The guest blogger for this post is James Rhys Davies, Geology alumnus, international marketing and recruitment assistant at LU and active member of the Association of Foreign Affairs in Lund (UPF), who organised a student and alumni event during a UPF-visit in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Last month the Association of Foreign Affairs (UPF) in Lund visited Tbilisi, Georgia and had the opportunity to meet with Lund students new and old. While fika is not in the Georgian dictionary, we made do with the closest equivalent: a hearty breakfast and a good chat.
I remember when I was first admitted to Lund University: of course, the great feeling of excitement about spending the next two years in Sweden at one of the best universities in Europe, but also a sense of stepping into the unknown, really not knowing what to expect, no matter how many websites and Internet forums you stumble across. Some things just can’t be explained in a blog post.
Every international student has had the same feeling, and we all enjoy the chance to speak with people who have trodden the path before us; the chance to hear a few words of advice, some reassurance, and an opportunity to ask any questions that are on our minds.
And so it was that we brought eight newly admitted students, three Georgian alumni and 15 from UPF, bachelor and master, Swedish and international, science and humanities, together to share our experiences. Among the newly admitted students, there was an abundance of law students who had been admitted to the International Human Rights Law and European Business Law master programmes, and fortunately for them, UPF’s Head of Travel, Colette, had taken the International Human Rights Law programme herself.
And it wasn’t just the newly admitted students who had a lot to talk about. The alumni had gone on to have very interesting careers indeed. A recent finance graduate, Nino, was working for TBC Bank, the largest bank in Georgia, while a less recent graduate from the Law faculty (again), George, was now in the Georgian parliament and previously Vice-Chair of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT). One of the highlights of the morning was George’s stories of his recent work trip to Turkmenistan, a country almost as closed as North Korea, which inspired a number of us to find out more.
Georgia is known for its hospitality, and the breakfast did not disappoint. Our hosts at Kikliko were so friendly, accommodating and curious, and by the end by the end of the morning we had come away with a number of new friends and even an invitation to a concert they were playing at later that evening. Unfortunately for us, their performance was starting well past our bedtime. But perhaps we will have a chance at the next reunion…
Text & Photo: James Rhys Davies