As the CIRC reception approaches its end, I hope all international students have created memories and stories that they would share and cherish for many years to come. Being a CIRC member myself, I enjoyed every bit of creating this magnificent experience for the students and working as a team with other talented, motivated and passionate students who along with me formed the core committee of CIRC’ 14.
Although every event was a success in itself, but there were some that stood out and are worth a mention, as I re collect my memories of this term’s reception. Since we cater to a bunch of students alien to Swedish culture and Chalmers traditions, we tried to create an evening where they could get the taste of both in one go. It was named the Swedish sittning, in line with the rich culture of sittningar at Chalmers. This is something very traditional to Chalmers; sitttningar are a get together where people enjoy their meal, are entertained by performances from participants (called gyckels) and at the same time sing and dance to create a light atmosphere deluged with laughter! In this particular sitting there was a ‘Swedish table’ which was occupied by a few Swedish Chalmerists. Their table was intentionally placed in the centre of the room so that every one could see them perform. Each of them was dressed in a manner that depicted a traditional Swedish event, attire or mannerism; lusia, mid summer, Christmas, Easter, vikings all were part of this spectacle. These students prepared a small song, which they sang as they walked down the stairs in to the dinning hall and sang for a few minutes in front of the dazzled bunch of new comers. The food served was also a glimpse of Swedish cuisine in a nut shell; potatoes, lingon berry jam, different types of sill, salad. It was a buffet so you could fill your belly up sit back, mingle and enjoy the evening. The same night it was birthday of one of the very dear CIRC members, which we celebrated together with a sweet little cake and birthday greetings in both English and Svenska!
The other stand out success was the Park hangout. A event that sounds rather simple in its name, and was set very early in the reception. The aim was to make the students know each other better before all the parties and hectic studies kick off. It was a chance for them to find acquaintances and friends that they can hangout with and with whom they can experience Gothenburg. All the phadder groups gathered in Slottskogen, where they were treated to some light food and introduced to Swedish games like brannboll and kubb. We were pleasantly surprised with the overwhelming response of students; more than 400 people showed up to make this event a ravishing success. This just emphasized the point that midst all the partying and glitter of going abroad, the basic ingredient to get to know people by one to one conversations should never be lost. We were glad that we gave a channel via which such a relax interaction could take place.
It is a rather special feeling when you can be the gateway of information for such a large number of curious people, who are eager to learn and explore. Such a platform is a unique opportunity for an engineering student, and I am glad I got the chance to be there. The idea of volunteering while studying full time in a different part of world, did sound scary at first to me. But since making the choice of joining CIRC I have lived through and learned so much, that I feel proud of making the call of joining it in the first place. It taught me alot about the Swedish work ethics and culture, how do people work in groups and non-existence of any hierarchical fear while you work. It goes without saying that I got to listen and talk to people of so many nationalities that I have lost count now, and I never would have known subtle aspects of other cultures, languages and lifestyles if I would not have met, in-person, such a diverse batch of people.
The finale this weekend would draw the curtains on Autumn reception and soon we will hand the torch over to the next board of budding CIRCers. It has been a thrilling journey and time seems to have flown past. I hope that in the future this committee goes from strength to strength and continues to comfort the new students with a warm welcome to this wonderful university!