|TAMK Social Counselor Mirja Onduso and Kamilla Trubicki picking up new international degree students from the airport.|
My name is Kamilla and I’m from Austria. I work in the international area of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Wels Campus. Our university has approx. 5000 students in total, 1500 of them at Wels Campus, so it’s fairly small.
I had been thinking of going on an Erasmus Staff Training for some months, but somehow the timing of the proposed staff training weeks never seemed right. When I discovered that TAMK holds its Orientation Weeks for both Incomings exchange and international degree-seeking students in August, I knew it would be a great opportunity for me. Usually staff trainings are held during organized staff training weeks, but as TAMK was very flexibly with hosting me, in my case this was a spontaneous and individual week.
|Exchange students getting to know each other|
I stayed at TAMK from August 19-23 with the goal to attend both mentioned Orientation Weeks and also to meet the whole International Team at TAMK. As my tasks at my university contain taking care of international students of our English taught Master’s degree programme “Innovation and Product Management”, but also Incoming exchange students, I knew I would learn a lot during my time at TAMK.
My week started, as it did for more than 100 exchange students (amazing!), with welcoming words by Kaisa and Marika and interesting introduction sessions on Monday and Tuesday. And some korvapuusti of course. It took me three days to remember that word, but I still know it! :) On Tuesday there also was a trip to Viikinsaari Island which was organized by the international coordinators for all the exchange students, with various games, team building activities and grilling sausages. It was a great opportunity for the exchange students to get to know each other and also the finish sauna culture – which I enjoyed a lot, too. :)
|Get-together activities for new exchange students during the orientation week|
The rest of the week I followed the Orientation Weeks for international degree-seeking students. It was really amazing to see the excitement to welcome international degree-seeking students! All the department heads and staff members welcomed those students and made them feel really comfortable. Another great part of the week was meeting the social counselor of TAMK, Mirja Onduso. She takes care of mainly international degree-seeking, but also regular and exchange students’ social issues on a full-time basis. We got to pick up some students, show them their apartments and also organize furniture for some students together. It was really inspiring to see Mirja’s – and of course also TAMK’s – commitment towards international students.
Finally I also had the chance to meet many of the international coordinators that I only knew from exchanging e-mails. It’s always great to meet people you usually only deal with by e-mail in person!
|Kamilla took part in the trip to Viikinsaari Island together with the new exchange students|
What I brought back home from my week at TAMK? First of all a great intercultural experience and a lot of inspiration by the great work of the International Services at TAMK. A head full of new ideas to improve my own processes in working with international students, some of which I’m currently trying to implement. And a great recipe for korvapuusti (thanks Mirja! :), but that’s still on my to do list.
Kiitos to Mirja, Kaisa, Marika, Matti, Piri and Noora for a great week at TAMK!
Herzliche Grüße aus Österreich,
|Tampere by night|