Chris originally thought studying abroad and leaving his home university for a semester was out of the question. Three months into his semester at DIS Stockholm, we had the chance to interview him and hear about his experience, including his favorite aspects of culture in Sweden and parting advice for future students.
DIS: What is one Swedish concept you will take home with you?
Chris Felix: Throughout the plethora of Swedish concepts that I have picked up, the one that I will carry forward is lagom. Meaning “not too much, not too little,” lagom helps me find balance when school, life, or work get too stressful. When applying to graduate school or within my summer internship, it will be awesome to take this with me.
DIS: Tell us about one person who made an impact on you during your semester.
CF: My Storytelling Lab: How Narrative Works instructor has made the classroom environment one that will be difficult to leave at the end of the semester. Conversations with him are always insightful and aid in getting closer to Swedish society.
DIS: What were the first three words you learned in Swedish?
1. Hej – Hello
2. Tack – Thanks
3. Ursäkta – Pardon/Excuse me
DIS: What was your favorite course and why?
CF: My Core Course, Positive Psychology. My end goal is to work in a field that incorporates organizational development, and positive psychology fits perfectly within this. Looking at an individual’s strengths and the concept of ‘flourishing’ can really aid in the psychological realm of the workplace.
DIS: Where is the first place you would take a friend in Stockholm?
CF: The walk next to the Skansen zoo. Known as Djurgården in Stockholm, the walk is beautiful and allows people to catch up. I have done this walk alone and with a couple of my friends. It is a great experience to see the nature and wildlife side of Stockholm. Just another spot in the city where I have been able to walk up to the water and take a really cool photo.
DIS: Tell us about your favorite Swedish meal.
CF: Swedish meatballs. The first time I had the meal was with my Visiting Hosts when I got invited to dinner a couple of months ago. Although in the States I would have probably been apprehensive to try a food that I never had before, I was open to trying something new.
DIS: After class, where can we find you?
CF: Although I love to explore beautiful Stockholm on my down time, after class especially, you can find me in Gamla Stan just taking a walk and taking in as much culture as possible. Back in the States, I enjoy taking walks with friends and people watching. With Gamla Stan on the way back to my Residential Community, it is easy to jump off the train and take a stroll on a beautiful day when I get out of class earlier.
DIS: What is one thing you wish you had known before studying abroad?
CF: That the fear of missing out on experiences at my home university would be quelled as soon as I moved to Stockholm. This truly held me back from studying abroad initially. However, as soon as I arrived in Sweden, I did not think about it. I’ve created new connections and made my own experiences on this side of the pond.
DIS: Share one piece of advice you would give to a future student.
CF: BE ABROAD! Really embody and accept this opportunity. Instead of FaceTiming friends back home, engage with the culture that Stockholm has to offer and make the effort. There are only about 120 days in a semester abroad, so get out there and make each one better than the next.
Does Chris look familiar to you? He blogged for DIS during his semester – read Chris’ posts here.