FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below you will find a video on our training program in Malå as well as answers to the most frequently asked questions by our participants.
Before coming to Sweden watch this video, It will introduce you to the training in Malå:
If you still have questions, click on the plus sign to find additional information.
How do I apply for a visa?
Visa are primarily issued through the Swedish embassies. However, the procedures differ from country to country, as some countries make use of VFS Global to handle visa applications. Please note that VFS Global is the only authorized external service provider collaborating with the Swedish authorities on applications for visas to the Schengen area!
ETHIOPIA: Visa applications should be submitted in good time to VFS Global. All information about requirements and application procedures are found on their website. Read more general information here.
TANZANIA: Visa applications are received by appointment at the Swedish embassy only. Appointments for visas are made on the online application form, see detailed information about visa regulations.
LIBERA: Visa applications for participants to the ITP 308 may apply for a visa directly at the Swedish embassy in Monrovia. Follow the instructions provided by the embassy.
What documents do I need for a visa?
Applicants should submit the following documents when they apply for a visa to attend ITP 308:
- Letter of Acceptance to ITP 308
- Insurance certificate from Kammarkollegiet
- Air tickets
- Hotel reservation
In addition to this, the embassy may request the applicants to provide additional information such as ownership of property and proof of marriage. These are general procedures for issuing visas to the Schengen area, and is not directly related to SGU or the ITP 308. You are advised to comply fully with the requests from the embassies in this regard.
Will all associated costs be covered in the programme?
No. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) will cover all costs related to all programme phases except for change project implementation, personal expenses, visa fees or any local airport taxes and departure fees.
How long will it take to receive a visa?
Applications for visas should be initiated by the applicants immediately after receiving the necessary documents from SGU. It usually takes between 2-4 weeks to receive a visa. Although, it could take up to six weeks or more in some cases.
What happens if I apply too late for a visa, or if my application is denied?
It is not possible for an applicant to participate in the training if he or she has not received a visa in time. In case an application for a visa is denied, the participant should notify SGU as soon as possible, for us to engage in a dialogue with the embassy. However, the decision-making authority remains with the embassy. In such instances, participation in the programme would thus be cancelled.
My visa has been issued for a longer period than the duration of the training. Is it possible to prolong my stay?
No. Your visa has been granted on the premise that you are invited by Swedish authorities to participate in the ITP 308. Remaining in the Schengen area, for tourism or any other purpose, after the training programme has been concluded is therefore not permitted.
Am I expected to do anything to prepare for the training in Sweden?
Yes. Most importantly you are expected to undertake the online training course GeoIntro, available here. You are also expected to continuously respond to the ITP secretariat (ITP@sgu.se) with any requested information. Moreover, you are expected to carefully scrutinize any information shared by the ITP secretariat since this has been developed in order to prepare you for the upcoming training and time spent in Sweden.
Where do I find the online course GeoIntro?
GeoIntro can be found here.
Staying in Malå
Why is the training located in Malå, and not one of the larger cities?
The very objective of the ITP 308 is to deliver a high-quality training on the topic of mine water and mine waste management. The location of Malå is perfectly suited for this, as the close surroundings offer many sites of relevance for fieldwork in the course. It is also important to note that time for leisure is very limited during the training in Sweden, meaning that leaving Malå to visit other places outside of the offered activities would be very complicated and is likely to be pricey. Although this is of course permitted, given that no lectures or activity that you have signed up for are missed.
Please remember that the purpose of visiting Sweden on this occasion is to take part in an intense training programme, it is not a visit for tourism!
What kind of food will I be able to eat during the course?
You will be offered dining (buffet style) for breakfast and lunch at the local hotel free of charge. The buffet is of continental/western type.
It is not possible to request for special orders at the hotel, instead participants may decide to arrange meals independently at their own cost. Dinner is always arranged by the participants at their own cost. A per diem-system will be arranged to facilitate this.
Will I be able to eat my local cuisine in Malå?
It depends. Naturally, the food culture in Sweden is very different compared to most African countries. Previous participants have had an especially hard time allocating maize flour, which is something to consider bringing if deemed to be an essential part of one’s cuisine.
What kind of clothes should I bring to Malå?
Keep in mind that colder temperatures can be expected in Malå. Bring warm clothes like a winter jacket and thick gloves. It is often very wet outdoors due to the melting snow or cold rain, make sure your shoes are sturdy and water resistant. It is advisable to dress both the upper and the lower body in multiple layers of clothes (preferably wool) when outside. We will be in the field for long periods of time and it may even snow during this time.
In Sweden we operate by the saying that “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing”! As such, be always prepared to go into the field as scheduled, we do not reschedule due to harsh weather conditions.
Moreover, some participants may want to bring something more formal to wear for the welcome dinner and farewell ceremony. This is highly optional however, and there is no formal dress code for these events.
Is there anything specific I should consider bringing to Malå?
Yes. In terms of clothes, bring warm outfits and sturdy shoes. You may also wish to bring something more formal to wear. You should also consider bringing food items (if possible) that you would miss if not being able to find in Sweden for three weeks.
Moreover, please bring any material you think is appropriate and relevant for discussion or analysis. Hard or soft copy of geological maps, permit maps, handbooks, legislation, guidelines or manuals relating to mining and environment. Please take the opportunity to also bring other material relevant and appropriate, such as case studies or material for discussion that can be of interest to other course participants. There will be opportunities to share and discuss examples and cases throughout the course. For example, completed EIA, baseline studies or other material. Remember not to breach confidentiality, public material only!
What kind of accommodation can I expect in Malå?
Your accommodation is at Malå Hotel and you will be housed in cabins of different sizes. Some are for a single person and some have several bedrooms and host up to 6 people. Please note that the accommodation is of a hostel-type and will include kitchen facilities. Day-to-day cleaning and laundry will be carried out by the participants themselves, not by the hotel.
Laundry can either be carried out by yourself in a general facility where a key is provided by the hotel for a small fee. You need to buy your own washing powder. Another option available is that the hotel could do your laundry for you for a fee of approx. 150 SEK. The fees are ‘normal’ for Swedish standards and not in any way exaggerated.
Where can I find more information? Are there templates to fill in?
To read more in-depth information about change projects in the ITP308: Mine Water & Mine Waste Management course, please follow this guideline document (link).
There are several documents you will need to fill in during your change project. Note that deadlines are given during the course in Sweden.
What should we do if we have any problem with our Change Project?
It is important that the participants keep an open and honest dialogue with their mentors in Sweden. Most issues can be handled and solved efficiently as long as the communication is continuous and open.
Why is the implementation of the Change Project not sponsored?
As part of Sida's work with capacity and institutional development, Sida offers international training programmes (ITP) for participants from low- and middle-income countries in priority areas. These programmes are built on an exchange between the participating countries. Throughout the course, participants will be presented with the latest development in their area of work, supervised by skilled Swedish colleagues and experts, develop a network of colleagues from other countries and also enhance knowledge in new working methods.
However, it is important to note that the methodology use in this programme is based on the assumption that the home organisation wishes to carry out changes and is willing to invest its own resources to achieve these changes. In other words, the desire to develop and reform the participating organisations have already been expressed in their applications and is meant to be targeted in a joint effort through this programme. Within this structure, the responsibility to implement and finalize the change projects fall mainly onto the participants themselves and their respective organisations.
How to apply for Visa for the Regional phase?
If you are going to participate in the regional phase, there are various options for applying for a Visa.
- Do you have the opportunity to apply for a visa on arrival?
- Can you apply for a visa online before departure?
- Or do you need to visit the embassy of the country in question?
You are responsible for investigating these circumstances and pay any potential visa-fees!
Also check if your passport is valid and which documents should be attached to the application.
Why is the remuneration lower when attending the conference compared to what it was in during the training in Malå?
The remuneration is tied to the expenditure level of the visited country and the number of days spent in the country. Since our conferences are held in Africa and the training in Sweden, the cost of living was naturally higher during the training in Malå. Moreover, the remuneration in Malå took into consideration that you needed to prepare your own supper in the evenings.