Gothenburg ~ Short Study Tour

Monday (9/12)

Monday was such a great kickoff to the study tour. I had to get up at 5:00 a.m….which I was definitely not happy about but oh well. We met our tour guide at T-Centralen, Stockholm’s Central Train Station, and took off on our train ride to Gothenburg. Three hours later, we arrived and started off towards our first destination: Egg & Milk. This small brunch restaurant serves American-style food and some of the best quality bagels I have ever had. I myself, along with the majority of my Forensic Psychology class, got the brunch combo, the portions of which were perfect. I chose an omelet (which was honestly pretty plain so I recommend getting something else), an onion bagel with cream cheese, a fruit cup, and a coffee. Our tour guide also treated us to some waffles, which were amazing.

By time brunch ended, we had about 1 hr. 30 min. of independent time before we had to head off to our next destination. Two of my classmates and I walked down the adorable Haga, a street filled with shops, cafés, and beautiful buildings. My favorite part of Haga was the chocolate shop at the start of the street and the GIANT kanelbullars in each café, which Stockholm does not appear to have.

After walking around for a while, my classmates and I met back up to visit Halvvägshuset Göteborg, a halfway house that helps released criminals reenter society. Our tour guide was a current employee and she was very helpful in shedding some light onto the differences between the U.S. and Sweden in handling convicted criminals. We even got to talk to one of the residents. Afterwards, our professor and study tour guide rewarded our “good behavior” (a running joke in our class) with some gelato from Gelaterian, which is the best gelato I have had in Sweden so far. I got the nutella and dulce de leche flavors, a great sweet and salty combination.

Then, we headed to our hotel, where we had an hour to spare before dinner. The Comfort City Hotel is very cozy and a comfortable place to stay for a few nights. After getting settled in, we all headed to dinner at Enoteca del Signore. When I tell you this restaurant is nice…believe me. We stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the guests wearing suits and dresses. Everyone was allowed one drink and we had four pastas (of extraordinary proportions) ordered. The pear cider was delicious and the truffle pasta was my absolute favorite. Now, I’m not a big fan of tiramisu, but Enoteca del Signore definitely changed my mind. This is a must in Gothenburg.

Tuesday (9/13)

Tuesday was…so-so. Luckily, we started our morning a bit later, which was very nice. After eating breakfast at the buffet, we headed on over to CLIP – Research unit for Criminal, Legal and Investigative Psychology, which is a part of the Department of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg. Now, I am gonna be completely honest here. This was by far my least favorite academic visit. It was basically a 2-hour lecture about the various research projects done at the institute, which included literature reviews about emotion, deception detection, and interrogation techniques. *yawn*

After what seemed like an eternity, lunchtime was upon us. Two of my classmates and I really wanted to try a French restaurant we walked past the other night. The cute decorations are what mainly drew us in. After arriving and glancing at the menu, we instantly became very confused as to why this place was considered a French restaurant. For example, one of my classmates ordered a burger and fries, the other a vegetarian pasta, while I got the Swedish meatballs. Regardless, my meal was AMAZING, and my two classmates both loved theirs. Shoutout to Källarkrogen!

After grabbing lunch and buying a pair of Vans, our class headed to Prison Island, which is sorta kinda not really similar to an escape room. It’s like an escape room in that each room is like a puzzle that you have to figure out. It’s not like an escape room in that there are multiple rooms and you gather however many points as you start solving the puzzle of how to get out of each room. Some rooms are very much like an obstacle course, while others require you to use more of your intelligence. Overall, it was such a great time and a good opportunity to get to know some of my peers a bit better.

Even though it seemed like we just ate lunch, it was time for dinner. However, we all worked up quite the appetite after Prison Island. The restaurant we went to was called Resturang Familjen. Let’s just say…I definitely have some complaints. And I’m not the only one. First of all, I was very unaware that we had to have one meal be vegetarian, and this was that meal. It was so small and unsatisfying that I actually thought that it was the first course. Secondly, their dessert portion was tiny. I took two bites and it was gone. Thirdly, the staff refused our request for more bread (I mean, it’s not their fault but still). And, finally, they thought that we were dining and dashing because the employees failed to communicate with each other that we actually did pay. That was the first, and hopefully the last, time that our course ate at that restaurant.

Wednesday (9/14)

The last day in Gothenburg…kinda sad. Again, after eating at the breakfast buffet, my class set out on an academic tour at ATSUB – The Association of Relatives of Sexually Exploited Children and Young People. This organization is a safe space for relatives of sexually abused children to come and vent their feelings. Afterall, it is the relatives of these victims that are largely neglected by the Swedish legal system. This was probably my third favorite academic visit, solely because it got cut short by an hour. But, this meant that we had more free time to explore the city! I did this with one of my friends, and the highlight of our mini-excursion was stumbling upon some of the best boba tea that I have ever had. And when I say stumble, I mean stumble. This place was hidden away in a tiny gift shop called Florida’s. I highly recommend the watermelon green tea with tapioca pearls.

Lunch this day was also very good. We ate at the Noot Nordik Kitchen, where we started off with a generous spread of salad and bread, followed by some nicely cooked steak, and ended with an amazing berry crumble and some (average) brownie bites.

Since our train departed at 5:00 p.m., we still had a bit of time to spare. A small group of my classmates and I decided to hit up a few of the thrift shops, where I found some success in buying a little red dress. The train ride went by pretty quick, surprisingly. I passed the time by watching a few episodes of Punisher and going through all the photos I took on the trip. Our tour guide was also kind enough to get us those GIANT cinnamon buns that I mentioned earlier, which were so so so fresh and amazing.

Thursday (9/15) + Friday (9/16) + Reflections

Thursday and Friday were dedicated to wrapping up our week in Gothenburg. On Thursday, we concluded our academic visits with a trip to Mansjouren. This was by far my favorite visit of the week. The speaker was very engaging, and I thought that it was so interesting as to how this organization conducts group therapy to both male offenders and male victims at the same time! As for Friday, my class just met up for a couple hours to go over our final thoughts.

Core Course Week was so much fun overall! I definitely like Gothenburg better than Stockholm, mainly due to the architecture and overall vibes. I also made some new friends and got to know more of my classmates a bit better. While this was all amazing, I got back to my Studentboende not feeling the best. Eating out so many times in a row made me feel really gross and made my stomach not the happiest. My mental health was also not the greatest either. I was, oddly enough, feeling very homesick. And I say “oddly” because I never got homesick in college. Not only was I missing my parents and family back in California, but I was also missing my friends and boyfriend in Minnesota. All I would see when I opened up social media was pictures of my friends going out and having fun without me. In addition, I got zero alone time during Core Course Week. It was nonstop activities, and I NEED some time to myself to function. Normally, going for a run keeps me sane, but I had no time to be able to get one in :/

However, after some calls to home, I calmed down. I realized that I’ll be home in a short couple of months. My loved ones will be there when I get back. Stockholm won’t be, so I need to enjoy everything while I’m here.

Next week, I’ll talk about some of the classes that I am taking along with a little weekly recap. In the meantime, here is a song that reminds me of home and never fails to make me emotional (which in hindsight, did not help).

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