Saturday, January 19, 2008
First impressions are interesting, they can be deceiving or misleading. We will see how my first impressions of Sweden turn out, but they were certainly mixed with highs and lows mixed in. I arrived in Stockholm, Sweden in good time. The other student I was traveling with and I got our bags just fine and then we met up with some other students and tried to find the bus. This was quite an adventure as we ended up going up and down in an elevator about three times before we finally found it. The day was cloudy, rainy, and cold. But we were able to catch the bus in good time. The scenery along the way reminded me a lot of Indiana. Bare trees, flat countryside and so on. We arrived in Uppsala at the bus station and realized that we had to walk in the rain to a place at least several blocks away (we were not exactly sure where this place was). After approximately half an hour, trudging along with all our luggage in very wet conditions we finally arrived at the place, one of Uppsala's student nations. There we were greeted and were able to get a ride to our place of residence. When I finally arrived at my corridor (after finally figuring out how to use the elevator) I found my room. I wasn't sure what to think of it at first. But I think I am beginning to like it. It is a single bedroom with a personal bathroom. There are eleven other students in the corridor, two of them are exchange students and the rest are Swedish. It is a quiet corridor (so far anyway), which will be nice when the studying starts. Perhaps the hardest part was having no internet access in my room for a while, and having no cell phone, which meant I had no real form of communication. I finally found computers at a public library that allowed me to access the internet for 15 minutes. The Swedish bureacracy is also a bit strange, as the offices are sometimes open for only 3 or 4 hours every other day. They also seem slower than the U.S. But on the positive side, I have met a lot of interesting people from places like Korea, the Netherlands, and Germany. All the other exchange students have been really friendly. The International Committee here has also organized some good activities to help the students get to know each other and the services provided a little better. Well that's all for now. I should be able to get some pictures up shortly.