What are you doing today?
Today I work as a research consultant collaborating with UNICEF and other organizations aiming to improve well-being and functioning of children and young people. I am currently involved in a number of research projects concerning children in need of special support and their families in health, education, and community settings, focusing on issues such as child protection, equal access to education, and children with disabilities–in Sweden and other countries.
What were you doing before you applied for the scholarship?
After completing my bachelor’s degree, I knew I wanted to continue my studies in the field of childcare. I wanted to contribute to realising children’s rights not only in my home country, but also globally. I wanted to be part of something bigger and more diverse, and to be involved in the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural professional dialogue. I have always been aware of the power of education and its potential to transform lives. It’s what made me want to pursue a master’s degree abroad.
Why did you want to pursue a master’s degree in Sweden?
I chose Sweden because it ranks highly in just about everything: quality of life, academic excellence, human rights, child welfare, sustainability and innovation, and other indicators. As a childcare professional, I have always been amazed by the way Sweden treats families and children. It’s the very foundation of society. Sweden, along with its Nordic neighbours, has long been known for its excellence in child and family welfare. The country was among the first in the world to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which became law in 2020.
I first learnt about SI scholarships by accident when I was searching for funding opportunities to support my studies abroad. A website on scholarship opportunities referred to SI scholarships for studies and research in Sweden. I knew Sweden had long had an excellent reputation in child welfare, but I knew nothing about the Swedish education system or its reputation. Then I did my research and decided to apply.
What has the scholarship offer meant to you?
Moving to Sweden was probably the most defining experience of my life. Professionally it expanded my knowledge about child development and functioning, and helped me to discover my academic skills and inclinations. I had the opportunity to work with, and learn from, leading researchers and experts in child and family welfare from around the world, and I was able to build a strong global professional network. In terms of personal development, after two years in Sweden I became a much more aware citizen and adopted a more sustainable lifestyle. I got inspired by the Swedish lifestyle and the people: innovators, creators, food and coffee lovers, green thinkers and humble world leaders.
I knew my connection with Sweden was going to last. Today, I work in academia, and help prospective students from my home country and neighbouring regions to discover Sweden, not only as a great study destination, but also as a society to experience and get inspired by.
My experience as an SI scholar has helped me to grow as a leader and taught me that true leadership comes from within. Serving as chairperson of my local Network for Future Global Leaders played a big part in this – acting as a driving force, pushing me to look inwards, and then make use of these new-found resources and skills.
Why should others apply for SI scholarships?
Being an SI scholarship holder means securing a lifelong connection with a global network of inspirational and outstanding leaders and change-makers. For me, it is a daily reminder about who you are and where you are headed. It’s a precious and unlimited source of inspiration, support and opportunities.
I warmly encourage ambitious young professionals to apply for an SI scholarship because it is a unique way to unleash your leadership potential and become part of a global network of leaders and change-makers.