Together with the Czech Embassy in Stockholm, we organized the first gathering of international graduates of Czech universities.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Stockholm hosted the meeting of 50 Swedish graduates of Czech universities, Czech students who currently study in Sweden, representatives of the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research and representatives of the Czech Embassy in Sweden. The ambassador Anita Grmelová gave the opening speech. She stressed the importance of building relationships with the graduates of Czech universities and expressed a wish for the meeting to become an annual tradition.
"The diplomacy of some countries takes a very systematic approach to working with graduates of their schools. The students develop a positive relationship to the country they study in, and this relationship is worth developing. The graduates become ambassadors of the country and their culture. Therefore, we would like to join forces with DZS and their Czech Republic Alumni programme and continue to talk regularly with our graduates," said Grmelová.
The Director of DZS, Michal Uhl, emphasized the significance of international experience for students and the enrichment it brings not only to individuals but also to the society as a whole.
"I believe that international experiences of individual people create bonds among countries that expand the opportunities for cooperation and future connections. Students don't just make personal memories abroad: they create a relationship to the country and its culture. International students also make the society of the country richer, and after they come back, they continue to share their experiences in their home countries. I believe that thanks to these connections, we are creating a Europe full of cooperation and unity."
During the debate part of the evening, Swedish graduates reminisced about their time studying in the Czech Republic, and a Czech student currently studying in Sweden talked about her experiences at a Swedish university. The connecting link of the discussion was the comparison of the educational systems of both countries.
"Students in the Czech Republic are used to studying materials in much more detail. I was surprised by their knowledge, and I had to put great effort into catching up with them. Education in Sweden is more generic, and we acquire specialized knowledge when working," says Minna, a Swedish student who studied at the Czech Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, on the differences in the higher education systems.
Over 45 000 international students are studying in the Czech Republic for the entirety of the study programme. They make up over 16 per cent of all students of higher education institutions. Almost a thousand Swedish students have completed their studies in Czechia over the last ten years. Thanks to the Erasmus+ programme, up to 100 Swedish students come to Czechia to study each year thanks to the Erasmus+ programme.Czech Republic Alumni is a national programme that aims to strengthen the relationship between the Czech Republic and its international alumni to support the internationalization of the Czech Republic's higher education system and to better promote the image of the Czech Republic abroad. It also facilitates job offers and connects international alumni with the Czech public and private sectors. Last year this programme organized two online events in cooperation with the embassies of Austria and Kazakhstan. The meeting in Sweden was the first event that allowed the attendees to meet in person. International alumni who studied in the Czech Republic can register for the programme, join the private group on LinkedIn or follow the news of the programme on Facebook.