Tag archives for alumni activities

Språkcafé in Ukraine

Ukraine now has an establihed Swedish Langugae Club. Co-founder Anastasiya Borenkova has shared her experience with us, telling us the story of how everything started.

“The idea came to our mind 2 years ago. Me and the other two founders, Alina and Anna, did not know each other by that time but we shared a big passion for Sweden. After a year of amazing volunteer experience in Sweden, Alina came back to Ukraine and extremely missed “Swedishness” and Swedish language. She started looking for people who would like to meet and speak Swedish in Kyiv. Through Couchsurfing she found Anna who never learnt Swedish but frequently visited her friends in Sweden, travelled around Sweden and simply fell in love with the country. They started weekly Swedish speaking meetings, being one of the few enthusiasts looking for ways how to involve more Swedish speakers to the group. Thanks to a recommendation of their friends, they got in touch with the SI alumni community. I was one of the SI alumni who liked their idea and joined the club. I began learning Swedish during my studies in Östersund and finished A2 level. After I returned to Ukraine, I wanted to keep practicing Swedish with native speakers and those who also study Swedish in Kyiv. Together we named our speaking club “Språkcafé i Kyiv” and in short this is how our project began.

In the very beginning, there were onlike about 2 or 3 of us at the meetings – choosing discussion topics, playing table games and of course, speaking Swedish. The challenge was to find native speakers but we managed by going through our personal networks, friends of friends, Facebook announcements on SI alumni group, Couchsurfing etc. We used all available communication channels to attract more people to join us. We held our first Språkcafe meetings with Swedes from Ericsson, Beetroot and Tobii (Swedish companies in Ukraine) who supported our initiative. We were really building a little community.

Now there are more than 250 people in our Facebook group  and more and more of them join us every week. It means that there is a growing interest in Sweden and Swedish in Ukraine. We even meet people who learn other Scandinavian languages but they come to us because there is no similar Norwegian or Danish club in Kyiv. There is “Språkcafé i Lviv” which was established by our example a year ago and we plan to organize such clubs in other Ukrainian cities as well. It is great to know that people heard about us in Sweden or even on a plane on the way to Kyiv. Therefore, we expand our borders.

Traditional group selfie at the weekly meeting

We organize general weekly meetings once in one or two weeks in different cozy places in Kyiv. Sometimes we have special thematic meetings e.g. köttbullar evening when we cook Swedish meals or watch Swedish movies together. We always try to organize small celebrations of Swedish holidays as well. One of the most memorable holidays, which we celebrated this year, was Midsummer.

Midsummer celebration 2016

We had almost 80 guests including Swedes who live in Kyiv or arrived specially for the holiday. We spent three days in nature outside of the city. We had so much fun! We followed all holiday traditions – danced around a maypole, wove wreaths, sang Midsummer songs, cooked traditional dishes, played Swedish games, swam in the Kyiv sea. In addition, this autumn we organized Swedish picnic in collaboration with the Scandinavian house “Stockholm Studios” in Irpen. We cooked köttbullar and Swedish desserts for the guests and gave presentations on the Swedish Embassy in Ukraine, Swedish business in Kyiv, and travelling in Sweden. I think the most impressive was the final part of the event when we opened a can of surströmming.

Swedish picnic at Stockholm Studios. October 2016

Beetroot founders who were our first Swedish guests at Språkcafe meetings played a crucial role in development of the project. This year Beetroot kindly created a logo for our club, and, most importantly, a website. Everything was free of charge as Beetroot charity initiative. Thanks to Swedish Institute financial contribution, we bought a domain and paid for hosting for the website. We feel a lot of support and very thankful for that. We hope our Språkcafe group will be growing, strengthening bonds and inspiring SI alumni from other countries to create their Swedish language clubs.

Do you have a story that you want to share with your fellow SI Alumni? Get in contact with the SI Alumni team!

SI Alumni Opportunity: ICT 4 Social Innovation Conference in Nairobi

Simon Paulin/Imagebank Sweden

We are happy to announce the upcoming opportunity for SI alumni in Africa – travel grant and entrance to the ICT for Social Innovation Conference in Nairobi on Dec 8 2016. By participating in the conference you automatically become a member of the ICT4SI-network run by iHub and Spider Center.

More information about the conference and network.

This opportunity is open only to SI alumni from Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia or Zimbabwe. It means that we can only grant this opportunity to citizens of any of these countries. Please note that the candidates should be living in any of above mentioned countries.

About the offer:

The Swedish Institute will offer a selected number of alumni a travel grant (flight/train) to and from Nairobi from any of the above mentioned countries, accommodation for two nights and entrance fee to the conference. SI does not cover Visa costs, transportation on the ground (such as airport transfers and local transport within Nairobi) and insurance costs. Deadline to apply is 7 November.

About the network:

The ICT 4 Social Innovation Network is a Pan-African initiative. It joins social innovators that use ICT for solutions for improved Education and Health for our communities. The Network was launched in Kigali, Rwanda in November 2015 during our first Conference hosted by SPIDER-The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions and iHub Research Kenya with support from kLab, AIESEC Rwanda and Reach for Change Africa.

APPLY HERE

Join the Swedish Institute Alumni roundtable!

Simon Paulin/Imagebank Sweden

We are curious to know your thoughts and ideas on how we could support and strengthen the SI Alumni Network.

In November and December we invite all SI Alumni to join an online roundtable discussion to gather ideas and insights. There are around 14 000 SI alumni in the network, and this time we are putting extra focus on the 1700 people that have participated in one of the SI Leadership Programmes. Are you interested in joining the roundtable? Please register below. We will select around twelve people for each roundtable.

ROUNDTABLE DATES & TIMES (Swedish time)

29 November

• 09.30-11.00 Young Leaders Visitors Programme/Young Connectors of the Future

• 13.00-14.30 SHE Entrepreneurs/ BalticLab

30 November

• 09.30-11.00 SIMP Asia/SIMP Africa/SIMP Northern Europe/SIMP China/SIMP India

• 13.00-14.30 Baltic Leadership Programme/Baltic Executive Programme

1 December

• 09.30-11.00 SAYP/Scholarship holders – alumni  (12 seats)

Register here

Invitation: round-table and Skype webinar on “Security in modern society”, Kharkiv, 15 December 2014

Please find below an invitation from SI alumni  team in Ukraine to a round-table and webinar on “Multiple aspects of problems of safety in the modern society: global, regional and local levels”, which will be held 15 December 2014 at Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics. 

Photo: Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se

Dear Colleagues! We are inviting you to participate in the webinar “Multi aspects of problems of safety in the modern society: global, regional and local levels”, which will be held 15 December 2014 at Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics for development of Ukrainian-Swedish scientific, cultural and business contacts and search partners for joint international projects.

The webinar will be organized as part of a seminar on global and local security issues. The seminar and webinar are organized by Alumni of the Swedish Institute (SI), a number of research, educational and social organizations of Kharkiv (Ukraine) with the support of the Swedish Institute (Stockholm, Sweden). Read more » >>

Invitation: Study Visit to Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm, 28 November 2014

Dear SI alumni,

Please find below an invitation from SI Alumnus Aleh Kliatsko to an event in Stockholm:

Read more » >>