Scandinavia ECS | Learning at LBS in Lund
After sitting on the train, in which we sped by farms scattered on the vast Swedish countryside, we have arrived in Stockholm, where more adventure is to come.
Over the last two days, through a combination of sitting in on classes and exploring Malmö and Lund, we immersed ourselves in Swedish culture. My favorite place we have visited is Kulturen, an outdoor museum made up of houses from different time periods. Instead of seeing items in a glass case, we walked into and around the houses that have been moved to this center. In a farmer’s house, the earthy aroma from the wooden floorboards and insulating grass on the roof gave the one room more authenticity. Our guide showed us the wooden torch-like item they used to light the house in the long dark winters; on top of a wooden stand resting on the ground, two metal tongs held a log waiting to be lit. This explains why fires were so common! We also walked through a professor’s city house from the same time period; the candle chandelier showed the contrast between city and country living at the time. Besides Kulturen, we also visited a radio station, sat in on film and photo classes, and gave an economics presentation to some of the Swedish students. During our presentation we discussed some of the current economic controversies in the U.S. such as income inequality, the size of the public sector, and the role of unions in the economy. When we asked the Swedish students how many of their parents were in a union, about 70% raised their hands whereas only about 10% of our hands went up.
For our final dinner in Lund, the school put on a traditional Swedish feast. When we walked into the cafeteria, plates filled with herring lined the table. The pickled, mustard, and onion herring served as our “appetizer”. We all braved the delicacies together, counting down before trying each. The main course was a sandwich cake, layered with different meats and topped with fruits and veggies. After dinner we played games with our host siblings, soaking in our last night together. We had to say goodbye this morning; I think it is safe to say we all felt sad leaving our families, wishing we could spend more time with them.
In short, the home stay experience was unforgettable. By the fourth day, commuting by train to school felt normal. During meals and fika, the traditional coffee and tea break, with our host families, we compared cultures and exchanged ideas. Personally, my favorite memory with my host family was discussing the differences between the college application process and tuition over a cup of tea. As a topic very relevant in both mine and my host siblings lives, we were all very interested in hearing about the different systems. Although it was hard saying goodbye, we are all very excited to explore Stockholm for the next and last five days in Sweden.
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