International alumni reunion after ten years
Last month 18 former international students gathered for a reunion in Skövde. They wanted to celebrate that ten years have passed since they first arrived on campus at the University of Skövde as international exchange students in 2002.
The alumni were welcomed back to the University of Skövde by Elizabeth Persson, head of the Student Support Office, who worked as international coordinator ten years ago. She was the contact person for the international students. It was also Elizabeth who humorously told the students to meet again in ten years in Skövde. Joking or not, by using Facebook the alumni managed to find each other and Elizabeth Persson. Last month they finally met again at Portalen on the campus of the University of Skövde.
During the reunion, Elizabeth Persson told the former students about the development of the University throughout the past ten years. Elizabeth also gave the group an insight into the University's present organization. The former students were also interested in the University's internationalization process and how it has improved. Elizabeth Persson told the students about the University's very successful partnership with the University of Malaga in Spain. The University of Skövde welcomes about 20 engineering students from the University of Malaga every year. Oscar and John, two of the alumni, have actually contributed to this collaboration when it all started.
During the reunion, the former students talked in an exciting and inspiring way about their time as exchange students in Skövde and what this experience has meant to them both personally and for their present careers. Some of them talked about how different experiences in Skövde were life-changing. They also talked about how their time in Skövde made them leave their comfort zone and what it was like to live in a new country with a new language and different culture.
Stronger sense of self-confidence
Many of the former students chose Skövde because they wanted to improve their English, which they did. Not only did they improve their English, they also built an international network. The intercultural experience as exchange students also gave them a stronger sense of self-confidence.
The return to Skövde and to the University was, for many of the former students, like going back to their "second home", a home from where they have many happy memories.
Leen och Lieve from Belgium. Alberto, John, Oscar, Nacho, Xabier and Jorge from Spain. Mervi, Anu, Linda, Karri and Tarja from Finland. Sebastian, Florian and Henrik from Germany and Simon from Switzerland. Ten years ago they were all international exchange students at the University of Skövde. Last month they came back for a reunion.