"The world is inevitably interconnected"
School of Global Studies master’s student, Camilo Arratia Toledo, is the University of Gothenburg’s Global Swede representative for 2021. The prestigious award is granted annually to prominent international students by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Institute.
The aim of the Global Swede award is to build long-term relationships with international students in Sweden. Camilo Arratia Toledo will receive the award during an online ceremony on May 28, 2021.
He first came to Sweden and Gothenburg in 2016 as a Linneaus Palme exchange student, and describes his time here as “love at first sight”. He had been selected by his university in Bolivia to do a semester abroad, and didn’t give the destination much thought before making his decision to come to Gothenburg.
“But, I just felt it was the right place for me," says Camilo Arratia Toledo. "I like how the faculties here are distributed throughout the city and not in a concentrated campus. And the student life here at that time was so active, it was hard for me to leave Gothenburg and Sweden in 2016.”
Three years later, he decided to apply for a scholarship with the Swedish Institute to come back, and chose Gothenburg as the priority destination in his application.
I feel that as a professional in social sciences it is very important to understand reality from a global perspective
Why did you choose the Master’s Programme in Global Studies?
“I am a sociologist and I have an academic training aimed at being able to understand the phenomena that exist in our society. In this way, the School of Global Studies offers a programme that helps me understand these phenomena from a global perspective.”
“In other words, the world is inevitably interconnected; the problems that may happen in Bolivia, in Latin America in general, have their reason for being in a much larger context than the regional one. I feel that as a professional in social sciences it is very important to understand reality from a global perspective, so studying global studies made a lot of sense for me and so far, I feel it was a great decision,” says Camilo Arratia Toledo.
What’s your dream job in five years?
“First, after completing the master, I have the objective of applying to a PhD programme, I hope to conclude this objective before five years. And, although it sounds a bit crazy, my dream job is to be able to represent Bolivia as an ambassador. So, in five years I imagine myself in the first steps to make this happen.”
During his second time as a student in Gothenburg, Camilo has made a lot of new friends, from both inside and outside of the university world. The warm relationships help him get through the cold and dark winter months, and they have also been important when life changed with the arrival of Covid-19 and the restrictions.
“The summer last year was sincerely amazing, I can’t believe how beautiful Gothenburg is during the summer. And fortunately, the first year I made friends who have helped me cope with the pandemic in the best way and without being alone,” says Camilo Arratia Toledo.
Why do you think you were nominated Global Swede?
“I think the university appreciates that I am a very active person. During my time in Sweden, I was selected to be digital ambassador for Study in Sweden, which helped me to share my time in Sweden with the world and connect with many people who dream to study here. In December of 2019, I was selected to participate in the World Youth Forum in Egypt so I could share my experience in Sweden in a worldwide forum. And, finally, during this winter I was an online volunteer with the UNDP mapping grassroot environmental organization in Peru.”