On the 4-5th of October the SI kick-off event took place in Stockholm. It was a conference where all the scholarship holders had a chance to get together, learn more about Sweden and take a bus tour around Stockholm.
There were really inteersting topics raised in some speeches. The one I remember most is about the image of Sweden. The speaker first showed a picture of two blond children walking in the countriside, which has been the initial image of Sweden as we know it. And then he covered the subject of immigration and how the image of Sweden is changing. On the final slide of the presentation there was a picture of a black child behind the Swedish flag. During my stay in Sweden I’ve learned that the country accepts a lot of refugees. In Borlange our student accommodation is in the refugee area, and they seem to be the majority here. Now Sweden has announced its open doors for any refugees from Syria who want to move. Taking it into consideration that the population of Syria is more than twice as big as in Sweden, I wonder how Sweden will manage it and what image it will have in the near future. If you have any thoughts on that, please share.
There was also a speech about the Swedish values. You can see some slides from the conference:
Our discussion team from India, Belarus, Macedonia, and Turkey.
During the stay in Stockholm we were accommodated in Lovik hotel:
The view from the window:
The final and very interesting part of the event was the bus tour around Stockholm. It was exciting to learn about the royal family, princes and princesses, who married whom, etc. The city is located on islands, so there was plenty of water around.
Great people around are always the best part of any trip.
Finally, I was happy and excited to see Egyptians at the conference! As I worked in Egypt for over a year before coming to Sweden, they became somewhat special to me. This is what interaction with other nations leads to 🙂