SI Scholar Nazrin Babashova: ‘My advice for planning a study visit’

Nazrin Babashova, member of the SI NFGL Linnaeus Local Network shares how, despite many obstacles, he managed to plan a group study visit to a Swedish tech company.

SI Scholar Nazrin Babashova: ‘My advice for planning a study visit’
Photo: NFGL Linnaeus University and KTH Local Networks at a study visit
On September 26th, the current board members of NFGL Linnaeus University gathered together to discuss activities which we planned to organise. We were full of positive enthusiasm and inspiration, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that our network had dozens of ideas. During the discussion, I came up with the idea to include a study visit to a company. 
However, it is always easy to talk about things but much harder to keep the same motivation when it comes to planning it. The winter holidays were coming up, and companies were busy, but I kept reaching out with the hope that I would receive a positive response. And it finally happened.
SaltX Technology, a company which found a truly unique solution to store energy using nano coated salt, was ready to show us what they are doing, and even provided an exciting workshop for us students. 
Photo: NFGL Linnaeus University and KTH Local Networks on a study visit at SaltX Technology
Generally, while I was writing to different companies, I was really surprised: even if organisations could not welcome us for a reason or another, they always took time to respond to us kindly. Several companies also suggested keeping in touch so we can arrange the study visit at a later date. 
As mentioned above, even though my first attempts were not successful, I kept going because I received responses and realised that my emails were not ignored.
One more obstacle appeared though: only two of us from the NFGL Linnaeus network could participate, and for sure it was not a sufficient amount of people.
I made an announcement on our Facebook group regarding this issue, and it figured out that KTH university also planned to organise a study visit to this company.  So Anup Raj Dhungana from the KTH Local Network and I gathered enough people, and on December 10th, the study visit to SaltX Technology finally took place.
We were taught the working principle of technologies developed by the company, and there was a lab guide where NFGL members were shown current and future potential projects. During the workshop, we were involved in a teamwork exercise to try and to generate creative ideas which could be useful for SaltX Technology equipment. 
My one tip for planning study visits is never to give up. If you wrote to a large number of companies, but none of them could help, it should not be a dealbreaker so keep it up!
I believe that this advice is applicable not only for the organisation of activities; whatever you have on your mind which you are passionate about, you should not give up to be able to translate it into reality. 

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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.