You Guys :’)

3 months ago, I got the email to say I’d been chosen as a digital ambassador for the Swedish Institute. Obviously, I was gobsmacked because the competition had been tough but for some reason, they liked what I had to say.

I very nearly didn’t send the application, I’d written a couple of documents as part of the entry but never thought anything of it. It was the day of the deadline when I considered that maybe I should just send them off anyway, why not? I had nothing to lose. Little did I know that I would be hearing from them simply weeks later to say that I had a skype interview.

Once the interview was underway, the laptop camera didn’t work, so to them, I was just a voice. I thought I’d ruined my chances due to a poor connection and I felt a little deflated once the interview had finished because I wanted it so, so bad. At a time where things were personally tough living in Sweden, this was the little ray of light that I needed.

So to my surprise when I received the email of acceptance, fair to say I did a little dance. Something was going right for once and before I knew it, I was on a train down to Stockholm to meet the other digital ambassadors.

I was terrified; I mean I get shy in social situations with strangers, so for me it was a little daunting. I sat waiting in the reception whilst each person came up and introduced themselves. These were people who came from all over the world and I was fascinated. As time went on, I became more comfortable and eager to learn more about these people. That weekend spent in Stockholm was absolutely excellent and I talked about it for weeks afterwards. Those people are some of the funniest, creative individuals I have ever met and I distinctly remember moving to Sweden in hope that I would meet people who inspired me.

Fast forward 2 months and we have just been on our next get-together trip to Umeå in the north of Sweden. I have to say, I’m absolutely gutted these people don’t live in my city because they make me laugh whenever they’re around. They’re a bunch of ridiculously funny, witty yet silly people and I love it! The best thing about writing for the institute is hanging out with these guys every couple of months.

From the moment Moe was told to shut up on a plane because his rendition of Aladdin’s ‘I can show you the world’ was too loud, to the time that time we all went down to the frozen lake together so that we could see the stars across the clear winter night, I have so many funny incredible memories to take with me. From the hilarious conversations in hotel rooms to the ‘Moegett’ nugget challenge and Raghu’s witty comments on almost everything, I can’t wait for the next meet up. Let this be a piece of advice to everyone out there, leave your comfort zone and meet people from different cultures, countries and backgrounds because you will be amazed at what they have to offer, life is never dull when you have friends who have all had very different experiences. Travel, meet new people and never look back!

Last but not least a mention a huge thanks to Doug and Rachel who organise and take care of us even though we’re like a group of unruly children. Thank you for this incredible opportunity and thank you for introducing me to this crazy, crazy bunch!

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Cover Image by one of our ambassadors, the talented Gimmy Liu!

Francesca

An English student studying biology at Uppsala University. Francesca finished her studies in Sweden in June 2015.
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