Jarrett Lee is studying Economics and Math at Hamilton College. He spent the Fall 2019 semester in Stockholm with The Swedish Program.
I’ve been home for about two weeks now, and I think it’s time to reflect on my experience in Stockholm. Now that I’m back into a routine at home, none it actually seems real. If it weren’t for the pictures, videos, and souvenirs, I wouldn’t believe that I lived in Sweden for almost 4 full months. Yet, towards the end of the semester, it had seemed as though I had lived in Stockholm for my whole life.
So, when I returned home, it felt unusual when I didn’t need to take the train to Rådmansgatan. It felt unusual to be surrounded by English-speaking people. It felt unusual driving a car. Daily encounters that should be routine seemed unfamiliar to me for the first few days back home. It’s incredibly hard to describe the feeling of being abroad and now being back home. For me, what often crosses my mind when reflecting is: “Wow, I actually did that.”
Studying abroad in Stockholm was such a rewarding experience. Stockholm provided a balanced academic workload while allowing me to continue my passion for economics, and Sweden’s prime geographical location allowed for easy travel. I was able to receive two economics course credits for my major, and an introductory Swedish class gave me a conversational understanding of the language.
At the end of October and into early November, we got two weeks off to travel. This provided a nice break from academics and allowed us to go see the world. With a few other program members, I hit seven cities: Budapest, Venice, Rome, Athens, Santorini, Madrid, and Prague. And on separate weekends, we visited Munich, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. In Munich, we took on Oktoberfest, which is Germany’s popular beer festival, and in Amsterdam, we went to the Amsterdam Music Festival. It was extremely rewarding to meet so many people of different backgrounds and cultures. We would make friendly conversations with people at each destination, and even though we would never see these people again, I valued these interactions.
But, I can’t forget to talk about the city of Stockholm itself. I made so many memories. From attending a Hammarby soccer game with our Program Coordinator, Andreas, to seeing Khalid and Old Dominion in concert, to ice skating in the center of Kungsträdgården. I could go on and on. The Swedish Program and Stockholm provide an unbelievable opportunity to explore the world.