SGLI 2019 – Broadened perspective through encountering as a collective

Guest bloggers: Agnes Hagelbäck, Julia Thorén, and Rebecka Rosengart.

SGLI 2019 – VRG Odenplan in Hawaii

VRG Odenplan in Hawaii for the annual SGLI meeting.

2019-10-07

Hi! The year 2019 me, Agnes Hagelbäck, together with Julia Thorén and Rebecka Rosengart were picked out to attend the annual Student Global Leadership Institute, SGLI, in Hawaii. Coming home from SGLI, Student Global Leadership Institute, was the strangest feeling, spending two weeks intensively together with approximately 70 students from around the globe is nothing I, or we, are particularly used to. The three of us went in without knowing anything of what was to come, and we had two amazing weeks over at SGLI and we could all agree on that we developed as people and learned a lot even in such a short period of time. If you are even the slightest interested in broadening your perspective or want to learn more about yourself and the world, please consider applying for next year’s SGLI! It was one of the most giving experiences I have ever known.

We went to Hawaii and stayed for two weeks as mentioned. Our days were scheduled upon the very minute and well organized. The main part of the course was spent in the classroom, but also out on the field, exploring nature and volunteer sites as well. We got to learn a lot about Hawaii and its cultural heritage, as well as each other and ourselves. We listened to speakers, participated in a community night, sunrise hiked, had meals together and lived in a real American dorm. All and all the participants started as complete strangers, and then we became friends by experiencing this whole trip together.

Julia: Two memories that are still very strong from the program is firstly the field trip to Ho’okua’aina. Primarily the man who presented the fields, talking about Hawaiian culture and history linked to moral courage, had a great impact. He spoke a little about the Hawaiian’s life view and how they believe that we as humans are put here on earth to take care of it and in return, it will take care of us. This made me reflect on my own lifestyle. Then when we got down to the fields, it was a very unique experience to do this type of physical work with the rest of the group.

Secondly, many of the speakers made a great impact but especially the speech given by Allen (part of the faculty and one of our lecturers) is a certain memory that is still very strong. His presentation was very personal and made me reflect on my own values and my general view of life. Before, I’ve mostly been told to question other opinions, but he taught me to also question and update my belief system. In addition, his expression, ”the community you deserve, is the one you help to build” and how we need to make conscious decisions in order to live in line with our values is something that affected me. The speech will stick with me for a long time.

Agnes: The memories that really stuck with me as I came back home were the stories I heard from all the participants, faculty, and speakers. I feel like the more I spoke to people and found out about their points of view or experiences, the more excited I was to experience new things on my own and broaden my perspective. So the small everyday references I can make for myself, referring back to these stories from the amazing SGLIers, are memories that are still really vivid to me.

The SGLI experience frankly impacts my everyday life still, the unique opportunity to meet a new constellation of people whom one might have never encountered otherwise is so enriching even just a few weeks afterward. 

Rebecka: A memory that is strong for me is the last day we had together because that is when I realised how fun I had had with the people at SGLI. In the end, we had gotten to know each other, and because of that, it felt more comfortable and enjoyable being in Hawaii. I also liked that we, in the classroom, we’re encouraged to reflect on ourselves and our actions and values.

Thank you to SGLI and Viktor Rydbergs Stiftelse for allowing us to part take in the Hawaii conference in 2019. We will cherish the memories made and learn from our experiences and hopefully spread the word of moral courage back to our community in the year coming up. Mahalo!

SGLI enjoying the Hawaiian beach.

SGLI’ers on hike.

Lecture with students from around the globe.

Exploring nature and volunteer sites.

SGLI students exploring new Hawaiian horizons