Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Next Stop London

Hej Hej,

Right now it is 12:15am in Linkoping and I am still awake. Not only am I up late on a Wednesday but tomorrow morning I leave for London around 6am. There is all sorts of excitement in the air as everyone is celebrating Valborg (May Day/Spring) this evening with bonfires, music, fireworks, etc. Noise is echoing throughout the student housing where I live. The May Day holiday has brought Emily, Richelle, and I a few days off from school thus allowing our trip to London. My students were so excited when they found out that I was traveling this weekend. They suggested tons of places and things for me to do but then made sure I was returning on Monday. My teacher also invited me to her home on Sunday if I am not to tired. Either way when I return on Sunday I will make sure to blog all about London and Valborg. I have some really neat pictures and videos from the celebration.

International love,

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Just for Fun...

So just for fun I am starting a Sweden list. This list will be comprised of things that Sweden has that America doesn't and vice versa.

1. At IKEA in Sweden they have towels with hooks. What genius thought of that and why didn't they share it with the USA or Kentucky? After all we have IKEA's in America.

2. Where is all the ice in this country? I like ice in my drinks and the only place I have really found ice is McDonalds.  :(

3. Why is there not Fika in the US. Fika is amazing and every teacher needs a fika break. My only suggestion is creamer. I cannot find creamer anywhere and I have looked in several different cities.

4. Environmentally friendly: America could learn a few things from this country. They recycle everything and have tons of public transportation (with no stigma attached). I walk to school everyday and if I need to go anywhere else I take a bus or a train and so does everyone else.

5. The sun practically never sets here during the spring/summer months. This makes it extremely hard to sleep especially if you are not from here and every night you are battling a time difference/ jet lag. In the winter months they have no sunlight and in the summer they have to much... you just cant win.

6. Architecture: I am not an engineer or designer or anything even close but the architecture here is unbelievable. Unlike in the US things here are made to last. There are buildings in this city that are so beautiful I could cry. Everything is extremely detailed and historical and the city takes great pride in its architectural appeal. Don't get me wrong there are some beautiful places in America too but it is just different.

7. Why is everyone so obsessed with us? I am totally kidding. Everyone here wears the American flag design on their clothing all the time. I have seen american flag leggings, hats, sweaters, you name it I have seen it. Is it OK for me to just wear some other countries flag?? I just want to fit in.

8. Watch this

As I find more differences I will continue to post them, so stay tuned in for more!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Downtown Linkoping and Norrkoping, Fika, and Linkoping Cathedral

Since I didn't have any pictures on my last post I thought I would start this post with one. This is a picture from my trip to visit my friend Erika in Norrkoping, Sweden. Norrkoping is the twin city to Linkoping. Richelle and I took a bus and a train yesterday to get there. Traveling one way, the trip took about 45 minutes. 
This was my first time traveling by train. 

Also while visiting Erika, Richelle and I learned how to make Swedish meatballs! They were amazing!!

Future Swedish Chefs!

Today Emily, Richelle, and I met up with our friends Megan and Katie (from UK) for Fika. Fika is a break during the day where you drink coffee or tea and usually eat some sort of Swedish pastry. Megan and Katie have been in Linkoping for their entire student teaching placement so they know all of the best places to go. For fika today they took us to Tropikhuset near the canal in downtown Linkoping. Tropikhuset is a green house restaurant in the center of a park. For fika today I had cappuccino and blueberry cheesecake. 
 I kind of spilled a lot of my coffee. 

After fika, we went for a walk through the park and to the Linkoping Cathedral. The cathedral was so beautiful.

A Gazebo made by a woman from Buffalo, NY.


 The inside of the Gazebo. 
We have these in America, but not the tall ones. 
Linkoping Cathedral was first built in the 12th century. In 1230 the cathedral was changed from its original cross shape to the one I saw today. The church has a large tower that is 107 meters high and was added in 1885. 

The entrance to the Cathedral. 

Once inside the cathedral I was in architectural awe from the extravagant pulpit to the Triumph Crucifix. Today was a wonderful day and I cant wait to see what this week has in store from me. I start teaching this week! It should be interesting. 
Livets Trad (The Tree of Life) 

 The Pulpit
 The main altar
 The Triumph crucifix

 The altarpiece in the Quire

Thursday, April 24, 2014

We Arrived

Hej Hej (Hey in Swedish),

We arrived in Linkoping, Sweden on  Monday at 4pm Swedish time. In America that is 9 am. There is a 7 hour time difference. So when you all are sleeping I am awake.  When we arrived at the airport Erika picked us up and we went straight to Linkoping University. There we had our student id's made. I bet you can imagine how we looked in our pictures after traveling for 24 hours. Horrible!!!! Afterwards we met up with Lena our coordinator and got the keys to our student apartments. Emily moved in with me because they were not finished remodeling her room and Richelle lives several buildings away. The first few days in Linkoping have been pretty tough; learning the language, buying groceries and other items, finding our way to school, taking the bus, and no internet or phones (we couldnt talk to our families). But now we have settled in and we all LOVE school. The people here speak both English and Swedish which is very helpful but all of the signs and writing are in Swedish. I have found that the more you work at learning their language and speaking in Swedish the more they speak to you in English. Today was my second day at school and I can already understand some Swedish. I have found that I can read it perfectly but cannot comprehend it. I have also found that I can listen to someone speak Swedish and by using body language, tone of voice, and the little bit of Swedish vocabulary I know, I can figure out what people are saying. The students here are amazing! They are so self motivated and genuinely want to learn. School here is very different from schools in America. They have a different schedule every day and they take lots of breaks where they play outside. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity and insight into education around the world. I will be staying in Sweden this weekend to tour Linkoping and Norrkoping. Linkoping is such a beautiful city and I cant wait to see more.