What made you apply for the SI Scholarship and your master program in Sweden?
My name is Hrant Galstyan from Armenia. I am a former master’s student in Global Media Studies at Stockholm University. I applied for a Swedish Institute scholarship in 2019. Years before that, I had graduated from a program in media and cultural studies here in Armenia. I was now eager to further my knowledge in a country where it is an established academic field of study. I was excited to know that many Swedish universities offer relevant graduate programs. Also that the Swedish Institute provides fully-funded scholarships, allowing the scholarship holders time to be wholly allocated to their studies. The first program I applied for was at the Department of Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University. And it suggested a blend of theory and research.
What impact has the SI scholarship had so far in your career and for your personal development?
The scholarship period meant an invaluable experience for me, both in academia and in Sweden at large. First, it gave me knowledge on many interesting directions and traditions within the broad and rich area of media studies. Studying at a competitive department meant being aware of the latest developments in media research. I was part of an international course, which let me meet people from different parts of the world and benefit from exchanges with them.
Outside academia, the scholarship introduced me to a way of social life that favor’s equality, social justice and sustainable lifestyle. My time in Sweden was full of beautiful moments. Although the pandemic started right in the middle of my studies, I managed to take a couple of short trips inside the country. By bike or by train, when the situation allowed.
What are your dreams for the future?
Back in Armenia, my plans are to participate in the development of the field of media studies as best I can. Ideally by combining research and teaching. In fact, that was my initial plan when I was applying for the scholarship. I’m glad it is still a priority to me. I had been introduced to this amazing yet understudied branch of knowledge at a local university. Now I want to give that inspiration back to other students. I believe that my experience at Stockholm University will be a big assistance in that, not only for the professional skills and insights I got there, but also for the inclusive academic culture I was introduced to.
Why should others apply for SI scholarships?
In case my pre-scholarship story sounds familiar to you, I’m glad to use this chance and encourage you to apply for an SI scholarship. When preparing for the application, you might want to examine closely the courses included in the program you are going to apply for, as well as the department it is taught in. So that you know what to expect and make the best choice.
Getting an SI scholarship means first of all having the precious time and environment for studying the field of your interest. You will also benefit from participating in activities organized by the Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL) and becoming a member of the Alumni network, once you finish your education.
Good luck with your application and hopefully with your new experience in Sweden!