What made you apply for the SI Scholarship and your master program in Sweden?
I am Giorgi from Georgia. I recently finished my master’s studies in Urban and Regional Planning at the department of Human Geography at Stockholm University. My interest to study in Sweden dates back to my bachelor’s, when I took a Swedish language course during my last year of studies. This interest and the strong academic traditions in the field of urban geography, that the Swedish universities are famous for, ultimately nudged me to apply for the SI scholarship. I was not successful on my first try. However, I reapplied and this time I got in!
What impact has the SI scholarship had so far in your career and for your personal development?
Once you get the SI scholarship, you get the chance to see the excellent academic environment at a Swedish university. The teaching methods enable students to further develop critical and analytical thinking. During my time at Stockholm University, I fine-tuned my research skills by conducting empirical studies as part of the coursework. It all might seem a bit challenging in the beginning, but it is worth every effort. After all, it is the knowledge and experience of doing research, that opened up numerous opportunities for me. I could put them to practice, both locally and globally, right after I submitted my thesis. Thus, academically, the SI scholarship provides super rewarding and exciting opportunities.
Apart from the academic environment that I encountered in Sweden, I discovered the diversity of options to continue growing as a person. Sadly, most of my study period coincided with the global pandemic and therefore, face-to-face interactions were limited. Regardless, I still managed to get acquainted with other SI scholars from all over the planet. Both local and international course mates. I also met people through personal or professional networks. The natural landscape is present in every corner of Stockholm. Forests, national parks, the archipelago and lakeshores turned out to be an even greater destination for encounters. Particularly in times of social distancing and uncertainty. For me personally, the ability of walking to a forest or a lake within less than 10 minutes, was a huge relief. This was a primary source for building inner strength on everyday basis.
What are your dreams for the future?
As for my dreams or rather, specific goals. I want to develop my previous personal and professional experience that I gained during my stay in Sweden. I am mostly oriented on advancing further in my academic career and a PhD will be a proper way forward.
Why should others apply for SI scholarships?
With all these in mind, I would encourage everyone who wants to go beyond their comfort zone but are afraid to do so. Take on this life-changing opportunity and apply for the SI scholarship. Don’t be discouraged if you are not successful on the first try. Based on my personal experience, it will all work out eventually.