19:30 Mon.
9 Sep, 2013

Swedes don't joke around when it comes to exams.

Day 32 , 115 remain
Lulea , Sweden
16 °C
5:31 am
7:21 pm

Today I had my first exam, Swedish for beginners. Here exams are written in special classroom that is big enough to accommodate around 300 students. Room is underground with no windows. Tables are for one person only, although they are big enough so you can have enough space for everything you are allowed to have with you. There is a bathroom in the room as well.

When you enter you have to put your jacket, bags, mobile phone, etc… to a special place. When you are left with only pen and ID with you, you can go sit to your table. For every 20-30 tables there is an exam supervisor seating: facing towards students. And there are some supervisor that walk along the isles as well.

When the exam starts, you get a piece of paper, where you fill out your info, exam info (name of class, number of pages). And later when you start to solve exam, you have to mark which exercises you have finished. This is something similar to Slovenian matura exams.

After you fill this page an examiner comes over and gives you exam. You have to sign your name and ID number on every page of exam. The exam is only printed on even pages. Our exam consisted of 7 pages.

While you are writing an exam an examiner comes over and checks you ID and name, which he also does when you turn in your exam. Exams last from 1.5h (our) to 6 hours. And you can’t leave examination room for the first hour. Although you can bring whatever food and drink you want with you (example; pizza with coke).

Back to the exam. Exam consisted of 4 grammar exercise. 2 that tested understanding of words/text, and one where you had to write short paragraph about yourself. Here is that paragraph that I wrote, if anyone is interested how Swedish looks like (note I’ve changed my parent’s profession for something easier to write).

Jag heter Jani. Jag kommer från Slovenien men jag bor i Luleå nu. Mitt gatunamn är Väderleden och mitt gatunummer är 11. Jag talar slovenska, engelska, lite franska och lite svenska. Jag studerar på Luleå tekniska universitet. Jag pluggar till programmerare. Jag fyller 24 i år. Mitt telefonnummer är 070 123 42 42. Mina föräldrar heter Lilijana och Jožef. Min mor är född 1966 och min far är född 1964. De har födelsedag samma dag, 17 maj. Min mamma arbetar som läkare och min pappa som tandläkare. Jag har en farbror, en faster, en moster och fyra kusiner. Min flickvän heter Veronika. Hon studerar till ekonom. Hon talar slovenska, engelska, italienska, franska och lite tyska. Veronika fyller 24 i år.

23:02 Thu.
29 Aug, 2013

Learning Swedish

Day 21 , 126 remain
Lulea , Sweden
11 °C
4:55 am
8:04 pm

On Tuesday we started our first lessons in Swedish. There are around 25 people in the class from all nationalities, so it’s really different than then language courses in Slovenia (/mother tongue). The Swedish language is a bit weird at some points as some words are written in the same way but pronounced differently based on their meaning (expl. Japan and Japanese). Other than that I think I’m managing to follow the lessons much better than French ones back in high school. The program is really intense as we’ll have oral exam next Friday and written exam the Monday after. And the course is worth 3 CET, so it’s about half of the normal Slovenian course taken in 2 weeks instead 2.5 months.

Lately I’ve realised that I’m not that cold anymore. Guess I have gotten used to a colder climate. In the day if the sun is shining I’m able to go outside in t-shirt. Although locals are saying that normally temperatures aren’t so high at the end of August.

On Tuesday evening we had another aurora. This one was bigger/stronger and lasted much longer than the previous one. I was able to go outside to a close by bridge, which has a bit less light than surroundings of my building. I haven’t talked about this yet, but the city is really well lit, even the smallest roads through outskirts of the city (forests) have lights. Anyway back to aurora, it was really beautiful, sadly this time I forgot my tripod, so no pictures, but I’m sure there will be many more to come. Here is a picture of sunset I took few hours earlier.

Another sunset over the lake
Another sunset over the lake

Yesterday afternoon we went to a nearby forest to pick up blueberries. We were picking them for about ¾ of an hour and even while I ate every second one I picked, I still managed to pick about 0.5kg of them. They are really big and sweet. Maybe I’ll try to bake something with them, maybe…

Picking blueberries with Sofi and friends.
Picking blueberries with Sofi and friends.
I haven't seen so many blueberries before. This is from a half an hour of picking and eating at least as much.
I haven’t seen so many blueberries before. This is from a half an hour of picking and eating at least as much.

Today I’ve been working some more on the blog. I’ve managed to create and fill my expenses so far. You can see them on the right side slider. If you hover over price with your mouse, it will show approximate price in €. Although exchange rates change etc. so this is really approximation. So far expenses are quite high, although I’ve paid rent for 2 months, so I expect next month to be much less.

Today has been 3 weeks since I left Slovenia. Although I miss my folks really much, time flies here. We are busy all the time so I sure don’t feel like it’s been 3 weeks. Maybe one and half. If it will continue at this paste it will be time to go home really really soon.