365 days of Sweden

I woke up, had coffee and took the bus to the university, it seems like any other day in Sweden, but it wasn’t. While my professor started speaking I opened a word document to take some notes and – after a nostalgic pause – wrote in the top: Final lecture, ever. Yes, I officially finished the last course of my master’s programme. This means that for the next 5 months I will be “just” writing my thesis and then: graduation (I can’t even believe I’m writing that word in a blog-post already). Don’t get me wrong, “thesis” means there’s still a LOT of research work ahead, meetings with my supervisor, seminars and probably moments of high level of stress. Nevertheless a part of me wishes that time could slow down a bit.

Looking back to these last 365 days I can tell it has been filled with many wonderful adventures, life lessons and enormous growth. So, before getting immerse in the holidays celebrations and continuing writing more blog posts, I wanted to make a pause and share with you the highlights and reflections of this 2017 and what’s on hold for my last 6 months in Sweden.

My 350 days of Sweden in a nutshell

Explored the north: from the Ice hotel to Sampi Camps

What better way to start the year than above the Arctic Circle? This included spending one night at the ice-hotel (Yes, ice beds and all), dog sledding, petting reindeers and some other “Lapland” things. This was absolutely winter wonderland.

Talking about winter, I can proudly say I’ve finally mastered the art of walking on ice, dressing properly for the weather and fighting the unexpected winds. Just like any other Swede. Ah, I also learned how to ski during our Campus Tour in Dalarna (sort of haha).

Roadtrips!

The more I got to travel around Sweden the more I loved it. From the beautiful island of Oland to the small towns along the West Coast Specially: Fjällbacka one of my all time favorites!

View from a hill in Fjallbacka. Source: Ivanna.

Passed challenging courses

This year I also had some of the most challenging but also rewarding courses at the University. Those that shifted the way I used to think about a specific topic. For one of them, about Planning and Evaluation, we got to work for a Communication Project with the Sustainable Development Goals Fund! Also I survived many take-home exams (8 hours of pure work!).

Brainstorming with the team! Source: Ivanna

Moved to Stockholm and started a new internship

Summer finally arrived and with that I managed to got an Internship as part of the International Marketing and Communications team at a super cool company in Stockholm. This meant it was time for me to pack my bags, leave the city of Helsingborg for a few months and move to the big city, the capital: Stockholm! I remember that feeling of not knowing what to expect and starting from scratch again. But it was all worth it.

View from Stockholm City Hall. Source: Ivanna

Embraced Swedish traditions

From spending midd-summer on an island in the Stockholm Archipelago and crafting my own flower crown to joining a cray fish party and singing along to many Swedish songs (without really knowing the lyrics though), still it was an enriching cultural experience.

Took part of the 350 Jubilee of Lund University

Just before the leafs turned read I moved back to the south and attended to the 350th year anniversary celebration of Lund University. I felt so horned and proud of been part of the history of this University.

350th Jubilee Medal. Source: Ivanna

Europe became sort of my backyard

Ok, this might sound a bit cheesy, but seriously living in Sweden means you are just one or two hours away from the main capitals of Europe. I had to take advantage of that, so before the next two final courses started I did an #eurotrip and traveled to Germany, France, The Netherlands and Italy.

Waiting for the bus in Berlin, Germany. Source: Ivanna

Strengthened friendships and made new ones!

The best memories are the ones you make with those people that, in one way or another, become part of your days and your stories. I’m so lucky to have friends that during this year has become like my extended family. Cheers for that.

With my lovely roommates. Source: Ivanna

Around the corner

A new year will start soon, and I’m already looking forward to make the best out of my last 6 months in Sweden *tears, tears*. My main challenge will be writing my THESIS! and all what comes with it, get ready to read some blog-posts about that. But despite all the academic load I also want to take time to complete my Swedish bucket list* this include seen the Northern lights! among other things.

2017 has been great, even with the mistakes I also made in the way…. 2018 bring it on. I’m more than ready.

I wish you all happy holidays and thanks for also been part of this amazing journey of studying in Sweden <3.

*Reminder: If you’re still not in Sweden I think one of your new years eve resolutions should be to APPLY! Applications are open until January 15th.
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Ivanna

A student from Dominican Republic doing a Master in Strategic Communication at Lund University, Campus Helsingborg. If you have any questions contact me at ivanna.studyinsweden@gmail.com
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