Friday, 22 May 2015

Edit and Hanna at Viola-koti

Viola-koti is a sheltered house for elderly in Tampere. It provides sheltered housing for 60 residents but also sports and rehabilitation services to both residents and elderly living in their own homes. Viola-koti has had international exchange trainees for example from Spain, Hungary, Poland and Belgium during the years it has been cooperating with TAMK.

- People living in their own homes prefer swimming pools, residents participate more in other groups. We also try to support family caregivers, for example by drawing up chair exercises to them, physiotherapist Teija Vihervaara says.

- Clients like foreign trainees even though the language is sometimes challenging. Some of them have been living abroad, so they are happy to speak English.

Helmi Vahtera, Maire Järvinen and Maija Pöri participated in chair exercise.

According to Teija's experience, students' cultural background has an effect how students react to situations they confront in placements.

- Some students don´t think it is very important that elderly people leave their homes and come here to get social contacts. Also students' own culture affects how clients are contacted.

Before Viola-koti, Hungarian physiotherapy students Edit Sió and Hanna Szolnoky had been at Tammelakeskus health centre. What kind of differences in physiotherapy have they discovered between Hungary and Finland?

- It has been useful to see how physiotherapists do their job in Finland. At Tammelakeskus we got our perception about the health centre. It was a new experience for us, because in Hungary there are no health centres, only hospitals, Edit says. 

Edit and Hanna have enjoyed their stay in Tampere.

- Individual therapy is really common in Hungary. In Finland, there is more group therapy, for example at gyms. In Hungary, if you had a surgery you go to physiotherapy every day, while in Finland the responsibility for rehabilitation is given more to a patient, students say.

- I think you have understood the importance of prevention, that´s the most important thing. My impression is that in Hungary elderly are not in that good physical condition as in Finland, Edit says.

- Language barrier is higher when working with elderly, so misunderstandings are more common than with younger people. However, clients are really motivated. They want to know what is the purpose of each exercise, Hanna and Edit say. 

Text and photos: Marika Kyllönen

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Belgian physiotherapy trainees at Tammenlehväkeskus

Belgian physiotherapy students Lisa Swinnen and Karolien Mertens are doing their three-month exchange period in TAMK. Tammenlehväkeskus was their second placement.

- We thought that this is a rehabilitation centre for war veterans, but actually here are people of all ages and conditions, Karolien says.

The period at Tammenlehväkeskus has been very agreeable for the students. They have done various tasks and got known completely new forms of rehabilitation. Perhaps this would be something they could apply to their future profession.

- Hydrotherapy is not very common in Belgium, but in Finland it seems that there are therapy pools here and there. And salt room, we had never seen nor heard anything about it before we came here.

Karolien makes sure that Kari Kumpulainen carries out the exercise correctly.

- We are oriented in musculoskeletal conditions, but at Tammenlehväkeskus we have worked in the field of neurological rehabilitation. It is useful to have experience outside of our field of know-how and to know widely about things, they say.

The lack of a common language brings its own specialties and challenges.

- For most clients, the situation is not tricky. They don´t mind even though we don´t understand Finnish, many of them understand English a little. They appreciate the fact that we speak some Finnish and many are trying to teach us more words, such as numbers, Lisa and Karolien say.

The gym at Tammenlehväkeskus is a familiar place to Raija Vento. 

Hungarian Petra Dunai did her exchange in TAMK in the spring 2013. Tammenlehväkeskus was one of her training placements at that time and what happened: Petra found her way back.

- I met my boyfriend here in Tampere. I went back to Hungary to finish my studies and came back in November 2013. I didn´t speak Finnish then so I enrolled for an intensive course which took 10 months. I noticed that Tammenlehväkeskus searched for a substitute for a physiotherapist so I decided to apply for it. I got the position and started to work here in last December. I really enjoy working here, Petra says in excellent Finnish.

Petra Dunai feels at home at Tammenlehväkeskus.

 Rehabilitation Manager Titta Soimasuo has been satisfied with the international trainees.

- We have received positive feedback on all the trainees we have had here. Our staff and our clients have a positive attitude towards foreign students. Positive experiences feed the interest to continue taking foreign trainees, Titta says.

Text and photos: Marika Kyllönen

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Marketing Communications Campaigns for a Tourism Region in UK

Participants happy with the campaigns

Students Satu Aholin, Jenni Ojanen, Sara Sahlakari, Victoria Mather and Roberto Chavez Molina from Tampere University of Applied Sciences, School of Business and Services participated in March in an advertising and marketing communications project, organized by Southampton Solent University from UK. Hampshire Cultural Trust had given the assignment to project teams.  The coordinator of the team from Finland was Senior Lecturer in Marketing Pirkko Varis.

Jenni and her team members
The aim was to raise the profile of Hampshire as a destination for world class culture and to encourage visitors to the venues managed by the Hampshire Cultural Trust. Hampshire has many notable heritage destinations alongside those managed by the Hampshire Cultural Trust, including the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the home of Jane Austen in Chawton, the Titanic heritage in Southampton with its SeaCity Museum and the magnificent Winchester Cathedral.
Working on the assignment
Prior to travelling to Southampton market surveys including focus group discussions were conducted in five countries, the results were presented in the beginning of the week and the findings were used in the planning process. Special lectures were given by experts in marketing communications and advertising. Staff members of the universities worked as coaches for the teams. The programme included also a visit to Winchester.
Caroline Barfoot and guidelines for pitching
Over 30 university students representing the fields of marketing, advertising, media, international business and tourism from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Spain and UK worked in multicultural teams and developed marketing communications campaigns to promote Hampshire as a cultural destination across Europe. The teams combined traditional marketing tools with digital and social media in their marketing communications campaign proposals.
The winning team with the advertising agency representative
Academic Leader Caroline Barfoot from Southampton Solent University together with her assistant Florian Francois really had made a lot of effort for planning the activities of the week.  There was a balanced combination of lectures, teamwork and visits in the programme and also time for some parties and having fun together.  Thank you Caroline and Florian for a great experience!
Best presentation team with Caroline Barfoot and the agency representative. Victoria on the right.
Text: Team from Finland
Photos: Richard Berry, Southampton Solent University, UK

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Sustainability in Tourism

This is a one-period course for TAMK IB-Tourism students and for exchange students as well. The atmosphere has been truly international, since majority of the group are foreign students from many different countries all around the world! 

What have we been studying there? Our teacher, Ms Heli Leskinen, has introduced us more deeply to sustainability in tourism – ideally it should not harm environment, economy and society of destinations, but it should support them. The concept itself seems very hard, nearly impossible to achieve, but it is something necessary for the future of destinations and also for the industry itself.
As our first, “warm-up” project, we worked in groups researching all the possible tourism impacts and trends in chosen destinations, as well as thinking of own suggestions how to improve the current situation. This gave us even deeper insight to tourism issues.

Joint kitchen facilities at the Dream Hostel

Our second project was done for a real company – Dream Hostel Tampere. In order to get inspired and get to know more about what can a hotel do to be more sustainable, we first visited Scandic City Hotel in Tampere. Scandic is a leading hotel chain in sustainability in Nordic countries and we had the great opportunity to talk to the local manager about their actions and plans. 

Rooms for up to eight people 

After that, we visited Dream Hostel and hotel, talked to the owner and to one of their employees and we had a tour around the facilities. This hostel and hotel is a small family-owned company, so doing most of the actions a big chain can afford – for example acquiring an eco-label, is impossible for them. Our task here was to come up with suggestions which the small company could do to be more sustainable, but which would also meet their budget.

 Friendly warm reception

TAMK Proacademy

Proacademy is an entrepreneurship education unit of TAMK. It is located in the city centre of Tampere at Finlayson Campus. At Proacademy all coaching, learning and business development activitities are focused on facilitating the entrepreneurial path. At Proacademy the students have five core value-activities of trust, courage, learning, actions and success. Proacademy also implements a unique approach to continuous development of a learning community, based on team learning and self-managed development of relevant knowledge and skills.

Our sustainability in tourism group visited Proacademy at Finlayson on the 19th of February 2015. We went there to visit Eventia team, which is the so called business and tourism team.Our group had prepared a teaching session about sustainability to the Eventia team. Later we had workshops, which we divided into social, environmental and economic groups. The Eventia team had to find slutions for, for instance negative environmental impacts in a destination, and then present the findings to others.

We had an interesting morning at Proacademy and definitely a different kind of ”lecture”. Both our group and the Eventia team seemed to like it and everybody learned something new.

We did a brief interview with three students from the Eventia team.

1. Did you learn anything new? - ”Yes definitely. We already knew something about the subject but we learned the definition of sustainability better.”

2. How did you like the teaching method? - ”It was great. It was good to have the theory first and then put it in practice.

3. How was the overall experience? - ”Yes it was very interesting and also fun to do something really different from a normal day. Which was really interesting was how multicultural today was and how many more viewpoints we got to our discussions."

Exchange student Mary Papadimitriou says:

After spending two months studying in TAMK I am able to understand the differences between my studies in Finland and my studies in Greece. The way of studying and teaching is different in each country. In Greece I had to learn a lot of stuff by heart and then participate in a written exam. What is more, the teaching method is kind of the same, with lectures and guest lecturers but in Greece I did not participate in such workshops. 

I have really enjoyed my time here and especially the courses. The Sustainability in Tourism course with Heli Leskinen has been a tremendous opportunity for me to learn more things on the field of Tourism. I specifically liked the Dream hostel task and the Proacademy experience during this course. They really helped me understand the meaning of sustainability in hospitality management and they actually helped me to be make more sustainable choices in my everyday life.

Text and photos:
Sara Sahlakari, Anne Marie Dvorakova, Mary Papadimitriou