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I can’t even believe, how many days have already passed here.
And I don’t even know, I should be sad or happy about that?
But first things first.
What happened during that month of silence in my Erasmus life?
Hm, probably a lot !
As far as I remember, I left You, guys, reading about our Lithuanian trip to Malmo and our adventures there.
So, from where I should begin the story of my September.
Studies. And the begining of them. Am, no such thing found here. Comming from an academical culture, where every period of studies starts with somekind of exclamation, celebration, showing, how everybody is enjoying and can’t wait for their new begining. I really missed that “September 1st“ thing here. It just, happened. Normal day, nothing special. Maybe because study year here starts in the middle of August without any proclamation about it, or maybe it just because, well, people see it as unavoidable part of life so there is nothing to celebrate. Well, I wouldn’t agree with that, but well, again, different academical culture. And when from one point it really disappointed me – from the another one I was completely amazed. Here is no lecturer-student kind of relationship. No standing in front of the class for 1,5 hour and trying to prove that if students will not be listening, they will definitely fail the exam. No ! What I was astonished by is the academical freedom of discussion and making the way to the truth together. Of course, I am speaking from Humanities and Culture perspective, I cannot imagine a discussion type lecture about the spliting of atomical particals or solving cryptographical equations, but still, I hope, You get the picture. Different structure of the lecture it self makes you think a bit differently and easily flowing conversation helps you to understand the subject in different ways than you would have understood it only listening to the lecturer or read it in one of the books. But here is another thing – objectivity is not enforced. This is what I missed studying my field, especially when you’re sitting in the lecture about the conflict and you can clearly see the biased opinions and even a victim syndrome, but nobody tries to argue or to show different kind of perspectives – everybody just nooding their heads and silently smiling. Maybe I was not correctly understood sometimes with my a bit streight-forward talks, but all in all I have brought more from it, even if it was a bit biased and lacking of objectiveness opinion. Another thing what surprised me (of course, after the most popular around the globe decision of Sweden to shorten the working day to 6 hours) that here academical hour is taken as academical hour, after which you have to have a brake, as in after 45 minutes you have a 15 minute brake and then the lecture continues. It is strange and your time spent in university prolongs from 3,5 hours to half a day (especially if you have your lectures around the lunch time). And after the announcement of 6-hour-day, well, I am not surprised anymore – Swedes are doing their best to have as much personal time as they can and they make the best of it !
Nations. And as I already stated in my previous writting, I had many doubts about joining any of those. So I simply didn’t. And, I can say, I lost nothing ! I have enough time for myself and the activities I love, I have enough time to study, not really enough time to sleep, but this is a different topic. Yes, I did brake the system of “student life in Lund“ and I’m perfectly happy about it. My friends joined, people I know joined and I didn’t. And it’s OK ! (It’s just for those people, who are struggling with their first Erasmus experiences and are feeling pushed to do something and accidenty reached this blog). I found my way of doing things – and Sweden is best place for it, for sure ! And here are so many things you can do for free that you even start wondering – people need to use Google even more than they do now. Why I’m so positive about not joining the nation? Because I have a band and I joined (for completely free) one of the best basketball clubs in Sweden. No bragging. And I’m doing what I love ! And if you are like : oh, but I want to learn something new, blah blah blah. Well, you’re in university. You’re learning smth new every god damn minute of your life. If that is not enough – Google “Folksuniversitet“. Yup, you read it right. (A bit of promotion here, if you are not interested in it, just skip to the next paragraph). Appearently, Sweden has a decades of history in education of community and of people, wanting to learn and teach, share their knowledge without getting anything in return. Yeah, it surprised me also. You have amazing talent and have 2-3 people who are willing to learn from you? Go there, ask for help, and those people will give you a place, a timetable and even a bit of funding – just do what you love !
Amazing, isn’t it? And we’re sitting here, struggling with tutorials and everything.
One more thing about education – oh Swedes sure know how to make international students useful. I am participating in a project called Language Cafe in one of the schools here. All you, as a student, need to do is come few times per semester and talk to children, hold a conversation, and that’s it. Of course, you’ll get FIKA (amazing word, meaning free coffee with cake or smth sweet) and amazing time with school children – and you’ll get a feel of completely different school system. It is not about modernisation, technologies or some not understandable methods of teaching and learning – it’s all about international and multicultural community. And then we start asking ourselves – how do they manage to get along with everybody? Well, it’s easy – if you’re in Sweden, finish your school in Swedish. If you’re in the country, learn its language. That’s it. Simple as that. Because even if every person you meet in street, even homeless people, speak English, it doesn’t matter that you’ll be able to find the information you need in English.
For the first 3 weeks I was so annoyed about everything as it seemed wrong and definitely not logical. But now I can see clearly – I am in a society of perfect consumerism. And you, small unimportant human, can’t do anything about it. Consumerism at its best. Similar or even the same houses. The same buildings and interiors. Same furnitures and dishes. Even same sheets. Everything is the same going from house to house. A dog or a cat in every house. 3 bikes and daily bag of groceries with few meals to heat up. That’s it. People here are not even picking berries or mushrooms. Nothing. Why should they? There are plenty of stuff in the markets and shops, so why bother? Even if there is not a lot of to choose from. A society of perfect consumerism with a camouflage of healthy and happy nation. No it’s not. Of course, when you think about it, they are able to buy a thing in place of repairing it. They can do that. But we don’t.
I had so much in my mind to write about. But now I will stop. Don’t want to get into deeper thoughts about image and reality, and stuff like that.
And I will definitely try to post more often !
To be continued soon !