Second Alumni Meetup in Sweden

Zuzana Polívková, Czechia Alumni
Zuzana Polívková, Czechia Alumni
Alumni, Study in Czechia
29 March 2023
This year's first alumni meeting, co-organized by the Czechia Alumni programme, took place on Thursday, March 23, in Sweden. About 50 participants gathered at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Stockholm, located in a picturesque residential area in the broader centre of the city.  

The meetup officially started at 5:30 p.m., but the first participants arrived earlier, which is said to be quite common here. After an opening speech by Her Excellency Ambassador Anita Grmelová and a welcome speech from the head of the STUDY IN department Aneta Sargeant, networking was on the agenda. To make it easier to get to know each other and to get the fun going, the Czechia Alumni team has prepared a so-called human bingo. Its main objective is to fill in 20 boxes with names. After about an hour, those who completed the bingo could participate in a draw for three gift packages. The participants highly praised this creative way of getting to know each other.  

An age-diverse group of students and graduates gathered at the event. Magnus Hägnemark, a law graduate from the Charles University and the Palacký University Olomouc, was surprised that even such a place as the embassy can be used for meetings and social events, and not only as a place where you come to deal with visas etc. The Czech Embassy is truly a pioneer in this approach. The fact that the embassy team took part in networking together with the ambassador proves this openness towards the public.  

Magnus was one of those who attended both this year's and last year's meetup in May 2022. Both were great opportunities for him to meet new people and reminisce about his studies in Czechia. Even though this year the weather was not as warm as last year, he is looking forward to the next meeting.  

Some participants traveled to the meeting in Stockholm from more distant places in Sweden. One of them was also Elliott Knotek, a Czech graduate of the Erasmus+ program and current pedagogy student at the University of Malmö. Elliott is an example of a student for whom the Erasmus program literally changed his life. He first completed one semester in Sweden, then extended the program, and finally decided to settle and graduate there. "It was a great opportunity for me to live abroad and see how a school abroad works and get to know their education system."  

Another Erasmus+ graduate, Wilhelm Speckbacher, studied international relations at Metropolitan University Prague. His stay abroad also affected his future, specifically the professional one. "I'm currently working for a PR agency, and if I didn't have the experience I gained thanks to my stay in Czechia, I definitely wouldn't have gotten this job. I think that it improved my CV a lot. "  

Felizia Livskog, who is currently in charge of Sweden's official account on social networks as an intern, has a similar experience: "My experience in the Czech Republic definitely helped me find my current job. Actually, not only the experience abroad as such but also the seminars and lessons I took at school during my Erasmus+ stay." Felizia also highly praised the meeting with Czech students because during her studies in the Czech Republic, she met more international students than Czech, so she took Alumni Meetup Sweden as a unique opportunity to establish new contacts with Czech people as well.  

Alumni Meetup Sweden was held for the first time last year, and since this and last year's meeting generated a very positive response, this tradition will likely continue. This plan was also confirmed by Ambassador Anita Grmelová, who encourages alumni to come up with an idea for a project that will connect the Czech Republic with Sweden because it will significantly benefit both countries. 

The next meetups co-organized by the Czechia Alumni programme will happen in April 2023 in Spain, Czechia and Moldova