The Swedish Institute diploma ceremony

Indeed time flies. It feels like yesterday when I joined Lund university. Before our official graduation, the Swedish Institute invited us (the scholars) to Stockholm for the Swedish Institute diploma ceremony. Stockholm is always exciting and the ceremony made it even more exciting. This was a time to meet all our fellow scholars one last time to celebrate our achievements before graduating. From my previous post, you will agree that during graduation, there are indeed a lot of events taking place.

Hundreds of people sitting at long tables in a large hall.
The Blue Hall best known as the banquet hall for the annual Nobel Banquet was where we had the ceremony. Photo: Concillier

The Swedish Institute diploma ceremony took place in the beautiful Blue Hall at the Stockholm city hall and we had a smart/business casual. The venue was special because this is where the annual Nobel Banquet takes place. It was a beautiful spring afternoon and the weather was perfect. Stockholm never looked lovelier. It was an evening full of entertainment, celebration, warmness and sense of achievement and appreciation for how far we had come. The program directors, current and past scholars gave moving speeches about their experience and later on, we had a great dinner to culminate the experience. The highlight of the night was receiving the diploma certificate from the Swedish Institute.

Two students posing for a photo together.
This photo is specifically special for me because I got to sit next to Mercy, who was one of the first people to contact me from Lund to congratulate me on my scholarship. She like myself is from Kenya and had gotten a scholarship in Lund. She had volunteered to call fellow scholars and welcome them and I happened to be one of them. It was, therefore, such a surreal moment to be seated next to her as we graduated. Photo: Concillier.
A group of students holding up a Kenyan flag.
The Kenyan team at the Sweden Institute diploma ceremony.
Four students posing together for a photo.
Who run the world? 🙂 With amazing friends at the Swedish Institute Diploma Ceremony.

That evening, so much went through my mind. I remembered how everything was so different just a year ago. I remember seating on my bed one hot January afternoon working on my applications and sending them 2 days to the deadline. I remember getting the email that I had gotten the scholarship and calling my mother immediately with a lot of excitement and disbelief. I remember doing my visa applications hustle free because of the support of the Swedish Institute. I remember booking my flight to Sweden. I remembered landing at the Copenhagen airport and being so confused about which train I was to take to Lund. I remember Meghan from the Lund International team welcoming all of us with a big beautiful smile at the airport. I remembered the smell of cinnamon buns at the train station. I remember the underwhelming feeling of thinking Lund was a little town but falling in love with it a few minutes later when I realised how its small size was so convenient. I remembered joining rugby for the first time. I remembered meeting my classmates for the first time. I remembered my first class and all the classes that followed to lead me to my Master thesis. Everything had culminated to this very moment – what more could I be than grateful?

A students sits on steps outside a building.

Written by Concillier

12 Aug 2019