Posts in the Degree Programmes category

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


Simon Ireland

International Partnerships and Business Coordinator at University of Salford, Simon Ireland attended IWBAS2016 at TAMK in March, not only as a Lecturer, but also to discuss a bold collaboration project initiated by the two universities. The double degree programme between Salford Business School and TAMK’s School of Business and Services was successfully approved on the 21st of April. Currently focused on the Tourism and International Business area, Simon breaks down the ongoing process and explains how students can benefit from taking the dual programme.

Simon, this is not your first time at TAMK, if I’m right.

No, I’ve been here many times. We started off running Erasmus intensive programme, two-week courses for students from here, my university and Jaume I University in Spain. When we brought students here, we did various activities with them. And we’ve taken your students to Salford, then everybody to Spain and we cycled round for ten years doing that.

We initially started with 60 students altogether (20 from each institution) and then, it reduced through time due to logistical reasons. It was still quite a large number. Now that Erasmus changed the policy on these intensive programmes, it hasn’t been logistically suitable to do it anymore.

But at the moment, we’re working on a collaboration of having a double degree with TAMK. We’re looking at a double degree in International Business and International Business with Tourism.

How is the preparation going for the double degree programme?

We’re really at the closing end of the process now. Once it gets approved, we can start exchanging students on that course in September, this year. Basically, it’s a combination for a TAMK student who has studied for two years here and then they would come to Salford to join our funded graduate programme for one year and once they completed that, they come back and finish off the research dissertation thesis. And that would give them both awards, so they would get a degree from the University of Salford and one degree from TAMK.

How would you describe Salford Business School to TAMK students?

Salford Business School is quite a large school within the UK. The university itself has about 20,000 students and within the Business School, we probably have about 5,000 students altogether. There’s about 70 academic staff working in the school. We do a full range all the way from pre-undergraduate and undergraduate to post-graduate, master programmes of different areas and PhD research. A full service business school. My area is Tourism and International Business. Most of my role is actually dealing with international partners at the moment, even though I’m still a functioning academic in the school. I get to travel around the world quite a lot because of that.

Tell me more about the partnership between the two universities.

It grows as the relationship grows. There are different things that can come out of these relationships. But with these things you have to progress at a natural pace. You can’t do too many activities in one go. So we’re focusing on the double degree at the moment. The double degree is almost like a progression agreement between the two institutions.

Clearly, coming from a UK university, we have a very different approach to education. Students are paying very significant fees in UK. And it really changes a lot the nature of how an organization functions and rules. So it’s quite a great pleasure to come here and see the relationships the academic have with the senior management, because the relationships in the UK are a lot more formal, a lot more structured.

One of the hot topics discussed during IWBAS was the attention deficiency in classrooms. What are your thoughts on the matter?

I can appreciate that. I think it depends on the nature of the student most of the time. Some can see having all these virtual learning environments and these electronics resources at their fingertips as being possibly a fallback, if they’re not working as hard as they should do, not engaging as much as they should do. As an academic, you know that those pieces of information are only there for support to what you actually do. And I think the need to engage a student is always going to be there. You need that sort of drive and attitude to deliver material that makes the students want to come, because they’re the ones to benefit the most. I strongly believe that the good students are the ones that will still engage and use the material as it should be, as a support material, rather than relying on it as a source. Sometimes, I think people have this misconception that putting a PowerPoint presentation somewhere is distance learning. So I think that when you consider the differences between those two, between traditional and distance learning, then materials are completely different.

There is an expectation from this generation that everything should be available to them at all times, they want an instant response from the society. I think it’s a learning process for anybody that, as availability of information and getting what you want appears to become easier, than there’s a stronger reliance that this should be expanded. When people venture out into the real world, they realize that whether they’re dealing with companies, businesses, energy suppliers, housing people, everything, they’re going to end up with the same issue. It’s a learning process for the student, rather than the other way around. There is a need to adapt to this change. The change is everywhere.

Though international weeks are meant for learning, they also create memories. What is your strongest memory from your visits to Finland?

When I first visited here, I was taken out to cross country skiing and then, we sat down by a fire and grilled sausages. That, to me, is a memory that will never go. It’s part of the whole education experience, because it’s part of the relationship development. So that’s probably one of my strongest memories.

Any life advice you give to your students?

Just relax and be happy. The world is a difficult place and you can hit challenges every single day, and everybody does. It’s the way you deal with them that makes a difference. If you just take one step at the time, things will be a lot easier than panicking, getting worried or getting stressed and try to attack things head on. Quite often, you just need to stop for a minute, relax and think: “I can deal with it.”.


Text & photo: Andruta Ilie

Note: IWBAS 2016 was the International Week event organized by TAMK’s School of Business and Services.


In the photo ( from left to right): Taylah Clark, Seija Tiainen (Senior Lecturer in Emergency Care at TAMK) and Justin Spiroski

Taylah Clark and Justin Spiroski are the first Australian students from the Western Sydney University to come to TAMK for an exchange experience in the paramedicine and emergency care field. None of them have been to Finland before, so we asked them a few questions.

Can you tell us about your studies back home and how did you end up in Tampere?
Taylah: We’re studying paramedicine; it’s our 3rd and final year. We are the first group of students to be sent internationally for a different learning experience.
Justin: It was a big process with many applicants and we had to choose between England, Finland and South Africa. I wanted to come to Finland because the Scandinavian health care is really good and it sounded like a challenging experience. Weather conditions are exactly the opposite back home and there was also the language barrier to consider.

Any expectations before coming here?
Taylah: I had no idea what to expect. I only knew the flag color.
Justin: I knew it was going to be cold. I’ve never been below zero and on my first day here, there were -28 degrees.
Taylah: We had to buy new shoes, jackets and gloves. It felt like we had to learn how to walk again when it got below zero because it was so icy. We both slipped over and fell in the snow. I thought that now, I’m Finnish (she laughs).
Justin: I had never seen snow before coming here. I had a snowflake in my hand and I kept staring at it. We made snow balls and snow angels. It’s been good.

You worked at the central fire station and in ambulances in Tampere for five weeks. Have you noticed any differences in the technical equipment used in Finland compared to Australia? What about the procedures?
Taylah: I would say most of the equipment is pretty similar but the technology is more advanced in Finland. For example, our ambulances don’t have ultrasound, only the emergency ones, while yours do. You go the extra mile. Otherwise, simulations are quite the same.
Justin: I think that one of the things we do better at home is the information given to paramedics from dispatch. We provide full details and we ask a lot more questions. If the paramedics would knew more information about the patient, it would be much easier to deal with the situation.

Share some funny or memorable moments with us.
Taylah: It was funny sometimes with the language barrier and that many Finnish people introduce themselves saying that their English is not good and then you have a 10-minute conversation in English with no problems.
Justin: If there is any advice I would give to a Finnish person, it would be this: Your English is great! Use it! Don’t be shy! And memorable moments… jumping naked into the snow and ice water was memorable.

Are you planning to come back?
Taylah: Definitely! If Finnish language was an option to learn, I would come back for sure. I could start with three months, work in a bar and learn the language meantime. I’m sure the Aussie bar in Hämeenkatu will hire us (she laughs). Actually, I want to experience the Finnish summer in 2018.
Justin: I wouldn’t hesitate to come back or recommend it to any of my friends. It was cold, but warm in the same time because everyone treated us so nicely.
Taylah: Considering I did this for my degree, I had so much fun. I’m not sure how many people can say that. It was a life learning experience as well. I have never been away from home for so long. I feel I have learned a lot and I’m more confident about the way I handle new things.
Justin: It felt great to be so far away from home, but in the same time to be made feel like home.

Interview has been condensed and edited.

Text & photo: Andruta Ilie

A group of Master students of TAMK International Business visited St. Petersburg 14-16 May 2015. St. Petersburg appeared to us as a modern and European big city, which reminded us of the great Russian history. Of course the current economic situation was shown too especially when moving further from the city centre. We had very interesting company presentations of Finpro and Sokos Hotels. Both company representatives told about Russia and doing business there, especially was interesting to hear about the future changes in the Sokos restaurants.

groupy ipm iisakin kirkon edessäThis northernmost metropolis is a huge and is populated almost the size of a Finland. The city has beautiful buildings especially along the Neva, the palaces and museums are in scope of its own (the Winter Palace, the Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood, St. Isaac’s Cathedral etc.) – a really one of the unforgettable places to visit. Many of us noticed that St. Petersburg had indications from Paris.

We were positively surprised that young Russians spoke well English in general. For example in coffee houses and restaurants there was always somebody who spoke English and that made the communication much easier. Plus the restaurant menus were in English too.

Our location in the city center and near the Nevsky Prospect was great. We were a walking distance to the main attractions, shops, good restaurants and night out. I think restaurants had good price-quality relation. A lot of places offered sushi and more Italian and French cuisine restaurants could be found in the center. Positive thing was that some stores were open 24/7. Since the weather was good, we took a cruise on one of the canal ships and experienced some excitement and beautiful scenery in that way.


St Isaacs panorama

Honest opinions of adult international students, but most of us for the first time in Russia

“What I experienced once again is that Russia is what it is, fascinating, unpredictable and surprising. What makes it fascinating, is the culture and the way how things works. Their rich culture and history are full of amazing stories. What comes to society and its functions, it is easy to see that Russia is not a fair, modern or democratic society, which take care of its citizens equally. That is why Russians are creative people who will find their ways to survive in unpredictable society. My experience is that Russia also always surprise you somehow, either positively or negatively.”

“I had heard and read a lot about Saint Petersburg before our trip. The more I found out the more nervous I was about it. Especially the news freaked me out so I completely stopped watching them about three weeks before the trip. It was nothing like I expected. It wasn’t that difficult or slow to get past the customs as people had been telling, or then we were really lucky. The water in the shower wasn’t brown. I didn’t get mugged, killed or arrested and neither did anyone else in our group. The traffic in the city centre was surprisingly hectic, but I still wasn’t as afraid as when crossing a road in Tampere. I was very positively surprised about Saint Petersburg. I really enjoyed our trip and especially the company. Although when planning the trip a few people were concerned about the location. I’m glad we did this, because otherwise likely many would have never gone to Russia.”

 CaxLzaZBlAkGood way to know each other better – a bus trip from Tampere to St. Petersburg

Trip was excellent way to get to know the team of project managers even better. Absolutely the only way actually! We had interesting talks during bus drive and in St Petersburg also. St Petersburg was lovely and beautiful, getting information from business trips gave more understanding of the Russian business culture.

Many thanks to all students, Russian student translators, excellent driver with excellent knowledge about St. Petersburg and especially thanks to our teachers Mauri and Kai for making this true with some pressure ! This is an educational trip, which we shall never forget!

Text collected and edited
by Ursula Helsky-Lehtola,
event coordinator at TAMK and Master student of International Project Management (IPM)

It’s that time of year again – applications for student exchange in the academic year 2015-16 are flying into the database by the minute (deadline 1st Feb), chat service is busy with all sorts of chatter, and parter universities materials are available for browsing in the main lobby. Info desks have blasted videos from partner universities in the lobbies and all the buzz is positive.

Some leaflets are still printed... not everything is online!

Some leaflets are still printed… not everything is online!

TAMK has been steadily growing the percentage of students who spend an exchange semester or a training period abroad during their studies. Most students go to Europe through the Erasmus+ programme, but some venture even further. The only unconquered territory is Antarctica, but that may be only a matter of time…

Rhodesnow is just one of the companies that visit TAMK or promote training placements for students. With an impressive 1000 openings for trainees in the summer of 2015, they held a presentation to a keen audience at TAMK today. The process is quite easy and flexible, so why not spend a summer where the sun always shines? TAMK supports students with Erasmus+ grants, if the training is accepted as part of your degree!

Did you miss the presentation and would like to secure a training placement? Check out the flyer and email Ms Mikulenaite at

More info on grants and applying for TAMK students HERE (study abroad) and HERE (training abroad)

Text & Pictures:
Piri Hiltunen, TAMK International Services

The International Week for Engineering of TAMK was organised on 10-13 February 2014. This was the 4th International Week for Engineering at TAMK. TAMK welcomed 19 colleagues from 13 partner universities from eight countries.

The visiting professors met student groups from nearly all the 11 Degree Programmes in Engineering of TAMK. The two Schools of Engineering hosted their guests on one afternoon and the participants were also invited to attend the project workshops of the International Week for Research, Development and Innovation Services that ran simultaneously with that of Engineering. The social programme included a sightseeing tour in Tampere, visits to Molok.Ltd and Demola, a dinner, a sauna evening, and outdoor activities.

Text: Riku-Matti Kinnunen

The blog Suomea oppimaan! – Finnish language and culture for foreigners received TAMK’s blog award of 2013. The blog was founded by Senior Lecturer Marja Oksanen, who teaches Finnish language at TAMK.

The blog is being developed continuously but every now and then there is time for taking pleasure in the successes. Dumitru Coretchi (left), Anzhelika Manasheva, Marja Oksanen, and Cai Melakoski.

The awarded blog was selected by TAMK’s social media pioneer Cai Melakoski.

– The blog is a great achievement of a teacher who is up to speed. It helps creating a place and time independent learning environment. Students’ participation is the most important feature of Marja Oksanen’s blog. The blog is a great example of collaborative learning, Melakoski praises.

Oksanen founded the blog with the thought of inspiring foreign students to study Finnish. The blog includes Finnish language exercises and links to diverse themes students can learn by themselves.

An important part of the blog are the stories, photographs and videos of foreign exchange and degree students. The topics cover hobbies, events in Tampere, nature experiences, winter swimming, and sauna culture.

– Foreign students have so few Finnish language lessons that there is not enough time to bring up cultural issues. I was surprised by how eagerly students have shared their experiences in the blog. It is important that foreign students have a channel to tell about their experiences here. Incoming students and those considering coming to Finland can also find interesting stories in the blog, Oksanen tells.

Oksanen especially wants to thank the diligent contents producers. Anzhelika Manasheva, Russian student from the Degree Programme in Environmental Engineering, has written about her hobby, volleyball. Dumitru Coretchi from the Degree Programme in International Business is also interested in making videos. Moldovan Dumitri collected a Finnish story on celebrations in other countries into the blog together with other students.

Go to the blog Suomea oppimaan! – Finnish language and culture for foreigners