My experience in this year’s SI Kickoff

As a Swedish Institute scholarship holder, last year I had the opportunity to participate in the SI Kickoff; an event held in the lovely island of Lidingö, Stockholm; where first year scholarship holders have the chance to meet all of their fellow scholars, get introduced to the Network of Future Global Leaders  and receive inspiring talks.

Being this a highlight of my previous year, on this month I decided to participate again! But how? This year, the Swedish Institute decided that one of the best ways to get introduced to the network is to hear about it directly from those students who have already been in it for a whole year. As so, they offered second year students the chance to participate as facilitators of the workshop session “Network for future global leaders: national and regional possibilities”. I excitedly took the opportunity to meet the new scholars, and as always, let myself be amazed at the bright minds that are surrounding me in such a network.

I held one session in company of Annalisa Primalia and our own Raghavendra Selvan, and one with the help of SI Staff Malin Larsson. A large part of the Gothenburg local network was in the sessions, which meant that a lot of already known faces were present. During the sessions the facilitators shared how their experiences in the network have been, for me that meant talking about my visit to World Water Week  last year and to Växjö, named as the Greneest City in Europe, this year. Afterwards, the participants were instructed to brainstorm about the possibilities in their local/regional networks and how could the Swedish Institute help them explore these possibilities. As expected, lots of wonderful ideas were proposed, among them promoting cultural exchange events, creating online platforms for discussion within the network and organizing our own lectures about issues of interest.

Some of the facilitators and me. Photo by Raghavendra Selvan.

Some of the facilitators and me. Photo by Raghavendra Selvan.

Although these past weeks have been a whirlwind in between the start of a new academic period and working in the international student reception with CIRC, I thought that it was worthwhile to steal a few hours of my schedule to attend this amazing event. And I was right! If you are a student planning to apply to study in Chalmers next year, definitely apply for an SI Scholarship as well. The kind of opportunities you are offered as a scholar will truly enrich your stay here, and load you with experiences and contacts that will go on to be useful for the rest of your life!