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Selena at Gothenburg’s Summer School (Part Three)

Selena Carty, a BA History with Military History student attending the University of Gothenburg’s Summer School of Sustainability – the third and final part of her blog.

Week three has been a challenging one. Homesickness is a real feeling as being consumed with nothing but your thoughts and feelings with fresh air, foods, and space reminds me that I am in a foreign place. I love history and find myself immersed deeply into it here. Forging a new relationship with the planet and my sense of belonging.  Making so many connections to times past and present, understanding the length of the cosmopolitan cultural connectivity’s we all have, and maybe unaware of. Looking deeper into the relationships between humans, animals, plants, and all the elements and trying to make the connections between how reliant we are on all things found within the planet Earth. 

A picture of different coloured buildings in the distance on a bright sunny day.

Marstrand Island was a beautiful day out

Move night: ‘Push’ Directed by Fredrik Gertten presented the experiences globally of communities being pushed out of their homes and areas due to the imbalance of investors capitalising on equity of the future, with no regards to the present. England, Canada, Spain, Italy, France and Sweden were all featured within the film. Notting Hill and Grenfell Tower were also strongly featured. The voices of the communities and the collaboration of voices coming together being a powerful method for change. As it goes beyond race, gender, and age.

A woman reaching into a popcorn machine.

Fresh popcorn made on film night

It’s now week four already. I love to dance…love, love, love music as the rhythm and vibrations run through me, creating a variety of energy and movements that liberate me. So, when I received an initiation to attend an Afrobeat’s and RnB night, I accepted without hesitation. The people in the club were very friendly and quite inviting, I enjoyed the atmosphere and felt very welcomed in the venue. As I approached the bar, I notice a bottle in the back…. Jamaica’s very own Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum. My eyes lit up to know that my islands presence was right here in Gothenburg with me.

This week we are ‘weathering the weather’. We have learnt that this year’s summer has been the wettest since 1939. Yup 84 years later and we are experiencing a comparison of times past.  This change in the climate has proven the need to raise the bar on how we teach sustainability to the current generations, as we are all responsible for the planet irrespective if we individually are not causing the majority of the damage.

A dish of sushi.

Sushi Wong meal before finishing my final assignments

Our final presentations (in week five) were eye-opening. Many sustainability issues were revealed to me that I have never even considered, even the project my team had selected. Watching the extensive learning styles of all 24 member (plus me makes 25) was such a joy to be a part of. My experience has allowed me not only to share my concepts and ideas, but to be able to enrich my development with the brilliant minds of the generations that took advantage of this opportunity and shared abundantly.

Two women smiling at the camera from the inside of a blue carriage intended to explore the Varbergs area.

Following the final presentations, I had my final social excursion to Varbergs. My fellow British comrade Eli shared the adventure with me through the beautiful landscapes of Varbergs.

I spent my last evening attending the final Summer School party briefly, then walking around Gothenburg talking in the final views before drinking cocktails in a gaming bar, playing Mario Kart then singing my heart out at a karaoke bar. The following morning, I packed my suitcases before attending our farewell ceremony. What we heard and saw was very heartfelt and a testament to what I have been feeling throughout these 5 weeks. We listened and watched the highlights of our presence at Summer School for the past 5 weeks each received a copy of our Diplomas as were wished a hearty farewell and well wishes for the future.

Outside of a bar

Bar I visited on the final night

I cannot believe 5 weeks has come to an end. I would be untruthful if I said the time has flown by, as I have felt every week! 5 weeks of indoor and outdoor learning, social excursions, fika and lots and lots of walking. So, I would like to end by saying, “Thank you, and Goodbye Gothenburg, I will see you again in the near future”.

Group of people some standing, some crouching, looking at the camera

Final group pic!