Time actually does fly!
This House Believes
…that debating is awesome! I’ve told you before that I have joined the Stockholm Debate Society, and I have had so much fun there. Last month, we actually went to a debate tournament in Riga, in Latvia (top image: house where the debate tournament was held).
A debate tournament is a tournament of one or two days (in this case one, as it was a beginners tournament) in which debate teams from several countries compete against each other. It was so cool to meet debate teams from not only the Scandinavian countries, but also Latvia itself, Russia, the Balkan states and many more – especially as a Dutch person, who never gets to meet people from these countries.
The debate tournament was a lot of fun, because everyone was so nice, and we learned so much. Because the tournament is 4 rounds of debate (5 for the finalists) you really see yourself debate better each round. The motions we debated ranged from “This House (meaning your team) regrets the negative attitude towards golddiggers” to – no kidding – a Harry Potter motion, which was “This House believes that the International Statute of Secrecy should be abolished”.
And we did more than just compete in the tournament – we went out to dinner, to a thrift shop, to explore the city, and to get very tasty pancakes for lunch. And everything was so cheap there! We travelled there by ferry, which was also a new experience. Unfortunately, I got quite seasick on the way over, but it was much better on the way back. The ship was enormous and had multiple bars, restaurants and other shops. It was quite the experience!
A new term, a new course
And of course, I am also here to study. The first course I did was called Political Theory, and I heard last week that I passed with a nice grade, so I am very happy about that. It was a nice course to start my semester with, as it touched upon a different topic every seminar – democracy, equality and justice, multiculturalism, and more. It was a good introduction and at the seminar class I attended, both the teacher and the students were amazing. I’ve been very lucky with my first course, especially because I heard from some friends of mine that their courses did not go well at all.
Now we have all arrived at term two – we’re actually almost at the end already – and this course is very different. The programs are now divided into three parts – so for my bachelor – Political Science – you have Political Science I, II and III. The curse I took in the first period (there are four periods in one semester) was one from Political Science I. Now, this second course, called Security in International Relations, is part of Political Science III. This means that it’s a different and tougher course – but hey, I like a challenge!
For my second course, I have to read specific literature every week, and then during the seminars we only discuss the literature. Normally, in a seminar, the teacher goes over the literature again and then in the second half of the seminar you get some group questions about the subject/articles – in this course, it is different. They really assume that you have read and know the literature, and that you have formed your own thoughts, reflections and criticism on it. This does make this course a whole lot of work – but it’s so interesting to actually discuss with the class about what you’ve read, and not just accept everything you read. It’s a nice change.
The building you see on the lower picture above is one of the many buildings of the Stockholm University main campus. That’s the building the Political Science department resides in, and thus the building I spend all my time in. Above that picture, you see a picture of the second meeting of the International Student Ambassadors.
Last time I told you that I applied to be an Ambassador. Well, I got accepted! So now I’m part of this amazing group of people, both international students and Swedish students, and am going to organize several events for all students to participate in. For example, at the end of October, we’re going to organize a Movie Night combined with a Potluck. A potluck is an event where everyone brings some food, whatever they want, to the event and then you all share your food and so get a very nice meal! We’re also going to organize some other events, like a Karaoke, a Stockholm’s Got Talent night, and much much more! When I first came here, events like that really made my week so much more fun. So it’s very cool to now be the one to help with organizing events so that everyone can have just as much fun!
This last month, everything has calmed down a bit, which means I had a lot more free time, which is very nice. There is enough to do here in Stockholm – we went to a bar for drinks, I went to see a movie with my roommate, to a comedy show, and started going to the gym again. Stockholm has enough nooks and crannies to explore, and there are still quite some things I’d like to do. Luckily I have all the time in the worl- wait, is it already almost November?!