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

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