Thursday, 5 December 2013

Finnish Independence Day Reception on 3.12.2013

Unipoli Tampere's annual Independence Day Reception was organised at TAMK this year. Students from the University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences gathered together to celebrate the event.
Festivities started with TAMKvoice (Choir of staff, students and alumni of TAMK) singing traditional Finnish music. One of the most patriotic compositions by Jean Sibelius, Finlandia, also had a verse in English in addition to the Finnish lyrics. Ievan polkka, a famous folk song, showed the audience the more rhytmic side of Finnish disposition.

Vice president Marja Sutela talks about her own traditions
Vice president Marja Sutela from TAMK had a speech about the traditions of Finnish Independence Day and how the Finns usually celebrate the day. She also told that her Independence Day is made with lighting the candles, eating good food and watching the President's Independence Day Reception live from TV. The reception is held at Tampere this year, so you might notice the special arrangements nearby Tampere Hall during the evening of the 6th. 

Myrskyluodon Maija performed by Nelli and Tiina
TAMK music students Nelli Korhonen and Tiina Puumalainen performed more sentimental Finnish music with violin and piano, and TAMK Tourism student Annika Dillenburger had a speech about her Finland. Annika, who is just graduating and returning to Germany, told her story and what these five years have given to her. She ended her speech by compacting the Finnish experience: "You can leave Finland, but Finland will never leave you!"

My Finland by Annika Dillenburger
The official part of the Reception ended with Maamme, the National Anthem of Finland, sang together. The party continued with coffee, discussion, laughter and Finland's Birthday Cake, as well as using the Photobooth organised by the Art and Media students Iina Kuula and Oona Seppänen. More pictures can be seen here.
Cake and karjalanpiirakka

Photobooth in operation

Guys from Unito and a fan
Guests were also treated with the Martial Arts Tricking show by Unito, whose energetic moves lit the audience! 

Happy Independence Day wishes from Marika and Krista
TAMK International Services wishes everyone Happy Independence Day! We thank you all for a warm-hearted evening and togetherness!

Text: Krista Merikoski
Pictures: Marika Kyllönen, Krista Merikoski and TAMK students Oona and Iina.



Monday, 2 December 2013

Erasmus Adventurers at TAMK and Turning Forty in Fabulous Finland!

Birthday girl Nicole!
Several years ago whilst I was working as a temp, my manager asked me to meet and greet some international guests. On asking the group of friendly ladies where they were from, their reply was Tampere in Finland. I had never heard of the place and knew nothing about the country. So from that moment I knew that one day I wanted to visit.

Fast forward to the present day and I’m extremely happy to say that I finally got to visit Tampere and Finland. And it was by doing Erasmus as a Staff member at Anglia Ruskin University that made one of my dreams come true!

I am passionate about travelling and meeting people from different countries and cultures, so doing Erasmus also gave me the chance to do something I love! Plus have the chance to visit a university abroad, meet some lovely people and exchange information about the way we work – benchmark. It’s also a great way to build relations between other partner universities.
I chose to go to Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Finland for a week in October and what an amazing time I had! My programme was prepared by Matti Pietilä, one of the International Coordinators at TAMK. Wow! - It was certainly a packed itinerary; it looked and felt like I was meeting the whole of Finland in a week! But everyone I met was so friendly and eager to talk about their work and ask about mine.
Nicole visited many of the TAMK Services during her visit
My Erasmus programme allowed me to see and learn about a wide variety of things, for example, I learnt about ‘SoleMOVE’ the TAMK mobility tool; an online programme that eliminates papers and forms and makes the Erasmus application process simpler. ‘Kykylaakso’ – the virtual learning environment used by the TAMK School of Business and Services, as a method of teaching entrepreneurship in the Business Administration programmes. Plus I visited ‘ProAcademy’ which helps students set up and run their own real businesses in teams with some guidance from their Coaches. As well as meeting some lovely Study Secretaries and various nice people whom work in the International Services.
TAMK Library and origami birds
I loved seeing the colourful, paper origami birds suspended in the library as if they were flying. And I enjoyed sharing a break with the other TAMK staff members in their new staff room situated along the student Service Street. It was proof no matter if you are English or Finnish, we all laugh and chat about similar stuff and enjoy having a nice cup of tea and eating a yummy piece of cake or chocolate!
Centre of Tampere is known for it's old factory buildings

Shopping at Helsinki
Luckily during my visit, I also had some free time to check out Tampere, Helsinki and enjoy a unique sauna experience at the oldest public sauna in Finland ‘Rajaportti’ in Tampere.
I gained so much from my fantastic Erasmus trip! As well as discovering:
Salty Liquorice, also known as ‘Salmiakki’ is popular in Finland, as is the physical activity of Nordic Walking, walking with poles.
Nordic walkers

Ice Hockey at Hakametsä Ice Stadium
Ice Hockey is the most popular sport in Finland and I was lucky enough to be taken to watch a game one night with my host.
Team Ilves 
The Moomins was created by a Swedish-Finn illustrator and writer Tove Jansson in Finland. There’s a Moomin Museum in Tampere which I visited.

Saunas are a part of the Finnish everyday lives, they’re places to relax and socialise and many have saunas in their homes. In fact, I bought some chanterelle mushrooms that were handpicked and dried in the sauna of one of my newly made Finnish friends.

I want to thank everyone I met so much for making me feel so welcome. It was a pleasure to meet you all!
Finland will always have a special place in my heart and the fact I got to celebrate my 40th birthday there and even visit Helsinki for the day on my actual birthday was totally awesome!!

WOW! Forty in Fabulous Finland! What more could I have wished for!

Text and Pictures: Nicole Tomlin
Receptionist & Administrator
Lord Ashcroft International Business School
Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, England

Thursday, 28 November 2013

International Staff Training Week 2013 in Copenhagen at Metropolitan University College from 11th to 15th of November 2013

There were over 70 participants to the Staff Training Week organised in Copenhagen middle of November 2013. From Tampere University of Applied Sciences Markus Suutala from ICT Customer Services and Senior Lecturer and International Coordinator Gitte Taulo from School of Health Care participated to the event.

Eager participants

Gitte Taulo is giving a presentation about Tampere University of Applied Sciences

The program included a guided cruise on the ferry

Markus is enjoying the Danish November weather

During the week Tivoli Park opened Christmas theme with lights.Today, the 169 year old amusement garden is an oasis in the heart of Copenhagen – a rare mixture of new and old, amusements and culture.

Gitte loves the atmosphere of Tivoli
Markus is admiring the beautiful lights of Copenhagen from the Ferris wheel in Tivoli
Text: Gitte Taulo
Pictures: Gitte Taulo, Markus Suutala 

Media students created future media culture in Liepaja

Our delegation of ten students and two lecturers has returned from the second two week Media Culture 2020 workshop held in Liepaja, Latvia. The first workshop was in Tampere in April.

Media Culture 2020 is an Erasmus Intensive Programme. The project demonstrates what 21th century converged and interactive European Media Culture could be. MC2020 breaks classroom and campus walls by creating open virtual learning environments where students from different countries and fields can explore and learn together.

You can find all projects done by the students, presentations by the lecturers and daily reports from both Tampere and Liepaja workshops on the project blog

The 50 participants in Liepaja and 40 in Tampere were art, film, media and business students from Liepaja University, Utrecht School of Arts, University of Vic, University of Lincoln and TAMK.

The project was started on-line by preparing the projects in teams and participa-
ting in on-line lectures. On the big picture the Dutch team at the Ubiquitous
Media lecture given by Björn Stockleben (third small pic fron left) in one of the
five Google Hangout plenaries.

The main form of activity was team work, but ...

...there was also lectures and votes...

...and intensive debates.

Each team hosted their national cultural evening. Here team Latvia
members introduce traditional Latvian masks

Every day the teams presented the assignments and progress of their
projects to receive feedback

Freetime at last at the weekend. Exploring the old Russian fort in Karosta

On the second but last evening all seven teams presented their
projects to the international audience of the iWeek Festival in Liepaja
(Photo: Graham Cooper)

The last day was about finalising all the work and a long feedback plenary.
René Lansink (Utrech School of the Arts) assessing students projects
with Graham Cooper (Lincoln University)

Incredible how fast two weeks can pass. TAMK students saying
thanks and bye at Riga airport.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Light Up Tromsø - Business Innovation for Tromsø

View of Tromsø

We spent almost one week in Tromsø, Norway in fall 2013. Vidar Alvarstein & Kirsten Zachariassen from University of Tromsø, Business School, Norway organised for us an intensive course of the Nordplus Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network together with the coordinator of the network Pirkko Varis from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK). Students, organisers and staff members from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania and Norway joined the intensive week. From TAMK, Finland seven business students took part in the intensive course “Business Innovation Focussed on Experience-based Products/Services”. Altogether 25 students and 7 staff members joined the intensive course.

Walking over the bridge in Tromsø

On Saturday we travelled to Tromsø, where we met other Nordic and Baltic students.

Here some thoughts of the Danish team in the beginning of the intensive course: “It is Saturday, September 14th, and the sun is shining. We are four males and a female from Denmark and we are preparing to meet the rest of the participants of the intensive course. It is the first time we have travelled this far up north and it is the first time we will work with other students from the Nordic and Baltic countries. We have been looking forward to this for a long time and now we are finally here!”

A view of Tromsø

Students from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania and Norway uphill

Danish students enjoying mountains

The network coordinator Pirkko with some intensive course students
On Saturday we had a welcoming evening and we could get acquainted with each other and spend some time in a nice atmosphere. On Sunday we did a city walk in Tromsø to get familiar with the city as part of our assignment. On Monday we had presentations of all the countries and study programmes taking part in this course. Afterwards we were divided into teams and we visited in teams Jekta in order to learn something new about each other and the business environment development in Tromsø. In the afternoon we had a presentation on presentation technique given by Vidar Alvarstein and we worked in teams in Creativity DTLab. The representatives of the DTLab Frederico Lozano and Håvar Brattli were very enthusiastic and motivating persons and we really enjoyed these sessions a lot.

Students in Monday presentations

Students from 3 countries in Monday presentations


Pirkko Varis, Frederico Lozano and Vidar Alvarstein in DTLab

Teams in DTLab with Håvar Brattli and Frederico Lozano

A team working in DTLab

Some activities in DTLab

On Tuesday morning we were given the assignment by Tromsø Chamber of Commerce to do business and marketing innovations for the city of Tromsø in order to have more customers and tourists to the downtown business area and businesses of the city. On Tuesday and Wednesday we were working hard in our teams and finalized our ideas.

A presentation of innovations

One team presentation

Another team presentation

Leif Henriksen and Kristo Krumm giving feedback to teams

The happy winning team
On Thursday our presentations took place. All the teams did great work. On Thursday evening we had a wonderful closing ceremony offered by University of Tromsø, Business School with several appetizers and refreshments. We congratulated the winners, thanked the organisers and students, took a lot of pictures and headed to downtown to continue our last evening together. On Friday afternoon we left Tromsø with all wonderful memories we got here.

Northern lights

Danish students and Northern lights
Here some thoughts of the Danish team in the end of the intensive course: “For almost a week we have worked together and enjoyed the company with the other students. It was both fun to see how other students work, but just as fun to hear about their lives back home. Even though we have considered the countries to be close to each other, the differences were greater than suspected.”

In addition, some more comments from Morten Risom Nielsen: “One of the really great things about this year's host country was the many mountains - something we are not used to in Denmark! We used almost all of our spare time on hiking, which gave us a lot of amazing experiences. One evening we were lucky to witness the "Northern Lights" - one of the most beautiful views we have ever seen! I was one member of the winning team and our idea Light Up Tromsø was considered as best idea. I am sure that the main reason for this was because we had a really good team spirit and spent many fun hours together. When we were announced as the winners, these following hours got even greater.”

Tromsø in the night

Danish team members and free time
Students from Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Lithuania share their thoughts of the intensive course and time in Tromsø:

Dominykas Graibus: “For me this program was a great step forward. Working on one task and spending time with students from different countries was very interesting and of course funny. I am very pleased that we were given a chance to contribute in making Tromsø even a better city. I am looking forward in going back to this beautiful city to see what we have done.”

Jonė Tamylaitytė: “This project was an amazing opportunity to meet different people with their extraordinary ideas. We had some exciting lectures during project period and it was very useful. In addition, the sessions in DT lab were something completely new for me. During these sessions we had some challenges and it was a very energetic spirit whole time. All in all I had extremely interesting time and a lot of new experiences. Moreover, I met new friends and I believe we will keep in touch for a long time.Thank you for a so well organised event, warm hospitality and such a pleasant time!”

Asta Bagdonaitė: “Participation in Nordplus programme in Tromsø was a huge experience in learning new ways of communication, getting in touch with different people, getting to know other cultures and also having a very good time. This programme gave an amazing opportunity to express and share ideas, to communicate with students from different cultures, to cope with exciting and challenging tasks and get to know Norway from its best side.”

Indrė Vitkutė: “It was a super amazing experience. It is by far the best experience I've ever had. I had the best week of the lifetime. I feel really grateful for the people who have supported me on this journey, I want to say thank you for all project organizers for giving me possibility to attend this intensive course. I had the best 7 days of my life and I can't thank enough for giving me the opportunity to get this experience, for chance to visit such a beautiful city as Tromsø and make my dream to see Aurora come true. The intensive course finished in just a blink... I will never forget my first this kind of an event abroad.”

Text: Danish and Lithuanian student teams

Photos:Monika Didžgalvytė, Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Lithuania, Asger Thomsen, The University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Denmark, Pirkko Varis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland

The following institutions are members of the Nordplus Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network:

Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Business, Finland

The University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Denmark

Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia

University of Tromsø, Business School, Norway

Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Kaunas, Lithuania