06 მარტი, 2021

Swedish Institute Academy for Young Professionals: Migration and Integration Modules

SAYP Tbilisi Alumni 2018-2020

Testimonials by SAYP Tbilisi alumni from Baltic and Eastern Partnership countries, who completed the program respectively in 2018, 2019 and 2020. We are happy to announce that the SAYP Tbilisi 2021 module preparation is underway and we are also introducing a module for the Western-Balkan countries.

“Despite the online format of SAYP 2020, the module exceeded my expectations in every respect. The diversity, expertise and friendly atmosphere were just stunning. Excellent speakers and academic input combined with the opportunity to network with incredibly diverse and talented participants made for an enjoyable learning environment. I found SAYP really useful, as I seized the opportunity to explore a tremendous amount of relevant information, not only from high quality lectures and engaging classroom activities, but also from the other students attending. From my personal viewpoint, the SAYP module organized by the University of Gothenburg and the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs is highly recommended to anyone interested in migration studies.”


Tatia Lomtadze (Georgia), Senior Specialist, Migration Department, Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs

"My participation in SAYP 2020 I consider to be one of those life events one is proud of. Despite the restrictions that arose in 2020, people from different countries of the world have managed to cooperate successfully for two fruitful weeks. That fact makes me feel impressed with the level of devotion of the organizers who created all the conditions for the programme. They were supportive almost 24 / 7. What is also exciting is the fact that closed borders failed to negate the efforts of the organizers: we did walked along the streets of Tbilisi, tasted Georgian cuisine and saw local color. Sure, online, but it doesn’t matter when one is accompanied by such friendly people".



Iryna Stanislavchik (Belarus), Junior Researcher, Economy Research Institute, Belarusian Ministry of Economy.


"Even though the last year was challenging for everyone in almost every dimension, I highly appreciate that the SAYP module did take place! Thanks to enormous efforts of the module managers and representatives of the partner universities, we had opportunities not only to expand professional network and got outstanding and inspiring colleagues, but also deepen knowledge based on practical experience of invited experts, scientists, and participants. The SAYP program broadened my perspective and expertise, having given an opportunity to continue cooperating with another alumni from Ukraine on internally displaced peoples issues and human rights. After graduation, I decided to join the SI network alumni in order to organise further marvellous exchanges and modules!"


Lisa Churkina (Ukraine), Assistant to Director of Operations, Charity Foundation Stabilization Support Services in Ukraine



“SAYP 2020 was not just an educational experience, it was also a setting full of empathy and support.  Young people from different countries, who knew their own settings so well, went beyond their comfort zones to learn more about migration and integration in a module taught completely online.  The formal module sessions focusing on concrete cases, and the social sessions that exposed us to Georgian culture and cuisine, all brought us closer together.  The energy of the participants and the many smiles made us feel positive, even with the pandemic going on. I still reflect on the valuable information and examples presented in the module, considering how to apply them to the case of Armenia, a country that continues to be faced with a large number of internally displaced peoples. Thanks to all of the SAYP instructors for your valuable support!”   


Arevik Navoyan (Armenia), Expert, The Parliament of Armenia

"SAYP is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. I enjoyed every minute of lectures, discussions and social activities. 2020 was a challenging year and unfortunately, we couldn’t meet in Tbilisi, but the organizers managed to transform the online format into the interactive and exciting gathering. The wide range of topics was covered by the experienced professionals and every session was followed by an engaging discussion and knowledge sharing. The social activities and study tours were an inherent part of the module and online format didn’t prevent them from happening and bringing first-hand experience to the participants."



Viktoriia Lupan (Ukraine), Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Officer at UNICEF Ukraine Country Office.


"I took part in SAYP program “Migration and Integration in the Eastern Partnership and the Baltic Sea Region, Gothenburg University & Georgian Institute of Public Affairs. First, kudos to organizing a lively Zoom classroom. Both lecturers and other participants were eager to exchange their views and more importantly share experience, which did draw my attention to issues previously not considered or underexplored. I think that during the current times it is easy to get stuck in your Facebook or, at best, regions bubble, but events like these remind us that there is more to know and care for. Thank you for letting me be part of this experience."

Anna Plaudiņa (Latvia), Consultant at Strategic communication department, State Chancellery

"It was a real honor and pleasure to participate in the SAYP program. It is a multifaceted and rich program covering numerous topics, a life-long experience of meeting top-professionals from various countries united with common goals and values. Networking with inspiring and bright personalities, exciting topics and discussions, knowledge and skill sharing. It is a lifelong experience that will always stay with you - it is an opportunity to join a community of professionals, honorable scholars, and volunteers. Innovative, inspiring, opening the horizons."


Anastasiia Tarasova (Ukraine), HR Finance Assistant at OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Masters student at the Central European University, School of Public Policy, International Public Affairs

''SAYP was a very rewarding experience for me, both professionally and socially. I believe the module is very well suited for those who are in search of new knowledge, expansion of horizons and gaining new perspectives on matters they may have known or are yet to be learned. I found it very useful to take part in the module where young professionals of diverse backgrounds from various countries collaborate on issues regarding migration and integration. Not only have I learned a lot but I also formed meaningful connections, friendships and laid a few bricks ahead on my path to professional excellence.''


Ričards Merkis (Latvia), Trainee, General Court of the European Union



"I had a fortune to attend pre-COVID in-person SAYP 2019. Apart from astonishing Tbilisi, it was an enriching atmosphere of learning from creative and passionate lecturers. The course communicated ideas and unique life lessons from different experts and contexts. With that I had got a grasp on the multiple implications of migration, its social impact as well as good and bad policies by the host governments towards refugees and displaced. In the times of protracted conflicts and limited movement, migration issues remain acute and research provocative. This is another reason to attend the course for both practitioners and academia." 


Iryna Alekseeva (Ukraine), Deputy President at NGO Right to Protection, Ukraine.



“SAYP is not just a program, but also a kind of ecosystem for active professionals who are looking for opportunities to expand their expertise, to gain useful contacts and a real opportunity to bring their ideas to life. As for me, I got a better insight into the advancing of inclusive policies and increasing social cohesion. It was the program that helped to raise the issue of identity and protection of migrants, stateless people, as well as internally displaced persons in my professional network.”


Olha Konsevych (Ukraine), Editor-in-Chief 24 Channel, Ukraine


“SAYP definitely requires getting out of your comfort zone. The module is elaborated in a way which allows to view the peculiarities of migration and integration from the multidisciplinary perspective, and thus rethink the strategies needed for effective solutions. But SAYP is not all about lectures, readings and exercises – most importantly, it is shaped by the dedication of the people who make this project so unique: organizers, speakers and, of course, participants. Thus, the atmosphere on SAYP provides the best space for fruitful exchange of ideas, networking and discussions. To conclude, if in doubt, just do it and apply!”


Anastasiia Vorobiova (Ukraine), Legal intern in LLP “Global Rights Compliance” LLM candidate in International Human Rights Law, Lund University, Sweden 


“The best part about SAYP for me was the chance to twist, turn and juggle difficult questions with people from very different backgrounds, who all shared the interest to understand each other. Both the knowledge exchange and the personal and cultural exchange with the other international participants is invaluable and something I carry with me in my work and in my perception of the world at large. I think the program succeeds very well in balancing a lot of information with a lot of fun in a relatively short period of time. I am very grateful to have been able to participate, thank you for a great experience!”


Aisha Hassan (Sweden), Auditor/political auditor Municipality of Stockholm

“SAYP is a fantastic program for those who are interested in migration issues. SAYP showed me that one issue can be seen in multiple ways. Regardless of who you are and why you have an interest in migration, taking part in the SAYP program will expose you to the many different perspectives that exist when it comes to considering migration-related challenges and the country-specific responses that have emerged. The diversity of participants and their projects played an important role in multi-cultural dialogue on the matter”. 


Viktoryia Ilyushkina (Belarus), Legal Counsel  Bel Huawei Technologies LLC, Belarus


"SAYP is about the community of passionate people eager to help - each other and communities they serve. It combines an intense working process with a bunch of presentations, games and practical life experiences and also includes a pleasant social interaction experience. You'll be able to find some solutions for your current jobs or find a new beginning with your new colleagues. We were also lucky to have it in person in Tbilisi with one of the most welcoming communities and people in the world! Do not hesitate joining it and you'll enjoy every moment of adventure!" 


Oleksii Voloshyn (Ukraine), State Expert Directorate for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning Secretariat of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine


“Being selected for SAYP 2018 was great luck for my career in international development and policymaking. It allowed me to boost my knowledge and meet a diverse group of colleagues from different countries, working on the same goal: to integrate migrants into the hosting communities. It was both an intense period of learning and fun communication with people who shared the same values. SAYP gave me a lot of project ideas, my first publication in a book, professional connections all over Europe, and many dear memories too.”


Olga Ivanova (Ukraine), Operations Director NGO Stabilization Support Services

"SAYP is a fantastic opportunity to connect with other devoted professionals that are passionate about the same topic as you are, upgrade professionally and personally by exchanging best practices and establishing cooperation for future initiatives. During SAYP you do not merely get inspired to further improve the matters in your field, but also learn the practical tools on how to implement this inspiration. And above all, for me my SAYP colleagues have become a little family that I am proud to be part of. "


Olena Bychkovska (Ukraine) PhD Student in Health Sciences Swiss Paraplegic Research / University of Lucerne



"My SAYP experience equipped me with a deeper understanding of global migration trends and public policy instruments, allowing me to analyze the integration of internally displaced persons in local communities. Contacts built during the Summer Academy were a valuable asset for my further activities and research.”

Dr. Olga Matveieva (Ukraine), Associate Professor, Regional Economic Police Department Dnipropetrovsk Regional Institute for Public Administration under the President of Ukraine

”I have been lucky enough to be part of the SI SAYP module since 2018 – first as a participant and now as one of the instructors. The module will give you great insight on the countries represented in the module – you will discover quickly how countries which are geographically located close to each other have quite different challenges, approaches and also good examples to share when it comes to integration and migration issues. This truly is a wonderful way to acquire new knowledge and also to network and create friendships with like-minded people!”

Keit Spiegel (Estonia), Adviser on Diaspora Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Estonia