Welcome to my little corner! Let’s have a fika and I will tell you my story!

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In Sweden we have “Fika” – a traditional pause with coffee/ tea and candies (usually twice a day) during the work or study. It is just as expected and loved as the After Work when Friday comes!

I am Nguyen Hoang Quynh Huong, with H-U-O-N-G as my first name. I come from Vietnam. Since the day I got married to my Swedish boyfriend I became Huong Bergström.

During the high-school time I was wondering what occupation would be mine. I chose the newly established Bachelor’s programme in Digital Journalism at the Academy of Journalism and Communication in 2004 (and in 2009 I went for a Master’s programme here). I was very interested in studying in Sweden, however, their free education for non-EU students was eliminated since 2008. Having no finance after university, I put the dream aside and moved on. My short term plan was to be a manager before the age of 28.

The door at HiPT Group was opened for me and soon became a milestone in my career life. So much love and friendship were enjoyed, and to me the company was a family of five hundred co-workers. Starting as an Internal Relations Specialist I became the Public Relations Manager at the age of 26.

However, I was planning for a permanent leave after five years at HiPT, I wanted to experience the world. The study scholarship decision from Gothenburg University arrived in my inbox when I was waiting for the boarding time on a business trip. From those breathtaking minutes in April 24th 2014 (Oh, let’s make it #triple4) my whole life has changed.

In June 2016 I finished my master’s programme in Communication. I dedicated much to studying and even managed to learn Swedish, with several free courses and the great help of my boyfriend. After 18 months I could read Jan Gradvall’s articles on Dagens industri! My first paid jobs were through interviews in Swedish. At the level of SAS1 I realized how brave and reckless and lucky I was!

Some asked me if I felt bored in Sweden where I do not speak Vietnamese on a daily basis, having a narrow circle of friends, not much of chitchatting, no draft beer and street food. Well, lots of events were enjoyed during my first two years here and there in Sweden and Europe. Time and space challenge the relationships. My friendships get more fruitful regardless where we are in this world.

Life in Sweden compensates me with more time for my loving people, studying, reading, gardening, and traveling. My English and Swedish are impressively improved. Sweden is a paradise for those who loves to learn and try out ideas. Swedes are humble and warm and polite. Traditions are respected. Family is uppermost. The nature is amazing.

The habit of pondering what I have experienced brings me a rich reflection: cultural differences; personal preferences; my previous and current identities. I see part of me in the way Swedes live. Just play your role well in the society, be hardworking and honest, be a good team-player, and while excelling don’t forget to stay lagom!

Are you with me? Share your thoughts by writing comments or sending personal feedback to me via huongnhq@gmail.com.

Thank you! Tack tack! Cảm ơn!