How studying in Sweden will help me empower other Pakistani girls

How studying in Sweden will help me empower other Pakistani girls
Here Nida Asghar, who is studying Leadership and Management in International Contexts at Linnaeus University in Kalmar, shares an inspiring and deeply personal account of her experiences before and during her stay in Sweden. Nida is currently the chairperson of Linnaeus University's NFGL Local Network.
I believe that a high-quality education is one of the basic ingredients for living a peaceful and prosperous life on this planet. In my experience, education is the means to a contented and happy life, and essential for the growth of a developing nation such as my native country Pakistan.
 
I came to my realization about the value of education by witnessing the disadvantaged position of students in my small home village in Pakistan, Ghazi Kaka. Many young people were not able to enter a university or pursue a career in the more developed urban centers of Pakistan because of the poor level of education they had received. I might have met the same fate as these people had my father not worked so hard to provide my siblings and me with the best possible education.
 
I belong to a conservative family where girls are not allowed to get an education or even allowed to go out alone. Since there were no schools or educational facilities in our village, my father sent us to another village to go to school. This started what was to become a long educational journey. Being a girl at some of Pakistan's best educational institutions was quite a challenge, but my parents constantly defied the taboo and paved the way for me as though I were a son. This is how my journey toward my dreams started.
 
To achieve my dream of bringing about educational reforms in Pakistan and help to break the mold for other girls in my neighborhood, I decided to travel to Europe to pursue an advanced degree in Leadership and Management in International Contexts. On the day I left Pakistan, I was determined to accomplish my goals through the Swedish education system, and I landed in Sweden full of excitement and enthusiasm.
 
Having international students with diverse backgrounds in my class, I can learn about different cultures and countries including Germany, Colombia, Cambodia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Finland, Egypt, and Japan. Learning through group activities, workshops, outdoor sessions, case studies, presentations, seminars, speeches and so on has allowed me to immerse myself in my field of study and made me confident about my career path.
 
Besides great formal education, Sweden offers many spaces of interaction, socialization, and mingling where people from all over the world can come together and learn from each other. All in all, so far my journey in Sweden is full of learning, practical experiences, joyful “Fika” moments, as well as explorations of Swedish culture and new people and places. I am hoping all these experiences will brighten my future and help me achieve my dream of empowering other Pakistani girls.