Field Studies

First Week of Classes + Field Studies

I have been in Sweden for officially 17 days now, but to be completely honest it feels like it’s been months! Time definitely passes so much faster here. I don’t know if it’s because Chicago is 7 hours behind or because the sun sets at 3 p.m., but everything is passing by so quickly!

We have finally had our first full week of classes and I’m loving every single course so far! This semester, I am taking Positive Psychology, Swedish Language and Culture I, Psychology of Loneliness, Developing the Brain: Infant to Adolescence, and Psychology of Emerging Adulthood (changed from the Vikings). Each class is 80 minutes long and some classes are double periods that only meet once a week. The interesting about DIS is that for our assignments we read A LOT. However, it’s also because our classes are very much discussion based! Dis holds classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays, we have something called a Field Study.

Field Studies are in a way like field trips. There isn’t one every week depending on when the professor schedules them (YAY DAY OFF). Although, the days there is one is the opportunity for the class to get hands on experience on the course material. Professors also schedule field studies in the morning or afternoon, so there are days where you may have two!

Last Wednesday, my Developing the Brain class went to the Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Karolinska Institutet (KIND). Due to the fact that KIND was a clinic and research facility where they work with children with developmental disorders, my class got the opportunity to look at some behavioral methods to test such disorders. The amazing thing about KIND was how separated the clinic and research facility was. Since it was an area for children and families, the clinic was extremely cozy with sofas, stuffed animals, books, and bright colors. There was even a family room where families could feed their children or have meals and relax (something you don’t really see in the U.S.)

At KIND, we got the chance to test the EEG and the eye tracking set up! We also discussed how we have to manipulate testing when testing babies and children since their attention span is shorter, they can’t verbally express their thoughts, they cannot walk yet, and much more.

We also took thee bus down to the MR Center at the Karolinska hospital. Here we got the chance to learn about brain imaging and structure by getting MRIs done. It was honestly such a fun experience to be in an MRI. We were given earplugs and headphones with music from the radio since the MRI machine is extremely loud. The machine was also very claustrophobic. However, since it was pretty comfortable I ended up taking a nap in the 5 minutes I was there! Also, good news, I HAVE A WHOLE BRAIN (side story: my professor told us that at Karolinska someone had gotten their brain scanned and found out they only had half a brain?!? Yet, their brain was able to rewire itself and they were completely normal functioning!).

I think the great thing about Field Studies is that it really accommodates to students with different learning styles. Some students learn better through lecture, others are visual learners, and others need hands on experience to retain information better! This field study honestly helped to remind me how much I love learning about the brain and I’m extremely excited to go on more field studies!

Thank you for reading! See you guys next post! 🙂

Housing · Uncategorized

Folkhögskola + Arrival Week

The past few days in Stockholm have been nothing short of incredible! One of the reasons being that I will be living in a Folkhögskola this semester! The Folkhögskola is located in an island called Bosön where I live with other DIS students and local Swedish students studying at the Sportcampus Bosön. In my apartment style housing, there are two bedrooms, a kitchen, and bathroom. I live in a single room, while the other room is occupied by another DIS student. Here in the Folkhögskola, it is fully furnished and we are given a lot of kitchen and cleaning appliances needed (everything is also from IKEA)! Although, we do not have a laundry machine in our apartment, there is a building, two minutes away from us walking distance where we can go and sign up for a time slot in order to do our laundry (NOTE: if you are not there in the beginning of your time slot, you forfeit your time). The best part about Bosön is that it is a forest and there’s so much nature that surround us. It is an extremely peaceful and safe area with tons of hiking trails that lead you by the water! Being that I lived in the city all my life, it’s amazing to get the chance to live somewhere rural and quiet for a change. Although, it’s in a remote area the market is a 7 minute walk away, the transportation is completely accessible, the gym is right next to our housing, and it takes around only 30-40 minutes to get to DIS.

DIS hosted an arrival orientation for the students at the Royal College Of Music where DIS is located on the 4th and 5th floor! Students were able to listen to performances (Fun fact: I found out ABBA is apparently a Swedish band and yes we did have to sing along and dance to Dancing Queen), learn about the transportation system, pick up their books, learn about managing finances, and so much more.

Throughout the orientation days, we got the opportunity during out free time to go explore the city on our own as well. Along with students from my housing, we explored Stockholm! On day 1, we went to Joe & the Juice where I got a Green Haven smoothie which was spinach, pineapple, and apple! It was 100% delicious and definitely made me feel a little healthier since it was green. A thing to note about paying in Sweden is that most places only accept card and don’t accept cash, so if you ever plan on visiting make sure you check with your bank for foreign transaction fees!

On Day 2, we visited the Migration center where we took photos for our residence permit. During our free time, we got off the stop at T-Centralen (the main hub of where the train lines meet) and explored Sergels Torg! Sergels Torg is the public square in Stockholm and there were so many cute shops around. The most surprising thing was seeing just how many H&Ms there were there and that they have H&M Home in Sweden. We also came across Östermalms Korvspecialist which was a little food truck that sold sausages. I ended up getting a spicy chorizo stuffed in a crispy and fluffy baguette. Afterwards, we also had a housing session at DIS where we interacted with other students from different housings, as well!

Although, I still haven’t fully haven’t wrapped my head around the fact that I am in Sweden, these last couple days have already set me off to a positive start. Thanks for reading! See you guys next blog.