The GoGlobal Blog

Author: Angelo DeMarco

Hey there, my name is Angelo DeMarco. I am a junior studying Information Systems with minors in Supply Chain Management and Sustainability Management. I am from a southwest suburb called Homer Glen. 10 minutes south from Orland Park. I wanted to study abroad so I could be part of a different culture. I want the culture shock my friends have talked about after their study abroad experience. I chose Sweden because of the International Business School I am attending. I want to hear as many perspectives from around the world that I can. I also love snow. I love to ski, sled, and just walk around in snow. I hope to improve myself academically and culturally.
Walpurgis (Valborg) night

Walpurgis (Valborg) night

April 30th (trettionde fjärde) marks, from what I believe, one of the two major holidays in Sweden. It is called Walpurgis Night or Valborg night/festival. Walpurgis Night entails dancing, drinking, bonfires, and maybe an occasional accordion player. The celebrations are in honor of St. Walpurga who was a missionary, converting pagan affiliated Germans to Christianity during the 700s. She took over as abbess of the double monastery of Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm in Bavaria.

May 1st (forstä femte) marks a day off of work for most Swedes and doubles as International Worker’s Day. This is also commonly known as May Day. Protesters occupied some streets of downtown Jönköping. My friend went and said they were from the far left and far right parties of the Swedish political spectrum.

I was in my Swedish language course when my friend asked if I was going to the Valborg festival in Jönköping. I completely forgot tonight and tomorrow were holidays. Usually, if I head to the city I plan to spend the whole day there. I absolutely love commutes (I know fight me) but I do not like to commute back home after commuting to my destination not long before. For this instance, I had my school bag and was not prepared to be outside all day and run around from apartment to apartment. Students at my uni were partying on the “quad” and then going apartment hopping until the clubs at night. I bit the bullet and went home with the intention of coming back to the city later to ride my new beautiful 1970ish bike around with a friend.

Actual is rarely similar to what is predicted. Pass that down to your kids, friends. My inside source told me that the bonfire was not happening in Jönköping, but in a town between the area I live in, Tenhult, and the city. Peep my earlier post about Huskvarna. My legs were eager to get turning so my house mate, Vivek (peep my 2nd post), and I went off to Huskvarna. We met up with two of his friends, and thats when the adventure began.

Vivek and i saw the flames a-blazing from the train. After 20 minutes finding a meeting place with his friends, the flames and smoke disappeared. We asked locals where to find the bonfire (yes, Swedish people do talk and actually love to help out. Do not believe everything on the Internet). We climbed, and rode, the paved hills of Huskvarna until we hit the stairway to heaven. Unfortunately, my rusty stallion became obsolete here. We walked up maybe 200 steps until we arrived at our destination. There was an aging boy/girl scout building on the left, the embers of the once beautiful flames straight ahead, and about 5 booths lining the dirt path up the hill to the right. It was 9pm. This is the point where I make another crucial point about Swedish society. Everything, except bars and clubs, close around 6pm so be prepared. The journey back was also quite the adventure. The rain picked back up and we missed our train by 5 minutes. The next train got delayed 45 minutes so we had to wait an hour and a half at the station, since everything was closed.

Alas, it was not a bad experience. The fire was still hot when we got there. The rain was not too bad. The booths had candy, a lottery, and cotton candy. The scouts’ building had a homemade desert feast benefiting the scouts. The remaining people were still smiling, and running so that was great to see. Vivek told me a lot about his religion. About the various gods and also how most families have a temple just for them. I also had time to listen to a nutrition podcast that I left a while ago. And play a really cool game on my phone.

When one door closes, another one opens. For lack of better phrases I am going to stick with that one.


How I feel after finishing my 2nd book ever

How I feel after finishing my 2nd book ever

By finishing, I mean reading every chapter.

Yep, any book assignment ever given to me I have never read the entire book. I tried every way to get around having to read. I would use the beautiful sparknotes or cliffnotes. I would ask my friends for summaries. Last, I would just not do the work and bs my answer in some philosophical manner. I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and read. I used to be a very hyperactive child. I never knew how to sit down. My poor parents. Also, my mind never slowed down. I am a product of the generation of “over-thinkers.” So, reading a book never computed in head. (DOES NOT COMUPTE, DOES NOT COMPUTE! HE’S DEAD JIM).

As I matured (although I will cling to my youth forever) I noticed how my peers, role-models in particular, read a lot. The people I admired, the ones who inspired me, were people that avidly read. I was jealous and tried to replicate their habits. My most fond attempts at reading was Magic Tree House series and the Artemis Foul series. I was reading below my level forsure, but magical-related topics were my jam at the time.

After realizing my immature “why can’t I do that” state, I ask my peers more questions about what they were reading. The overwhelming answers were “something that interested me.” That was the kicker. Before, I was reading books below my level, and I wasn’t challenged but interested. In school, I hated the idea that I was forced to read, thus I had no enthusiasm. Furthermore, I tried to read the books my friends recommended, but I was forcing myself to read something that I was not genuinely interested in. I needed to know and understand that sweet spot.

So now I am at a point of actualization. I am mature enough to read most books, I am not often forced to read, and I have a better idea of what I truly enjoy. Now that I think about it, I read a lot. I spend a lot of my time reading articles of wide-ranging topics, books, and news.

What does this have to do with studying abroad? Studying abroad provided me with the opportunity to understand myself better. I believe finding out more about yourself is the most crucial part of being abroad. Having a strong grasp on who you are will make everything else in your life so much easier. You will notice what does and does not compute, in your eyes. Studying abroad gave me time to slow down and think. Gee willikers have I thought a lot. My life is not necessarily any less hectic, but there is a lot less baggage. The beauty of this is that when I go home, the baggage that held me back previously will be gone. Or I will make it be gone.

I know, 2 books is nothing. However, I have a better idea of what topics I can spend hours pondering. I am positive that number will go up. 1 book a month sounds like a good starting plan (subject to change).

Hehe I never said what my two books were. You will understand why I wrote this post after you know what books I read. Both were by the amazing author Malcolm Gladwell. His books, on a broad level, are about social psychology.


It is about understanding your impulses or gut reactions. He helps you understand your ability to think without thinking. Thin-slicing is the method that he explains will improve your decision-making. Maybe I could say, holistically, it is about narrowing down what matters.


Geniuses are not what you think they are. That is what Gladwell tries to get across. Who we perceive as geniuses are people that had a tremendous amount of help along the way. Instead of being a genius based on academic ability, a genius can be defined as someone that seized the moment and took advantage of the opportunities provided.


Thanks for reading,


“The eyes perceive, the ears perceive, the mouth decides” – Angelo DeMarco

Husqvarna AB

Husqvarna AB

1600s, 1700s = Rifles, pistols, shotguns

1800s = sewing machines, ovens, stoves, cast-iron products

1900s = bicycles, motorcycles, lawn mowers, chainsaws, power cutters

Old models of bikes

2000s = robotic lawn mowers, demolition robots

The company Husqvarna AB has come a long way since making rifles for the Swedish Army. Husqvarna AB is the company and is in Huskvarna. Husqvarna AB changed its name once it became independent of the Swedish state. Obviously, not the first time they diversified.

Yesterday, I went to Huskvarna for two reasons. First, to visit the industrial museum connected to Husqvarna AB. Second, to visit Huskvarna library (biblioteket). The sun was up and I was ready to move and shake. A bus lets out right in front of the museum, but I wanted the long way so I took the train. I “lost” 20 minutes, slowly walking to the museum. I came across a beautiful view of the valley, with the church in the middle.

Huskvarna Church

I took a winding path down a hill and near the outdoor sports hall. Eventually, at the end of the path memories started coming back to me (I came to Huskvarna a month ago. Our fika lasted 3 hours and we missed the museum). I reached the museum, branching off the factory, which has motes on both sides. A 125 meter waterfall flows into the mote near the entrance.

Inside, a group of about 30 people were learning about the history of the company before starting their tour. They were an older crowd, and I can’t imagine the nostalgia they must have felt. Huge changes occurred during the 1900s, and if they are from Huskvarna, then they saw the impact this company had on the town. Once I started, I read, and read, and read because I am a history buff. The business-side in me was particularly interested in the people who ran the company. Each exhibit had at least one section describing the directors, and managers associated with dramatic changes. One man obviously stood out amongst everyone mentioned. His name was Wilhelm Tham.

He spearheaded what seemed like the largest change for Husqvarna AB. He became Executive Director in 1876. Remained until 1911 (35 years). He slowed gun production because there was no fighting. Instead, he focused engineers towards improved hunting rifles. At the same time, he enhanced production of cast-iron products, fireplaces, stoves, ovens, and most importantly sewing machines. He was a true entrepreneur. He noticed needs before they became needs.

Husqvarna’s guns over the years

Oh wait, he did more. He noticed that workers were commuting from the far countryside. He ordered 30 houses to be built for his workers. On average, each house had 6 families. He lived right next to them. In 1887, he joined the government of Jönköping County. He was the representative for Sweden’s occupational health and safety. Remember that church I mentioned? On Tham’s birthday, in 1901, he received a large sum of money from Husqvarna AB. He donated that money to build Huskvarna Church. Remember that sports hall I mentioned? Years later, he received more money as a present. He donated that money to build the sports hall. A bust of his head is near the site. He also expanded the street, Kungsgatan (King’s Street), to make Huskvarna a more complete whole.


Name one reason why Amazon keeps growing?


Did CEO retention come to mind? The CEO, Jeff Bezos, has been part of Amazon since he founded it in 1994 (2018 – 1994 = 24 years CEO). He eat, sleeps, breaths growth. That is why he and Amazon are still relevant. Growth can be simply explained by the person running the show. Bezos and Tham deserved to be CEO for so long. They knew how to constantly innovate and renovate. Tham also knew how to treat his employees and the community well. It was absolutely inspiring to read about a person who had such an impact on so many different things.

Husqvarna AB is now the leading provider of outdoor power products. Also, they just released bicycles again after many years of ceased production. AND THESE ARE E-BIKES. There are four models: mountain cross, light cross, tourer, and city. Also, look out for their sewing machine assisted by a pre-installed tablet. Husqvarna AB is an innovation machine.




Link to Husqvarna Bicycles:



LUC Mens Basketball Final Four… and I am abroad

LUC Mens Basketball Final Four… and I am abroad

I want to write this post to fathom my situation right now. Our basketball team is committing a feat that hasn’t been done in 55 years. I haven’t kept up much with our basketball team these past 2 1/2 years, and I know I would be a total bandwagon in this situation… but oh my god I wish I was back home right now. Loyola Chicago is known around campus to be a spirit-less school. Students never had much to rally behind, except for the mens volleyball national championships. Even those were under-hyped on campus.

The mens basketball team is doing more than just rallying Loyola students for the 2017-2018 year. The team is starting a spirit revolution. I believe this will kickstart students to think more about the collegiate sports on campus. By the looks of the insane videos of people crunched up in our student center, Damen, every student is jumping on the history wagon. Students will want to keep this spiritual momentum going once its all done. We have all been waiting for something to back up.

Congrats to the team and the true fans for sticking it out. AKA Carl Stradel. He has been hyping up the mens basketball team since day 1 on campus. Honestly, from the way he always backs them up in arguments, it is like he knew this was coming.

Richardson and Moser repeated that belief in their abilities, themselves, and their teammates got them to the Final Four. Carl also believed. This Cinderella story goes to show that belief goes a long way. It separates the sheep from the sheepdogs.


Being an Airbnb host for the right reasons

Being an Airbnb host for the right reasons


I have traveled to Oslo, Norway three times now. The first time I stayed with an amazing couple with two kids. I paid 412 SEK ($50) for both nights, which I believe is reasonable. The price was definitely lower than it should have been based on the experience I had. Each night my friend and I came back, it was either talking all night or playing card/board games with our hosts. They also drove us to the city each day on their way to work. On Sunday, the wife (Nina) made us baguettes with over 10 spreads to choose from. Spreads are common to have with snacks and to use on baguettes, or crisp bread. A commonality in Sweden and Norway is food in tubes: kaviar, cheese, and dill spread. Also, we had homemade chocolate cake because it was Mother’s day. I did not know what to expect from booking my first Airbnb, but I was blown away.

They are such amazing hosts so I visited Oslo a month later with my brother and stayed 5 nights for FREE at their home. Again, each day consisted of traveling the city and each night was talking, board games, or card games. My brother is in SLU med school so he geeked out talking about Norwegian healthcare.

The wife is the main contact for all her Airbnb guests. What she wants most out of Airbnb is for her guests to be treated well on their first visit, so they come back and bring something from their home country. Yes, she has a motto, “if I like you on your first stay you don’t have to pay for any further visits, but you do have to bring something from your home country… preferably chocolate :).” Nina wants to hear stories from around the world, so she can visits those places later and experience the stories first-hand. She has been to 29 countries and she is 31 with a 8-4 job, 9-5 husband, and two kids 6 and 8 years old. How does she travel so much? Because it is easy to get away and know where to go when you visit people who were previously your Airbnb guests. I LOVE IT… to the point where I am debating renting out my other bed in my room, if that is even possible.

My “second” family, as I call them now, took me to their family cabin in Hemsadel, Norway. We went skiing all Saturday in the second largest ski resort in Norway. Previously, I only been on slopes that lasted at most 2 minutes. The longest slope here took 20 minutes to get to the very bottom. It was absolutely surreal. We had the 6 year old son with us, so we often took it slow. At one point, myself and the husband went off-piste and that’s where the real test began. I was toppling down the side of the mountains through fresh, powdery, untouched snow. I am hurting so bad three days later, I wasn’t able to go to the gym haha. I can now say I witnessed what real slopes are like, rather than the fake snow back around Chicago. Myself and the husband, 31 years old, had a 6 hour conversation into Sunday morning. What I found amazing is that someone who is 10 years older, from another part of the world, and a father could have such similar experiences and thoughts as I do… We are all humans in the end.

The purpose of this post is two-fold. One, it is to remind me how opportunities can rise from trying new things. I had no idea booking my first airbnb would snowball into so many experiences. Second, it is to educate my readers about how beautiful and exciting meeting new people is. Airbnb is an amazing platform to do so. It shouldn’t be about the money, unless you need it. If you have a part of your home that is vacant, try renting it out. There are a lot of characters in this world to make your world just as exciting to live in. The experiences are endless, if you choose to open yourself up to new experiences.

Pizza and Immigration

Pizza and Immigration

‘It is a privilege to be a resident of Sweden where people are respected regardless of religion, belief, colour, appearance and nationality,’

The idea for this post came from pizza. I love pizza and I guess residents of Sweden do to! It seems that on most corners you will find a pizzeria with a family name on the sign. I have tried about 4 places in Jonkoping and Tenhult. The style of pizza is definitely different from Chicago pizza. Your order is almost always a full thin-crust pizza and is not meant to be shared. Also, every pizzeria has about 30 combinations where some are radically different from anything I have ever seen before. I tried a pizza once that had marinara, bananas (common topping), pineapple, paprika and roasted peanuts… I was the only one who liked it.

I looked up and noticed who was serving me this delicious compilation and not once was it a native-born Swede. One pizzeria owner was interested in my English and we had a conversation about our origins (while he recommended the kebab pizza, kebab being one of the most common foods in restaurants). He told me how he migrated from Iraq to Sweden 27 years ago and opened his pizzeria doors 21 years ago.

Angelo: Do you like living in Sweden?

The owner: No, I miss home too much (long pause). You know, it is the motherland. How could I want to be elsewhere?

And if you read my last blog post, you would know why inside I was like “aww man why does everyone have to go breaking my heart?”

A lot of pizzerias are owned by immigrants mostly form Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Chilean and Iraq. They immigrated their “motherlands” in times of political turmoil. Many Chileans came during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet during the period 1973-1990. The Iran-Iraq war brought many from both countries avoiding a war they did not believe in. They were able to do so according to the Geneva Convention which granted many residence permits to Sweden.

‘I am proud to be part of a country that gives shelter to those in need.’

Sweden also became an asylum for many Syrians during the war zone that is occurring in Syria. Sweden has granted permanent residence permits to all Syrians and led to Syrians being the largest immigrant group in Sweden. Every fourth immigrant is from Syria.

The current situation is that every sixth person was not born in Sweden. Sweden has become an asylum for the right reasons. It is amazing to be able to see the diversity everywhere I look. It is not a new sight for me considering Loyola is similar with diversity, but still beautiful to understand.

The task for Sweden now is integrating refugees into all aspects of Swedish society. From the testimonies of refugees, it looks like all Swedes are excitedly willing to accept the challenge.

Thanks for reading and HEJDA (GOODBYE)!

quotes came from this website:

Sweden and migration

“No, I didn’t go to the club… I have a dream to follow”

“No, I didn’t go to the club… I have a dream to follow”

“I have a dream to follow.”

This hit me hard, really hard. Which is why I wrote this spontaneously because I truly believe others can benefit.
I mentioned in my last blog that I live in a house with 20 people. I have not met them all nor have gotten to know everyone’s name.

I was making eggs and potatoes while my friend from Singapore and another guy (whom I’ve met but never got his name) from northern India were talking about start-ups. They were bouncing ideas off each other and I threw in some interjections about ideas I have. Once Erfi, my friend from Singapore, left it was just me and this guy who I will call “V” because his door tag says “V. ‘last name’.”

V: Did you go to “AKA” (the student-ran club) last night?
Angelo: I did, but was not a huge fan
V: Are you hungover?
Angelo: No because I did not drink that much
Angelo: Were you there last night?

And here is the beginning of the end.

V: No I did not go to the club… I have a dream to follow

This statement jumped right from subconscious to conscious and there was no way to forget it, yet he continued on with a leisurely conversation. After the conversation seemed to be done I told him that I really liked that statement, and then I was dug into an even deeper hole.

He said how he is a really busy man because he is doing a masters in a business related focus. He is taking a Swedish language course outside of the school, that from what I heard takes a ton of time. And he is working part-time for the Swedish postal service.

He told me how he used to love partying. To the extent that he was suspended from his school because of partying too much. I was taken back again because he did not seem like the type. The suspension was an awakening for him to do something better with his life. He then had another revelation, when his met his “girlfriend.” I put girlfriend in quotes because he told me how in his culture, there is no boyfriend or girlfriend. The moment you have sexual relations with someone is the moment you say that marriage is on the horizon. V said he was going to marry his “girlfriend,” no doubt.

V said that she is an orphan. She has no idea who her mother or father are. This enrages V’s parents and they do not want them getting married. V’s “girlfriend” has terrible asthma and extremely low red blood cell count. When she walks to school and back, her day is basically done concerning physical activity. He said she is dealing with a lot of health issues.

He still has a smile.

He said he is doing a masters at an international school, learning Swedish on his own, and making money part-time, so he can create a stable life for both of them.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading. This is what going abroad is all about. When the hole he dug for me finally reached bedrock, he ran out because he was late for a meeting. I was left with a plate of eggs and potatoes and another pile consisting of my thoughts that I could not eat to make disappear.

He spoke so purely that I do not think he understands the impact of his words. He spoke so casually, as if it was a regular topic. He was not trying to make me feel bad, or trying to get pity from me. He was telling the story of his past, and the story to unfold for his future. V has a solid dream that I know will be fulfilled.

You do not see or hear these kind of first-hand situations when you are in the same place you have always been and surrounded by people who have a similar background to you. At least I never have, which is why, at home or aboard, I always try to dig out deeper information so more of these opportunities to learn can arise. In this case, all I did was tell him that what he said was a really nice statement. And now look at where I am.


From Jonkoping to Tenhult

From Jonkoping to Tenhult

Tenhult Big House
path near lake Tenhultasjon
Munksjon Bay
Tenhult Station

Welcome to my blog! I am attending the International Business School @ Jonkoping University in Sweden. The university is split into four schools: School of Health and Welfare, School of Education and Communication, School of Engineering, and last but not least Jonkoping International Business School. All 4 schools consist of around 10,000 students, of which around 2,000 are international students. I thought before I start posting about informative cultural or societal aspects of Sweden I would start with my journey to where I live to add some geographic context.

My university is in the city centre of Jonkoping. Among the students living in the city, many locals reside there because of the developing business scene. As a result some students, including myself, are made to live further away. I wanted this to happen to me because 1. I wanted to live in “the countryside” and 2. I wanted to travel so I could learn the area more quickly.

Alright, the logistics. From the university it takes 3 hours and 20 minutes walking. It takes 1 hour riding a bike. It takes 30-45 minutes depending on the time for the bus. It takes 13-25 minutes by train, which comes every hour. Lastly, it takes 2o minutes by car, however no one has a car.

Alright, now I took the train to Tenhult Big House where there’s approximately 20 international students. So far in my house I have met students from Singapore, Mexico, France, China, India, Czech republic, and Netherlands (informally Holland). Yeah, they were not kidding about being an international hub. In my exchange group of 150 students, there are about 70 countries represented. Having all these perspectives in one place is surreal to me. In 4 days, I have already broken down so many stereotypes I have heard and made additions to my global perspective. I am so grateful for an opportunity like this.

Thank you for reading! Anybody reading who is studying abroad in Europe, I created a Facebook group for students to connect, meet up, and share information while traveling in Europe. Here is the link:

Let me know if you are interested. My Fb name is Angelo Michael DeMarco.