My name is Joel. I’m an International UTS Business School student from the US and completing the last semester of my Master of Not-for-Profit and Social Enterprise Management at Stockholm University. I’m studying at the Department of Social Work, the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, and Stockholm Business School while I’m in Sweden.
One of my first experiences on exchange was having a very traditional Swedish dessert that is quite popular here, called semla or, in my case, semlor, because I had several (see left)!! These are cardamom and almond flavored dessert buns filled with a special whipped cream and were traditionally eaten on Fettisdagen or “Fat Tuesday” (the day before Lent), but now are eaten by the thousands from Christmas to Easter and pretty much any other day of the year : ). My fellow social work classmates and I had them a little early – I had three in one day and got a little sick to my stomach!!!
When I wasn’t socially gorging myself on sinful treats, I was taking in the rich history that Stockholm has to offer. One of my early visits was to the royal armory in Gamla Stan or “Old Town”. One of the royal knights was assisted by a royal mouse page (see right), evidence of the Swedish sense of humor…
I have also visited the Drottningholm Slott or Drottningholm Palace (see below) – Sweden’s best preserved castle and permanent residence of the Swedish Royal Family. It had stunning art, impecably landscaped gardens, and even had live royal guards in official uniforms.
One of the most enjoyable things I have done is learning Swedish with my Swedish friends, it has really uncovered a lot of the subtle beauty of the life and culture here. They have a good sense of a work life balance, and don’t take themselves too seriously. I leave you with yet another mouse in a display at the Nordic Musuem … I rest my case : D.
UTS Business School Student Joel, Student ID 12494718, Master of Not-for-Profit and Social Enterprise Managment, Partner University: Stockholm University