NFGL Reflections: My Year in Lund

Nabila Zaman is doing her one-year Master Program in Economics Program at Lund University. As the year draws to a close and summer approaches, she reflects upon life at Lund as a member of the NFGL.

NFGL Reflections: My Year in Lund
Yes, it was going to happen! Finally, a long-awaited dream of studying in one of Europe’s most prestigious universities came to be true when I was awarded theSwedish Institute (SI) Scholarship in April 2014.
I felt victorious, yet I was not aware of how my life was about to change. I started my journey for a new beginning in Sweden. It was not until the kick-off event when the realization struck what it actually means to be an SI scholarship holder.
The glorious event, amidst the vibrant crowd and inspirational words by the SI representatives, explained what it means to be known as a future global leader. With great words of spirit and motivations, I started my journey as a Master student majoring in Economics at Lund University; one of the top 100 universities in the world that any student would always dream of studying in. 
With Per Ericsson, Ex-Vice Chancellor on the Scholarship Giving Ceremony 2014 
The year unfolded many new experiences to me, something that perhaps changed my vision of the world.
Lund has always been known as one of the oldest cities in Sweden, having a huge number of international students and great student life. It is indeed very international and this has allowed me to meet many enthusiastic students from all over world.
Soon the mixed-cultural environment set up a path to explore each other; all of us having different cultures, language and opinions. I soon fell in love with the city not only because of its warmth and beauty but also for the generosity of the local people towards the international community. What makes Sweden one of the best places to study is the cooperative people and culture. 
A cosy street leading to Lund Campus 
What makes Lund a more lovable city is the presence of the student nations and unions which would regularly organize ‘fika’ and keep the students actively involved in many interesting events. It is a great way to mingle with each other and make friends for a lifetime. We were not only friends, but we also became each other’s family. We were there to take care of each other and we found a home within ourselves far away from home. 
Amidst the challenging academic year, I tried to actively participate in the events organized by the NFGL Network. Having been awarded a prestigious scholarship like Swedish Institute also opened the door for shaping myself for the future in a more precise manner through participating in the NFGL events.
Whether a workshop on sustainable leadership or social innovations, it was all directed towards the personal and professional development of the scholarship holders. I also got the opportunity to become involved in the NFGL Lund board as a board member which we formed in late December 2014. 
NFGL Lund Event on Bridging Sustainability, March 2015 
Swedish Institute alumni of Lund had been planning to set up their own board for a long time, and with the funding from Swedish Institute we initiated three big projects in Lund and finally, in December, the NFGL Lund board came into existence.
Organizing these events along with other fellow co-scholars gave me the opportunity to work personally with other great minds and learn from their ideas. Socializing with all the other energetic SI scholars from all over the world and learning from their experiences was like having the world in front of me.
There was an essence of leadership in every individual. Everyone has his or her story and every story is unique in its own sense. It was as if we all had a common dream; a dream that has united us here in this platform. 
NFGL Lund members brainstorming on forming a board 
One of the key notions of NFGL is that they create future global leaders. And I got the true meaning of it when I organized the events along with other NFGL members. The seminars also held dialogues and open group discussions which allowed us to think and brain-storm on global, political and social issues from different dimensions.
It is also worth mentioning that, the active network of NFGL Lund extended its activity and took initiative to organize an international study tour at the Human Rights Council of United Nations in Geneva. It was another pleasant workshop having to hear from the president of human rights council of United Nations. Finally, the notion of being a Global Leader was getting its meaning.
Leadership is not learnt, there is a leadership talent in each of us and we just need to guide our actions to realize and improve it. 
NFGL Lund members with President of Human Rights Council, UN 
My year in Sweden was a precious one. There have been ups and downs, some experiences made me bitter but some made me better. Staying away from home was not only challenging but it was adventurous in many aspects. Sweden will always be my home far away from home. 
NFGL Lund Members 
In few days’ time I will be officially graduating.
Now that I am graduating and is an SI alumni, I  observe it as a responsibility to make fruitful use of my privilege as an SI scholarship holder.
The Swedish Institute has not only given me scholarship to study but it has given me much beyond that. Perhaps it has taught each of us to dream-bigger and beyond our imagination. Each of us come from a different part of the world, where there are lots of conflicts in political, economic and social terms.
However we also need to realize that the solution could be with us; it is each individual of us who has the potential to bring the change in the world we have been dreaming of always. If we can dream of a better world, we have also been blessed with the power to bring the change. I will always be thankful to Swedish Institute for believing and choosing me for this great opportunity. This end of journey with Swedish Institute and Sweden is just a beginning of a new journey. 
A short note to all my fellow SI scholars-I wish to see you all successful in whichever path you choose to lead in future. And to all the up-coming SI scholarship holders-respect the privilege you have been given as a SI scholar and mold yourself into a better and generous person, for your country and for the world.