We’re winding down the semester, and its time to squeeze in as many activities as I can into my last three weeks. Last week marked my final non-Scandinavia trip (Paris) and my last Core Class (Public Finance). Don’t get me wrong- I’m glad the final exam is behind me- but we really bonded as a group and I’ll miss our classes together. And the trip to Paris was wonderful, and I loved spending it with good friends in an amazing city.
Weekend in Paris
I stayed with one of my friends from Tulane, Daniel, and his roommates (they have a view of the Eiffel Tower!). We explored some local bars, boulangeries, and the Eiffel Tower in our first day before heading to the Louvre. Its the largest, most architecturally impressive museum I’ve ever seen, and we joined the hundreds of other visitors on a bee-line for the Mona Lisa. The Louvre caters to people like us, with signs pointing directly to Da Vinci’s masterpiece (one of his paintings just sold for $450Mn! It’s a jaw-dropping museum, impossible to do in a day, but we did our best to find the must-sees. Sometimes the best part was admiring the building itself, its stunning construction is amplified by incredible murals on the ceilings. And the best part- Its free for students!
After the museum we walked through Paris to the Place du Terte. This picturesque square in the Montmarte Quarter is a haven for artists, surrounded by quaint shops and restaurants facing the square. It also has some fascinating history, and may be the origin of the word “bistro”. We stopped for a meal (sitting outside on the same side of the table, facing the sidewalk in the traditional French style). The food is exactly as good as I had hoped, and we topped it off with a sweet crepe before meandering through the heart of the city. We got the the Arc de Triomph in time to see the Eiffel Tower’s hourly light show, and I scaled the spiral stairs to the top of the Arc (also free!) for a mesmerizing view.
Daniel and I met up with another Tulane friend, Madigan, on Sunday for a falafel lunch and walk through one of Paris’ oldest outdoor markets. We enjoyed a coffee in a nice cafe before I made my way to the airport. Though it was just a weekend, it was packed with sights and activities, and I enjoyed every minute. It really is a spectacular city, there’s just so much to do, see, and eat here. And catching up with friends made it even better.
Public Finance Core Course
After the weekend of exploring Paris, I came back to Stockholm for my last Public Finance class and final exam. We still have two weeks of elective classes at DIS, but all core courses have finished. Our Public Finance class really bonded this semester, and I made some great friendships. I’ll still see them at school and in my other classes, but it is a little bittersweet to have our last class all together. However, we did set up a nice group dinner and outing in our last week to say final goodbyes and have a great send-off.
With my time in Stockholm winding down and Thanksgiving approaching (though only for the United States) its a fitting time to reflect on my semester. I’ve been lucky to have incredible travel and cultural experiences and unique learning opportunities in and outside the classroom. I’ve met some wonderful people I hope to remain friends with, and discovered so much about life in Stockholm and myself. I’ve gotten the semester I was hoping for and more with DIS in Stockholm, and I truly feel I’ve gotten a full and honest experience. Though I’m leaving for Madrid in three weeks, I can honestly say I made a great choice coming here. So as my friends and family in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving and I venture up to the Arctic Circle (more on that later!) I want to take time to think about what I’m grateful for most: The opportunities I’ve been given to learn about myself and the world, and the people and memories along the way.
-Thank you for following my journey, and happy Thanksgiving for those back home
I have a short week of classes and will be spending my final travel break in Kiruna, Sweden (north of the Arctic Circle). Fun fact: The city is moving! It’ll be a week full of dog-sledding, snowmobiles, traditional food, saunas, and the Aurora Borealis. I’m super excited about this week and can’t wait to share it when I get back!
Paris left me tons of options, but my first meal was a wonderful experience from start to finish. Daniel and I sat outside at a bistro for the early dinner, facing the Place du Terte. I had Beef Bourguignon, a hearty stew hailing from the Burgundy region of France. It was flavorful, tender, and delicious. With warm bread for the rich sauce and a lovely atmosphere observing the artists square with a great friend, this was a meal I won’t forget. What they say about the food in Paris is 100% true- I was never disappointed and mostly blown away- so come hungry!