Meet Mark, Ohio State University, who studied abroad with DIS Stockholm in the fall of 2019. Get to know Mark’s Homestay family, his schedule, and his day-to-day exploring around DIS and Stockholm. Read his final thoughts to future DIS Students as he reflects back on his semester:
Swedish Pigs go ‘Nöff! Nöff!’
From wandering around Gamla Stan to arriving at my first Gröna Lund concert on a ferry with Stockholm glistening on the water, exploring this new environment with other students was very special, very surreal, and very exciting.
I have several amazing memories from living in my Homestay. I absolutely love my host family – they made me feel incredibly welcome in their home. We visited the summer home of my host mother’s parents, where we had a lovely weekend of visiting markets and mushroom picking. One memorable night was when I played Swedish board games with my host family. We played a card game where you had to make animal noises (lots of fun and surprisingly difficult!). This is where I learned that Swedish pigs go ‘Nöff! Nöff!’
It was amazing having my host dog, Eskil. I am very used to having pets at home, and having a host dog with so much personality really brightened my days and gave me one less thing to miss from home. Eskil is my host sister’s Finnish Lapphund. His breed is almost exclusive to the northern regions of Sweden and Finland, so he’s a unique sight in Stockholm. Eskil loves dinnertime and his tennis ball, and his one true love is snow, which he will proceed to coat himself with on sight.
Watching my host sister do little rounds of tricks with him in Swedish was absolutely adorable, and coming home to him barking and celebrating my arrival almost every day was absolutely fantastic.
The days at DIS Stockholm
I walked for 15 minutes to the train station, where I took the commuter train into T-Centralen, then the red line for 10 minutes to DIS – about a 40-minute commute in total. My first class is either Affective Neuroscience or Intermediate Swedish Language and Culture was at 8:30 am.
On Mondays and Thursdays, I attended my next class, Psychology of Loneliness, and then I would usually grab lunch with some friends at Oktav, the restaurant in KMH, before leaving DIS for a coffee shop or for home to study.
On Tuesdays and Fridays, I had an hour and a half to study and eat lunch before my History of Sweden class, which was followed up by my Affective Neuroscience Lab, one of the longer classes at DIS, which went to 4:10 pm.
I would commute back home, and have a little bit of down time before eating dinner with my host family, which was followed by spending time with my host family, doing more studying, or having a relaxing evening.
To the future DIS Stockholm student: Learn the language, balance your studies, and treat yo-self!
While Sweden is a place where you can navigate almost solely speaking English, you can gain much more insight into the culture by learning the language of the country. From learning simple staple terms such as fika and allemansrätten to learning to understand the conversations happening around you, studying the language makes the study abroad experience substantially richer and fuller. Swedish is also just a really cute language!
Find a study spot you like as soon as you can and make a study schedule to keep up on work. Although this sounds like normal college advice, I cannot stress enough how important it is to do this in order to have the freedom you want to truly experience your time abroad.
Be patient with yourself. Studying abroad is exciting, but it is also a mental exercise. You may find yourself lonely, anxious, or depressed sometimes, and that is okay and perfectly normal. Reach out to anyone from your social support network from home, contact the DIS Care Team (they are incredibly helpful and kind), and don’t be afraid to talk about these feelings with your peers abroad. They are usually experiencing the same or similar feelings. Finally, from the wise words of Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford from ‘Parks & Recreation’: Treat yo-self!
Mark’s November in Stockholm
Follow Mark through his November in Stockholm. Join him as he explores the city, goes to class, and hangs with his Homestay family.