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My One Year in Sweden (PART 2)

Over the summer, as soon as I got vaccinated, I found time for parties and I joined quite a few. I didn’t do much for fun as I was immensely engaged in a summer academic program and had also signed up for some volunteer roles. That is how I ended my one year, but let’s start from the beginning.

Inside the library

Photo by: Amaraizu Genius

By Amaraizu Genius

Amazing academic year

Like I mentioned in the Part 1 of My One Year in Sweden, the keyword remains – ‘amazing’. I defied the pandemic to have an amazing past year. You remember my programme of study, right? I’m a Masters student in Media, Communication and Cultural Analysis. It’s obviously a 3-in-1 program: we explore the world of media and communication and put it into perspective to understand its relationship with culture. That is the long and short of it. Amazingly, our discourse focuses on experiences, consciousness and meaning derived in our daily interaction with media. You have to undertake a lot of reading and research while exploring your unique perspective to things around you to make the most out of the programme.

The academic year began with an introduction into the entirety of the program, and then followed by the first course – “Canonical Text in Media.” It started in-person, but with new legislations on social distancing, we migrated online. The rest of the academic year was online. My grades were quite good, so I have no complains about online study. It went well. Lol. Okay, the truth is that sometimes, you just wanted the faces on zoom to disappear. I was tired of online, and it was building an unhealthy living for me since I mostly remained in my room all school days. At some point, I changed my strategy, and started having my classes in coffee shops. I knew I needed to be going out as much as possible while being conscious of the pandemic.

In the first semester, I had many interesting courses, but I especially enjoyed these two courses, “Media and Everyday Life” and “Media and Cultural Industries”. While the former explored media experiences, the latter introduced key concepts and contemporary debates within the political economy tradition of media and communication studies. The second semester was even more interesting, and my favourite goes to the course, “Digital Media Technologies.” This course was 15 credits and spanned longer with about three professors delivering the modules. The first part of the course, Archive and Algorithm, provided students with in-depth perspectives on contemporary issues related to the technologies of production, storage, and circulation of media content. The second part, Critical Media Literacy, introduces media literacy and critical media and information literacy as concepts and practices in relation to different traditions, contexts and stakeholders.

Let me not bore you with my courses and rather talk about parties. Are you ready?

Party outdoors

Credits: Vilhelm Stokstad/

Did I raise your hopes too high? I don’t have much party stories. During the academic session, I never attended any party, not even one. This is mainly because of the pandemic. During the holiday, I was eager to attend some parties, but I could not as much as I wanted. I was lucky to have been selected to participate in the 59th Graduate Study Program of the United Nations Geneva (Check out the GSP Report 2021 – External link, opens in new window.). However, I still managed to attend a few parties. You know, all work and no play, makes Genius a dull boy. So, I still have some party stories.

As the world slowly opened up, I met some new friends that I can call my buddies now. We celebrated each other during birthdays, and in summer, we had parties and dinner gathering in most of the weekends. That was it. They were not large parties, and this allowed me to enjoy them most while building a stronger bond with friends from all over the world. Even though they were small parties, some of my friends got drunk and were acting good ‘Hollywood movie’ for us. If you want to hear the story, chat me up 😁.

There’s one remarkable part of my journey in the past year I must point out. It is how Sweden has changed me. Yes, I usually thought that one year is too short for significant changes to happen, but, within just this past year, I realized I have changed a lot. I will conclude with this – in Sweden, I learnt how to enjoy and practically demonstrate sustainable lifestyle. I have never been this conscious of the environment, even to things as simple as recycling. Right now, I have become deliberate in supporting environmental protection. In fact, over the summer holiday I was employed as a Programme Support (Media and Communication) intern for the United Nations. I work with The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), Montreal, Canada and as the name implies, I’m actively contributing to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. I think I need to write about this, let me hear from you first.

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn: External link, opens in new window.

Picture of the author Amaraizu Genius

Amaraizu Genius is an International Student Ambassador at Södertörn University.

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