Reported by Ira Yulianti Purnomo
Every year, promising Indonesian students get the opportunity to study in Sweden. And for that reason, the Swedish Embassy organized a Pre-Departure Briefing, sponsored by the Swedish Institute. The event took place on Thursday, July 30th, 2015, and had the aim to give information on living and studying in Sweden, on the Indonesian Student Community, and on the Alumni Community as well. This year, the evening was held in the heart of Jakarta at Istituto Italiano di Cultura.
Among 60 accepted Indonesian students, around 30 attended this event, with the biggest portion going to Stockholm (either KTH Royal Institute of Technology or Stockholm University). Other destinations include Uppsala, Lund, Malmö, Gothenburg, Växjö and Umeå. In order to have more insight on life in campus and in Sweden, alumni were also invited to share, hence a balanced number of 30 alumni participated in the evening.
Shortly after everyone registered at the entrance, Lina Eidmark as the Chargée d’Affaires a.i. gave her opening remarks and introduction to Sweden. A number of funny but useful tips were given, such as the favorite topic to talk about (the weather!), the Fika tradition and cinnamon buns, the punctuality spirit, the love for the environment, etc. Intrigued by the Swedish life, Erlangga Arfan continued and presented the Alumni Swedia community. Being the chairman of the alumni community for the next 2 years, Erlangga shared the historical milestones of the community since 2007, the current board structure, annual events, and the various ways to participate (through the official website, mailing list, blog, facebook page, and LinkedIn page). The last presentation was delivered by Benni Yusriza, the current chairman of the Indonesian students association in Sweden (Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia / PPI Swedia), sharing on the board structure and activities.
After the three informative presentations, students and alumni were divided into informal discussion groups differentiated by cities. During this session, we all get to enjoy our delicious vegetarian dinner while networking with each other, sharing alumni’s practical experience in Sweden, and addressing new student’s concerns before departing.
Last but not least, as we have to blend the Indonesian customs in this event, the evening was wrapped up by a group picture of every alumni, students, new students, and embassy employees who made the evening successfully warm!
Good luck and safe trip to Sweden, guys!