Hej alla! My name is Anna and I am a junior Psychology and Scandinavian Studies double major. I came on this trip because I wanted the opportunity to see all of Sweden and learn more about my Swedish heritage. I am three-quarters Swedish with my mom being born and raised in Sweden. She was born in Göteborg but later moved to Helsingborg in Skåne, so my previous visits to Sweden consisted of visiting family and friends in southern Sweden. So when I heard that there was a study abroad trip that included seeing ALL of Sweden, I knew I had to apply. For as much of Sweden that I’ve seen, I’ve got to say that Göteborg has been my favorite (although, from what I hear, Visby might change all that). I have family that lives right outside the city, so my time here in Göteborg has been like almost being at home, which has helped me a lot with my homesickness. Other students on this trip also have family in this area, so it was cool that some us could meet up with some long distance family members.
On Monday, we decided to do a scavenger hunt for the 4 birthdays we had! Amelia and Becca were one team, while Signe and Hannah were on the other. This was just all fun and games, so there were no real “winners”.
On Tuesday, we travelled out to Kullavik and had an afternoon learning about wellness and fitness. We met up with Julia Fors for a nice walk then travelled to her home for some delicious smoothies and healthy wraps! It was beautiful day out, so most of us Gusties took advantage of the sunlight.
On Wednesday, we were able to visit the Chalmers campus and meet up with some students to learn about their student organizations that have to do with sustainability. Every year they hold what they called “Re:Cycle”, which is an event where they bring together all the broken bicycles they’ve found and give them out to the students and teach them to fix them how to fix these bikes themselves. I know a few of us thought that idea was pretty cool, so maybe this event will come to Gustavus in the coming years!
On Thursday, we visited Kullavik again and this time we were able to visit the Jeremiason’s old church and ask the pastor questions about the Roma people in Sweden. For the past few years, Sweden has been seeing a huge growth in beggars – mainly Roma. This is a huge problem for Sweden, a country that has seen almost no homeless or beggars, so it was great to be able to ask questions and learn more about this topic. In addition to talking to the pastor, Amelia and I had the opportunity to practice our Swedish and present ourselves and our Gustavus Semester in Sweden program to the old people of the church! They seemed to really appreciate us being there and I really appreciated practicing my Swedish with a non-judgemental crowd (I am 100% I made about twenty grammatical mistakes during that presentation). After spending time at the church, a few of us were daring enough to go cliff jumping. I personally didn’t participate, but it was fun watching everyone who did!
Friday and Saturday were our free days. I decided to go out to Bollebygd where my family lives so I could see them one more time before we leave for Växjö on Monday. It was great spending time with them once more, but like my aunt said “it’s always hard saying goodbye to someone when you don’t know when you’ll see them again”. For these free days, I know others from the group were able to go see the Tough Viking competition and enjoy the beautiful botanical garden that’s right next to our hostel.
On Sunday, most of us went to church were the pastor there was a Gustavus alum. It’s always cool see what our alumni are doing, particularly when they end up in Sweden! After the church service and fika, with my aunt and uncle being pretty insistent that I go, I decided to go to Liseberg – the amusement park here in Göteborg. I barely remembered going there as a kid, but once I got there memories started coming back! I wish others from the group were able to go, I had so much fun!
I’m going to miss Göteborg so much, but at the same time, I’m super excited to move on to Växjö and in particular, Visby!