Posts in the Education category

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!"













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.








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.








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.


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




Students from Denmark, Estonia and Norway



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!"










Text: Andruta Ilie

Photos: Anni Chen & 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 more than 2,000,000 saunas in Finland, it’s no surprise they have become entwined in the national culture. In the past, people used saunas as places to wash during long winters and even to give birth to children.

Experiencing a Finnish sauna would not be complete without a dip or a swim into the lake so we wanted our international students to get a real feel of it by visiting one of the public saunas located in Tampere. Rauhaniemi sauna is easy to access thanks to buses going there all the time from TAMK’s main campus. Outside the sauna, there is the biggest lake in the Tampere area, called Nasijarvi.

Tatiana Antunes is an exchange student from Portugal studying Nursing who was so delighted with the sensation, that she went into the water eight times:

"On October 21st, we went to Rauhaniemi public sauna to have a real experience of Finnish sauna and then go directly into the water and swim. It was a cloudy and grey day, air temperature was 3ºC and  water temperature 7ºC. To me, someone who comes fromsouthern Europe, it was cold, however it did not change my mind about swimming.

After a long time spent in the sauna, the whole group went straight into the water and swam. The feeling was superb! As soon as I left the water, I felt more alive and refreshed, being capable of perfectly handling perfectly the outside temperature just dressed in a swimming suit. I was so delighted with the sensation that I went into the water seven more times! The entire group loved the experience! Right now, we are even more involved within the Finish culture. It was an amazing day to remember!

P.S.: The secret is: don't overthink, just go immediately into the water!"


Text: Andruta Ilie

Photos: Mirja Onduso




Boring lectures held in huge auditoriums where everyone is checking their mobile phones and planning the great escape? Forget about that. Experiential learning or learning by doing is the way forward in education. And TAMK’s Proakatemia, a student-orientated environment, masters the concept pretty well through its nonconventional teaching and learning approaches. The student is the one to discover the theoretical part and hands-on teamwork, how to combine the two and how to balance them. Nonetheless, he is not alone in this adventurous journey. A team of fellow students and an experienced coach is the best type of assistance he will ever need.

Tanja Verho is one of Proakatemia’s coaches whose vision is to develop future entrepreneurs and really good workers. To inspire her team of students to find their motivation and drive in achieving their goals. To find their own path in life. She does that by asking lots of questions which are not always comfortable. Those questions though, invite to self-evaluation. And it is well-known that self-evaluation leads to lasting change.


Tanja, please introduce me to the coaching and learning approaches used in Proakatemia.

At Proakatemia, we have a four-hour training session with our team twice a week. There is a specific theme for each session and we prefer that people don’t use their mobile phones, nor laptops during that time. We are learning by dialogue. We discuss projects, business models and organizations, leadership and teamwork.  Students read a lot of professional books about marketing and communications, leadership and management along with economical and financial aspects. Later on, they have to write essays on some of the models and techniques they found interesting and want to test on their own companies. If it works, then that’s great. If it doesn’t, they still learned something new.

They can also attend seminars and webinars, listen to TED talks and read academic articles. The main way though, is through project work. Doing projects for their own companies with real customers who pay them.

We recently had a training session about product conceptualization, their own company products and services and since my background is in service design and design thinking, I gave them some insights in a five-minute speech. No longer than that. This is a different kind of learning and studying style because the coach’s role is not to give out theory and prepare the training session, but to assist the students in revealing the answers to their questions.

When is the right time for the coach to step in?

Students have to learn to be patient and to listen so they can prevent their first reactions from igniting into them. When they feel stuck, then it’s my time to ask questions. “Why do you think this is going this way?”, “What scares you?”, “What would be the best way to move forward and solve this issue?” and so on.

Most of the time, we already have the answers but we are scared and unsure about ourselves and how to further proceed. When students discover the answers by themselves, it’s more motivating and empowering, rather than me providing them.

That’s a great way to learn but I’m certain it brings up some challenges too. Which are the main ones?

I personally see challenges as possibilities to learn. Of course, there has to be chemistry in a team. Realizing you don’t like someone who’s part of your team should give you a place to reflect upon your own attitude and how to deal with it. As coaches, we are supporting them in solving those kind of issues and talk about what bothers them. One of our roles is to challenge everyone in the team to work together. Problems usually occur when there’s a lack of communication.

Chemistry is one thing and there are lazy people every now and then. If they don’t show up to our mandatory sessions and they are not actively involved in projects and teamwork, we question their motifs. When motivation is an issue, those people are in the wrong place. It’s not easy for them to admit that because they feel like giving up. However, there is a sense of relief that comes with that realization and knowing that you can do something different elsewhere.

Selling is another challenge for most people. When you’re talking about companies and entrepreneurship, you need to sell your products and services. Money talk and selling your own skills and expertise are difficulties to Finnish people. Nowadays, it’s much easier to do that because we have the knowledge for it and atmosphere in Finland has changed in the past years. Students coming to Proakatemia are open-minded and have the desire to improve and change their mindsets.

Is your team involved in any interesting projects nowadays? Any particular achievements you’re proud of?

There are sixteen students in my team of which two are doing a three-month exchange. Some members of my team are involved in a sports and business conference taking place next year, in January. Others are producing advertising videos for companies (Alma Media, for example) and writing articles for different events too. They participate in volunteer projects for the community when needed.

Some of the recent past projects included three cafeterias opened in the Tampere area and the whole team was working there. It was their own project and altogether, the turnover was between 60,000€ and 70,000€. Which is not bad, considering they are still student entrepreneurs.

You graduated from Proakatemia ten years ago and now you’re back in a different role. What made you return? 

When I look back, I’ve always been the teacher type. I like interacting with people and I think everyone is a learner. I ask the right questions and help people figure out the answers by themselves. Something magical happens when a person is able to learn and change her attitude for the best. That’s huge for me.

I remember Proakatemia as a fascinating place during my studies. I was a junior coach at the time. After graduation, I did marketing, service design and even established a sign language translating service, where I learned a lot about human behavior and what motivates people to do certain things. But my dream was always to return to Proakatemia when I’ll have something to give back.

Now I have the experience I can relate to and share it with my students. As a coach, I’m happy if my students found their direction in life and know where they’re heading to after graduation. I think they have succeeded. They are building their characters and we are supporting them. I believe that every coach in Proakatemia shares the same vision.

Most educational institutions are struggling to keep a track of their graduates. How do you know if your students have succeeded or not after they left Proakatemia?

We still have meetings after they graduate to see what they’re doing. If someone feels lost, we can have a development discussion and help him regain direction and focus.

Proakatemia is built on trust. That’s one of the most important values we have here. In the first year, a student learns about teamwork and has to trust its colleagues, co-owners and coach. I know all of my sixteen students. They’re all different and some of them share things about their personal lives with me. They know they can talk to me about anything. It’s all about trust and knowing that someone cares about you and is there to support you.

Is that a realistic and achievable goal within a larger group?

I think it can work if you divide the group into smaller pieces and establish relationships based on trust.

You’ve been an entrepreneur for more than ten years now. Is there such thing as a recipe of a successful entrepreneur?

It has a lot to do with failures. You have to learn about them and have the courage to make mistakes. If you ask me about my failures, I can’t even remember them. I made so many. I always reflect upon them afterwards because the second time is always coming and I have to be prepared.

If you have the courage and the attitude to trust the entire process of entrepreneurship, you’ll find your way and be successful.

When I look at our students, they are doing things. Of course, they are thinkers also, but overall a good combination of doers and thinkers. You need them both.


Text: Andruta Ilie

Photo: Harri Hinkka


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.

Tampere Art Museum Moominvalley is a museum devoted to original works by writer and artist, Tove Jansson. Its unique collection comprise around 2,000 works including sketches, drawings and miniatures of the most famous Finnish characters.

With Moominvalley closing its doors on the 30th of October, 2016 to become Moomin Museum in the spring of 2017, we didn’t want our exchange students to miss the opportunity to see their beloved characters before going back to their home countries. Furthermore, we set up a meeting outside the entrance of the museum on Saturday, 15th of October and together, we not only explored Moominvalley, but also the exhibition “In Search of Humanity” showcasing sculptures, medal art, drawings and painting by pioneering Finnish female sculptor, Essi Renvall.

Anni Chen from China is doing her degree in International Business at Tampere University of Applied Sciences and she’s one of the attendees of the event. A big fan of the Moomins, Anni sent us some impressions and photos.

"We went to Tampere Art Museum and Moominvalley, which was so great because, even though I've stayed here in Tampere for more than one year, I still haven't really visited there yet and I am also a big fan of the Moomins. The sculptures in the art museum were so beautiful and vivid, we took some pictures of them but when we went to Moominvalley, we weren't allowed to take photos which was a pity because Moomins are so cute. However, there was a place where we could take photos together and I even got to hold a big Moomin stuffed toy! That was super cute!"












Text: Andruta Ilie

Photos: Anni Chen & Andruta Ilie


Professor Antonio Roberto de Oliveira has returned to Finland for his second visit this year. This time though, he is not alone. Antonio and six of his students embarked on an innovative journey of discovering new methodologies, learning techniques and entrepreneurship with the aim of changing the traditional system back in their home country, Brazil. On the last leg of their trip, they stopped at TAMK’s Proakatemia to learn more about teamwork and young leadership.

Antonio, where did your second trip to Finland start and when did you arrive to Tampere?

My journey started a week ago, in Helsinki, where we had a workshop on service design and visited a few innovative consultancies.  After that, we went to Tallinn for one day and since Monday, we’ve been in Tampere.

What have you been doing in Tampere?

We visited Mediapolis, New Factory, Futurice , Suomen Luonnonkosmetiikan Osuustukku and Suomen Lasinjalostus during our first two days here. We were impressed by the last company and their great idea of transforming used glass in reusable products. I think that’s an inspiring project. On our last day in Finland, we decided to visit Proakatemia.

What are your impressions so far?

In the morning, there was a one-hour workshop on friend leadership and now we’re taking part in an innovative challenge coming from Suomen Luonnonkosmetiikan Osuustukku, a Finnish company specialized in organic cosmetics. The theme is how to sell organic cosmetic products via Internet. Two of my students, Marcos and his wife, Sheila own a cosmetics company called Medicatriz so they know a lot about the market, customer behavior and touchpoints. Altogether with the rest of the group and Proaketemia students, they have been divided into three teams working together on new ideas. I was amazed to see that Proakatemia students, even though they are younger than my students, are already thinking ahead. They are really nice and engaged people, know what they want and are prepared for the market. The level of discussions in here is high and that’s one the most important things about this place.

Last time we talked, you told me how you wanted to change the traditional system back in your home institution, Rio Branco. Is that still one of your goals?

Yes, it is. In Brazil, the competition is high and we’re not used to work together. When people start learning and going to schools, they’re used with following a traditional system. Nowadays, we’re trying to change their mindsets by working in teams and adding entrepreneurship to all study fields. I know that anyone has the power to be innovative. They just have to push themselves and work as entrepreneurs if they want to create a social impact.

How is this change affecting the way the teacher is perceived?

The teacher is going to be facilitating the process of learning by stepping off of the stage. As a result, students will show more enthusiasm and have more power. To think by themselves and to work in teams. As a teacher, my purpose is to change mindsets with the use of different methodologies. I believe I have the power to do that and show my students the best way to redesign their lives.

Have you got a motto in life?

My motto is “Different to make a difference!”.





In the first three photos: Antonio’s students working in teams with Proakatemia students





In the last two photos: Professor Antonio Roberto de Oliveira, Coordinator of the Master in Branding Innovation at Rio Branco College in Brazil and Virpi Heinonen, Customer Relationship Manager (Global Education at Tampere University of Applied Sciences)

Text & photos: Andruta Ilie

Read about Antonio’s first visit to Finland:

Collaboration is the new key word in education

TAMK Ambassadors come from various degree programmes and national backgrounds, allowing them to showcase the TAMK student experience from many different viewpoints and create a truly international experience for visitors.

Let's start with introducing you to Tengfei Liu, an exchange student from China who studies Paper Technology at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Here's how Tengfei describes himself:
"I am an outgoing person, fond of getting to make new friends. I really like TAMK and appreciate this great chance to be an ambassador of TAMK. Let me show you around and introduce you to our amazing TAMK. Are you ready?"



From China also comes Dandan Hou, another one of our exchange students. She really enjoys her stay in Finland and the beautiful nature here. 
"Hi! I'm Dandan Hou and I study Chemical and Process Engineering at TAMK. I really enjoy my stay in Finland. I love forests and nature. I like hiking, running and sleeping. Sometimes I go hiking in the forest with my friends. I really enjoy it. But I have never been to the forest alone, because it’s easy for me to get lost."



Our next ambassador is Qinning Wan and he's also an exchange student from China. Qinning has a background in Applied Chemistry back in his home university and he chose to study Paper Technology with us. You could say Qinning has succeeded in adopting a Finnish lifestyle, given his hobbies: 
"I like playing musical instruments and watching drums TV in my spare time. Besides, swimming is also one of my habits, which is a really exciting workout for keeping fit. I am pretty interested to be a TAMK ambassador and introduce specific information about TAMK to those who need it."


We'll stick for a bit to the biggest continent in this world, but this time with a different country, Vietnam. Linh Nguyen is doing her degree in Energy and Environmental Engineering and she is on a mission:
"I am a 19-year-old cute Vietnamese girl. I love forests, animals and TAMK! TAMK is my sweet home. I want to tell everyone about its beauty! Let's 'TAMK' together!"


Yen Bui comes from Vietnam as well and she is an International Business Tutor Student. She describes herself as a catholic and daydreamer and is very passionate about dancing:
"I love dancing the most. Hip-hop dance is the best thing I ever do in my life. It’s never wrong to say that music can help people to heal their souls. I have started dancing when I was 14, and from that time on, music has always been my best friend."


We're getting closer to home, but not until we greet one of our neighbours. Ivan Denisenko is a first-year student of the Energy and Environmental Engineering double degree programme. He's originally from Vyborg, Russia and he's the right guy to contact for musical collaborations.
"Active and willing to support different kind of social work, I decided to join the TAMK Ambassadors team to bring some of my ideas to life and also help TAMK with my own labour and enthusiasm. More than that, to me it's a great opportunity to get to know many people, both those who are with me in this team and those who I will help as part of my duties. I also write music, sing and play the guitar, so if you have any interesting musical cooperation ideas or need a person for a band, contact me at any time."


We now reached home with our last, but not the least TAMK Ambassador, Elina Eskola. Elina is a Business Information Systems student who enjoys travelling, exploring new places and meeting new people. And she has quite an unusual and interesting favourite hobby...
"I love spending my time either playing, reading or doing various different sports. Aerial fitness is my favourite."



Best of luck to our TAMK Ambassadors and we can’t wait to hear more about their duties and achievements!

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