Field Trips and Five Day Weekends

This week we learned that in 1955 the Swedish government held a referendum to decide whether to change the side of the road they drive on from left to right. Nearly 80% voted to keep it the left. In 1967 it was changed to the right hand side anyway. Democracy: you can’t beat it.

Started classes this week. All in English. Thankfully. I’ve come to really admire the French, Germans, Greeks et al who are here to study in another language. I had to take up the offered law classes but people on other courses have been given the opportunity to study more culture orientated subjects if they want. From Swedish History to Viking Studies there is a real scope to do something totally different when you are here. One of my friends is currently doing Swedish music (which equates to listening to music for most of the class) and Swedish film studies – although he didn’t anticipate that the majority of the films would be in Swedish for some reason.

Here a twelve o’clock lecture starts at quarter past twelve. If it is for two hours we get a fifteen break, just like school really. The law school even arranged a field trip to court and Sweden’s biggest law firm this week which equated to watching some hilarious CCTV footage of the worst shop lifter in history and a whole lot of free food!

Went to the beach yesterday. That’s right, the beach, in Sweden. Even got horrifically sunburnt. I have a lot of free time here (lectures Monday, field trip Tuesday, weekend started Wednesday!) so it has given me the opportunity to sign up to volunteer classes to help teach Swedish pupils English – the word “wee” WILL be taught. I have discovered the wonder that is “Sumer Heights High”, watch it, seriously. There are also a multitude of Swedish sports to try out: branball and floorball for example. Can’t claim to be good at them though so think I may stick to running and rugby for now.

On arrival I also found out about a student organisation known as ESN. They are geared towards ERASMUS students at each university and arrange cheap trips with other students designed to give you an easy way to do a bit of travelling. They have trips to Russia in November, there have been tours to Stockholm and Gotland (a party island in Sweden), there is a planned trip to the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights and a booze cruise to Estonia and back again. If you do decide to go away for the year you should definitely find out if your host university has an affiliated ESN group.

Oh my bike got another puncture the day after I picked it up from the repair shop. Irritating? Slightly. I have also firmly established that I am unable to cycle home while drunk; every morning I wake up to find new and exciting injuries. I say exciting, more painful. Last night I fell off the bike and down some stairs, people saw, avoiding the area for some time now. Bike also still needs a name, suggestions welcome…

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