worry, nothing too personal is going to be shared here. When I talk about “personal”, I just mean stuff like health, my thoughts, etc.
The longest amount of time that I have been away from home is probably when I’m at my university in Rhode Island. Even then, it’s not that long because I can easily hop into my car and drive home for a weekend. Which, I do quite a bit. So, in reality, I’m always really close to home. Now, I’m about a 9 hour plane ride from home and I’m 6 hours ahead in time. At first, I didn’t really miss home at all. I was living my dream and enjoying life in Sweden. Then, a little bit over a month, home sickness really started to kick in. It was like a rollercoaster of emotions. I’m okay now though. Home sickness didn’t last too long, but it was one heck of a ride when it did arrive.
I’m an introvert. I enjoy having my alone time. I was always the kid who would rather sit alone reading a book, then go out to a huge party. Nothing wrong with it, but coming here was a major change. I made a great group of friends who have really taken me out of my comfort zone (whether they know it or not). Even though I still enjoy my alone time, I love going out with friends and going on our crazy adventures. Most of the time now, I find myself craving the company of others rather than just being alone all the time.
Before starting university, I was never able to tell if I was a morning or night person. After a year of university, I figured out I was definitely a morning person. Being in Sweden for two months, I have taken being a morning person to a whole new level. I’ve developed a bit of a morning routine, and my day usually starts with me waking up around 5am every day. I find that I’m much more productive in the morning then at night.
My tastebuds have also been changing a lot while being here. One of the biggest changes is with coffee. I’m on a tight budget here and I try not to go over it when possible; especially with food. Back home, I would love to get the most sugary coffee possible at my campus Starbucks. I use to HATE the idea of drinking black coffee and never knew how people could do it. However, I didn’t have money all the time to go out and grab a coffee and it’s really out of the way especially since I have to take public transportation. I started using instant coffee and then eventually invested in a French press and somehow I drink my coffee black now??? It took a bit to adjust too but it’s actually good. It’s simple, fast and I don’t have to worry about buying extra stuff like creamer, or milk or sugar.
Here at LTU, the semester is split into two quarters. The quarter we are currently in (quarter 3) is almost over. It ends on March 16th and it’s crazy that I’m done with my first set of classes here.
During quarter 3, I was taking Computer Aided Industrial Design and Intro to Swedish I and II. Both classes have been wonderful. I learnt a lot from both of these classes.
In my computer aided industrial design class, we focused on using a software called “Alias AutoStudio”. It was a bit confusing at first and this course DEFINITELY requires a lot of patiences, I’m really glad that I was able to take a class like this! As a software engineering major, I think it’s a great course to add to my life and skill set as a developer. And after this course is over, I can continue to learn how to use the program and get better at it. Below is a picture of a remote that I designed and created in the program. Not the best, but I think I did a pretty good job for someone who has NEVER touched this program before this course.
As for my intro to Swedish courses…all I have to say is learning a language is really difficult. After having these courses since January 16th, I probably speak at the level of a 6 year old (maybe) which is very frustrating at times. I don’t know what I was expecting though. It’s not like I was going to become fluent in such a short amount of time. If anything, my top tip for learning a language is speaking as much as you can. That’s where I fell short. I’m pretty decent at reading and writing (at times) but my pronunciation on certain words is horrible. Certain words in Swedish are really hard to say haha. Make friends with a bunch of Swedish people and. try to talk to them the best that you can in Swedish. Or, just talk to yourself in Swedish. I’ve been doing this a lot more now. For example, when I have to go grocery shopping, I make a mental list of the stuff I need and then when I’m writing the stuff I need down, I say those items out loud. Basically, just find anyway to practice speaking.
I find that studying abroad is a great opportunity to travel around because it’s usually very cheap…if you do it correctly.
My first adventure took place with five of my friends on March 2nd. We rented a car and drove three hours to visit Ranua Zoo in Finland! Yes, we drove all that way to just visit a zoo. I found that it was extremely worth being cramped in a car for three hours because the zoo was a lot of fun; and my friends and I made a lot of memories together. My two favorite animals at the zoo was Harry the otter and all of the owls there.
It’s very snowy in Luleå. It’s March and there is still snow EVERYWHERE and it still snows some days. As much as I love the snow, I need a break from it. So, my friend and I planned a trip to Barcelona! On March 26th, we will be starting our journey to Barcelona, Spain and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s a well deserved break from the cold and snow!
Finally, the last trip that I have planned (don’t worry, we are in the process of planning more, but this is the one that’s already set in stone) is Norway. A bunch of my friends and I will be heading to Lofoten, Norway on April 28th! I’m super excited for this trip because I’ve seen pictures already and the area looks absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to take pictures with my Canon 80D.
Again, I can’t believe that I have already been living in Luleå, Sweden. It feels like just yesterday I was packing my bags last minute and getting ready for my flight here! I can’t wait to see what my last two months here have to offer!