Take a Tour of Växjö, Sweden
I have finally finished a twenty-one page essay exam and my first class of the semester! On Monday, I started a new class called African Politics and my professor is very charismatic. He spent years working in Tanzania, so I'm excited to hear what he has to tell us. I'm still in my beginners' Swedish class for the next couple weeks, but it's proven to be a bit challenging because the pace is very quick. However, I'm enjoying getting to know the language better and even conversing a little bit with the local Swedes.
In the past couple weeks, I've spent most of my time studying, but also doing small day and weekend trips. A couple of weeks ago, the owners of the bike shop on campus invited the international students in my residence to come to their place for a barbecue before the cold weather sets in. We took the train from Växjö to Alvesta for the night, which is only a short ride away. Alvesta is a quaint, suburban area with a beautiful little lake. Before going to the barbecue, a friend and I stopped by the farmers’ market in town for some vegetables for the salad we were bringing with us.
This was my first experience at a farmers’ market, and I absolutely loved it. There was so much fresh produce available and the prices were super reasonable. I packed up my fresh goods into a reusable bag, then carefully tucked it into my backpack for the short bike ride back home.
A few days later, I ventured around the other side of the lake, in the direction opposite of my university campus. It was a beautiful sunny day out, and there's a great view of the castle from the path. In about an hour, my friend and I made it around the entire lake and campus.
On another day, my ”friend family”, a local Swedish family who partnered with the university to introduce international students (like myself) to Swedish lifestyle, had me over for the day. We started our early afternoon with fika, where we enjoyed coffee and Swedish treats together. Then they cooked boiled potatoes and salmon, two of my favourite foods, and drizzled a lemon-dill sauce on top. Afterwards, I went with them to nearby castle ruins in Växjö. It was a rainy day out, but luckily I was prepared with my raincoat, which has been an incredibly handy piece of clothing.
While I was studying at my desk earlier this week, I looked out the window and saw the most beautiful sunset ever. It looked like it was painted by an artist, with so many beautiful colours in it.
This weekend, I’m missing my family back home, as it is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. However, I was able to spend a weekend away in Gothenburg (Göteborg) with friends, so that was a great distraction from missing out on the stuffing and mashed potatoes. A strange part about studying abroad is missing out on holidays and events with family and friends back home, but there is always something here to explore and keep me busy!