This year TAMK organized its Erasmus Intensive Language Course (EILC) for the first time. Between 1.8 – 19.8.2011 18 exchange students from ten different countries took part in the course. During the course the students learned some Finnish, got familiar with Finnish culture, discovered the best parts of Tampere and of course got new friends.
On the first weekend we walked to the Pyynikki ridge and climbed to the observation tower to admire the stunning view over Tampere. And of course before returning we needed some sugar power so we rewarded ourselves with delicious doughnuts.
Time to play!
On Tuesday we had cultural activities, and culture in Tampere includes, of course, Vapriikki and Särkänniemi. In Vapriikki we got close to nature as we fondled with stuffed animals, heard birds singing, smelled some bottled scents of flowers and the most courageous ones crawled in the “Tammerkoski tunnel”. We also learned little bit about the history of Tammerkoski and Tampere, made goals in Ice Hockey Museum, admired shoes from different decades and shared our childhood memories during the exhibition Time to Play – Treasures of the Toy Box.
After our visit to the museum it was time to continue playing in another spot, in Särkänniemi. We tried the Tornado, some other rides, the Tornado again, Dolphinarium, the Tornado, Näsinneula, the Zoo, the Tornado and one more time the Tornado, or two times…but who’s counting anyway. ;) The exchange students also learned a useful Finnish phrase during the day: “lihis kahdella nakilla!” All in all, our day was perfect!
Mustaamakkaraa ja salmiakkia
After bowling and many other activities it was finally time to taste some Finnish food. On Friday all of the language courses held in Tampere (altogether over hundred people) got together at the University of Tampere. Exchange students had a chance to taste rye bread, karelian pies with egg butter, black sausage, cinnamon buns, blueberry soup, gingerbread biscuits, Fazer chocolate, salmiakki and xylitol gum. The cinnamon buns were a real success whereas salmiakki was considered too salty. In addition to food tastings, the students had to interview people from other language courses in Finnish and answer a quiz about Finnish food. Of course, there was a prize (Muumi mug) to the person who had the best score in quiz.
All good things come to an end…
Despite the fact that it was our last week, everyone started it with a good mood. On Monday evening we gathered to Café Europa to play some board games. Alias became everyone’s favorite and believe it or not, we managed to play it with all 20 people together.
We started Wednesday morning by watching a Finnish movie Napapiirin Sankarit. After the relaxing movie moment it was time to work a little bit. The students prepared their presentations on Finnish culture. On Friday, after Thursday’s exam, it was show time for presentations. It was amazing to hear how much the exchange students knew about Finnish culture! They honestly deserved the Certificates of Finnish Language and Culture Course that they were granted afterwards. As a reward for these amazing three weeks it was appropriate to celebrate the EILC course by having a Farewell Party Friday evening!
Time just flew by during these three weeks and now it’s time to say goodbye... It was an honor and a pleasure for me to be the course secretary of EILC course! I enjoyed every moment with all my heart!
You can also check out our Finnish blog for additional material on EILC!
Text and photos:
EILC Course Secretary