Archive for Swedish-Turkish Scholarship Programs

Swedish Alumni Network in Turkey held their first event on 16 May


Swedish Alumni Network in Turkey-Ankara Chapter had their first alumni event at the Swedish residence in Ankara, Turkey on 16 May 2014.

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Last Minute Invitation: Smart Living Challenge in Istanbul, 22 May

Dear SI Alumni,

Welcome to join the Smart Living Challenge creative workshops at Istanbul Technical University and Ericsson as our local partners together with the Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish Institute.

The Smart Living Challenge is an open innovation contest and more than 25 workshops are carried out globally and a number of workshops in Sweden – so it´s a great and energizing experience. Read more » >>

Welcoming new SI Alumni!

On Friday the 26th of April, the Swedish Institute (SI) held its annual diploma ceremony for Scholarship holders who have completed their studies during that last academic year 2012/2013. 259 scholarship holders from 34 different countries have completed their studies in Sweden and 175 were able to attend the ceremony. Director-General of the Swedish Institute, Annika Rembe, started off the program by welcoming the excited Alumni to be.

SI Director-General Annika Rembe speaking at Diploma Ceremony

SI Director-General Annika Rembe speaking at Diploma Ceremony

SI Alumni are true representatives of Swedish engagement in exchange and cooperation within higher education and research. They are valuable to both Swedish research and Swedish industry for Sweden’s role in the international dialogue on issues related to sustainability, democracy and equality.

The event’s first keynote speaker, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson, spoke of international friendship and made a lasting impression with the quote “… knowledge is power and education empowers”.


Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson

Alumni to be at Q&A session with Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson


Alumni to be engaged the Minister in a series of interesting questions and were delighted she could take time from her busy schedual!

Alumni during Q&A session at Diploma Ceremony

Alumni during Q&A session at Diploma Ceremony


Joachim Beijmo, Director Communications at Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida), followed and highlighted some important facts on Swedish aid. One fact that was new to me was from last year’s evaluation on Swedes and international aid; “…98% say that they think that international aid is important or very important“. On the other hand, Joachim also mentioned that Swedes need to renew how to perceive the rapidly developing world around us.

Alumni to be in Q&A session with Director Communications at Sida

Alumni to be in Q&A session on Swedish International Development Cooperation with Director of Communications at Sida


I had the opportunity to address the new alumni directly after the official ceremony, with a speech on the “Second cultural shock”. The shock that most alumni often refer to when describing their return home, as they discover that the home they have returned to seems a little different from the home the left 2 years ago, often due to their experiences in Sweden… I also emphasized the new role SI Alumni now carry, as representatives of Sweden wherever they go from here!


Getting ready for the group picture, the official on will be posted later by Johanna...

Getting ready for the group picture, the official on will be posted later by Johanna…


The Diploma Ceremony was rounded of by Johanna Jeppsson, Project Manager of SI Network for Future Global Leaders, a network that builds a strong and lasting relationship with the Scholarship holders while in Sweden.

After the ceremony...

Big smiles after the ceremony…


Did you attend the diploma ceremony? If so feel free to share your reflections and impressions from the event in the comment section below. And I really look forward to hearing from all Alumni in the future! More about SI Alumni:

* All photos by SI staff

Alumni profile of the week, Kazim Kartal from Turkey

Name: Kazim Kartal

 When, where and what did you study in Sweden?
I was the first student to receive a scholarship within the Swedish Turkish- Scholarship program. My scholarship was granted for studying at the Master program of European Politics at Lund University between 2002 and 2003.

 Current occupation & work:
I am working as EU Affairs Expert at the Ministry for European Union Affairs, Directorate for Financial Cooperation in Ankara, Turkey.

Picture: Working for Turkey’s membership to the EU

 Strongest memory from Sweden:
I was on a train from Stockholm to Lund. It was a table seat and two Swedish passengers were chatting just across the table. I needed to work on my thesis. When I took up the papers from the briefcase, they immediately left the table. Later on I saw them seated in another coach, rather uncomfortably. Ever since then I regret that I did not thank them for their understanding. Maybe it is not a big issue but made me feel welcome. 

 My best recommendations to new students in Sweden are:
Surviving the education system in Sweden might seem easier. Yes, you may have no problems in finishing the courses. But do not miss the real value of studying in Sweden. It gives you the chance to develop your personal strengths as long as you look for it. 

First day in Ankara

On Wednesday we woke up in Ankara and prepared for our first meeting at Middle East Technical University. As many of the universities here in Turkey the campus is really big and we learned that this campus also had it´s own lake. Imagine that, huh?

Just as all the previous places we had visited the students were interested in applying and asking all sorts of questions. It´s so nice to see that our scholarships are so attractive.

After METU we went to Bilkent University, another huge one, to meet with Professor Elisabeth Özdalga and her students.

Professor Özdalga is working at the Department of Political Science but when I first met her  she was working in METU. It must have been around 2007, I guess, and between these universities she has also been the Head of The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul.

When meeting with her students we also got help from of our scholarship holders, Giray Sadik, who is now working at Yildirim Beyazit University in Ankara and also Digdem Soyaltin who is doing PhD in Germany but just happened to be in Ankara for a conference.

This was the first place where we really filled up all the seats. The presentations are also much more colourful when you can add the perspectives of those who have previously been in our program.

After the presentation at Bilkent Giray took uf for some tea out in the sun. As Swedes we could not have enjoyed that more. So great to feel the sun on your faces in late November and at the same time getting reports about the snow in Sweden :)