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The recent international farewell party gave departing students from Brazil, India, and China a chance to share their experiences, and learn about Halmstad University’s growing alumni program and new career portal.
The farewell party was well attended and one of the guests was Leila Lech, an International Marketing student from the state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil, who came to Halmstad looking for a challenge.
“In that sense I definitely found what I was looking for. Everything is so different: the culture, the educational system, getting used to speaking English, and riding a bicycle everywhere,” she says.
Leila cites the experience of working in international groups, learning to understand different cultures, and strengthening her academic writing and speaking abilities in English as the most valuable skills gained through the exchange, adding that “the quality of the education was very high, the professors were accessible and helpful, and I really liked having more freedom to plan my own studies than I do in Brazil.”
But what she’ll remember the most are her housemates.
“We were a very international group and we communicated across cultures, organized, argued, and supported each other – it was an amazing experience and we now have an extremely strong network,” she explains.
Enabling students to stay in touch, network, and find jobs
One of the purposes of the farewell party was share information about the university’s alumni program and new career portal that enable former students to stay in touch, network and find career opportunities.
CareerGate, where businesses advertise vacancies and trainee positions in Europe aimed specifically at Halmstad University alumni, is a new service that is open and free for all students.
Ulf Ivarsson, Director of the International Department one of the hosts of the farewell party, was pleased at the students’ positive response to CareerGate and, especially, to the university’s alumni program.
“We started our first alumni group in China in 2010, with alumni meetings in Shanghai and a formal alumni representative that organizes monthly activities. The program has been appreciated and we have now launched formal alumni groups in Brazil and India,” he says.
Some alumni will join Halmstad University’s international recruiters at college fairs in China and Brazil this autumn and the International Department also plans to arrange activities for alumni to socialize and network with their former classmates and to share their experiences with incoming students.
“This was a great opportunity for us to get to know these students better and we look forward to meeting them in their own countries this autumn,” says Ulf Ivarsson.
All international students are welcome to join the alumni program and the International Department ultimately aims to establish formal alumni groups in further countries.
Leila Lech has joined the alumni program, saying: “It is a very important tool for building a network of people who can help us and who we can help – and that’s good for us today and for our future. And my message to students who are thinking about studying in Halmstad is to come and dare yourself to go further, learn to ride a bike, and embrace Sweden.”
Text: LAUREL WILLIAMS Photo: FILIP DAHLQVIST