Tag Archives: gothenburg

Blurred text with a focus on communication

Master in Communication Series Part 2: What am I actually studying?

Hej! How are you doing? Hopefully fine. If you try to ask me the same question, I’d say I’m fine too, and that I’m glad to be back to Gothenburg after spending holidays in Italy. Anyway… I’d say also that I’m excited to start a new semester. Remember what I’m studying, right? For those of you do not recall it, have a quick look at here or let me spoil it instead: I’ve been studying a Master’s Programme in Communication at the University of Gothenburg.

Few days ago a new course has started – it seems is gonna be really interesting, and I would add very intense as well. What am I talking about? Exactly about that: Multimodal Communication.


Source: http://praacticalaac.blogspot.se/2012/09/speak-up.html

What is Multimodal Communication? Bearing in mind the definition of Communication that I’ve already given (don’t let me spoil something again!), I think it’s useful to know also that when we interact with other people, we basically want to reach a goal – as well as the others communicating with us. There can be some means and processes involved in this activity: means going on within the interaction itself and also within ourselves. Means like turn management, feedbacks or sequencing along with the capability to process in our mind what and how to communicate, and to change/shape our thoughts, when needed.


Source: http://research.uiowa.edu/communicating-ideas-workshop

If we shrink our attention to the interaction between humans, and especially regarding face-to-face communication, we can claim that we’re coping with… multimodal communication. Two or more than two modalities are used when we talk face-to-face. Modalwhat?

Let’s put it in this way: we have sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Right? All of these are modalities, or it’s better to say sensory modalities: when I speak, the receiver is using and/or combining two or more sensory modalities in order to process and interpret my message. The other way around, when I speak I also can use two or more modalities, in this case we consider them production modalities: I use my voice, I can use gestures, I can touch, and so on.

The effects of the multimodality can vary and depend on the interactions: the message can be reinforced and the overall comprehension improved; the message can be considered more dynamic; relations can be strengthened and conversations regulated. However, it may happen to make the message unclear as well, or even confusing and disturbing.


Source: https://www.trainerbubble.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Communicating-Difficult-Messages_web-680×255.jpg

Headache? Naah, come on! Of course there would be a lot to mention, but you’re lucky: I can’t say more for the moment, as my course has just begun…

Featured image: https://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/bigstock_Focus_On_Communication_mangolanguages.jpg

Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se

48 hrs Gothenburg on a budget

Gothenburg is the best city in Sweden. I am completely bias in saying this. But hey I love this city! The aim of this blog-post is to guide you on a tour of Gothenburg on a student budget.

First, you need to:

  • Purchase a Gothenburg City Card that for approx. SEK 335 during low season (October – April). OR to be super budget friendly buy a 3-day unlimited tram/bus card from Vasstrafik for approx. SEK 170
Gothenburg City Card

Credit: Ivanna Read

  • Download the Vasstrafik app available for android and iPhone
  • Wear some comfortable sneakers, a backpack and carry a selfie stick/tripod at your discretion
  • Carry a bottle of water

KeyBold and Italic represents those who have a Gothenburg City Card

Gothenburg Tour – Day 1

8:00 a.m.

You’ve probably arrived at Goteborg Central Station.

First agenda should be a selfie at the central station and a short walk around the buildings that surround it.

Gothenburg Central Station

8:15 a.m.

Walk to Nordstan Shopping mall which is located 5 minutes from the Station. Visit the Tourist Information Center and get a free map of the city and a Vasstrafik map which will come in handy. If you haven’t bought your Vasstrafik or Goteborg City card, you can purchase them at the Vasstrafik shop also located within the mall. Alternatively you can walk if your in for some extreme exercise.

8:30 a.m.

Start with a short walk to the Alfie Atkins Cultural center at Slussgatan 1, it’s great if you have children.

Walk to the statue of Gustav Adolf II at Gustav Adolfs torg. This is a statue that is central to Gothenburg and depicts Gustav II Adolf saying here is where Gothenburg shall be built.

Gustav Adolf

9:00 a.m.

Stroll down Avenyn which is the main street of Gothenburg. If you begin at Gustav Adolf torg and work your way up, you shall pass Stora Teatern and several other wonderful buildings. Hop onto the Paddan boat tour at Kungsportsplatsen. It takes about 50 minutes. You may also choose to use the hop off and hop on bus also located at Kungsportsplatsen that takes you to several places on this post.

Credit: Göran Assner/imagebank.sweden.se

At the end of Avenyn is the Poseidon Statue. Pop into the Gothenburg Museum of Art at Götaplatsen.

Gothenburg tour

10:30 a.m.

Take a bus 52 to Korsvägen. There you will see the Gothia Towers, Liseberg and the Universeum which all present great photo ops. If you’re lucky you may be allowed to go to the top of Gothia Towers. The view from Gothenburg is amazing from up there. Visit Liseberg Amusement park (Liseberg gardens during summer) and Universeum.



2:00 p.m.

Grab some lunch at Universeum/Liseberg or walk to Burger King and grab something to go at Örgrytevägen 5.

3:00 p.m.

Take the Ringlinien train back to Brunnsparken from the Liseberg stop. Hop onto tram 2 or 4 and head to Brunnsparken. Head over to the Goteborg City museum located at Norra Hamngatan 12. You can also head to the museum and take some great pictures.

5:00 p.m.

Take tram 3,7 or 5 at Brunnsparken and drop off at Valand. Walk down the street and see the main administration block of Gothenburg University. As the campuses are spread across the city, this building acts as a main focal point for the University.

Gothenburg University

Walk over to Yaki-Da on Storgatan 47 for their after-work special which includes bottomless pizza with your first drink purchase until 10:00 p.m. Other places that offer after-work include King’s head. Various cafes and restaurants across the city also offer after-work specials.

yaki dah

Gothenburg Tour – Day 2

9:00 a.m.

I bet you had a great night at Yaki-da. So we start at 9:00 a.m. Take a bus/tram from your location to Lilla Bomen. Take the ferry called “Älvsnabben” that runs between Lilla Bommen and Lindholmspiren which is the Chalmers University stop at Lindholmen Science Park. Walk around campus and see buildings such as the ‘green’ Kuggen (Swedish for cogwheel) building which is quite beautiful.



10:30 a.m.

Take the”Älvsnabben” ferry back to Lilla Bomen

11:00 a.m.

Take bus 25 from Lilla Bomen to Pilgatan. Walk through Haga district. View art installations, beautiful wooden houses and stop by the numerous cafes for some lunch or a quick bite. Haga in known as the hippie district in Gothenburg and it does not disappoint. Pass by Feskekôrka.


2:00 p.m.

Walk to Järntorget (iron square) and take the tram 1 to Botaniska Trädgården. Admission is free to the Botanical Gardens but they charge SEK 20 for admission to the greenhouses.

4:00 p.m.

Take tram 1 or 2 to Linnéplatsen. Visit the Slottsskogen Garden if you still have some extra time. Admission is free. Head back to Centralstation on a Blå bus or tram 1 or 2.


5:00 p.m.

Goodbye! You’ll be heading back to your city from here. I hope you enjoyed Gothenburg!


From Sweden with Love

NB:*At the time of publication of this blog, I had only visited 4 cities in Sweden”


Featured image: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se


My first months in Sweden: how lucky am I?

So, what’s about Sweden? How is it? What are you studying exactly? And how is your life there? Is it really cold, right?”


And so on. These are only few of the questions that my friends have made in these last days, as I temporary returned back to Italy, due to Christmas holidays. I’ve tried to answer them, but then I thought: why do not share it here on the blog? As I may sum up, I’d say that this post is a sort of recap of my first four months in my new country: Sweden. (Do you remember why have I chosen Sweden?)

To be fair, the exact place where I’ve been living (maybe some of you already know that), is the nice and welcoming city of Gothenburg. A city that I loved from the very first gaze, from the first steps I took while getting off the bus coming from the airport in a sunny afternoon last August. The first approach with the city and its inhabitants: my landlady, people around the streets in the city centre or working in supermarkets, or in some university offices. The sound of the Swedish language, the Welcome Days for the international students in a big cinema and then in my department; the beginning of a new academic adventure and the chance to get to know new classmates from all around the world.


First day at the Welcome Days for international students in Draken, a nice cinema in Gothenburg

Yes, I’m lucky to be there, to live and study in Gothenburg. And I’m pretty sure about that every time I can shape an answer to the question: “Do you like staying there?”. You know, I come from Italy, specifically from the South. I’d say that my region is one of the most beautiful places in the world and many friend of mine told me: “You’re leaving behind this wonderful sea, the taste of our food and coffee… and up there it must be truly cold”, and so on. But you know what? I feel that a country such as Sweden fits perfectly the way how I am and how I perceive the reality and the world around me. So, have I already mentioned before? I’m really lucky to live in Sweden.

Being in Sweden means also that I had the chance to become a Digital Ambassador – and if I’m writing this blog post right now, it’s also because I’m glad to have been chosen to represent Sweden, my home country (Italy)  and my university. I’m glad to have the chance to express myself, to talk about my experience and to help international students yearning for knowing more about the Swedish lifestyle as well as the academic world. Last but not least, since the beginning of this ‘adventure within the adventure’, I cannot not mention the fact that I’ve met wonderful people being ambassador such as me.

15624273_1802148636704475_5806319901815603200_n 20161204_163320

Probably, the fact that I’ve travelled and lived abroad before helped me in coping with these first months in another, different country. However, if you’re reading this post and you’re going to take a decision regarding your personal studies abroad, and you haven’t lived outside your home country before, I’d say that Sweden may be a good choice.

No matter how cold it may be… you can always dress properly, right? And as far as I was told, Swedish summer is very nice and full of things to do in environments which share a ‘common denominator’: Nature!

Hopefully we’ll meet here in Sweden… in the meantime, I wish you all happy holidays!



Master in Communication Series Part 1: What am I actually studying? Find it out…

Some days ago I took my third exam since the beginning of my Swedish academic experience. As you probably remember, I’m attending a Master’s Programme in Communication at the University of Gothenburg.

I’m almost sure that many of you after reading the lines above have wondered: Communication… hmm, okay, but what does he actually mean by saying that?

Am I right?

Okay, let’s put it in this way. What do you have in mind when I say the word ‘Communication’? Words – spoken and written -, messages, channels… then? If it’s not enough, let me introduce this definition: communication is the transmission of a certain content from a sender to a receiver using a certain expression and medium within a certain environment and with a certain purpose/function (Allwood). What if I missed some other elements in this definition? When we communicate, we not only exchange messages, rather we kind of shape our conversation and strongly contribute to make it effective and meaningful: we try to interpret and fully understand what our interlocutor is telling us, and the same is for him/her. When we communicate, we share the creation of messages and meanings.

So now, more or less, you have a sort of idea of what communication is. Good. This is the basis, the milestone everyone studying Communication must bear in mind. Of course, there are other fundamental concepts to add to the broad umbrella term that Communication is, but for the moment I’d say that it’s good enough that you know what you’ve read so far.

Now, the second important step to take is knowing about Interpersonal communication, which is one of the main courses of my programme. Interpersonal communication is a form of communication that involves a small number of individuals who are interacting exclusively with one another and who therefore have the ability both to adapt their messages specifically for those others and to obtain immediate interpretations from them. (Lustig & Koester). I guess that it’s pretty clear.

Another big topic of my programme has its foundation in communication, of course, but in that case there’s a new element that we very often hear and, likewise, we may have some doubts when it comes to defining it. I’m talking about culture. So, try to mix culture and communication, and you have the subject I’m referring to.

Intercultural communication. Exactly.

Technically we are animals, aren’t we? However, we have some differences which make… the difference. We live in a nature surrounded by artifacts and traces made by humans, we have some behaviours and thoughts that shape our view of the reality and the world. Artifacts, traces in nature, behaviours and thoughts: similar patterns in all human societies. Here we are: culture. So what is intercultural communication? We may define it as such: communication between people with different cultural background. Sounds easy and not so complicated but… you must remember that when it comes to dealing with intercultural communication, there are four main aspects that are essential: production (bodily communication, vocabulary), understanding/interpretation (important background information), interaction (turn management, feedback, sequences e.g. greetings, forms of address) and context (attitudes and values, history, religion, etc.).

Intercultural communication’s aim is to disclose the differences as well as the similarities among the human beings. We all are part and share the same planet, right? So, we all may contribuite to cooperate and overcome conflicts and misunderstendings. It’s not utopia… it’s a matter of learning how to be interculturally competent. 


Source: http://www.nessunluogoelontano.it/3821 

Okay okay, class for today is over! Jokes apart, if you are interested in pursuing your studies in the field of communication and you’re especially considering to become a student at Gothenburg University, well, now you have an idea of the main subjects you’ll face. I didn’t mention other courses, likewise important; but no worries, I’m not going to put an end to the idea of sharing my academic experience.

A presto.

Featured image: http://www.notredameonline.com/resources/intercultural-management/intercultural-communication-in-the-global-workplace/#.WE3IbfnhDcd


Beautiful Gothenburg: meet Lindohlmen Science Park, a pearl of innovation

Today, I would like to talk about an area of Gothenburg where I’m used to go most of the time during the week. I’m currently studying a two-year Master Programme in Communication at the University of Gothenburg, but I attend my classes in buildings belonging to the other important university of the city, Chalmers University of Technology. How is that possible? Well, my Department is the one of Applied IT, which is part of both GU (University of Gothenburg) and Chalmers.

Anyway, you are still wondering: okay, got it, but where and what is the area you were going to talk about?

And you’re completely right!

From Stenpiren, a pier and a hub of public transportation, I catch the ferry, line 286 Älvsnabbare (it’s for free – great to know if you’re a student, and you can also bring your bike with you!) and…

Ferry Gothenburg

Photo taken by www.goteborg.com

Here we are. A small trip lasting few minutes. I stop at Lindholmspiren, the relative pier of the district called Lindholmen (oh… finally you got it!), located in the island of Hisingen.



The view from the pier is so nice, especially in sunny days!

The first thing you notice arriving there, it’s such a stunning office building called Kuggen: you see so many colours but, at the same time, the one that keeps all together is the green one – by saying that, I mean that this is a green building, as a low energy consumption is one of its main characteristics.

A wonderful picture taken by Andrés

Kuggen is one of the architectural beauties which constitute Lindohlmen Science Park. An area that keeps on developing, and it is estimated that 30.000 people will study and/or work there by 2020. Business, research, work and study: these pillars make Lindholmen full of life and put Gothenburg on a privileged level.

Kuggen is connected by a walkway to one of the buildings that are part of the Campus Lindholmen – and you can clearly spot it, as you get off the ferry. The building is called Jupiter, not so far from the building where my Department is – House Patricia (it’s amazing, you can find also a kitchen for students and study areas such as small rooms and class rooms, along with many other services).


So, Campus Lindholmen includes Chalmers University, as well as the University of Gothenburg, some high schools and a polytechnic – students, researchers and teachers represent part of the current 21.000 people filling the area.

The Campus, in turn, is part of the already mentioned Lindholmen Science Park – the global area which encompasses also the SVT (Sveriges Television – Swedish Television) and many premises that host business people and researchers. The aim of this Park is to “establish a unique arena for collaboration on development and research”.


Photo taken by http://mediaarena.lindholmen.se/

So… what are you waiting for? Come, visit and experience this beautiful area of Gothenburg!

Lake Delsjön, Gothenburg

Why I chose to study 9370 km away from my home country.

I’m writing this at 10 km of altitude, while listening to Arctic Monkeys in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean inside of an Boeing 747-8, and it is until now that I realize how far is Mexico from Sweden (this is kinda obvious, it’s geography not rocket science right? but still…).

A lot of people have asked before why I chose Sweden? Why I chose a place to study so far from my home country?

DelsjönPhoto credit: Flavien Daussy.

So, let me explain to you guys why I chose Sweden.

Challenge accepted

Studying in Sweden represents a challenge, first of all because they speak another language, although everyone (literally everyone) in here speaks English I wanted to go to a place where I could experience something different, a different continent, a different culture, a different way of seeing things, a different everything.

Probably you have heard that great things are accomplished outside our comfort zone, and now I understand why.

Let’s put it like this, imagine your life is an experiment, if you do the exact same thing over and over again the results won’t change, if you control every single variable your outputs will be the same, this doesn’t mean that you should immediately start doing random stuff. But, I believe that everyone has some crazy idea; maybe trying a new sport, or learning something new. Einstein once said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

I agree.

Now picture this: new country, new city, new class mates, new educational system, new food… I could go for hours but you get the point. A lot of new inputs will result in a buttload (buttload is actually a unit of the imperial system) of new experiences.



Fresh start, new possibilities

You will put into practice new skills that you didn’t even knew you had, you will dedicate 3 hours to do laundry just because you don’t have idea of what are you doing, you will have the opportunity to join a student society or committee, and so on.

The possibility of new experiences increase linearly in function of how much we change the input variables this means that life is a function of new experiences and new adventures (at least that’s how I see it). Just like Elke said in her post (you can chek it out here), going to Sweden is a new shot for just about anything.

I also agree.

IMG_5333A lot of people asked me before, “aren’t you afraid of going to a place so far from your home, to a place where you don’t know anyone, to a place where you don’t even speak the language, to a place where during winter you only see the sun a couple of hours, where in some parts of the country the temperature is so cold that your eyelashes freeze?” and the answer is simple: of course I was afraid, but that was the idea, and I can tell you that after just 3 months of living in Sweden this was the best idea I’ve had so far. And just by the simple fact that in the last 3 months I’ve lived a lot of new experiences, and this is just the beginning…

To be continued…