Things have been getting very busy at DIS. Between classes, field studies, trying to embrace the culture around me, and staying on top of things back home, I have found myself short on time lately.
That being said, there have been many exciting things happening here at DIS. Just last week we had our week-long study tours with our core course to different destinations across Europe. I have to admit, I feel like one of the luckier ones because my core course (Positive Psychology) traveled to Athens, Greece. Upon arrival, we were greeted with warm weather and sunshine (something that Sweden has been lacking the past few weeks).
Throughout the week, our class was able to have a nice balance of academic activities, cultural experiences, and free time. Often, these three categories blended.
It can be hard to remember, but when we go on these study tours, it really is meant to be an academic experience. DIS likes to use the phrase “Europe as your classroom,” and I could not agree more with this. I have always been someone who learns by doing and seeing, by stepping out of a classroom and into the world. Throughout the week, we learned about the Ancient Greek philosophers (Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle) and how we can trace some of the oldest origins of Positive Psychology to their studies. We also visited the NGO The Smile of the Child. This was meant to be an opportunity to incorporate children and children’s psychology into our curriculum as it has not been discussed yet.
Other academic activities included a lesson on “Philotimo” which translates to “love and honor” and is a big part of Greek identity. In a similar vein, each member in our class was given the assignment to interview one person in Greece and ask about their culture and wellbeing. A lot of our findings showed that the food (which was delicious!) and the culture of caring for one another greatly impacted wellbeing.
Outside of the “academic” setting, our class went on many other exciting excursions. On our first day, we shared a Greek feast with many different dishes, including the famous Greek salad (a personal favorite). We also toured the Acropolis and Parthenon which were truly impressive. To think we were looking at architecture from literally thousands of years ago blew my mind.
Finally, my two favorite activities were Greek dancing and visiting the island of Aegina (about a 45-minute ferry ride from Athens). The dancing was a fun class bonding experience, to say the least. I would share a video, but WordPress won’t allow me, which is perhaps for the best! The island of Aegina was also incredible. We swam in the Mediterranean sea, soaked up the sun, and had a seafood lunch.
On Friday, our class left Greece to return back to Stockholm. We had a layover in Copenhagen so a few friends and I decided to spend the weekend there. Copenhagen has been on my bucket list, and while it was 40 degrees colder and much darker, I still had a lovely time!
After being away from the “official” DIS classroom for so long, I am working to get back into the swing of things. Time sure seems to be flying by here!