Photo: Oleg Shimanskyi
The Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine has interviewed three Swedish Institute alumni. This article is the first in a series of profiles published by the Embassy of Sweden during October.
Oleg Shymanskyi, born and raised in Kyiv, is currently working as a strategic communications consultant at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center. After earning a Bachelor of Laws he moved to the Netherlands to study European Public Affairs at Maastricht University – a seemingly natural path for Oleg, who had been involved in the European Youth Parliament during most of his studies.
In 2013, Oleg received a grant from the Swedish Institute (SI) to study entrepreneurship at Lund University for a year. Apart from continuing to gain experience abroad, his venture into business studies also reflected a social enterprise trend in Ukraine at the time. “I wanted to get a grip on how to start a social enterprise”, Oleg recalls. “I decided that the way to change society would be through the private sector”.
Oleg enjoyed the hands-on, interactive way of learning at Lund University. “At the very first lecture we were split into small groups and each of them was given 100 kronor to invest in whatever we wanted to” he says, “and the group that had made the most profit a week later became the winner”. Oleg was also in awe of Sweden’s nature and would explore the vicinities with his local friend, who he was lucky enough to know from before. “He always used to drive with a fishing rod in a trunk of his car”, Oleg recalls with a smile.
Oleg has been an active participant in the SI alumni network since returning to Ukraine. To name just one of his activities, he spoke at events where he informed Ukrainian students about the opportunities to study in Sweden, while at the same time he attempted at activating the local alumni community together with the other recent graduates Sparked with interest in Swedish culture and language, some of his friends decided to study in Sweden themselves and have fallen in love with the country.
As closing remarks, Oleg says: “Ukrainians who want to gain experience in Scandinavia can afford to do that thanks to the Swedish Institute’s funding. It is a great opportunity to obtain top-quality education and discover one of the most interesting cultures in Europe”.
The interview was published at the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine website. You can read the original article here
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.
The autumn season’s first Alumni network event took place on 5 October. The Swedish alumni-network Turkey consists of people who have studied in Sweden, today comprising some 700 alumni.
The Alumni events is a platform which gives the alumni an opportunity to stay in touch with each other, network with people from different disciplines and to help strengthen the ties between Sweden and Turkey.
For the alumni events the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul invite a guest speaker with links to Swedish-Turkish relations or a relevant topic. This event’s so called sunny speaker was Aysen Savci, the twice former Swedish trade commissioner to Turkey and now an achieved glass artist in Istanbul. Aysen Savci shared her experience of working both in Sweden and in Turkey and how she left the business world to become a glass artist instead. One thing she had discovered as an important factor for the success of many Swedish top business people was that they had interests and hobbies that were different from their business, such as music or art. Multidisciplines help one to think outside of the box.
The Consul General Ms. Therese Hydén highlighted that the alumni are very important both for the Consulate General and for the Swedish-Turkish relations in general, since the alumni are the real ambassadors for Sweden in the Turkish society, sharing their personal experiences.
The evening’s specialty was also the “kanelbulle”, the cinnamon bun, as we were celebrating the cinnamon bun day, which is honored in Sweden on 4 October every year.
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)
• 09.30-11.00 Young Leaders Visitors Programme/Young Connectors of the Future
• 13.00-14.30 SHE Entrepreneurs/ BalticLab
• 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
• 09.30-11.00 SAYP/Scholarship holders – alumni (12 seats)
On May 27, this year’s diploma ceremony was held in the Blue Hall in the Stockholm City Hall.
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