‘I never thought I would have the chance to witness such a prestigious event’

'I never thought I would have the chance to witness such a prestigious event'
This week, Rayhana Khaireddine, SI scholarship holder from Tunisia who is currently studying Bioentrepreneurship at Karolinska Institute, shares her experiences at a reception at Stockholm City Hall.

Around this time of the year, the entire city of Stockholm is buzzing with the announcement of the Nobel prize winners and all the events and lectures that happen around it. The city of Stockholm seems to be very proud of this tradition which is certainly not new to the Swedish people, but definitely new to me, a first-year student here.

I had mixed feeling of excitement and pride when the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology was announced in the building next to me at Karolinska Institute. I never thought I would have the chance to witness such a prestigious event in my life.

Along with the same theme, the city of Stockholm hosts a welcoming reception every year for its new international students, in the famous City Hall. This place is one of the most important monuments of the Swedish capital and it is where the Nobel prize banquet takes place every year with thousands of politicians, scientists and the Swedish royal family members.

We were welcomed in the blue hall (which is not so blue by the way!) and the ceremony started with the opening speech of the vice president of the Stockholm city council and continued with a brief introduction of the city of Stockholm and its famous city hall from a student's perspective. After that, we headed to the golden hall upstairs to enjoy the inevitable tradition FIKA! We had plenty of time to mingle, meet new people and SI scholarship holders from other institutions and, of course, to take plenty of photos for memories! 

Two hours later we went all together to the Nobel Museum in the old town of Gamla stan. We were welcomed with good music, tasty vegetarian pizza and guided tours to take us through the history of this prize. We also had the chance to hear more about this year's winners and how they got nominated and based on which criteria they were selected. At the end of this amazing evening, each one of us got a chocolate Nobel medal as a souvenir. I will make sure to keep mine in a safe place, awaiting for the real one!