“Without the SI Scholarship it would not be possible for me to achieve everything that I have achieved so far.”

Since graduating from Uppsala University with a Master’s of Entrepreneurship, Svitlana has been leading a community of like-minded people, co-authored a book, supported dozens of organisations in capacity development, and spoke at international events sharing her professional and leadership perspectives.
Picture of Svitlana.

From Ukraine, she has a background in non-governmental organisations (NGO). Today, her role is to strengthen their capacities to become more sustainable and resilient organisations. She is working with both NGOs and social entrepreneurs from around the globe providing them with tools and strategies to follow their missions.   

Hi Svitlana! What attracted you about Sweden as a study destination? 

– I have always followed the announcements of each year’s SI scholarship recipients and studying in Sweden has been a big honour and a privilege to me. The place where I studied: Uppsala University, is one of the oldest universities in Sweden and I fell in love with it from the moment I first saw it. The old university campus, beautiful nature around, and vibrant student life in some ways reminded me of Hogwarts. But of course, instead of magic we learned very evidence-based science. Also, in addition to having lots of world top universities, Sweden is home to The Nobel Prize. The award that recognises world scientists whose knowledge greatly benefits mankind. 

How has the SI Scholarship for Global Professionals influenced your development? 

– During my experience, I was lucky to have the time and occasion for deep and meaningful conversations with people whom I respect a lot. This helped me build confidence and trust in myself, my knowledge, and my experience. Meeting with talented and dedicated people who are everyday working hard to change the world for the better inspired me to stand for the values I care about the most – democracy, sustainability, equality, respect, and dignity. This all could not be possible without the enriching experience during my scholarship. 

What surprised you about studying or living in Sweden? 

– Studying and living in Sweden for about one and a half years helped me embrace Swedish culture and lifestyle from the inside and understand why some things are so important for Swedes. For example: the concepts of lagom, fika and friluftsliv. I have developed some very useful and important habits related to recycling, punctuality, and work-life balance.
My studies were happening not only via books but in basic everyday life, in exploring Swedish architecture and design during the walks to the classes, noticing sustainable options while shopping, celebrating Swedish holidays, and following traditions throughout the year. 

Is there anything special that you take with you from this experience in Sweden? 

– Yes, my friends and colleagues from Sweden. In the darkest times, when the full-scale war started, and Ukraine was suffering, they joined efforts with me to make more impact in helping Ukrainian refugees fleeing from war. Also, by supporting local initiatives to save lives and staying proactive in protecting the democratic values that Ukraine is fighting for. 

What is your advice to students considering Sweden and the SI Scholarship for Global Professionals? 

– I would say go for it! You will never regret it, and after all, it is not only studying. Imagine the reindeer race, river rafting, ice hotel and Northern Lights, saunas with ice swimming. Where else you will have so much fun? 

Learn more about the SI Scholarship for Global Professionals.

A fully-financed scholarships for master’s studies in Sweden. A unique opportunity to develop professionally and academically, experience Swedish society and culture, and build a long-lasting relationship with Sweden and other global professionals. Read more about the scholarship and eligibility criteria here.