SI scholars celebrate graduation at Stockholm City Hall

It's always sad when the end of an era comes around, but at least the SI scholars who graduated on June 1st did so in style at Stockholm City Hall.

SI scholars celebrate graduation at Stockholm City Hall
Photo: SI scholars prepare to graduate outside Blå Hallen at Stadshuset.

This year's graduates gathered in the lavish 'Blue Hall' in Stockholm City Hall for an evening of reflection, entertainment, and a rather delicious buffet dinner.

Photo: Blå Hallen at Stadshuset.

Emotions always run high at diploma ceremonies, but so do expectations for the future. 

Graduate Ivana Read, who has just completed a two-year master's degree in Strategic Communications at Lund University, plans to move back to her home country of the Dominican Republic to put her learnings into practice.

“I have seen so much and learned so much, I would like to go back and use the things I've learned and the knowledge I've acquired and implement it back home. Maybe starting my own consultancy company or finding a job where I can apply my knowledge.”

Photo: Ivana Read at the diploma ceremony

For Ivana, the entire experience of studying in Sweden has taught her to look at the world in a different way.

“Studying in Sweden has been an amazing experience. I haven't just learned to question why things are a certain way, but also how I can make it better which is something I really value.”

Her fellow graduate Anup Banerjee likewise feels that his time as an SI scholar has shaped his view of the world. In the two years since he started his master's degree in Global Management at Jönköping University, he notices a marked change in his outlook.

“I have learned a lot in the last two years. I'm more passionate, patient, and open-minded to different cultures.”

Anup first heard about SI when two friends were awarded the scholarship several years back. At the time he was working on his family farm and was interested to learn more about family business. The friends had plenty of good things to say about Sweden, encouraging him to apply for the scholarship.

Photo: Anup Banerjee at the diploma ceremony

“I saw Jönköping was ranked number three for family business. My interest in the subject inspired me to apply and it's all worked out!”

Anup has applied to study for PhD and hopes to continue with his studies at Jönköping University.

“Career-wise, I would love to stay here because the Swedes care about work-life balance, they care about social security, and I also think that you, as a human, are quite important here in Sweden.”

He has one final piece of advice for future SI scholars that he hopes will help them to get the most from their time in Sweden.

“For newcomers, try to explore Sweden as much as possible. It's a really beautiful country.”

SI News congratulates all of this year's graduates and wishes you nothing but the best in the future.



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Lagom: The best way to achieve social health?

Ronoh Philip, who is studying for his masters degree in Infectious Disease Control at Södertörn University, explains why he thinks the Swedish concept of 'lagom' is the best way to achieve good social health.

Lagom: The best way to achieve social health?

During my one week orientation program on August 2019 at Södertörn University, we were presented with many aspects of Swedish culture and practices. One of the new aspects that I learnt was the “lagom culture”, As I quote one of the presenters about applying lagom to our studies, he said: ”Lagom will reduce your stressful burdens of hectic lecture schedules and ensure that you spend equal time of working and socializing in the university.”

So being a student with a background in public health and society, I got interested and searched for the deeper meaning of lagom, and how it can  apply to society and health. I found out that it is a Swedish way of life, it is a concept which means not too much and not too little, just enough. I learnt that it came from a Viking tradition laget om which means 'around the group' and was allegedly used to describe just how much mead or soup one should drink when passing the bowl around in the group.

If this concept is applied to achieve social health goals, it would really fit well. So, what is social health at first? Social health is how you interact with other people and adapt in different situations, it deals with how people in society deal with each other. It is important to note that there is a close link between good social health and improvement of the other aspects of human health, this can lead to the achievement of SDG goal of good health and wellbeing. It also leads to self-satisfaction and happiness; no wonder Sweden is ranked as one the happiest countries in the world. It is ranked 7th in 2019, according to world happiness report. I believe lagom has a big role in this achievement.

In the country where I come from, Kenya, one of the greatest challenges we face in our society, is the ability for people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds to interact and form positive and cohesive relationships with each other. From my perspective, when I finish my studies and return, lagom will be worth implementing in the workplace, the place where I live and the society as whole, as it is the best way of finding simple, attainable solutions to our everyday worries like stress, eating better, having downtime and achieving happiness. It’s a balance of work and life, so everything is in sustainable existence with each other.

My goal during my entire university studies at Södertörn, will be to learn more about the lagom principle and also be able to apply it on our SI NFGL Local Network platform, because it is surely one of the best ways to achieve a good  work-life balance, reaching consensus with my colleagues and adapting a team minded approach in dealing with issues in an organization and the society.