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.

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