Lets keep the introduction short: as part of our role as Study in Sweden Digital Ambassadors we have regularly meetings, the most recent one in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, a mixed between the old and the new, an industrial city connected by trams. A place full of lights, cozy coffee shops, traditional christmas markets and a contagious festitivty spirit. These are some insight of four awesome days.
I already love Gothenburg! That was the first thing that came to my mind while stepping out the Central Station and a building wrapped in a red bow, with lights hanging from the top, gave me the warmest christmassy hello. I arrived to the hotel and got ready for our get together in one of the Digital Ambassadors house, Anita. It was so good to see everyone after our last meeting in Stockholm, lots of hugs and greetings (yeah, maybe not too Swedish), and then making pizza together. As you will notice further in this post this is one of the main things we do in our meetings: eat. But that’s also how you experience a culture, right? Four slices of pizza and two bowls of ice cream with fruits later we were still on Anita’s living room talking about the days ahead and, the best part when you are with people from all around the world, about cultural differences.
Back to the hotel guess who was my roommate? Marina! Yes, a Dominican and a Brazilian together, you can already guess we did a karaoke on the second night. Don’t worry, any of the guests complained.
This is where Volvo comes into the story. The moment you walk in you can tell they have a strong internal culture, every detail has been taken in consideration, all what Volvo is known from you could see it in their headquarters. After offering us some coffee (Fika!) we met their Marketing Director and had a very interesting morning learning about how they have made such a strong brand that pretty much is part of the Swedish cultural heritage.
One of the things I loved the most was how this Swedish company have focus who they are around one thing: People.
Later that day we worked on things to improve how you, dear reader, can get more Swedish insight through our media channels. Off course, saffron bun and coffee involve (I’m starting to things this fika thing is a conspiracy made gym owners and its all part of an evil plan, ok maybe not).
After evaluation, brainstorming, improvement and so on… we went to Scandinavuim, the stadium where the ice hockey match between Gothenburg and Lulea took place. My first ice hockey game! I have to say it was super fun (And I’m not a sports fan), but never thought watching a small black disk been push around the ice could make you so enthusiastic. Little minor discussion between the players, fireworks every time the Gothenburg team made a goal and kids playing hockey during the break time.
Also Marina and I made a lot of noise to make sure that the camera guy notice us and put us in the big screen! Mission acomplish 🙂
On Saturday we had the “VIDEO CHALLENGE” –(read it with dramatic tone)-, we were divided into teams and had just half a day to come up with an idea, record, edit and upload it for the “judges” to see it. I most say it was quite a challenge, we came up with the idea of making a song… yes, my musical career may be about to start. The thing is we underestimate the process to actually write some lyrics, find the music, come up with a video script, record, do voice over, karaoke style and edit. Let’s just say we end up running around Gothenburg, crashing into a random hotel lobby to connect the computer unplugging their Christmas try, sorry, editing in the ferry, and editing some more until 2:00 a.m. ok, we couldn’t finish in half a day but the result I will say still have us singing. And after watching it you will understand why I can’t say tack sa mycket (thank you), like a normal person anymore.
Listen to our “master piece” here #theswedishsong
We also watched the most amazing sunset, even though behind the picture the story goes more like: us running to catch the ferry, me stopping to take the picture, us missing the ferry, but it was worthy, right?
We also had a delicious Christmas dinner, Swedish style. Yum, yum.
And Edite won the golden award for creating the Study in Sweden podcast channel. Check it out and suscribe.
Last day in Gothenburg, with a city card to use.
First Universium, we had our doubts because apparently is more for families and children but they have the biggest in door tropical forest in Sweden and once in a while you need some of that. The humidity, the sound of thunderstorms, the birds, the green, for a minute I felt teletransported home.
Next: Liseberg, an amusement park that in this time of the year looks like Santa Claus house, the lights, the fake almost real white snow and the smell of pop-corn and cotton candy in the hair. Perfect Sunday getaway.
Last stop in the Modern Art Museum and finally… fika. Andrés and Francesco, already Gothenburg locals, took Justine and me, the only ones left, to a cozy coffee place close to the station. Cappuccino and kanelbulle to end a perfect weekend with great company.
Hugs again to say good-bye, and wave our hand in the air several times wishing a good trip. Until the next meeting.
Now here I am in the train and you know how trains rides makes you much more toughtful, well remember the story about Volvo and what they do what they do?, I came up to the conclusion that Study in Sweden is also about the people, and I think that’s exactly what make this blog special, real people, talking about their real experiences; there’s nothing between us that write and you that ask questions and engage with your comments and thoughts.
So, all I have left to say, after this long post is… thank you for walking this journey with us. For been the people for which we do all this.
Tack sa mycket! (Good Morgon, Kanelbulle NOO! its the #swedishsong)