“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. For global development and strengthening of bilateral relations between students, an Indo-Swedish Exchange Programme was arranged during the summer of 2019 to Älvboda Friskola for the team of eight students. Team consisted of Tanaya Moghe, Mishka Maheshwari, Isha Patil, Pranav Deshpande, Aadi Narang, Siddh Narang, Anshul Bhalsakle and Atharva Narayanan along with two faculty members, Ms. Aindrila Sinha and Dr. Ravi Sarkar.
The gracious Swedish host families received their Indian guests with lots of warmth on 12 th of May at the airport. They were given a warm welcome on the following day by the Principal and the entire team at Älvboda Friskola.
The team of Indian students and teachers presented a variety of classical dances and songs depicting ‘India and her cultural diversity’ for the host school on the third day of their visit.
The entire two weeks schedule was well formulated with several subject related activities and classes that facilitated experiential learning about the Swedish education system and culture. The two faculty members were also exposed to an array of events and class visits. Their first visit began with the junior school’s sports day followed by the pre-school visit to have an insight to their way of learning. They found that a lot of emphasis is given to outdoor stays and activities that train the kids to learn important life skills & not much importance was given to only textbook learning.
They also had the opportunity to attend the junior and the senior school’s music sessions along with English, Science, History, Physical Education and Home Economics classes. The curriculum, teaching methodology and the teachers instill a strong sense of enquiry in the pupils. The teachers aim at teaching important values and in the process make them responsible too. The teaching methodology welcomed the student as a unique entity. Each student is given the freedom to design their own path of learning by setting achievable goals. One striking feature of the Swedish education system that stands out is that both academics and co-curricular activities are given equal weightage and designed in a manner suitable for offering holistic education.
Other than the class observations they also had some fun time when they were taken to Uppsala, the oldest city in Sweden. There they first visited the Uppsala museum, the Uppsala Cathedral (domkyrka) the tallest and the largest cathedral in the Nordic countries and the oldest Botanical garden. They also got a chance to visit ‘Kulturhuset Ytterjarna’ a place far away from the busy city life and the capital city, Stockholm. There they saw the king’s castle, the parliament and the Prime Minister’s residence. They also witnessed the exchange of guards in the king’s castle, in their blue finery uniform.
The Indian students demonstrated exemplary spirit and got accustomed to the Swedish system within no time. They let their taste buds experience and relish the Swedish delicacies. Their shopping bags picked up a lot of Swedish candies, souvenirs and stylish outfits. This programme was a milestone in their personal and professional journey. It was truly an enriching experience wherein they observed the functioning of the school from close quarters and came back to India with renewed knowledge and special memories that will be etched in their minds forever.

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