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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 3) 2014/15

Dmitri Hogenkamp, Dalarna University, Sweden, Mobility for study, KPZ


Review of my stay in Sweden


During my studies at the Dalarna University in Sweden I attented four courses. I changed my programme and quit the course of Learning and Development and replaced it with the course Swedish society and culture. 

Swedish for beginners: 

To really blend in the Swedish society it's important to learn some basic skills of the Swedish language. During this course I learned the basic communication skills of the Swedish language. This course was really usefull to learn about the Swedish language but also some cultural aspects of the country. The students who attented the course all just arrived at Dalarna University, so during this course I met most of the international students. To finish the course you had to pass the oral exam, the written exam and handed in the homework tasks.


Swedish Education system:

The course gave you as a student an opportunity to see some Swedish schools during the 10 days of field studies. Before every class we received a homework task, mostly some literature to read. During class we discussed the texts and discussed about the central topic. It was really interesting to hear the point of view of students from different countries. It made me realize that a lot of things (related to education) I find normal but are viewed different abroad. It gave me some food for thought and inspired to me to review some of my ideas about education and how an educational system should look like. The final assignment to pass the course was a written essay about a topic by choice, ofcourse with a link to education and an international perspective.

Swedish society and culture:

During this course the professors gave us historical lectures about an international perspective on the Swedish society and culture. To understand the society and the culture of the country you are living in it's important to put things in perspective and the historical perspective is an important one. The course helped me to understand the way Swedes live in their society and their culture. The pass the course I had to write an essay with a topic by choice.


Outdoor education:

The outdoor education course was a course where most of the courses took place in the outdoors. This educational concept is quite unknown in the Netherlands but well developed in Sweden. The course gave me the opportunity to fulfill my personal goals and gave me new ideas and views related to my profession. To finish the course all assignments had to be hand in and the final essay had to passed.



The Swedish culture is close the the Dutch culture, but ofcourse there are some differences as well. One of the first difference I had to get use to was the lunch. Swedish primary schools provide their pupils a daily school lunch, I'm not used to have a provided school lunch on primary schools. The food is slightly different as well, the Swedes have a big lunch meal while I'm used to have some sandwiches for lunch. 

Sweden still has a fierce winter with temperatures around minus 20, these ice cold  temperatures are a reason for a different sportculture. Even though the Netherlands are worldclass at ice-skating, we don't have real winters anymore. Swedes love their ice-skating, ice hockey, cross-country skiing and Falun has his own skipjumps where every year international championships are held.


A little family abroad, that's the result of my stay in Sweden. I met so many people from different countries, these friends became a little family. Spending 5 months or more abroad makes it easier for people to connect with each other. Everyone is on the same page and ready to make memories for a lifetime. Spending time day in, day out with the people I met on this adventure is something that I won't forget till the end of my life. It's hard to describe how tight the bonds were between the international students and a few Swedish students. It's incredible to know that I now have friends all over the world, from Taiwan to Canada but also a lot more nearby in Austria, Spain, France, Italy and ofcourse Sweden. 

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