“The people are very friendly and helpful”

Published 14 June 2017 in:

Meet the Global Swedes: Getnet Mengesha Asrat, Ethiopia, student at Dalarna University.

What is your perception of Sweden?

Sweden feels like my second home. I knew nothing about Sweden before I came. But I think the people are very friendly and helpful. They’re happy to go the extra mile to help someone.

I also think the nature is fantastic. I experienced snow for the first time here. At first I found the weather problematic. After all, I am from Africa and not used to this climate. But I later came to love the snow and the cold weather.

Sweden’s Minister of EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde and Global Swede Getnet Mengesha Asrat, Ethiopia.

Sweden’s Minister of EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde and Global Swede Getnet Mengesha Asrat, Ethiopia. Photo: Regeringskansliet / Catarina Axelsson

Why did you move to Sweden?

I’d been working for a long time and felt that I needed to gain new knowledge, to update myself. I knew that Sweden had good business schools, and so I applied here. Since I couldn’t pay for the studies myself, it was fantastic that I was able to get a scholarship.

What do you have to say about your experiences in Sweden?

A lot has happened during my time here. A lot of studying, naturally. Also, my class is small, and everyone is from different countries outside Sweden. We have become quite close and often get together to do fun outdoor activities. For example, we often go for hikes in the wilderness or walks on the ice, which has been new and very exciting for me. What are you studying?

Business Studies with a specialisation in on human resource management.  My academic paper is on how major companies work with CSR, so this is what I’m most interested in.

Why do you think you were nominated for the Global Swede award?

I have a great deal of work experience in the area of human resources, and have previously worked with these issues at the Heineken brewery. I think I was able to put this experience to good use in group discussions and in our presentations.

What are your plans for the future?

My plan is to move back to Ethiopia and put my knowledge of CSR issues to use. I hope I can help different types of companies to become better in this area.


The Global Swede Award:

  • For the seventh year in a row, the Global Swede award ceremony has been held. During the ceremony at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 10 May, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde and Director-General of the Swedish Institute Annika Rembe congratulated some twenty international students who have attended Swedish higher education institutions. These students have distinguished themselves in areas related to innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • The initiative is part of the long-term efforts of the Swedish Government and the Swedish Institute to build relations with international students in Sweden. These efforts help to build bridges of multicultural and global networks that, in the long term, have a positive impact on Swedish trade and the efforts to find new solutions for the future.

Read more: Global Swede Adina Khamitova: “Everything feels very well thought through”