08 March 2023

Kendal Fritzell studies Industrial Engineering and Management with a specialisation in Japanese, and has recently been given a unique opportunity to represent Sweden during the Ship for World Youth programme in Japan.

A group of young people in the Swedish nationl costumes holding the Swedish flag.
Swedish  delegation. Photo: privat.

Kendal Fritzell discovered the Japanese programme just a week before the application period ended. He thinks that one of the reasons he got accepted is that he takes a lot of courses in sustainability and sustainable economics within his programme. He is also very interested in the subject.

“My interest in economics and sustainability has grown due to the course “Corporate Sustainability Management”, where Pontus Cerin, associate professor at Linköping University, is the examiner. When I took that course, I understood that sustainability and a sustainable economy is something I want to work with in the future,” says Kendal Fritzell.

Ship for World Youth is an international youth exchange programme that is organised and financed by the Japanese government. The programme offers young people with different backgrounds an opportunity to develop their skills and abilities in communication, leadership, administration, and understanding of different cultures.

Personal development and an eye-opener

He spent two intense weeks in the Japanese capital Tokyo. Participants gathered to discuss UNs Sustainable Development Goals. Kendal Fritzell, who represented Sweden in sustainable economics, was looking forward to meeting the representatives from the different countries, especially participants from Bahrain and Oman.

“These countries have a vastly different perspective on economic growth. It was very interesting to hear their thoughts and reasoning and to be able to discuss sustainability with them. It’s not an opportunity that comes along every day,” Kendal Fritzell says.

Två män står brevid varandra. Äldre man har fått en gåva.  Kendal Fritzell and Perus former Deputy Finance Minister Enzo Defillipi. Photo: privat

He was enthusiastic about the trip and expected to get an opportunity to get to know young people from other parts of the world, to expand his knowledge of sustainable economics, and to take part in meaningful discussions on sustainability. He also gave a presentation and a case study, where the participants got to cooperate and work together to solve problems.

He says that the trip was a memorable experience, especially to see how open and willing the participants were to share their thoughts and ideas. Everyone did their absolute best to cooperate and to contribute to the group in a meaningful way. It was also clear that everyone wasn’t as used to making their own decisions and to present these in front of a group.

“It was inspiring to see the group supporting each other and creating a safe environment, where everyone felt comfortable in sharing their opinions.”

We often stayed up late at night in the hotel room, continuing the discussions of the topics that came up during the days. It was as if we could never get enough. A lot of interesting and rich discussions. To hear and to understand other people’s perspectives is so cool.
Kendal Fritzell

What he takes away from the programme is what he has learnt from meeting people from other cultures. He has learned how they think and work, which is enriching both for the personal development and to understand how you can contribute to international collaboration. To learn about other cultures can be essential in order to be successful in international collaboration, Kendal Fritzell concluded. He also discovered that it was important to understand the culture in your own country to be able to teach and collaborate with others.

“I realised that much of what I’ve learned at the university is difficult to apply to countries with a high rate of corruption and problems with illicit work. Models that work in Sweden would never work in these countries.”

In conclusion he thinks that it was an exciting and rewarding experience to participate in an international conference. It can provide an opportunity to learn about other cultures, understand different perspectives, and to establish valuable contacts. To succeed in international collaborations, it is important to be open, learn about other cultures and ways of thinking, and to understand and adapt to specific premises in different countries.

Translation by Erika Andersson Sapir.

insight into Kendal's journey

From Linköping to Tokyo

Two intense weeks in Japan are over, but you have the opportunity to join Kendal on the trip. Sit back and enjoy!

Kendal Fritzell.
Kendal Fritzell.

Tips for those who are going to choose an education

If he could give a tip to prospective students, he would advise choosing education based on interests and to be prepared that it will be tough at first, but that it will get easier with time. But he also believes that one should not be afraid to choose a tough program because it can lead to unique experiences.

 Education possibilities with a focus on Japanese language

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