City of Malmö Welcome Dinner, 2018
The City of Malmö has hosted the World Maritime University since 1983 when the University was opened by the International Maritime Organization. The City of Malmö Welcome Dinner has been an annual event since 2001 and this year’s event was held on October 16 in the Old City Hall. The Welcome Dinner is the occasion when the new students are introduced to their local host families. Over 300 guests were in attendance including current students and their families, host families, and WMU faculty and staff.
Mr. Kent Andersson, former Chairman of the Malmö City Council, and WMU Governor, welcomed the guests to the historic Old City Hall. Mr Andersson noted the honor of hosting WMU in Malmö as the University makes a unique contribution to the local community as well as globally. He noted that WMU graduates leave Malmö as ambassadors for the City and Sweden, and they utilize the cross-cultural understanding they have gained at WMU to support the vital global shipping industry on which we all depend.
After 17 years, this was the final WMU Welcome Dinner for Mr. Andersson who handed over the Chain of the City to the new Chairman of the Malmö City Council, Carina Nilsson, who will be the first woman in the post. Ms. Nilsson noted that she looked forward to being involved with WMU going forward.
Professor Shuo Ma, Vice President (International) represented WMU and thanked the City for their ongoing support of the University, including the newly inaugurated WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute. Professor Ma noted that Malmö is a particularly fitting home for the University as it is such a welcoming, beautiful and sustainably-oriented City that is committed to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Newly elected Student Council President for the Class of 2019, Mr. Natig Hasanov from Azerbaijan, thanked the City for their generosity which ultimately fosters future maritime leaders from around the globe. He noted the Class of 2019 represents 57 different countries which makes for a remarkable education in the true spirit of the United Nations. He also thanked the host families for their generosity in sharing the Swedish culture with the students.
WMU organizes the host family programme to help foster contact with, and insight into, Swedish culture. Each host family is matched with one or two students who are invited to their host’s home during the 14-month programme of study at WMU. Many of the relationships fostered result in lifelong friendships that are maintained after the students graduate and return home. For information about becoming a host family for WMU students, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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