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NFGL Local Network Sustainability Stockholm gears up for an exciting term

NFGL Local Network Sustainability Stockholm gears up for an exciting term
SI News hears from second-year master’s student Andres Felipe Suarez Corredor about Sweden’s different social norms, the infamous Swedish darkness, and his network’s exciting plans for the coming term.

Speaking on behalf of his network, Andres took time out from his master's degree in Chemical Engineering for a quick Q&A with SI News. 

What motivated you to seek a scholarship to study in Sweden?

Sweden stands for sustainability, which makes it the right place to learn about this subject and understand how it can be adapted in the context of my home country.

It’s also well known that social movements in Sweden are well developed and have a history of success, which could be replicated in other countries. Finally, Sweden is a pioneer of sustainable technologies and development, knowledge which can be shared to create a better world.

Describe your first impression of Stockholm. What have you found most surprising or challenging?

It’s a beautiful city! In Stockholm, there are lots of cultural things to do and a good nightlife. Moreover, it’s surprising to see how public services, like transport and healthcare, work efficiently and improve people’s wellbeing.

Stockholm is actually spread out across 14 islands, but they are closely connected and each has a different character and vibe. The city is also filled with nature and beauty! It’s a city that’s easy to adapt to and easy to enjoy. The people are also very kind and try to help you as much as possible. 

One of the main challenges is the darkness which can affect your mood a lot. The social norms are also quite different, but easy to learn!

Why did you decide to get involved in the Local Network?

Local Networks are a great space to expand minds in your field of study, and open up opportunities to exchange multicultural experiences.

The events also help to raise awareness of contemporary issues which can be used to build a better society. Finally, you get the opportunity to meet great people who help you to generate innovative ideas and build new skills!

What have you learned from your work with the Local Network so far? How has it added to your experience of Stockholm?

Being part of the network has been an amazing experience which we all recommend. In this group, it’s possible to learn and reinforce soft skills like teamwork, planning, and managerial skills. 

It’s helpful too for learning how to do group projects more efficiently. Finally, in the group, we have learned to look at sustainability more broadly, including the social, economic, urban, and engineering aspects. 

What makes your Local Network special?

Our team is amazing. We’re students from all different nationalities, everyone is full of knowledge and experience. The cultural differences are not a problem, if anything it improves our dynamic and gives us a broader perspective on society. In addition, the diversity is really important for a successful team. 

What sort of activities did you organise last term?

We have been working on internal meetings to organise our big study trip in April. Additionally, we are trying to make a group that lasts for more generations of SI scholars, building a strong reputation and robust structure.

We have also done some workshops related to circular economy and sustainable economy. In addition, we have been sharing information about sustainable development and urbanism.

What are your plans for this coming term?

This term will be exciting!

We will have our big study to Copenhagen and Malmö, where we plan to meet with urban planners and the municipality to learn about sustainable development and how these cities are becoming the reference point for sustainability. 

We will also go on a study trip to the Hammarby zone in Stockholm where we will have the opportunity to learn insights into how Stockholm is facing sustainability challenges.

Moreover, we will have a new series of ‘Unplugged’ talks, where in an informal and relaxed place we will share knowledge and have discussions to solve some study cases.

What do you think are some of the keys to a successful Local Network ‘handoff’ from one year to the next?

Continuity is key.

It is really important to keep the dynamics so that the network can build a good reputation in the university and among colleagues. It’s really useful when first-year scholars join existing networks and work with second-year scholars. This process can help them to plan even better, more meaningful events. 

Commitment is also important because it’s a challenge to distribute time between the master’s studies and the group agenda. However, as a team it’s possible to manage this wisely.

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