Tuesday, 23 July 2013

“No real culture shock, only interesting situations” - TAMK exchange students' experiences

Hiking in national park Seitseminen...

When settling into a new country, one can face new things that seem weird or awkward. The confused feeling can be strong or weak and it can arrive during the first days or even after returning back to home. The TAMK exchange students from the academic year 2012-2013 shared their experiences of culture shock and adapting in Finland in the evaluation questionnaire. Here you can read some of the answers:
I didn't experience culture shock really, as I noticed, that the mentality of the other students, the teachers and finnish people in general was much more easy to handle than in my home country and I adjusted very fast. It was also not my first time in Finland, so I knew a little bit of its culture already. And because of feeling more connected to the people, also going to school was more fun than in my home town, so I enjoyed not only the parties, but also the week-days when going to school. - German girl
One can have fun also in Finnish winter!
well, i was shocked about the way Finnish people behavior like they have schedule for everything, it was complicate to understand that at the beginning. – Mozambican boy 
I enjoyed my time here. I didn't have much of a "culture shock", but the city is really welcoming. TAMK is a very well organized school and I am very happy that I made this decision of coming here. - Belgian girl
Well I really enjoyed for being in Tampere. A small but nice city and of course a safety city. If I compare Tampere with my home city which is bigger but is not offering as many as Tampere. During the first three days after arriving I asked myself "What the hell I am doing here"? but after one week I really enjoyed the time with my new friends and with the new culture. - Turkish boy 
Marta from Spain enjoys a summer evening
My experience in Finland was great!! I knew a really hospital country, in which people are kind and direct. I knew a beautiful city, the lakes, the forest, the snow. I knew a new, efficient university. I knew young people coming from all over the world. Now I know I've a new home!! Thank you Finland - Italian girl
I had Spanish cultural shock. I had French cultural shock and believe me that was a big one. I also had Italian cultural shock. And Hungarians? Dont even get me started... But seriously, I rly didnt anything that could be described as "culture shock", never heard of it before either. Overall, it was rly awesome here and I loved it. Thank you very much. – Slovakian boy
Parties are always an important part of course
When I came to Tampere I got used to language and people easily, because finnish people are friendly,straightforward,interesting.I meet many people not connected to university activities, I had a great time, learned cultural things,like traditional food,drinks, customs, develop my basic finnish language knowladge, also city is very well developed in many ways, I love various interesting cafes, architerure in Tampere, facinated by grand event and exibitions that takes place here. - Lithuanian girl
Winter activities
The first shock when i got here was the extreme cold weather, which i am not used to and the darkness. Then it was the small city that is Tampere and the strange, unusual but cool campus in Finlayson, which i really liked and enjoyed. As a personal development i learned to live alone, to do everything on my own, administrate my time and money, to get along and work with people that has different backgrounds and beliefs; and to work hard. - Mexican girl
Tutors and exchange students in Särkänniemi amusement park
This was an amazing adventure for me. I always wanted to visit Finland, but to live here is different. I like that almost all the people can speak English fluently, so I could ask anybody for help or just make friends within Finnish people not just exchange students. The city and the enviroment is beautiful, calm, no stress and hurriness. I like to live here someday. - Hungarian girl 
 Ryo Tominaga from Miyagi University in Japan spent 1 year at TAMK, this is how he said goodbye to Finland and the many friends he made

Posted by Kaisa Merilahti and Annika Dillenburger from TAMK International Services
Photos by David Nakamurah, Ryo Tominaga, Marta Sanchez-Vina, Kaisa Merilahti

Thursday, 11 July 2013

"A trip to paradise..."

...at least this is how one of the participants discribed it...

After over one week full of lectures and group work it was time for some well-deserved relaxation for the participants of the intensive programme "Traditional Food in combating food-borne pathogens".
And what Finns call a "normal summerday at the cottage" was a welcomed and very impressive change for the international group of students from all over Europe.

The IP participants enjoy the nice weather

We spent the afternoon at a typical Finnish cottage in Kangasala next to the lake 'Matalajärvi'. The weather was great, so everyone could enjoy the sauna and a refreshing dip in the lake. For some of them it was the first time ever in a Finnish sauna and therefore a great new experience.

 Professional instructor in Finnish sauna culture: Ms Leila Kakko

Fresh chanterelles and blueberries from the forest

Apart from the sauna there was the possibility to enjoy Finnish nature by collecting wild blueberries in the forest, which also suited the topic of the intensive programme very well. There were even some chanterelles found - and the self-picked berries and mushrooms were also a nice addition to the dinner.

Dinner with flamed salmon, fresh bread and salads

 The food was very Finnish and very tasty. Minced elk soup, pumpkin soup and rhubarb pie for lunch and flamed salmon freshly from the fire, salads, fresh bread, selfmade buns and pancakes for dinner. A very  special thank you goes to Ms Arja Luiro who made the effort to cook the delicious food for everyone - "the best salmon I ever ate", as someone said.

The participants with Leila Kakko, Arja Luiro and dog Rolle

All in all it was a nice and relaxing afternoon in the nature and gave everyone a bit of new strength to keep working on their group projects and the big final presentation on Friday.

Text & Photos: Annika Dillenburger, Trainee, International Services

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Intensive programme has started at TAMK...

Start-up lecture by Mr Philippe Mongondry from ESA Angers, France

Yesterday the IP "Traditional Food in combating food-borne pathogens" has started on TAMK's premises. Besides TAMK students also foreign students and teachers from France, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Malta, Spain and Croatia are participating in the programme.

The first day went very well with lots of information and lectures and ended deliciously with the European Dinner in the evening, where the students from every country could introduce their local delicacies to the others.

TAMK lecturer and co-organizer of the programme Ms Leila Kakko is explaining about Finnish food

France showed its sweet side...

Ham, goat cheese and wine from Croatia

During the next two weeks the students will work in groups on different topics related to Finnish foods and beverages and present their findings to the teachers and other students at the end of the programme.

Text & Photos: Annika Dillenburger, Trainee, International Services