This week we completed Nivå 1 exams. I think I’ve passed both the oral and written, but we won’t have results until next week. The speaking exam was given in groups of 3 with each us having a role to play for the first part. We were told to prepare to speak about 4 different topics without knowing which we’d be given. We got the hardest one imo – shopping! I hate having to use numbers, and the scope of conversation is quite limited. My role was to be anti-commercialism as we “shopped” for a friend’s upcoming birthday party. After we stumbled along on that theme for 10 minutes, we had to discuss our opinions about shopping and answer questions from the teacher such as Do you like internet shopping? why or why not. What are the pros and cons of second-hand shopping. I’d forgotten the word for second-hand shopping so my partners had to try to explain it to me in Swedish!
I was much more comfortable taking the written exam. though it was quite challenging. We went to the official university exam site, a 15 minute walk east of the university, which meant a 40 minute walk for me. And it rained heavily so I brought extra socks and shoes to change into and wore all my rain gear. It was a proctored exam with about 100 students, with lots of ID checking and strict protocols to ensure no cheating…a little intimidating! It was our first time seeing each other since we’ve been on Zoom only. But of course we were not allowed to talk much before the exam. I needed the entire 4 hours to complete my test, so almost everyone had gone before I finished, but I wasn’t the last! The exam had 2 reading comprehension sections which were brutal. One was a newspaper article and the other was 3 pages of a real website, from which we had to find pertinent information. We needed to write 2 essays with specific details. I got ridiculously stuck trying to tell my friend where we should meet in Copenhagen. Why didn’t I just say meet me at the bus station or something like that!? Instead, I said meet me at the bench to the right of the amusement park doors…I forgot the word entrance, which is ingång (ingoing) of course. Then I panicked and erased the whole section. I have a really hard time making up details or playing a role. So, yes, I needed the whole 4 hours and my desk was covered with shredded eraser debris!
Level one is finished and level two begins today, in person, on campus. It will be a nice change, I think, though working from home is probably more my style! It’s a 35 minute walk (the bus is also 30 minutes so I don’t bother) from our place to the university and we have 2 sessions most days. There won’t be time to come home for lunch, or between sessions. I’ll have to get used to getting my work done at the library, I guess, or ride my bike. It’s not easy on the cobblestones and I get nervous about bike traffic. It’s a real thing here! Maybe my classmates will want to work together. Most of them are doctors, dentists, and other professionals who have been recruited to work in Sweden. They must pass this course (and the advanced semester) in order to stay in Sweden, so they have a lot more pressure to do well. I’m just trying to enjoy it and learn enough Swedish to enhance life here. It’s an adventure… I remind myself. I try not to feel too guilty about taking a spot at one of the world’s top 100 universities, which could be given to someone who is desperate to stay in Sweden. At least I try to be a good ambassador to Lund and help the newcomers as much as I can. I’m not new here anymore! Hard to believe that we’re coming up on 2 years in Sweden!