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Speaking Swedish… every day 2006 May 30

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Language, Pre-Departure.

One thing I’m nervous about when I arrive in Sweden is my Swedish skills. I’ve taken a few years of Swedish here at the University of Colorado, but I am unsure that I will be able to function very well when I get there. My teachers have recommended that I take the higher-level courses in Swedish, and that requires I take a placement exam when I arrive in Uppsala. Most students who take such courses are European students, and as an American student, they cannot tell from my course listings where I should be placed to best suit my needs.

Although many people in Sweden speak English, I am not going to let people speak to me in English very often; perhaps only when I get stuck. It’s an amazing thing to be able to speak more than one language fluently, and it’s been my goal to get at least three or four languages down. I have taken college-level courses in French and I studied German in high school, not to mention the fact that half of my ancestry is Filipino and I understand a lot of Tagalog. However, I’m nowhere near as close to fluent in those languages as I am in Swedish.

I am the only student going over from Colorado who has learned any Swedish in an academic setting. I’m going to help the others learn some Swedish over the summer so that they aren’t completely lost when they get there. One person is probably going to learn faster than the others, one does not seem to care to learn, and the third is going to be a great student. Since I’m not going to be teaching them more than a few basics, I’m not sure how much it’s going to help my own studying, so I am going to start an intensive online search for grammar-oriented books that will hopefully help me out a lot for the exam.

The good news is that I am not going to have many problems with going grocery shopping or filling out forms. I’ll be able to understand the majority of that kind of stuff. It will be kind of fun to be the American who speaks a language most Americans probably can’t fathom ever learning. That might blow away some stereotypes when I get there.

Busy as a bee 2006 May 26

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Helpful Hints, Pre-Departure.

Today I found myself running around campus getting small tasks done for my trip to Sweden. I turned in my credit equivalencies form from the history department (I will get a ton of history finished!) and also got myself an International Student Identification Card.

One can obtain an ISIC at any STA Travel location.

I think the ISIC was a good idea. I’ll get some discounts and have another photo ID with me. The people at the agency were really nice and hopefully they’ll be able to find me a good flight. Nevertheless, I’ll probably look around quite a bit the next few days and hopefully have a ticket and a set plan by Wednesday.

Next up on my list: housing!

Photos from Sweden 2006 May 23

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Photography, Pre-Departure.

I’ll be using Flickr to post pictures from Sweden. Of course, I don’t have anything yet, but for now you can enjoy pictures of my dog.

My Study Abroad Notebook 2006 May 23

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Helpful Hints, Pre-Departure.

When I started this study abroad process, I found myself a three-ring notebook in which I could put all of my important information that I’ll need to look at again. Although I have a different folder for important papers (that I won’t necessarily need for reference), it’s best to have a three-ring notebook with any important guides, maps, or phone numbers just for reference.

I’m also working on a system for a place to store my passport, copies of my birth certificate, and other evidence of United States citizenship as well as proof that I am able to live in Sweden. It will be essential to working out any problems that may arise when I live in Uppsala, as well as in the event of getting any services that require my personal information.

Some of the stuff in my notebook includes:

I’m also planning on adding other helpful resources such as important phone numbers (although they’re in my Essential Guide to Study Abroad, I would like a list that’s easier to access), bus and train schedules (either downloadable from the Internet or obtainable when I arrive), and copies of my visa and housing applications.

I’ve decided 2006 May 22

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Pre-Departure.

This is where I’m going to be blogging about my trip to Sweden. I’ll be spending one school year at Uppsala Universitet studying history and Scandinavian studies. Needless to say, it’s been quite an adventure already, but I’ve got plenty ahead of me.

Bear with me while I learn more about WordPress and can make this site not only an account of my travels, but a resource for others as well.