Kurt Bratteby, manager of international relations at the Swedish Institute, opened the event with a speech. "I am honoured and truly delighted to have the privilege to welcome you here today," he said. "This is one of the absolute highlights of our year."
Bratteby spoke briefly about the history of the SI scholarships programme, which started shortly after the end of WWII.
"The goal of the scholarships is to promote education and research, which are necessary for peace and positive attitudes," Bratteby said.
"Education is key to empowerment and advancing development, both individually, nationally, and globally."
He pointed out that the most important part of the NFGL programme is to build lasting relationships – and said that "It starts with yourself."
Dr. John Alexander then presented a humorous introduction to Swedish culture and values.
The day was then filled with networking, Swedish lessons, and mingling.