Waking up at 1AM to get on a plane destined for Sweden was definitely one of the most scary things I’ve ever done, but equally one of the more rewarding. I craved adventure and my study abroad experience has definitely delivered!
Uppsala is the fourth largest city in Sweden and as such there is something foreign and beautiful to be entranced by wherever you look in the city centre and even on the outskirts where my accommodation resides, Uppsala Cathedral is my personal favourite to date.
A couple of days after I arrived and had explored a little, the University put on a welcome day for the international students where we were given information, signed any outstanding contracts and had the opportunity to buy tickets for the International Student Gasque (a type of event put on by the University, or one of the twelve Student Nations which centres around a formal dinner with speeches and singing, often followed by an informal after party).
We were then given a week to mingle with the fellow international students and join in with social events put on by different Student Nations (each Nation being modelled after a different area of Sweden). I used the week to explore Uppsala and make some friends.
The following week I began my first module- Criminal Law Theory, I chose the course because of my great interest in Criminal Law and hoped to gain more insight into the subject. The module certainly gave me that, I was provided with a new way to look at Criminal Law and got a better idea about the differences in Law between countries, during the first half of the module I also had the pleasure of being taught by a Mr A. Simester, who’s work I have followed throughout my study of Criminal Law. The teaching style in Sweden is heavily reliant on group discussion, which took some getting used to, however it has been interesting to see the differing opinions of students from around the world, which made up the class.
Between studying and making new friends, I have tried to explore not just Uppsala, but the surrounding area. The obvious first stop was Stockholm being the countries’ capital. On my first visit, I accompanied a friend to Skansen, which is aptly described as an open air museum, I would thoroughly recommend it for a fun day out, where you get to learn more about Sweden’s history in an interactive and fun way, we were particularly spoilt by being shown an English printing press once one of the displayers learnt where we were from. I have also taken advantage of the Study Abroad experience to travel, my first trip was to Copenhagen in Denmark.
The Swedes are warm and friendly once you get to know them, and I have quickly discovered that the language barrier is virtually non-existent.
So far my study abroad experience has been brilliant, though I am developing an alarming addiction to the cinnamon buns!