Bangladesh has received highest number of scholarships offered by Swedish Institute (SI) under the category-I study scholarship for the year 2014-2015, thanks to the prioritize scholarship allocation policy of Swedish government.
Swedish Institute (SI) is a public agency engaged with spreading the interest of Sweden concerned to foreign policy, education, international aid and development globally and working in the field of culture, society, research, higher education, business, innovation, democracy and global development. The major objective is to establish cooperation and lasting relations with other countries through strategic communication and exchange in different fields.
The SI awards scholarships to build up and develop good, lasting relationships and networks with people and institutions in other countries. This year the SI has granted 740 scholarships among the candidates of 48 countries under five scholarship programmes. The scholarship holders are studying in 30 different universities of Sweden.
The SI scholars became member of the SI- Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL), which connects both current scholars and alumni. The members of the SI-NFGL can have generous access to different events, workshops and special news services arranged by Swedish Institute that benefit both career and personal development.
The SI organized kick-off events to welcome scholarship recipients in Sweden. The events were held in northern and southern universities of Sweden respectively. As a student of Stockholm University, I took part in second kick-off event organized for the students of southern part of Sweden on October 10-11. The programme took place at Skogshem & Wijk, a luxurious resort, just 20 minutes away from downtown Stockholm.
The programme was packed with lectures, team work, fun games and networking. It started with the inviting speech of Kurt Bratteby, director of Swedish Institute. He introduced the history and the goals of the SI scholarship programme. He said that the goal of the scholarships is to promote education and research, which is necessary for peace and positive attitudes. Education is a key to empowerment and development in all respects--individually, nationally and globally, he added. Dr Jhon Alexander, a cultural consultant of Sweden, then introduced Swedish culture and values among the scholarship recipients. The humorous presentation of 'Fika' culture of Sweden--a coffee break, usually, which also includes a dessert, enjoyed with one's colleagues, friends or family members-- has drawn huge attention of the participants. During the two-day programme, the scholarship holders had the opportunity to attend workshops such as SI Network for Future Global Leaders: National and regional possibilities; Leadership skills for efficient communication; and Leadership for sustainable development. The programme ended with the speech of Marianne Walz, deputy head of Talent Mobility Unit, Swedish Institute. In her concluding remarks, she encouraged the participants to develop leadership skills, establish bond with Sweden, broaden their perspective, develop new ideas, make network and explore all the opportunities as members of the SI-NFGL. We also enjoyed a guided sightseeing tour in Stockholm. We visited famous tourist attractions in Stockholm and came to know the history of Vikings.
In conclusion, I would like to add as a part of the SI-NFGL, it is our opportunity to develop academic excellence, new skills, bring new initiatives and ideas to our country and inspire and influence the people to be agent of positive social change for the sustainable development of our beloved Bangladesh.
The writer is a SI Scholar studying Master in Environmental Science at the University of Stockholm, Sweden