When I applied for my study permit and leading up to it, I had to re-evaluate my reasons for choosing to study in Sweden. I had many really good reasons, and many close to my heart and personal passions.
Here is the note I jotted to clarify to myself and other relevant and important bodies. I read this and nod all the way through!
I have been accepted for study with the International Youth Initiative Program (www.yip.se) a program under the Vardinge By Folkhogskola situated in Järna, Sweden.
I have many a time been asked why I have chosen Sweden as my study-destination of choice.
There are countless reasons why I have chosen this Nordic country. Below; I will attempt to list my most compelling reasons.
Being born and bred in South Africa, a developing country which is working hard at closing wounds and building a better society and country, I am both inspired and moved by Sweden’s ability to change from being a poor developing country into one of the world’s leading nations.
I am equally stirred by their forward thinking method of implementing seemingly impossible ideals into being.
Namely; “The third way” or the “Swedish model”; which have successfully nurtured the nation’s wellbeing as a whole by distributing finances amongst important areas such as education and health-care to name but a few, resulting in a country that has narrow economic gaps between social groups. There is much to be admired here, coming from a country which has the widest economic gap between the rich and the poor!
Another fascinating policy and law which is extremely close to my heart is that of the “common right of access” which has cultivated a culture of sharing, nature-loving, respect as well as deep responsibility for the environment. A way of life which I believe should be adopted by more nations.
The course I have been accepted to study is a Social Entrepreneurship program.
The concept of social entrepreneurship is somewhat new to South Africa, I have grown to fully understand what the term means and have come to realise that I have been surrounded by social entrepreneurs throughout my life – my parents being the closest to me. My mother: passionate about education (breaking barriers by beginning and teaching at a night school for adult learners, believing it is never too late to learn) and my father: one with nature (creating a bird friendly garden wherever we settled, with bread crumbs, bird baths and clean water for all our feathered friends!) also, making sure that we understood the importance of nature to the balance of our lives, bodies and our planet by taking us on regular walks and teaching us all he knew about the plants and animals we encountered and passing his knowledge on to anyone that would listen.
On a more light-hearted note, since being accepted to study with YIP I have practically lived on their and the Swedish Tourism’s website and have been consumed by the variety and quality of the music produced in Sweden. My favourites being Fever Ray, Royskopp, First Aid Kit and off course ABBA!
I’v been a fan of Little Dragon for over 2 years now and am excited by the prospect of seeing them live at one of the venues or festivals in Sweden or elsewhere in Europe!
Yukimi Nagano and the band are nothing short of amazing!
In conclusion; I would like to re-iterate and clarify what I aim to put forth in this letter – I am looking forward to learning about a nation that is so far from my own in many ways, a nation from which, I’m sure, I can draw much inspiration from, I am keen to approach with humility, to learn and observe what has worked for the Swedes and how I can bring those ideas home. I am also eager to explore the Swedish culture, art, food, language and country, to experience the weather patterns, the social life and the music! I am hungry to learn and implement what I learn into my life for the greater good.
An aside: While in Sweden I will keep a blog running called “Swedish Garden” which is hosted on WordPress. I believe that this will make for interesting reading for prospective students or visitors to Sweden. I love writing and have kept a personal blog for 2 years which has received a good readership since inception.
Thank you for taking time to read this, I hope it has given better insight into my reasons for choosing to study in Sweden.
Didintle Sholohelang Ntsie,