Since the time we step into a school, college or university, the ultimate goal in our subconscious minds is one day. That one day that we hope would arrive soon. Graduation day.
I remember walking up to receive my degree (empty paper roll with a ribbon tied in a bow) on my first graduation day pretty vividly. It was held a good 6 months after we got our final results. In fact we were deep in our clinical internships (house jobs as we call them back home) and looking for a reason to catch up on some sleep whether it be on the bus ride to the city where the graduation was supposed to be held.
My experience of graduation day at Karolinska Institutet was quite different. It was held five days after our last day of thesis defense. So by standards back home it happened way too early. It was sandwiched between days spent sightseeing Stockholm and sitting at parks for lunch while enjoying the summer sun.
The graduation was lovely in one word, although different from what I had imagined. The graduates did not wear gowns nor were they called on to the stage one by one. We were asked to smile before we entered the hall because “it was not a funeral”! There was music. The course directors were invited to say a word or two to their graduating students. And there was a lot of clapping involved.
What is worth mentioning is how the Pro-Dean of Higher Education thanked all the international students for choosing Sweden and doing their research here, enriching their experience and helping people here understand the world better. I believe research done and progress made in its truest sense, is by joining hands with the rest of the world. And KI nails it in that area!