My experience with the SI-scholarship

​Here is a story about what brought me from Indonesia to Chalmers as an SI-scholar.


A friend once said that "if our retirement age is 65 years, then we still have 30-35 years to work more or less, but if we feel have had enough and no longer feel challenged then how are we going to keep on working the remaining 30-35 years?"

I still remember these words from two years ago, and in fact, these words brought me to Sweden. I have worked in one of the biggest real estate companies in Indonesia and held a middle management position. But I felt something lacking and that I had more to give than my current contribution. And after much deliberation, I realized I had to refill my glass full so that I could keep giving from my abundance to places where I worked or the community that I served.  That was when I realized it's time to go back to the university and fulfil a long-forgotten goal to pursue my master’s degree.

Going to Europe has been a dream for a long time, the experience from travelling to several countries made me fall in love with this continent. Not just because of its beautiful sceneries or inspiring history, but since this is the place of many world-changing inventions. Innovation was the keyword that eventually led me to Chalmers and Sweden. At Chalmers, there is a master’s programme that specializes in innovation management. Innovation is currently becoming the centre of studies across the industries as an opportunity to create a better solution for our society. 

After I decided on my programme and university, then my next research was about financing my studies. My search for scholarships led me to SISGP (The Swedish Institute Scholarships for Global Professionals). It is a scholarship that covers the entire study tuition fee and includes a monthly allowance. The Swedish Government created this scholarship for global professionals with strong experiences and leadership background to pursue a master’s degree in Sweden and I believed I met the requirements.  

And finally, after going through a long process for campus applications and scholarships, April 26, 2019, I was declared as one of the SISGP awardees for 2019-2021. I was happy and felt overwhelmed with the good news, as it is confirming my attendance to Chalmers. When remembering the journey, I made a year ago, it was not easy to leave my comfort zone with family, friends and even a career that I have built on for many years. However, being an SI scholarship holder is a rare opportunity that only happens once in a lifetime and on the other hand, I got all the support I needed from friends and family to pursue my dream. 

This scholarship does not just enable me to pursue my studies at one of the best universities in Sweden. I am also granted to become part of the Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL), it is a network of bright and talented fellow SI awardees from all across the world.  Some fellow SI awardees have become my new family in Sweden, although we are limited to gathering or meeting offline, we continuously communicate online through social media platforms. From encouraging one and another during this pandemic time until sharing our home cook recipes, from exchanging student's life experiences until discussion of how to give back to our society such as hosting some online events promoting student’s life. 

Time flies so fast, and now I have been living in Sweden for almost a year. However, there is still a lot to be learned, and I am excited about the opportunities that are waiting ahead. As the saying goes "the best is yet to come".

For those of you who have doubts about whether continuing your education is a wise decision or not, then perhaps my blog can inspire you. I believe that investing in yourself is a profitable long-term investment. 
 
"If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin



Author: Verawaty

Published: Mon 05 Oct 2020.