Purpose of MFS Buddy Programme

An overall purpose with the MFS Buddy Programme is to reconnect with alumni from around the world and to help students with local guidance when they start their field studies abroad. Through the programme, MFS scholarship holders from Stockholm University are being welcomed by alumni in the host country where the field study is carried out, with the alumnus/alumna from Stockholm University helping the student from Stockholm University to adapt to the new environment by offering support and advice in the country where they live. Alumni already have knowledge about Stockholm University, Sweden and Swedes, and can therefore assist the student to settle in faster in the new environment, and to ease potential feelings of insecurity and to understand different cultures.

Julia and Milan in Nepal, Photo: Private

Julia and Milan in Nepal, Photo: Private

Why I chose to participate in the MFS Buddy Programme

Julia Plambeck, a student at the Department of Economic History, who is conducting her fieldwork on “Women's participation in Nepal's post-conflict decision-making” in Nepal, wanted to participate in the programme since she was eager to get to know people and she thought that it would help her with establishing new contacts. “Since my contact with the supervisor in the organization hosting my stay is mainly professional, I was interested in finding someone that I could turn to with more general concerns or thoughts”, Julia says.

The first meeting went well, and Milan could explain some initial difficulties Julia had experienced while contacting representatives for various organizations she had planned to interview for her field study – it was election time in Nepal! The information eased the thesis pressure a little. “It feels good to have a person on spot, which I could ask for advice about smaller and bigger things”, concludes Julia.

A possibility for cross learing and sharing opportunities

Stockholm University alumnus, Milan Poudel, who studied the Master’s Programme in International and Comparative Education 2009-2010 decided to be part of the MFS Buddy Programme as he says: “As an alumnus from Stockholm University, I am very happy to participate in this mentor programme, as Nepal is chosen for one of the case study sample place”. Milan sees his participation as a volunteer as a buddy mentor as a possibility for cross learning and sharing opportunities. Today Milan is working as Program Manager for Inclusive Education at VSO Nepal.

About Minor Field Studies (MFS)

Minor Field Studies (MFS) is a SIDA-sponsored programme for Swedish university students, who would like to conduct a field study in developing country for their bachelor’s or master’s thesis. This academic year, Stockholm University received 80 MFS scholarships. In the first round of applications, 24 students were granted an MFS scholarship.

Want to know more about the MFS Buddy Programme? Send an email to: alumni@su.se

Want to know more about Minor Field Studies at Stockholm University? http://www.su.se/english/education/student-services/study-abroad/minor-field-studies

Minor Field Studies information at SIDA.