Students Met the Consul of Sweden
The event took place in the Youth Innopark of the university.
The meeting convened the Consul for Cultural and Economic Cooperation of the Consulate General of Sweden in Saint Petersburg Marten Frankby and the students of the Institute of Philology of PetrSU.
Marten Frankby told the students about himself, the aims of his visit to PetrSU, the work at the Consulate General of Sweden, traditions and culture of Sweden, joint Russian-Swedish projects in the fields of science, culture, education, ecology, internship programs in Sweden, life and hobbies of Swedish youth, and answered students’ questions. The conversation was in the Swedish, English, Russian languages.
According to the Consul, he has previously worked as a publisher and journalist in Sweden, for seven years he has headed the Center for Swedish Studies in Minsk, and for 5 years he has worked as the attaché for cultural relations at the Embassy of Sweden in Moscow. In 2017 Mr. Frankby took up the position at the Consulate General of Sweden in Saint Petersburg as the Consul responsible for issues concerning business, culture, information, education, and research.
“Our aim is to develop the cultural ties between Northwestern Russia and Sweden. We are keen to implement joint projects in Russia and Sweden in education, art, economics. For the projects to be successful they have to be relevant for both countries,” said the Consul.
The participants of the meeting discussed the over 40-year history of the twin-city relations between Petrozavodsk and Umeo. The cooperation between the cities is celebrated by the Tree of Wishes sculpture on the Onega Lake embankment. Marten Frankby announced that in November Umeo will host Days of Karelia.
When asked about studying the Russian language the Consul said:
“The Russian language is difficult to study. To me, it’s been a long process. The main challenges are verbs and alphabet.”
Marten Frankby talked about his adaptation in Russia:
“It is not hard to live in Russia: the climate is similar to Swedish, the food is familiar. The Russians are very hospitable, positive, cheerful. I have been living here for almost 15 years. I was born and raised in the port city of Goteborg located along the coast. Now I live in Saint Petersburg and I like it a lot as it reminds me of my home city when I hear familiar squawks of seagulls and see the water of the Neva River. I go home to Sweden once in two months for 1-2 days.”
In everyday life, he uses public transport. He has sold his car so he saves on insurance, parking, fines:
“I take the metro, a taxi. The Consulate has two bicycles. In summer I ride a bicycle. Actually, I live at my work: the offices are on 1-2 floors, while I reside on the 4th floor. So my commute takes 43 seconds.”
Marten Frankby shared his experience of working as a consul:
“I love my job. Of course, it includes administrative work, but overall the job is lively and involves interesting events, projects, meetings with outstanding people”.
In November 2018 Mr. Frankby visited Petrozavodsk State University to learn about the university and see how it teaches the Swedish language.