Hej and Hallo! (Just trying to make sure I get every language from each country I study in. Just got home from Germany, so I had to add that one as well…with Google Translate helping of course.)
I’m writing this blog on my return flight from Germany! My Session 2 course just finished our Study Tour in Berlin, immersing ourselves in the countless historical sites all over the city. With our courses focus on the psychology of political behavior, we spent a majority of the week learning about the formation of identity following the Holocaust and the reunification of East and West Germany. As a class we met with professors from Humboldt University who gave us incredible lectures on the matter; it truly was an unforgettable learning experience!
Prior to the Study Tour, our professor focused on providing a foundational understanding of a variety of psychological theories. These theories enabled us to better recognize the psychological tendencies and biases in ourselves and others, and then apply them to the world of political science. Through our course readings, we have observed countless scientific experiments applying these psychological theories directly to politicians and voters! In the coming week, we will continue to hone in on the political arena, looking directly at the psychological makeup of Americans and how this affects their actions at the polls.
During our first week of the course, my classmates and I visited Swedish Parliament on a Field Study! We were given a private tour by a member of parliament and were able to ask him, as well as his intern, direct questions. They both were incredibly eager to share their knowledge of the Swedish government with us, and were more than happy to take our questions – even during the middle of election season!
Taking this psychology course in Stockholm has given me the opportunity to expand my horizons outside of my Journalism major! I have been able to gain a better perspective on the world of both psychology and political science, as well as learn how substantial their connections truly are. And, I’ve learned so much in just three weeks! Even though my two DIS classes weren’t within the same field, I’ve been able to connect the course material from my education class to certain areas of psychology, notably in the nature of relationships between adults and children.
A major component of my first course with DIS in Copenhagen, Children with Special Needs, was the dynamic of relationships between teachers and students. Through lecture, research studies and hands-on experience we were given countless opportunities to observe the nature of these relationships or friendships as you could probably call them! The teachers were not concerned with maintaining a certain status or hierarchy with their students but rather wanted them to feel respected and safe in their learning environment.
These “friendships” also made an appearance in my DIS course in Stockholm during our visit to the Swedish Parliament. As I mentioned earlier, we were given a private tour by one member of parliament, Paul, and his intern, Jon. Jon is an active member of the Swedish Youth Government, meaning he actively engages with the young adult community educating them on all matters of politics. He was incredibly knowledgeable on nearly all aspects of the Swedish government, and was clearly Paul’s right-hand man. The two were making serious and comical comments back and forth to each other the entire time; the dynamic of their relationship was admirable! I wish I could be that friendly with my boss!
In just two weeks I have gained strong insight into the world of Swedish politics, and have so much more to learn this upcoming week! But the learning will have to wait until after Midsummer celebrations!