Tuesday, 11 June 2013

International Week for Non-teaching staff 2013

International week participants at Pispalanharju.
TAMK International Week For Non-Teaching Staff ended on Friday the 31st of May and the 34 participants from all over Europe said their goodbyes to Finland, TAMK and new friends. The theme of the week was Intercultural Communication Skills and the programme of the week concentrated on it very effectively.

Finnish-German-French teamwork
The lectures of the week about intercultural communication skills were presented by international coordinator and PhD Ms. Irja Pietilä. During the week programme the guests and TAMK personnel got to study and work together in both theoretical and practical tasks. The group also visited another interesting university at Tampere, the University of Technology.

Irja Pietilä presenting her lecture about intercultural communication
Intense international teamwork during the lecture of Irja Pietilä. Can you find the positive Portuquese João in the picture?
One of the tasks was to draw together as a group, not as easy as it may seem like
A pair of finished group drawings by participants from Finland, France, Czech Republic and Germany. Stunning similarities!
During the programme at TAMK the guests and TAMK participants were divided into seven different Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for example to IT and Library services. During the SIG sessions they compared and shared information, knowledge and experiences of their own fields. Possible future co-operation and projects were also discussed, and hopefully this will be a start or continuation to useful and valuable partnership.

Human resources Special Interest Group discussion
Marketing and Communications SIG sharing information and experiences

After an intense start of the week of working and getting to know each other the participants got to enjoy the recreational parts of the programme as well. Tampere and Finnish culture were also playing a big part in the week programme and the guests got to know a bit about them for example from a sightseeing bus ride in Tampere and in the evening event at restaurant Kaisla located in the harbour Mustalahti. The number one culturally oriented event of the week was nevertheless the day trip to Maisansalo in Teisko, which is located only 30 minutes bus ride from Tampere.
Tuesday evening dinner at the restaurant Kaisla. Great setting and fantastic food!

At Maisansalo the week participants started the day with a lecture from Ms. Pietilä and after it was finished a delicious lunch was served. The lunch consisted of some traditional Finnish dishes, especially the fish dishes were fantastic. After the lunch the group got to try some Finnish summer games like croquet, mölkky and darts. Many visitors also tried nordic walking with our sports specialist from TAMK, Mr. Esko Tirkkonen. Big thanks to Esko for helping with the sports and games, because of him our guests managed to get to know a bit more about the Finnish culture!
TAMK representative Noora Kahra and the guests enjoying a beautiful summer day at Maisansalo
Croquet, a Finnish summer game, also playable in a wheelchair!
Action shot from a Mölkky game.
Most of the guests wanted to try the traditional Finnish smoke sauna offered at Maisansalo, what a nice and exciting atmosphere it was! The regular Finnish sauna also had many users, and the bravest also took a quick swim in the lake even though the temperature of the water was only 12 degrees Celcius. Relaxed smiles in sunshine after the experience were everywhere and the guests would have wanted to stay there for days.
 
A typical Finnish lakeside scenery and swimming after sauna were the favorites of our guests.
Relaxing after sauna
On the final day of the week the guests were asked to summarize what they had learnt about Finland and the topic of intercultural communication skills. The resulting presentations were both funny and full of information and smiling people. Judging from the teams' presentations and guests' feedback it was a really successful week in all aspects! Many thanks to our guests and participating TAMK personnel as well as the organizers and lecturers.

Aww, what a nice message.
A little overview of the week and the experiences of the participants
Summary of our guests' feelings on the last day

Text: Panu Alanko
Photos: Panu Alanko, Noora Kahra & Tuula Härkönen

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