WOW! I have to start off with that because it is truly the one word I kept repeating the entire week during our Core Course Excursions! To say that this past week was one of the most incredible weeks of my life is an understatement! Core Course Week is where you and your core class go on a “short” study tour and engage in different places related to the topics you’re learning in class. My core course is New Media and Changing Communities and I can’t wait to guide you through my last week and what it looked like!
This is day one, and as you can see by the big smiles on my face, I was already having a great time. The first visit we went to was Khora Virtual Reality, which is in Dybbølsbro, only a couple of stops away from Copenhagen Central station, so I definitely recommend visiting there. The visit consisted of many different stations of virtual worlds, games, and earths you could literally be a part of just by putting on these glasses. For example, you could be in a shooting game, an astronaut in space, walking a plank on a high skyscraper, or in an underwater mission where a shark attacks you…that one…not as fun. My favorite one by far was the google earth station. In this virtual reality, you could go anywhere in the world from India to Antartica and be there in live time. Being a homebody, I chose to go to my hometown and even got to walk by my house and down my street! The visit concluded with a lecture about Virtual Reality, where it is headed, and what impact it has on us today. The next visit was to Danish Radio (DR) headquarters. This was probably top three of my favorite visits of the week! The DR is a huge deal in Denmark and it is where most Danes watch their news, game shows, and even drama tv. We had the opportunity to meet and hear from one of their head broadcast journalist Sophie Bremer, and take a tour of all of the studios and sets they have. It was cool to see the differences between American and Danish journalism and television! My host family was stoked that I was actually at the tv shows they watch!
The picture speaks for itself in telling you what day two consisted of. We started the day off going to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and got to hear from their Digital Editor on what online diplomacy looks like which was pretty cool and new for me to learn about. We then went to Microsoft’s Development Center in Lyngby, Denmark, which I would also put in my top three favorite visits of the week. We got to meet senior managing director Charlotte Marks, as she spoke to us about Microsoft’s efforts and future in industry platforms, quantum research, and collaborative workspaces. We ended the visit with a tour of the huge building/office space. It was an awesome time!
We got a day break on Wednesday, and then we were off to Sweden! We arrived in Malmö and went straight to our first visit of the day which was Media Evolution City! Media Evolution is a co-working and collaborative workspace where many different businesses can share office spaces. We heard from one of the main owners and business developers Pernilla Lavesson, about how the building is set up and why chance encounters matter a lot to them. We then went to Malmö University and got to hear two lectures in an online classroom where we were the live audience being recorded. The topics surrounded humanitarian paradoxes and what online resilience is. They were two very intriguing lectures and it was pretty cool to see a Swedish University!
Day four was absolutely INCREDIBLE! We left Malmö and headed to Helsingborg, Sweden to visit the first ever IKEA which they turned into a museum! I grew up going to IKEA’s on Saturdays as fun days while my parents were furniture shopping, so this was totally a dream for little Gabby. We took a tour and learned about the history of IKEA, their strives towards diversity and inclusion, got to see some of their first furniture sets and even had a cool competitive workshop about creativity and collaborating. This definitely takes the last spot in my top three favorite visits of the week. The exhibits were amazing and they have a photo booth where you can place yourself on the cover of the next IKEA magazine! Right beside the museum is the largest IKEA in the world where some of the people in my class even got lost! They also have an IKEA restaurant where you can get their famous meatballs and lingonberries in cuisine taste. This is a MUST visit, if you have the opportunity to. We then did the one thing I was dreading doing the whole trip, and that was curling! While I still don’t understand how or why curling is a sport, I have to admit, it was pretty fun, and I am very competitive so I had to win! I will also say that I was the first one to eat it on the ice, humiliating, but still a great day!
The final day was my favorite day and it was very bittersweet. This was mainly our cultural excursion day. First, we went to a lighthouse in Sweden, and saw the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. It was quite amazing to view creation from this standpoint. I could have stayed there all day! Next, we hopped on the Helsingborg Ferry back to Denmark to visit the Louisiana Museum, which was also incredible. I am a big museum fanatic and this is probably one of my favorites that I have been to thus far. I won’t spoil the exhibits that they have but I definitely encourage visiting this museum if given the chance. I have been searching and trying to see an infinity room (pictured on the right) for a while now, and I had to go all the way to Denmark to do so, but I’m ok with that!
Well, that about sums up my week! I didn’t even include all the amazing dinners and other outings that took place outside of what was on our schedule or that we did on our free nights. This was a great time to connect with my core class and I have really built some strong bonds with them! I learned so much in one week and if this is just the short study tour, I cannot WAIT to see what our long study tour in Ireland has to bring…stay tuned!