PKNU PEEPs – Sweden

So here it is … the first PEEP interview and we have Sweden, just in time for Eurovision. I sat down with the lovely Amanda Lindqvist, at a Ramen house just outside the main gate, for a chat and belated birthday lunch – Happy Birthday to you… Amanda is the kind of person whose smile is contagious and energy and enthusiasm for adventure and exploring the world is inspiring [motivating].

PKNU PEEP's - Sweden by @owlslovepears

Amanda lives an hour out of Stockholm with her mum, dad, sister and her cat Alfons. She is not new to travel having been to the USA three times with family and to China and Singapore as a solo traveller. I hope you enjoy the interview below and note: I saved the most important question until last of course. Thank you Amanda!

  1. What university do you attend?
    “I don’t attend university” Amanda used to be a baker back in Sweden and is studying a 1 year language course here at PKNU self-funded. I asked if she had a part time job to help cover the costs of living and studying here in Korea: “You can only work here after 6 months, so yes after that I will be trying to find some work”.

    1. What units would you study if you did attend University and where would you enrol?
      “I would like to still stay in Korea. Before I wanted to read History and stuff like that but maybe just one course, like, not a full major.” Individual units to help broaden her knowledge.
  2. What is your country/culture like?
    “Very careful of not offending anyone. It’s like very [courteous] yeah, [considerate] yeah very considerate, like sometimes too much [politically correct] yes!”

    1. After the image of Tess Asplund went viral last week [and I rather like this one too] I was curious to ask about the current political tensions/protests in Sweden “Is that something that happens often?”
      “No, like, that’s new I think. On both sides it’s getting more tense. They [fascists] are a minority, but it’s like one political party and everyone who is dissatisfied goes to them.”
  3. Tell me something about the culture of Sweden, what’s a traditional thing that you do?
    “We have a thing called fika, it’s like coffee and cake, every day with your friends, and family, Yeah fika is great!”
    “So, like, people don’t drink that much or regularly, but on special holidays, they drink a lot. That’s one day of the year they do it” But other than that there’s not a big drinking culture? “No, it’s not like you go out to get drunk [not like here?], No, not like here (laughs).
  4. How long have you been in Korea and how long will you stay?
    “I have been here 6 months and all up will be here for one year”
  5. Why did you choose Korea?
    “Because I like Korean food (laughs)”
  6. How is Korea different to your home country?
    “For me people are more friendly, when you approach them on the streets. People are very private in Sweden”  but also, “for me I guess it’s like the whole culture. You know the language and how it is formal & informal, the different levels of politeness. We don’t have that back home And you know how here they respect their elders, I mean of course you do [back in Sweden] but it’s not like here. You see it even in sport with people who are higher than you, and sometimes they take advantage of that position too.”
  7. What do you miss from home?
    “My Cat, Alfons and I miss Swedish breads, I miss having a kitchen”
    PKNU PEEPs - Sweden by @owlslovepears
  8. What is your favourite thing about Korea?
    “I think it’s just the whole experience, but still the food of course takes the first place, but the whole thing of just being here, there isn’t one thing that makes it great”.

    1. What’s your favourite food here?
      “Everything! (laughs) I mean I really like Samgyeopsal, Kalguksu, Mandu
  9. How has Korea changed you (if at all)?
    “Right now I will say I haven’t noticed a change so I think when I get home it will be more apparent. If I go home and I haven’t changed I would think I’ve done something wrong.”
  10. What challenges have you experienced?
    “The only difficult thing for me has been the homesickness.” 

    1. How have you dealt with that?
      “just like, calling my friends and also like, trying to get out and not stay in my room.”  
  11. What advice would you give to Foreign Students thinking of studying in Korea?
    “Just do it!”… “you’ll have your own experience but like for me, I doubted for a very long time if I wanted to but this it’s really worthwhile experience [so don’t hesitate?] yeah.. just do it.”“It also helps to have a basic understanding of Hangul”
  12. The most important questions is: do you watch Eurovision?
    “I do I want to see it actually but I don’t know how I can” .. it’s ok I hooked her up with the Eurovision web.tv link.

-Cate

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