I recently spent two weeks at Stockholm University, Sweden. It was an amazing experience and one that I am certainly glad I took! It was also very rewarding as I met some amazing people whilst also learning about Sweden itself and its culture, as well as learning new areas of Law from the lectures we had.
Before arriving in Sweden, I was very nervous! I travelled there myself and I did not know anyone else from the University of Southampton who was there whilst I was there. However, any fears I had were soon gone after the first day. The first person I met actually studied at Portsmouth and was in the flat opposite me for the two weeks! We had similar plans for the two weeks in terms of what we wanted to visit so that was great as I was already making friends. Stockholm University held a welcoming session where I met people from other Universities and countries such as Australia, Switzerland and the Netherlands!
I studied two modules during the two weeks in Sweden; Practical Merger Control and Antitrust Assessment. These were very interesting modules to study, as previously, I had not had a chance to study them. meaning it was a whole new area of Law for me! We had on average one lecture a day but on both weeks, we had Tuesdays off. This meant we packed a lot of tourist activities into Tuesdays! The content learned in the lectures will be very valuable for me in terms of a future degree. Through studying two courses outside of my degree, I have knowledge in two different areas of Law that I can bring into interviews and application forms to show that I have taken an interest in a career in Law by going to another country to study it!
At the end of the two weeks, we had an oral assessment in both of the modules. We were split into two teams, each team representing a side to a merge between two companies. We then had to argue our case over whether the merge should be allowed or not, depending on our viewpoint, drawing in our knowledge from the lectures of the two weeks citing the relevant European Union legislation!
Outside of Lectures
Stockholm is such a wonderful place! There was so much to do and I am the sort of person who loves to visit new places and do as much as I can whilst there! We went to Sweden’s first open air museum in Skansen, travelling there by Metro. It is underground rail as well as overground and Stockholm University gave us a free one-week pass to use the Metro. In the museum, there were wild animals, an aquarium, model villages and a main stage where up and coming Swedish artists perform!
This is a photo of a Swedish Brown bear who was happily roaming around in his den with a friend!
The ABBA museum featured high on my to-do list! ABBA are one of Sweden’s finest exports as seen by a large museum dedicated to the life of the ABBA members, before and after ABBA as well as during! In the museum, there were plenty of interactive elements, we happened to go as a group of four with two guys and two girls, perfect to recreate ABBA. We went on stage and performed a karaoke to other museum visitors which was nerve-wracking but fun! These were the costumes that ABBA won Eurovision with in Brighton in 1974:
As part of our social programme, we had a free guided tour of Stockholm City Hall. It was such a historical building, with all important political debates being held there. One part of the tour really caught my eye. The painting below took the artist 5 years to make four of them along this wall. Each one represented the view from the window opposite. Due to using water paints, the paintings dried quickly and the artist was never satisfied with them! He continuously tore them down and started again and after 5 years, extension work needed to be done on the Hall meaning he had to stop!
I am a keen runner and Stockholm Stadium is free and open to public use! It hosted the Olympics in 1952 and currently holds the record for most personal bests at an Olympic Games. I did a track session and when I went, no one else was there, meaning I had the whole track to myself!
I delved into the local Swedish cuisine, their meatballs were exceptional! They also have a delicacy called ‘Choklabollar’ which means ‘Chocolate Balls’ which we made as a team, they were very nice!
I was very grateful to the University of Southampton who provided me with a Scholarship to help me with the funds needed to undertake my time in Sweden. Information on support you can receive and summer schools can be found here: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/uni-life/exchanges/summer-schools.page