Monday, 23 July 2012

First exchange students are arriving!

The first bunch of new exchange students is arriving during this week. About 50 students are going to start Summer Schools on next Monday. 

Two of the Summers Schools will take place in TAMK: Erasmus Intensive Language Course and North-South-South Summer School. In addition, a group of TAMK exchange and degree students will participate in Summer School organized by SITR cooperation (Studying in Tampere Region). The topic of the Summer Schools is the same: Finnish language and culture.

Yasar is having a walk around TAMK main campus

One of the early birds is Erasmus student Yasar Ismet Demiröz from Ege University, Turkey. He’s going to do studies in Environmental and Construction Engineering in TAMK for the academic year 2012-2013. For Yasar, the Erasmus exchange in Finland is a dream come true. He says that if he wasn’t accepted to Finland, he wouldn’t have gone for exchange at all. One of the reasons to choose Finland, is his dear hobby orienteering. Through orienteering he has already met Finnish people who he had found lovely and nice persons.  Finland also offers good possibilities to do orienteering and other nature activities. 

The first impression of Finland is really positive to Yasar. He appreciates the fact that everything is so well organized in Finland. Also the calmness and silence fascinates him. We wish all the best for Yasar with his studies!

We also warmly welcome all the arriving exchange students and new degree students to TAMK!

Text and photo: Kaisa Merilahti, International Services

Friday, 20 July 2012

TAMK staff members learned new intercultural communication skills

For the last session participants brought some items reflecting 
their learning process of intercultural communication.
In the end of spring semester TAMK organized a course of Intercultural Communication to TAMK staff members working in multicultural environment.  The participants of the course were from all around TAMK: teachers from different fields and people from Research & Development, Admission office, International Services, etc. 

The objective of the course was to focus on how people from diverse cultures and with different communication styles come together to work and communicate with each other. 

The class room was full of vibrant discussions about participants’ own experiences. The teacher of the course, Dr. Irja Pietilä was giving small exercises, leading the conversation and explaining the main theories of the Intercultural Communication.

To me personally, the most valuable thing during the course was to share experiences and to understand them in the theoretical context.  I got some useful tools to process and to understand the situations that I’m facing in my work. 

The main topics of the course were the intercultural awareness, interaction, factors influencing intercultural communication situations and adaptation. Deeper understanding of these kinds of subjects is really important when working in a multicultural environment, like TAMK is. 

Text and photo: Kaisa Merilahti, International Services

Friday, 6 July 2012

International Week for Non-Teaching Staff 2012

International Week for Non-Teaching Staff 2012 was organized on 11 - 15 June. The week consisted of Intercultural Communication lectures held by Dr. Irja Pietilä, Special Interest Groups and some social programme. In earlier posts I already told you about the programme on Monday and Tuesday. The rest of the week was at least as succesfull as the beginning of the week.

Tuesday ended with an informal sauna evening at Marttilan Pirtti. The weather was mainly nice though it started raining a bit later in the evening. Women enjoyed playing Mölkky while men had their sauna turn. Many of Mölkky players got really excited about the game and some were even thinking where to buy one and how to take it back home by plane.

Wednesday was full of lectures and more official program. Vistors had a chance to get know I-wing of Kuntokatu Campus when Ms Marjukka Dyer introduced the labroratories and dry toilets located in the I-wing. The introduction was very interesting and our visitors got to know all the basic functions of different laboratories in I-wing. Unfortunately time for the tour was quite limited since our visitors would have enjoyed Ms Dyer's introduction even longer. Irja's lecture ended with an interesting task: draw a house with three other people. All of you are holding the same marker and you're not allowed to talk. This task was quite a challenge but everybody thought it was funny and intriguing.

On Thursday the whole group travelled to Iittala where we first visited Iitala Reindeer Park. We had chance to feed the reindeer and took some amazing photos of them. The couple that runs the Reindeer park are original Sami people from Lapland and the hostess was telling about the history and habits of Samis. There was a lot of new information for even a Finn from Southern Finland and all our international visitors were really impressed about the rich and interesting history of Samis.  Addtionally we got to know more about reindeers and their breeding. We had chance to feed the reindeer and try reindeer lassoing but only with some wooden reindeers. Some people also took the chance to try dry land group skiing with big wooden skiis. Everybody had fun watching other try and skier had fun while trying to stay on the skiis.

The programme included a coffee with trational lappish coffee cheese. Cheese was actually pretty much the same as bread cheese that we have in Southern Finland. In Lapland they use that cheese in stead of milk when they are stopping for a coffee while hiking in nature. When we drinking coffee with cheese the hostess was performing some traditional yoiks she had learned from her mother. The Reindeer Park has a souvenir shop where from many of our group bought etc. cards and stuffed animal reindeers to take home.
In addition the day included a visit to Iittala Glass works where we had a lunch and museum tour. Thursday was quite a long and tiring day but also really unforgettable. At least I enjoyed the day very much.

Everything good comes to an end and so did our International week. We had the closing remarks of the week at Hotel City Scandic where Irja kept her last lecture and for wich yours truly had prepared a Finlad Quiz for the participants. The last task for the participants was to make a poster of everything they have learned during the week. The posters were colourful and vivid. Most people mentioned sauna evening at Marttilan Pirtti as one of the best parts of the week. Many of the posters also had a reindeer on them. It was really heart-warming to hear how well all had enjoyed there week as our guests. And saying goodbyes to people was heartbreaking relief. A chance to give a sigh of relief that the long week had ended and everything went better than expected but at the same time I was also really sad because the unforgettable week was over.

International Services of TAMK wants to thank all the participants of the International Week 2012 and we hope to see you in the future as well. I wish you all enjoyed our week as much as I did.

 Text & Pictures: Sanna Hosike, Trainee, International Services