International Coordinator, Mirja Onduso and Communicator, Andruta Ilie started organizing a series of Finnish activities at TAMK for international students who study or do their exchange at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The aim of this project is to introduce students to the Finnish lifestyle while connecting with each other and developing friendships.

We all love giving and receiving cards for Christmas. But what about making them? We tempted our international students with glögi and joulutorttu and invited them to show their artistic skills and make Christmas cards from scratch.

Mirja and I were both impressed with what came out of their hands. This time, it was her turn to tell us about the festive atmosphere in her room:

"Christmas certainly means different things in different countries: while most students draw Christmas trees and decorations, stars, snow flakes, gifts, snowmen, Santa Claus, elves  – one student draws an elephant and another one camels! The Japanese students are professional in drawing Moomins. No matter where we come from, may Christmas bring peace and love to us all! Hyvää joulua!/ Merry Christmas!"

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Text: Andruta Ilie
Photos: Mirja Onduso

 

 

TAMK, TUT and UTA organized an Independence Day Reception on 1st of December 2016 in TAMK main campus. This is a yearly tradition and every year one of the universities have the main responsibility to organize this event. Now it was TAMK’s turn.

This year the programme included a violin concert organized by Tampere Music Academy but also the participants had a chance to hear speeches ´How Finns Celebrate Independence Day´ and ´My Finland – In Eye of an International Student´. But the most amazing moment during the reception was when all the guests sang together the national anthem of Finland ´Maamme´!

Solveig Parikka and Tuomas Turriago playing Jean Sibelius Violin concerto op. 47

Solveig Parikka and Tuomas Turriago playing Jean Sibelius Violin concerto op. 47

The Finnish Indepence Day is a national holiday which is celebrated annually on 6th of December. It marks the Declaration of Independence from the Russian empire by the Finnish Parliament in 1917. The Independence Day celebration is nowadays a vibrant occasion with the blue and white colours of the Finnish flag being proudly displayed. An Independence Day tradition is for Finnish families to light two candles in the windows of their homes in the evening.

It’s extremely important that foreign students and staff members learn as much as possible Finnish culture during their stay in Tampere. Therefore, this kind of event is absolutely worth organizing! This year 130 international quests took part in the Independence Day Reception and enjoyed the solemn but also relaxed atmosphere of the reception.

Students standing in line for Photo Booth.

Students standing in line for Photo Booth.

 

Text: Kirsi Jokipakka, Head of International Services, TAMK

Photos: Kirsi Jokipakka, Head of International Services, TAMK and Tarja Kononov, International Coordinator, TAMK

 

International Coordinator, Mirja Onduso and Communicator, Andruta Ilie started organizing a series of Finnish activities at TAMK for international students who study or do their exchange at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The aim of this project is to introduce students to the Finnish lifestyle while connecting with each other and developing friendships.

Another week of hard studying is over. We brush off the dust of our collars and we are ready to relax at Kaupinoja sauna. Situated by lake Näsijärvi, the public sauna is open almost everyday and counts around 57 000 visits yearly. Winter months are the busiest. During them, the water is cold but the sauna is hot. What matters most is to listen to your own body. The regular way is to plunge first and last in the cold water, but everybody should choose where they sit in the sauna and for how long they swim, as long as it makes them feel good.

“Kaupinoja sauna was nice. There is a one very big sauna where everyone gathers and outside, a long staircase into the lake. However, the water was so cold that I only managed to go in twice. Gladly, they have a grill outside so Mirja grilled some delicious sausages to keep us warm.” are Daan’s thoughts (Daan Krijnen is one of our exchange students from the Netherlands).

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Text: Andruta Ilie
Photos: Mirja Onduso

 

InnoEvent Tampere was an intensive week during which TAMK students from different fields of study were divided into multi-disciplinary teams with the purpose of  creating innovative solutions to real cases given by a variety of companies and organizations.

One of the participating teams was team ONGO, who aimed to solve a case given by TAYS Central Hospital regarding the difficulties foreigners experience in finding their way around the hospital premises. With most of their instructions in Finnish and about 30% of their patients being illiterate, TAYS is looking for bright and innovative solutions designed to make things easier for its visitors. Team ONGO responded to the challenge by creating a navigation device to guide the patient, once he registered the details of his appointment after arriving at the hospital.

The device is programmed in such a manner to lead the patient to his destination with the help of lighted arrows and there are also three more buttons which indicate how to reach the cafeteria area, toilets and other additional services. So far, the feedback received was quite good and the judges saw it as a realistic option to be considered.

Liza Daviskiba, ONGO team member said she was very pleased with the atmosphere within her team and the amount of work everyone put into the project: “The atmosphere in our group has been really good and that’s one of the key points during an intensive week when you have to spend so much time together and do team work. Everyone has actively participated and there were no language barriers. I think we all enjoyed working with each other.”

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Team ONGO:

Liza Daviskiba
Joonas Kääriainen
Ellanoora Kärkkäinen
Petteri Pelkonen
Catherine Maloney
Suvi Löffler
Matthäus Hörmann

More about InnoEvent Tampere:

Innoevent

Text & photo: Andruta Ilie

International Coordinator, Mirja Onduso and Communicator, Andruta Ilie started organizing a series of Finnish activities at TAMK for international students who study or do their exchange at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The aim of this project is to introduce students to the Finnish lifestyle while connecting with each other and developing friendships.

With only a few weeks left until Christmas, the atmosphere at TAMK is getting festive and the snow outside is of great help too. Therefore, we thought it would be the best time for our international students to learn how to bake Joulutorttu, a delicious Christmas pastry in shape of a pinwheel with a middle filled with prune jam.

32 hungry students showed up at TAMKO’s kitchen and altogether, 128 Joulutorttu were baked and eaten. By far, the biggest number of students we had during our events, until now. It felt wonderful and rewarding to see them sharing the tasks with a smile upon their faces and waiting patiently to get the pastries out of the oven. Here’s what Ruotong Xu, Chinese exchange student, told us after the event:

"Such a fine day! I joined this lovely activity to bake Joulutorttu: windmill-like pastry. Upon my coming in the room, I felt the warm atmosphere here. So many pretty people with smiling faces, were all busy with their hands working. I just went in and found my place, then threw myself into the work. Firstly, I cut the dough into two pieces and put the jam in the middle, then made it like a windmill. Easy and funny job! After a few minutes, I smelt the flavour of the baked pastry and felt excited to see them because some of them were made by me! Yummy, yummy, I like them! After the baking, a funny game involving fighting for the chairs began. My heart was beating fast at that time because I was extremely excited. I forgot all the worries after this beautiful day! Thank you for organizing this activity!"

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Text: Andruta Ilie

Photos: Laura Wirth, Nao Oikawa and Andruta Ilie

International Coordinator, Mirja Onduso and Communicator, Andruta Ilie started organizing a series of Finnish activities at TAMK for international students who study or do their exchange at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The aim of this project is to introduce students to the Finnish lifestyle while connecting with each other and developing friendships.

Finland has always been considered one of the world’s healthiest countries. Could it be the pure and raw nature, the quality of life here or the fact that Finns are very active and love their sports? I believe the answer comprises all of those aspects. It’s very common to see people jogging or cycling on the streets no matter the hour. Not to mention how passionate they are about fitness and staying in shape. Their attitude via living a healthy lifestyle is contagious and works as a good motivating factor when you are willing to implement some positive changes to your daily activities.

Tampereen Kiipeilykeskus is a rock climbing and bouldering venue located at a reasonable distance from the city centre. Big enough to host several groups of people, it provides diverse climbing walls and all the equipment needed. Our international students were up for the challenge, especially that some of them have never tried it before. Together, we walked all the way from the city centre to our destination in order to warm up. There, we were offered a warm welcome and explained the safety measurements and how to use the equipment provided. So off we went climbing to test our mental and physical strength.

We reached the top many times, but we also fell on the mats and laughed about it. We checked that we are safe before each and every climbing attempt because we understand what a big difference it makes to go on your journey feeling secure. It gives you a great peace of mind.

What impressed me the most though, apart from the enthusiasm shown by the students and their willingness to push their limits, was their team attitude and the way they supported each other in reaching their climbing goals. Our last part of the session was bouldering one of the walls and stand on top of it. It wasn’t an easy task with not many grips to hold on to and a bit difficult in the end. Our most agile climbers went first to lead the way, followed by the rest of the group. Some of us struggled on our way up, but we received a firm hand to hold and a ton of encouragement to help us. Eventually, we all made it there and we shared a big group hug and congratulated each other for doing our best. It was a truly unforgettable experience!

"It was so much fun to climb and boulder with the group. It's fun to watch how people climb differently and then figure out how you are going to do it yourself. It certainly was difficult at some points, but the challenge is part of the fun. The group itself was very fun to be with, all friendly people who I could share a laugh with." says Daan Krijnen, exchange student from the Netherlands.

"A few years ago I also tried wall climbing, but I could never go further than 1 meter above the ground. So this time, I also believed that I couldn't do it and didn't want to go because if would be a waste of money. Luckily, my friend did wanted to go, so I decided to come anyway and just watch him climb. My inner tree-climbing child couldn't resist those walls and started climbing. And suddenly, I was at the top. That was an amazing feeling. The climb reminded me of a short life lesson. Take it step by step, don't look too far ahead or it might scare you and don't look back, because you've already past that stage. Just take little steps and you'll reach your goal. 

It was amazing to see what I could do, but also what others could do and the most important thing, what we could all do together. Reaching the top all alone feels great, but it feels way better to reach it with the rest." says Ryanne van Vliet, exchange student from the Netherlands.

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Text: Andruta Ilie
Photos: Johan Nguyen & Daan Krijnen

International Coordinator, Mirja Onduso and Communicator, Andruta Ilie started organizing a series of Finnish activities at TAMK for international students who study or do their exchange at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The aim of this project is to introduce students to the Finnish lifestyle while connecting with each other and developing friendships.

Located in the heart of Tampere, Spy Museum is the world’s first public museum of international espionage. The idea of the museum belongs to Teppo Turja and the it was turned into reality in 1998. With more than 20,000 visitors every year, Spy Museum is one of the must-see places in Tampere to which some of our international students said yes.

"On the 28th of October, we went to the first Spy Museum in the world. It is located in the Media 57 building and connected with another small shopping mall, which used to be a factory. Student tickets are only 6 euro, but if you want to take photos, you need to pay an extra 5 euros. There are guides in many different languages so me and my friend got one in Chinese. We knew about the history of spying all over the world, and there are also many spy staffs that we tried. First of all, colorless pens which used to hide the information, can only be seen under a special light. And a machine that can recognize real cash, visa cards and even our resident permits. The most interesting one was the voice changer, so funny. And the creepiest one was the double sided mirror. I only saw them in the movies. Anyhow, it is a really nice museum."  says Yimeng Chen, Energy and Environmental student from China.

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Text: Andruta Ilie

Photos: Mirja Onduso
In the photos: Yimeng Chen and Anni Chen trying voice-altering, a German war-time naval light used for communication and inspecting uniforms and weapons.

 

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In October, we packed ourselves into TAMK cars and drove together to Helvetinjärvi National park, in Ruovesi. The drive took us about an hour and we navigated easily to our destination 😀 The plan was to hike the 11km trail from Haukanhieta to Helvetinkolu.

The weather was great: sunny and not too cold!

 

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We were 14 people, ten international students and four mentors. We saw green woods, swamps and small lakes on the way. The trail went up and down hills, along stairs and duckboards.

 

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When we got to Helvetinkolu after hiking a few hours, we unpacked our lunches and started cooking on the camp fire. We had sausages, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, chocolate bananas, stick bread and lots and lots of marshmallows.

 

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To start our way back, we climbed up the Helvetinkolu Gorge. The rocks were slippery, but everyone got up safely and had a lot of fun.

 

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The view down to the Lake Iso Helvetinjärvi was beautiful from the cliffs.

 

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The hike back was even faster than in the morning, and we got back to the cars exhausted, but happy.

 

Text: Mira Piilemä and Elina Mäenpää

Photos: Sophie Montigny, Andreia Rodrigues, Hegi Rezhda and Vesa-Pekka Tuomaala

 

Teambuilding activities

Teambuilding activities

 

Design Thinking Workshop by Aurelija Ganusauskaitė

Design Thinking Workshop by Aurelija Ganusauskaitė

 

In fall 2016 we spent one week in Kaunas, Lithuania. The coordinator of the Nordplus Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network and the intensive course “Customized product/service innovation & marketing through traditional, digital and social media”, Senior Lecturer in Marketing Pirkko Varis from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Finland together with Monika Didžgalvytė and Aurelija Ganusauskaitė from Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, organized for us the programme. Loreta Petrauskaitė and Mindaugas Šerpytis coordinated the teambuilding activities and assisted in other tasks.

 

Teambuilding activities

Teambuilding activities

 

Altogether 30 students and 8 staff members from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Lithuania joined the intensive course. From TAMK, Finland students Heli Hekkanen, Hannele Keto, Jenni Kohtamäki, Ella Ora, Jane Nurmala, Anna Jaakkola, Pauliina Suojärvi and Mikael Lagerbohm took part in the Nordic & Baltic week.

 

Country presentation Finland

Country presentation Finland

 

Country presentation Norway

Country presentation Norway

 

On weekend we had some teambuilding activities and we could get acquainted with each other and spend some time together. In our working teams of students with different educational and international backgrounds we visited some famous places in Kaunas, did some photo/video tasks and created a photo story to present the tour in Kaunas city.  We also had presentations of all the countries, cities, universities and study programmes taking part in the course.

 

Christian Hammerich, Anneliis Tomingas, Kristo Krumm, Liisa Heinonen and Pirkko Varis following country presentations together with some students

Christian Hammerich, Anneliis Tomingas, Kristo Krumm, Liisa Heinonen and Pirkko Varis following country presentations together with some students

 

On Monday we were given the assignment from a Lithuanian company “Kavos Draugas” to work on conceptualizing  persona and on generating marketing communications plan.  It took us into the world of coffee. The company sells coffee machines mostly in Lithuania and other Baltic countries and in Finland, too.  We also had a workshop on Design Thinking by Aurelija Ganusauskaitė. In the afternoon we worked in teams discussing the challenges and analyzing the market and the clients. We did a thorough research and found out details to support our choices. To help us get a better understanding of why the company differentiated itself from the common retailer, all participants went idea generating at different coffee shops around the city.

 

Coffee tasting

Coffee tasting

 

Coffee tasting

Coffee tasting

 

On Tuesday and Wednesday we worked in our teams with the assignment.  We also went to an exquisite coffee tasting in Vero Café House. We did visualization of the persona and created a marketing communications plan including online marketing and social media. We finalized our work and also delivered our reports by the deadline.

 

Team presentation

Team presentation

 

Ignas Dombrauskis from the company

Ignas Dombrauskis from the company

 

On Thursday our presentations took place. Many different target groups and communication plans were presented, and a winner was chosen between the five teams. All teams did great work. The winning team members were Simon Barman-Jenssen, Kristine Green, Janne Disko, Anna Jaakkola, Pauliina Suojärvi, Monika Lisauskaitė and Morten Tanne.  On Thursday evening we had a closing ceremony and dinner. We congratulated the winners and thanked the organisers and all participants and spent the evening together. On Friday we left Kaunas with a lot of nice memories.

 

The coordinator Pirkko Varis happy with the results of the teams

The coordinator Pirkko Varis happy with the results of the teams

 

In the following some students share their experiences and thoughts of the intensive course and time in Lithuania.

 

Simon Barman-Jenssen from UiT The Arctic University of Norway, School of Business and Economics, Tromsø, Norway

 

Getting this opportunity to work with so many talented people was an experience I won’t forget in the foreseeable future. I’ve met and worked with people I’d love to work with again, and I’ve made friends that I know I’ll be seeing a lot of in the years to come. A big applause to our hosts in Kaunas. I thank you for letting me take part in this great project!

Winning team presentation by Simon Barman-Jenssen and Kristine Green

Winning team presentation by Simon Barman-Jenssen and Kristine Green

 

Students from the University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Odense, Denmark

written by Sidsel Dahl Knudsen

Six 3rd semester students from PDI together with PDI’s project coordinator Christian Hammerich spent a week in Lithuania developing their PDI skills in an international business week, while working on a case. The Nordic Baltic Business Week is an opportunity for 3rd semester PDI students to go out and use our new learned innovative project management and business skills. The week provides an international environment where both creative learning and fun is important.

For a student at PDI, all six participants agree that this business week allow us, as students, to take on a project leader role and use the skills we have gained so far to understand a job fast and gain an impression of the different competences available in a team. It is clear that we as PDI’s can take on different roles and create good internal as well as external team communication. One week can mean a large amount of personal development – if you are open and motivated. So as a call for the 1st semester PDI’s take some changes and do participate in an international project when your chance is there.

Country presentation Denmark

Country presentation Denmark

 

Students from Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia

Janne Disko

Participating in this project for me was really interesting, since it was the first international project for me. What made it more interesting was that we were working for a small local business and we worked in international teams. We all had different ideas and backgrounds, therefore our final project came out even better than we expected!

Karin Märjamaa

Work hard, play hard – a week when intensive work mingles with fun!

International diversity is not an obstacle but a joy and an opportunity for self-development!

Heelia Sillamaa

I really loved participating in the Nordic and Baltic business week. I had a great team to work with and it was really interesting and useful for the future to work in a fully international group. It was interesting to see how students from different countries have different lifestyles and perspective to life and it was a challenge to combine all these different opinions for a mutual understanding and outcome. Finally we were able to do it successfully and we were all really proud of the work we did as one team. Also really important part of the experience for me was the free time, mainly because then we had the opportunity to discuss about all the topics that are close to our hearts and it was really nice to see that it doesn`t matter where you come from, we are all still the same. It was fun to get new friends from all over the Europe. I truly enjoyed my time in Kaunas and I would love to take part in this kind of a project again in the future.

 

Country presentation Estonia

Country presentation Estonia

 

 

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Students from Denmark, Estonia and Norway

 

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Monika Didžgalvytė & Jonas Petronis, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania

Anneliis Tomingas, Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia

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, Odense, Denmark

Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, School of Business and Economics, Tromsø, Norway

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

International Coordinator, Mirja Onduso and Communicator, Andruta Ilie started organizing a series of Finnish activities at TAMK for international students who study or do their exchange at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The aim of this project is to introduce students to the Finnish lifestyle while connecting with each other and developing friendships.

Turku is Finland’s first city and also its first capital. A vibrant trading hub and centre for administration, for centuries Turku was a gateway for much that influenced Finland.

After deciding to take our students on a road trip once a month, I created a poll in our group and asked them to vote which cities and towns they would like to visit. Turku was one the first options and easily accessible via Onnibus. So I went ahead and purchased my bus tickets and confirmed with them the best timetable and all our journey details. I was thrilled to see six students at our meeting point in Kaleva, Tampere.

At our arrival in Turku, we stopped to grab some breakfast and coffee from a Hesburger restaurant located next to the bus stop. From there, we walked all the way to Turku Cathedral, which is regarded as Finland’s most valuable historical monumental building. Following the walking tour from the cathedral to Turku Castle, we enjoyed the beautiful sights of river Aura, only to reach its end and the beginning of the sea. Here, we came across Forum Marinum, a national specialist museum, naval museum and event centre with a fascinating story told by its exhibitions. We went inside and experienced the history of Finnish Navy.

Located at about a ten-minute walk from Forum Marinum, is Turku Castle, an important piece of architectural history and a cultural tourism destination. Through its history, the castle has functioned as a defensive fortress, luxurious residential palace, administrative centre, prison, granary and garrison. After exploring the castle, we all walked back to the city centre and came across an international food market with delicacies inviting to taste.

It was my first time in Turku and it felt great to be able to share this experience with TAMK students.

Below are some impressions sent to me by Anni Chen, Chinese degree student in International Business:

"Yesterday we went on a road trip to Turku and it was the first time I visited there, so did everyone else. We were all excited about the trip even though the weather was cold and windy. We first went to Forum Marinum museum which had lots of ship models and real boats in it. It was spectacular and awesome. Then we visited the famous Turku Castle and the whole experience in the castle reminded me of the movie "The Maze Runner". The castle is so huge and it took a while  to go through it. It was like an adventure where we looked on the map and figured out which way to go. After that, we headed to the city centre and ran into an international food market. Since some of us would leave Turku at 16:45 and others would leave at 20:00, we separated the group into two. My friend and I, together with Andruta went downtown and looked around for a little bit, then found a good Mexican restaurant to have dinner. We had so much fun during the trip and hope we can have more trips like this in the future!"

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Text: Andruta Ilie

Photos: Anni Chen & Andruta Ilie