Thursday, 30 June 2011

Staffordshire sent their ambassador

On Sunday 26th of June 2011, TAMK had the great privilege to welcome Mrs Carol Southall from Staffordshire University Business School, UK.

Mrs. Southall, a lecturer in Tourism and Event Management spent four days in Tampere in order to get to know TAMK and the city of Tampere better.

After Sunday’s arrival and hopefully well slept night, Mrs. Southall was picked up from her hotel by the development manager Hanna-Greta Puurtinen on Monday morning.

At TAMK Mrs. Southall met various TAMK employees, including:
Customer Relationship Director Mr. Esa Ala-Uotila,
Development Manager Ms. Hanna-Greta Puurtinen,
Senior Lecturer in Marketing & International Coordinator Ms. Pirkko Varis,
Head of International Services Ms. Kirsi Tolvanen,
Project coordinator Ms. Katja Kivikangas,
Project coordinator Ms. Julia Sergeeva,
Project coordinator Mr. Ville Koiviola,
Project assistant Ms. Kirsi Leiniö and
Trainee Ms. Janita Nurmi.

TAMK employees briefly presented their roles and processes where as Mrs. Southall shared some light on Staffordshire University’s Degree Programme of Tourism and Event Management. The rest of the day was spent on in intensive discussions concerning the future collaborations between TAMK and Stafford University.

On Tuesday Ms Kirsi Leiniö and Ms Janita Nurmi of the R&D Services, took Mrs. Southall for a city tour around Tampere. The day began with a visit to Tampere Hall, where they were shown around and given information of the venue. Afterwards there was time for a short stroll around the adjacent park before they were picked up by their chauffeur for the day, Mr Ville Koiviola. He drove the group to the inspiring Demola of the New Factory, which is a centre for functional innovation for university students as well as companies. From there they walked to have lunch in the Laukontori market square. The menu included, of course, black sausage with lingonberry (cowberry) jam.
Behold the black sausage!

After lunch it was time for a walk along the shoreline over to the Pyynikki area. The silence and the view along the way were appreciated by all. After a quick look around Scandic Hotel Rosendahl they headed to the top of the Pyynikki observation tower to enjoy the view. The lovely, sunny day spent in Tampere naturally finished with coffee and the famous Pyynikki doughnuts.

What weather, what a view!

On Wednesday morning Mrs. Southall was taken to visit The Council of Tampere Region.
There Ms Southall accompanied by Julia Sergeeva, and Hanna-Greta Puurtinen, was able to meet Mr. Marko Mäkinen, the Manager of Regional Development Planning.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Southall’s visit in Finland was nearing its end. Time sure passes quickly when there is a lot to do and see.
With sad goodbyes, Mrs. Southall departed from Tampere Airport in the late afternoon.

We at TAMK thank you for your lovely visit and we are sure this was not the last time we will hear from you!

Text: Elias Suominen & Janita Nurmi
Photos: Kirsi Leiniö & Ville Koiviola

Monday, 27 June 2011

TAMK has helped me to fulfil my dreams

Hazel Von Yancha

Coming to Finland is like a destiny that meant to be. To live abroad is not part of my master plan but Finland has helped me to embrace the opportunities to see life on the other side of the globe.

Philippines will always be my home. It is where I learned my first steps, the place I grew up, and the starting point of my dreams. As my parents used to say “we brought you to life but it is YOU, who can fulfill your life and dreams.” And now, I am enjoying every step I have taken and every move I have made while living in Finland for almost a decade now.

Hazel at the graduation ceremony of TAMK in May 2011.

The Degree Programme in Tourism has deepened my knowledge academically and practically. Nowadays, tourism industry is one of the most important sectors in the world economy. TAMK offers opportunities for students to learn different concepts of tourism and to be prepared professionally for the wide variety of requirements in tourism field.

Hazel with the award for the winning team from Finland in ICC IP in Bad Hindelang.

During my studies at TAMK I was able to participate in three intensive programmes. First, in the Destination Analysis held in Finland with a total number of 60 students of tourism from three European universities, the task of the students was to familiarize with culture and tourism of the selected tourist destinations in the Tampere Region. The second Erasmus IP I participated was held in Bad Hindelang, Germany. More than 40 participants from eight universities in Europe had different academic and professional backgrounds. The objective of the IP was to help students to familiarize with various working styles and cultural issues in order to find out how to communicate in intercultural business management situations. Lastly, I was given the chance to assist in the programme on Intercultural Communicative Competence in Zwolle, the Netherlands. My tasks as assistant taught me to distinguish the significance of respect in cultures in order to be successful in working environment.

Now that I have graduated from the Degree Programme in Tourism at TAMK I encourage people to study in Finland. The country has a wide selection of courses in preparation for bright opportunities in the future. Finland is a unique and beautiful country; people are friendly and trustworthy.

Text & Photos:
Hazel Von Yancha - Graduate from the Degree Programme in Tourism at Tampere University of Applied Sciences.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Intercultural Communicative Competence in Zwolle, the Netherlands

The participants from Finland, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain attended the ICC Erasmus intensive programme about intercultural communicative competence that was organized in Zwolle, the Netherlands between 28th of April and 8th of May 2011.
Some other international students from the Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Italy, Philippines, Russia and South Korea joined the IP, too.

The objective of the ICC IP was to bring students from different cultures to work together in multinational groups in order to find out how to communicate in intercultural business management situations and to familiarize with different working styles and cultural differences and similarities. Päivi Majamaa and exchange students Nicoletta Arese and Christina Deutsch were representing business studies from TAMK Virrat. Arja Niemi, Minea Tarkiainen, Herman Warjus and Hazel Von Yancha from the Degree Programme in Tourism were the student participants from Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Hazel was the assistant of Pirkko Varis, the coordinator of the group from Finland.

The team from Finland: Hazel, Päivi, Pirkko, Herman, Nicoletta, Minea, Arja and Christina.

The first task of the participants was to do country presentations which were evaluated based on originality and informative data of the presentation and creativity in presenting. Then, the participants were divided into multicultural teams in order to work with the case studies related to cross-cultural management. To be able to get to know each other and to build team spirit, the first activity of the multicultural teams was to do the scavenger hunt game. Completing the activity allowed the teams to explore the city centre of Zwolle and to see the culture and life style of the local people in Zwolle. Each representative was provided with a bicycle to ride from the camping area where they stayed to the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences where the lectures and activities took place and where students worked with the case studies. Aside from working intensively, the participants experienced celebrating the two biggest events in the Netherlands, the Queens Day and the Liberty Day.

Multinational team (Finland, Lithuania, France, Germany, South Korea.)

The main idea of the ICC intensive programme is to help students to be prepared for international business management environment and to get a better understanding in cross-cultural communication. The intensiveness of the schedule taught the participants the value of professionalism like setting aside individual differences and to work together as teams in order to get valuable results from the activities and case studies given.

At the end of the intensive programme, most of the representatives found new friends and international contacts. Each of us received a certificate based upon completing the tasks and active participation during the IP. Based from my observation as assistant, I’ve noticed that the participants had improved their performance in communication and they could acknowledge a mutual understanding between cultures. In general, each of us widened our knowledge in intercultural communication that gives us confidence to face the future challenges nationally and internationally.

Hazel shining.

Team activities.Even more team activities.


Team values presented by all teams.

Buffet at the camping site.

Hazel and the certificate.

Text and photos: Hazel Von Yancha

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

International Week for Non-Teaching Staff 2011 is already over!

Bono estente!

TAMK – Tampere University of Applied Sciences hosted its 3rd annual International Week for Non-Teaching Staff in Tampere on 13th – 17th June 2011. The topic of the week was “my work in a multicultural working environment”.

Our guests arrived in Tampere on Sunday in order to be ready for the action on Monday morning. The visitors came from various countries, including Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

The easiest way to draw is to make three people grab the same magic marker.

The participants attended various events and discussion sessions here in Tampere and TAMK. Some of the activities were a bit silly, some were more serious. At one point the participants were divided to four subgroups according to their role in their home university.

The subgroups were:
  • International services
  • Student services (incl. career and recruitment services & sport services)
  • Library and information services
  • Communications services
In these discussion sessions everybody had a chance to discuss with their international colleagues about anything related to their profession and role in their University. This was a great opportunity for everybody to compare how things are run in other Universities and how do the procedures different between countries.

Additional to these professional discussions, the guests were taken to various activities what were meant to show some aspects of a Finnish culture. On Monday the guests were on guided Tampere sightseeing. We had the chance to visit Hervanta suburb, Tampere Cathedral, Pyynikki ridge and to take a look to a typical Finnish student housing.
On Tuesday everybody had a glorious dinner in Restaurant Plevna. The menu consisted of some very Finnish food, like mustamakkara, boiled potatoes and malt beef to name a few. The weather was not the finest for the first three days, but at least we spent most of our time indoors.

Deep Purple – One More Rainy Day

Thursday was entirely spent in Varala Sports Institute. After an interactive discussion forum about Intercultural Communication, the guests were taken to try some Nordic Walking. The enthusiasm was clearly seen when the guests eagerly took the pair of poles and began their hiking journey to Pyynikki observation tower. After a few kilometers of Nordic walking, the doughnut and coffee from the café were really deserved.
The International Army was on a march equipped with walking poles.

What is an international week without sauna? NOTHING! That’s why the Thursday was also a sauna day. The bravest of the brave went to swim and sauna. The participants tried to get a hang of why do the Finns do this the whole summer day after day. Luckily, the sun decided to show up on Thursday, just in time for the outdoor day. The weather was absolutely perfect for Nordic walking and swimming.

Friday was the day for sad goodbyes. Everybody seemed to be grateful that they attended this International Week. The week ended with hugs and kisses, which is always a good sign.

The week went really smoothly and it is hard to believe that we spent an entire week together. Personally, I can honestly say that I had a great time working with these impossibly sweet people.

On behalf of TAMK and its Higher Education Services, we thank you all for coming. We appreciate everybody who made this week possible. Special thanks go to Demola and University of Tampere who gave us a great chance to pay a visit to their premises.

More pictures can be found in TAMK Flickr.

Hopefully you are psyched for next year, because this won’t be the last International Week for Non-Teaching Staff!

Text & Photos:
Elias Suominen