Bridging Cultures: Highlights from the International Student and Alumni Meetup Sweden Vol. 3

Valentýna Škrabálková, Study in Czechia
Valentýna Škrabálková, Study in Czechia
Alumni, Student community, Travel
21 May 2024
For the third time, the International Student and Alumni Meetup Sweden took place at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Stockholm. The event was attended by international alumni of studies at universities in Czechia as well as Czech students who are currently studying in Sweden. A varied programme and interesting guests awaited the 60 participants.

We were warmly welcomed by Her Excellency, the Czech Ambassador, Anita Grmelová, followed by a discussion between two Czech alumni, Mariam Orjonikidze and Magnus Ericsson. Prof. Magnus Ericsson reflected on his studies at the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, which he completed during the time of Czechoslovakia between 1973 and 1974: "I think it opened my eyes to myself. I learned that there was no more laboratory research for me. When I returned, I got a job as a biotechnologist in fermentation chemistry and worked there for almost 20 years. I have many friends whom I still keep in touch with; some of them have already passed away, but it is still living memories for me. It has been an important part of my personality, no doubt."

Mariam Orjonikidze, who, thanks to her studies in Czechia, got a job as the First Secretary at the Embassy of Georgia to the Czech Republic and currently works as the First Secretary at the Embassy of Georgia to the Kingdom of Sweden, recalled how her studies in Czechia influenced her life and talked about the benefits of studying at Charles University: "The cultural life in Prague is very rich. It really contributed to my general interest in education, literature, opera, ballet, etc. Through my faculty, I could also sign up for Central and Eastern European studies, and one of our lecturers was Jan Sokol, one of the signers of Charter 77. Having him give you a lecture about his experiences was very powerful, and Charles University was giving us a lot of opportunities, guest lectures, and those are the moments I really cherish, and I know I made the right choice."

After the panel discussion, participants mainly spread out in the garden as the weather was beautiful. This gave us a chance to get to know each other, share our experiences, reminisce about our studies, and complete a fun quiz about Czechia. Three winners received lovely gifts. Group pictures were taken, thanks to which alumni and students from specific Czech universities could get to know each other; 11 Czech universities were represented among the participants.

What were the participants' thoughts on the event? "Fun, easygoing student meetup at the Czech embassy." "A great opportunity to meet people from all walks of life." "The event was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make tons of new ones." "An excellent event and a great opportunity to connect to interesting people."

Vice-rector for Strategy and Development of Charles University, Mudr. Josef Fontana, Ph.D., who attended the meetup in person, summarized the event, "I think that the event was very successful. I had the opportunity to talk with about 20 students/alumni of Charles University, and I was pleasantly surprised that most of them evaluated the quality of their studies very positively. At the same time, they are using what they learned in Czechia in their careers in Sweden and international cooperations."

On our behalf, the event was a great success, and we are already looking forward to the next one. And if you, our dear alumni, enjoy our activities, follow us on social media so you don't miss important information like the chance to become an Alumni Ambassador.