Comenius International Visit – Uplands Väsby, Stockholm, Sweden
Evaluation Report From 3rd to 8th May, 2011. Since the beginning this experience was great and it was a pleasure for me. This visit started even before we went to Sweden. We had to know each other and prepare our performance. In the first day everyone was very nervous, because for some it was the first flight, for others it was the first time leaving their parents but everyone was nervous because it was a new experience: going to a foreign country and staying in a family that we didn’t know. But in spite of the nervousness, I think everyone was excited and motivated. To get to Upplands Väsby, the Portuguese delegation had to go on a long trip and we took about 15 hours on it. When I met my host family, I was very tired and I couldn’t talk and interact with the family as I would like. Actually, I would like to interact and introduce me right after I met them because the time was short and I couldn’t waste time. My host family was composed by the mother Marie, the stepfather Anders and the daughter Clara. They were very nice and still are, we keep in touch by facebook. The day we spent in Stockholm was amazing. Stockholm is a city very different from mine. I think for a European Capital City it is very calm. I loved the fact of people being always in touch with the Nature; they went to their jobs by bycicle or public transports taking care of the environment. The old city made me remember about my city, because Oporto is also a city with Muslim and Roman origins, so it’s very old with narrow streets and old buildings. I liked it a lot.
I enjoyed a lot the Vasa Museum. We don’t have anything like that in Portugal and I’d never seen anything like it. In the museum we could know more about the Viking culture, which is very interesting.
When we visited Runby Skola, I noticed that for a Middle School it’s quite large and with good conditions. The activities we did there were so different from the activities we do in Portugal. I loved the woodwork class, I’m not good on it, but it was very fun. We also had the wheel chair and blind sports activities, which was very difficult for me, because I can’t deal with the idea of being unable to see or walk. The Swedish class was the most interesting and funny part of that day. Swedish is difficult but I learnt some expressions. Other thing I noticed is that the school is very connected with forest and forest activities. We could try it on Friday. Since doing our own bread to the game we played, everything was great, funny, amazing. I don’t have words to describe it. Saturday came and with it the best day of this visit. Family day, as it was called, was the day when I was closer to my host family. We went to Stockholm where I bought some souvenirs. Then, we had lunch at Hard Rock Café. My host mother was very nice taking me there. I really wanted to go there.
Unfortunately, everything that is good ends quickly and the last day came. We had to say goodbye very early, because our flight was right after lunch time and the airport was quite far from where we were.
For my personal development this experience was very important. It opened me new horizons, different backgrounds and new wishes. It gave me the opportunity to know other cultures, not only Swedish, but also the people that was in the project (Italian, Spanish, English, Turkish and Hungarian) . But the highlight for me was when my host student, Clara, sang with my Portuguese friend. At the end they hugged each other. It was very emotive and for me it meant a lot because Clara is very shy and she’s not used to singing in front of an audience, but she did it when I asked her to. I was very happy with the food because I was afraid of not liking it, but I loved it. About the communication, I think it was easy because everyone spoke English quite good. The worst thing was the weather. It was very cold and rainy. I can’t evaluate this in a scale because there isn’t any mark able to describe or evaluate it. Words like amazing, awesome, great, unforgettable are not enough. Now, I going to finish this report with a quote very important to me and to my friend about this experience:
“Don’t cry because it’s over, Smile because it happened “
Ana Catarina Marques Mendonça