Core Course Week Adventures in Göteborg and Stockholm

Each Core Course spends a couple days in Stockholm and travels to another Swedish city for a few days during Core Course Week (CCW). Positive psych started in Stockholm before traveling to Göteborg (Gothenburg), a city on the west coast of Sweden.

View of the water near our hotel in Göteborg

So much happens during CCW, but here are some highlights from my positive psych class!

CCW in Stockholm: We spent Monday and Tuesday in Stockholm with some guest lecturers, one on character strengths and one on violent extremism. I really liked the presentation on character strengths, before we met we each completed the Values in Action (VIA) survey which ranked our strengths (in the categories of wisdom, humanity, justice, transcendence, courage, and temperance). Some of my top 5 strengths (also called signature strengths) were kindness, fairness, and curiosity. We discussed using our strengths to increase wellbeing and happiness as well as using character strengths as an alternative to the DSM classification of mental disorders. For example, using this model depression could be considered an absence of the strength hope; so fostering this strength in someone might help them recover.

We had Wednesday off since our course travel was scheduled through Saturday night.

CCW in Göteborg: We traveled to Göteborg from Thursday-Saturday and did many different activities: a walking tour of the city, a guest lecture on positive body image, and a forum theater workshop. I loved the forum theater workshop, although it was very emotionally draining. We started with an icebreaker I definitely plan on using in the future: tell a complete lie about yourself (I escaped frenzy of sharks). The idea was to get creative juices flowing and get more comfortable with each other. I also learned about my classmates! Several claimed to have been born and raised in Sweden! 😄 After the introductory activities we split into small groups and got into the deep stuff. We shared stories of times we experienced oppression or powerlessness, then created a scene to act out for the group and foster discussion exploring alternative ways to respond and hopefully resolve the situation. An organization in Göteborg uses the forum theater method to help those who are homeless or in vulnerable positions find ways of gaining power and helping themselves.

Class photo at the end of the week

Social Activities in Göteborg: DIS provides a lunch or dinner each day while on tour, and we use this time to connect with our classmates. For dinner on Friday night we went to the Boulebar and played some boule after we ate. Basically, the goal of boule is to get your metal balls closer to the small red one than the other team, but you have to throw from pretty far away. The staff there really liked to foster competition and we had a small tournament. We celebrated Chau’s and Bri’s birthdays during our tour, we had some princess cake after lunch on Saturday, shortly before we left for the train back to Stockholm. I had spent most of the morning running around (as discreetly as possible) to get everyone’s signature on a card I picked up the day before (for Chau, Bri’s was another few days away), and I’m very pleased I was discreet enough and Chau was surprised! (Although it was probably less surprising than the fireworks on the cake). Happy birthday again to you two! 😊💛

Free Time in Göteborg: My course was fortunate to have really nice weather during our stay; so we were able to enjoy walks around the city exploring. During my free time I got lunch/dinner with friends, read by the water, and visited the botanical gardens with some friends. Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence is my 7th character strength, and it really shone through while we were at the garden, that garden was incredible. I could’ve stayed there all day and still not wanted to leave. 110/10 recommend.

Despite how exhausting it is, our first study tour was Amazing!

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