Core Course Week


I am currently on the train ride back from Umeå, Sweden, which is about six hours ago from Stockholm. This is where my core course and I spent the past few days. First, let me explain what a core course is and what that means. At DIS, for me, at least when I applied to the program, I applied through my school, and we also had to apply to a core course. I am in the Affective Neuroscience core course, and the other courses I am in are all electives. I traveled with the class this week, and then I will travel with them to Paris during the long study tour. Here is some of our schedule from this past week of what we did!


At the beginning of the week, we stayed in Stockholm and at DIS. During the morning, we had a guest lecturer come in to teach us about functional music therapy. Then in the afternoon, we went to the Karolinska Institute, where we had a tour of Tammimies Lab and learned about how genetics contributes to different neurodevelopment disorders.


We had to wake up at 4:30am to take a 6:20am train to Umeå, and the train ride was about six hours long. I honestly really enjoyed the train because it was nice to see a little more of Sweden, and it’s always fun to travel with your class. After we got to the hostel, we went to an improv acting workshop where we tried to act out and express different emotions. Personally, I was very nervous for this, but I had the most fun and it was something that I have never experienced before and never thought that I would. Then we had a group dinner, and after dinner, we went back to the hostel to watch the film Sami Blood.


We started our day by going to a Joiking workshop where we learned about the importance of joiking in the Sami culture, and we also learned how to joik. Then we reflected on how our emotions are expressed in different cultures. In the afternoon, we went cross country skiing! And it was so much fun, but it was also a lot harder than I expected it to be. I think I fell a total of four times, but it was amazing and beautiful. Here are some pictures of that.


First, we went to Umeå University to the Department of Clinical Sciences Units: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to listen to a talk on depression in adolescents. It was really interesting to listen to and compare it to what we know about the United States. It was also National Sami Day, so we went to enjoy some of the festivities for that. While we went there, we also met the father of the director of Sami Blood, which was so cool and he gave us more insight about Sami culture and what they went through. After that, we ordered some MAX and went back on the train to head home to Stockholm.


We were back at DIS today, and we had a lecture on the endocrine factors in affective disorders. Then we had some time to work on our projects and enjoy the weekend!

Overall, this week has so far been the highlight of my abroad experience. It was so much fun, and I got so much closer to everyone in my class. Also, it was a cool experience to see what we were learning in the classroom in real life and to combine things that I didn’t think would go together. Like I never thought that I would take a neuroscience class that also involved learning how to act. But it was amazing, and it made me even more excited to travel with them again to Paris!


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