The winter semester is over and it feels like it is high time for a good wrap-up. What did I do? What did I learn? What will I remember? It is funny how many things one can do and achieve in a few, seemingly short, six months. Looking back, I am amazed. So here’s what I did and what you can expect from your first semester (in a somewhat random order):
- I moved countries, managed to get my whole winter wardrobe to Sweden (trust me, this was an ordeal). I stepped outside of my comfort zone. I settled in my dorm room and made it feel like my own home.
- I learnt how to move around in Stockholm with the public transportation.
- I did some sightseeing of the city and a taste-tasting of the Swedish (and not only the Swedish) cuisine.
- I got my personnummer, a Swedish ID, a bank account, my VISA debit card, the Mecenat student card, all kinds of membership cards in stores… Everything.
- I met the most amazing group of people from all over the world – my classmates, all 40 (approx) of them, and a whole bunch of KI students from all the levels of education, during the welcome week. I held great conversations with them.
- I became a Digital Ambassador, I was trained in producing blogs with interesting (hopefully) content and impact-full pictures and videos (again hopefully) for Instagram. I met the DA bunch, who are super awesome people.
- I learnt some Swedish. I participated in the 10 week course offered for free by KI. I can now understand Swedes when they talk to each other much better and I can hold a basic conversation, about not-so-complicated subjects. Mostly I can order stuff, understand everything in the supermarket and explain who I am, what I am doing in Sweden etc. I will continue my studies somehow, after Christmas. Not that there is any need for Swedish in my daily life, English is fine, I am just showing off now.
- I participated in numerous of student activities, including a cruise to Riga, Latvia! I went to student parties, organised parties at my own housing, went out and had a blast with the new friends I made. I had a picnic, swam at a lake (both when it was warm and when it was ice-cold). I went to a sauna – lots of saunas!
- I experienced what Swedish Christmas is like, Lucia day and Julbord. I gave and received gifts in secret Santa games. I had the most fun at our class-trip in Solvik (read the blog about this here).
- I survived the biggest snowstorm Sweden has seen in November in 100 years! In general, I survived the daunting Swedish winter, with the cold and the darkness. And I can say it is not too shabby.
- I went to the Nobel Lecture and the Nobel Dialogue and was inspired by this year’s Nobel Laureate and Laureates from previous years.
- Thanks to Applied Communications in Biomedicine 1, I honed my skills in scientific writing, abstract writing, scientific paper reviewing, peer reviewing and most of all – PRESENTING. We presented a lot, to the extent that it does not feel uncomfortable anymore to expose ourselves to large audiences.
- Thanks to Frontiers in Translational Medicine, I revised and updated my knowledge on a lot of areas of the field: Molecular Tools, Immunology and Inflammation, Infectious diseases, Cardiovascular diseases, Neurobiology and Cancer. I sat a big exam twice (Part 1 and 2) and did well. I completed lots of group projects and presentations (yes, AGAIN). I participated lively in three Journal Club discussions. It is safe to say that I learnt a lot from this 22 ECTS course.
- Finally, I wrapped-up this wonderful semester by going on a trip in the Swedish Lapland, in Kiruna, with a few classmates and friends. This experience was unlike anything else (hint: you will read about it in my next blog).
This semester was packed with action and filled with laughter. At times, it was stressful and demanding, with deadlines approaching and lots of studying. But hey, this is what I came here for, right?
All in all, life is good when you are a KI student…. Let’s see what the second semester holds for me! Buckle up everybody, because if it is anything like the first semester, we are in for a ride!
‘Till the next time!
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Featured image taken by Christina Neofytou.