TAMK Library and International Services have organized Finnish Movie Nights for a couple of years now. The idea is to gather to watch some Finnish movie to TAMK Library about twice a semester. In November, we watched Unknown Soldier directed by Edvin Laine. The movie was made in 1955 and it´s traditionally showed in television every Independence Day on 6th December. The movie is based on the book Unknown Soldier by Väinö Linna.

Here are some comments from students who came to watch the movie.

I think that this movie has entirely shown how tough life for soldiers during their fight in previous time. And this would give some inspirations to Finnish people about patriotism. Due to the sacrifice of those soldiers, it could educate people to cherish how hard for a country to protect its own land”, Ching Loy said

Ching Loy

Unknown Soldier is one of the jewels of Finnish film culture. The movie depicts well how barbaric the war is but, at the same time, brings a little humor through the lines. I saw the movie the second time ever and it didn´t get boring even though it takes about 3 hours. I strongly recommend the movie to those who haven´t seen it yet”, Terho Ranta said.


The movie is one of my favorites and it´s probably one of the most important works of Finnish history. Though the movie is very long, the events change very fast. It may be a bit confusing at first sight and some of the scenes are filmed very confusingly, too. I think this is due to the fact that in 1955 when Unknown Soldier was released it had been thought that its viewers had also read the book. Some of the characters are well written and actors play their parts really well. Though the characters aren´t presented more often during the film it clearly shows their different natures. Despite the confusion the film is a wonderful piece of work. The more often you have seen the movie, the greater it gets”, Maija Runila said.

Terho Ranta and Maija Runila


Text and photos: Marika Kyllönen



Text and Photos: Heini Pääkkönen


The motto ‘there are no limits!’ has been a driving force in Karina’s life, helping her become one of the few female general directors of Instituto Federal de São Paulo’s Câmpus Salto in Brazil. The inspiration for her career as a leader came in part from Finland.

Karina Ap. F. Dias de Souza is a pioneer in the field of female leadership in Brazil, having undertaken a long journey to become a general director at Instituto Federal de São Paulo’s Câmpus Salto in Brazil. The position of women in Brazilian society is changing gradually from that of a house wife to one of career woman. Female leaders are gaining more value than before thanks to their good organisational skills and their ability to listen. One big step for the women of Brazil was the election of the first female President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and even the boundaries between roles at home are becoming more blurred, with men participating more in housework.

‘In our house, for example, my husband cooks and does all the ironing. I don’t feel the pressure of learning to do these things just because I’m a woman. I do other things that I’m better at,’ Karina smiles.

Karina started her educational career at Campus São Paulo in 2010 as a chemistry teacher. She progressed quickly to management roles, first as a manager’s assistant, coordinating courses, and eventually to the position of educational director, the right hand of the general director. It was during this time that she first discovered an interest in management and leadership as a career choice. However, when she returned from maternity leave after her first child was born, Karina returned to regular teaching. The general director had changed whilst she was on leave and new directors had been chosen.

Her old interest in a career in management was sparked again during Karina’s first visit to Finland in 2015, while she was participating the Teachers for the Future programme.

‘I was amazed by the strong culture of trust in Finland. You trust that the students will study, teachers will teach, and managers will do their jobs without being constantly supervised and controlled. The culture is completely different from ours. In Brazil, the trust is non-existent. In Finland people trust that I will do my best and this is something I wanted to bring home with me. I think this is also one of the core reasons why the Finnish education system is so successful,’ Karina explains.

What better way could there be to pass her vision on to others than as general director of Campus São Paulo. Karina decided to go for it and apply in the next election. A major challenge was the fact that there had never been a female rector at Instituto Federal de São Paulo, and of 35 general directors only three were women. It seemed that the odds were against her. Sometimes it can be hard to be a woman applying for a such a high position in a conservative country where people are used to having male directors. People’s opinions can be quite harsh in relation to women who try to reach these positions. One of the biggest prejudices women leaders face stems from the fact that if they have children, they will be on maternity leave at least for six months: something a man would never have to do.

‘I would not have applied for the position of general director were it not for the trip to Finland. I bounced the idea of putting myself forward as an applicant back and forth with my colleagues in Finland and they encouraged me to apply. So, I did and here I am,’ Karina smiles.

But the journey was not easy and Karina faced critical opinions along the way.

‘For example, I’ve been told that I got elected only because I was the better of two bad choices and the other applicant was dark-skinned,’ sighs Karina.

The hardest thing for Karina about her career has been shuffling between family and work, balancing between being a mother, a wife and building a career at the same time. And what happens to your own personal dreams on top of everything else? This is a problem that many women have to face, especially those in high positions.

‘I don’t know if it’s me or if it’s the society, but I feel that I should always be perfect. A constant sense of guilt follows me where ever I go. At work, I miss my family and I know I should be there more, whilst at home the pressure of people’s expectations and my workload is sitting on my shoulders.’

Karina’s mother was a single mother and raised her alone, and Karina met her father for the first time when she was 11 years old. Her attitude and courage she learned from her mother.

‘When I was young, my mother also used to work a lot. She was a nursing teacher and a single mom, always working or doing house work and I was by myself quite often. But when she was with me, she would pay full attention to me and I never felt left out or thought of her as a bad mother. On the contrary, my mother is my greatest idol and I learned my attitude towards life from her. She would always tell me that there are no limits and not to let anyone tell me what I can or cannot do.

I think this gets passed down through the generations. My grandmother was widowed very young and raised her children alone too. I met my father the first time when I was 11 years old, so I have never had a male figure in my life. That’s ok, since I’ve been surrounded with such brave women! I think us women should have mercy on ourselves. After all, we can only do the best we can.’

The trips to Finland were well-organised combinations of work and family; both times Karina brought her family with her. On the first trip for Teachers for the Future -training in autumn 2015, Karina’s mother and son travelled with her. This year when she was studying on the Finnish Teacher Training -programme (FiTT), her photographer husband and son accompanied her to enjoy a few chilly weeks of Finnish summer.

The trips were not all about work; Karina’s mother fell in love with Finnish flea markets and is now running her own in Brazil. The eco way of thinking is rapidly gaining popularity in Brazil and the idea of flea markets was considered an excellent one. Karina’s husband admires Finland’s nature and shot gigabytes of pictures during their stay.

‘What will I miss the most about Finland, hmm … probably the forests and incredible doughnuts at Pyynikki Observation Tower,’ Karina laughs.

Another thing that Karina was impressed by in Finland was the beautiful learning premises at TAMK, and how different learning spaces and colours support learning. This contrasts with the situation at home where the school building is old and had fallen into bad shape. She decided to do what she could to fix it. Due to the low budget available, she contacted all the teachers and the parents of the students and asked them if they would be willing to undertake voluntary work to support the school, painting classrooms and fixing broken equipment.

‘It was not our responsibility to take care of the building and not everyone that I contacted was pleased about the idea. Yet everyone who participated loved it and was keen for more projects like this. In addition to a better learning environment, working together increased team spirit and showed us that change is possible if you just get stuck in.’

Karina also wanted to set an example for others and not just boss people around, telling them what to do.

‘I was painting walls like everyone else. These kinds of little things are how I am trying to bring the Finnish culture of trust into our practices here in Brazil in my role as a director,’ says Karina proudly.

Text and photos: Aleksi Jolkkonen



Moving to another country feels sort of like starting all over, except it’s not. You have this wonderful feeling of freedom and lust for exploration and that is one of the best parts of starting your exchange journey. Mine started off by applying to spend 9 months at the University of Salford, just half a year before I realized I was actually going and had no place to stay there.

My exchange was also very different because I received another degree from Salford; I am now Bachelor of Science in International Business. The exchange was an experimental double degree programme that went fairly well for all of us students. I cannot say if this was useful for me yet, as I am still about to enter the proper working life. Only time will tell, but it was surely more interesting than the regular 5 month exchange.

For your convenience, I have narrowed the story into different topics to help you find your way.

  1. Apartment hunting
  2. First deadlines and University of Salford
  3. The city of Salford and Manchester
  4. Food and living
  5. I miss high tech Finland
  6. Travel times
  7. Friends, fun and tips

1. Apartment Hunting

Flight from home

For some reason, I don’t stress much about anything and will handle the rigors of life pretty well. This “superpower” came in handy when my classmate and I realized we didn’t have place to live in Salford. It came out pretty straightforwardly as we were applying for the student accommodation of University of Salford. All of the student accommodations were filled. But no matter “there are always the private ones” I said and boy was that a hassle.

We tried to contact different renters from the private markets, but nobody seemed keen on answering emails. Literally one month and no emails and the time finally came when I hopped on the plane with the destination of Manchester and no place to call home there.

As the plane landed through four layers of clouds towards the airport over green fields, I knew that England was going to be completely different from Finland. There were no forests or lakes anywhere! Getting out from the airport was pretty easy as there were trams and trains going to both Salford and Manchester.

We were “lucky” to not get the apartment application soon enough. The John Lester and Eddie Colman court student apartments were not up to the Finnish standards where I stayed with another TAMK classmate. This came out as a stressful meltdown for my friend of whose place I was staying at. After the shock, we gathered our courage and ventured to Salford Shopping Centre to find some food and basic things; cutlery and coffee.

Having found everything and looking like a newlywed couple, we carried all of the stuff back home for some relaxing wine and cooking. The first day was one of the longest I can remember from the exchange.

When my flatmate arrived, we booked AirBnB for couple weeks to find an apartment for ourselves. I had never stayed with AirBnB. It was a very pleasant experience as our host was funny and conversational when he was around. We got many tips on the areas not rent, which was very nice. Manchester and Salford are not like Finland where pretty much every area is safe.

Views from our apartment

With our home base set up we started to look for apartments. The best sites are probably www.zoopla.co.uk and www.rightmove.co.uk.  They have most of the apartments and the phone numbers where you need to call for inquiry. I think we called nearly 100 different places and finally got some viewings set up. For couple of the viewings the agent never came to show us around, but those neighbourhoods seemed a little dodgy.

Through amazing luck and frustrating back and forth calls, we found a place that looked very clean and Scandinavian. The windows couldn’t be opened and it was a little hot during sunny days, but was at an excellent area near MediacityUK. It is the home of many broadcasting companies and one of University of Salfords campuses.

Here’s a little list of things to do to get rental from private market:

  1. Call a lot and just try to get a viewing
  2. Don’t pay anything before you can see the rental agreement and the apartment
  3. There is a reservation fee for apartments to get them of the market. This is the renter agents cut from the deal. Ask what it includes and confirm that this is everything.
  4. Before agreeing to anything, ask help and clarification from https://www.manchesterstudenthomes.com/Local
  5. Ask how the rental reservation fee and rent is going to be payed. International Students usually need to pay the rent in full for the duration of the stay.
  6. Also ask about the deposit and which scheme is used for it. They all need to go through some government scheme.
  7. Follow the agencies instructions and take pictures of everything in the apartment when you get the keys. Also test all appliances.

For us the rental reservation through PhilipJames was around £450 and rent was £700 per month for 52 sqm apartment. Water and electricity were around 50£ a month and we rarely used heating. The deposit for the apartment was around £800.

Also remember to ask about the regular maintenance things that are the responsibility of the tenant, such as lightbulbs and things like that.

It was a big hassle to get the apartment as the rental agreement was around 50 pages long. The renter’s rights are not very good in UK and for some reason we ended up paying some extra fees after we left.

2. First Deadlines and University of Salford

University of Salford

Awesome, slow, relaxed and specific are just some of the words popping in my mind whilst thinking about the University. Scheduling was very interesting as we got to choose our own lectures and seminars. Mine stacked for Monday and Tuesday with one Thursday lecture to maximise weekend’s length. The University had around 20 000 students with a very nice campus area. It had everything you could think of: separate lecture buildings, cafeterias, art gallery, sports centre with swimming pool and sauna, lunch places, Subway and even a bar!

The studies at University of Salford gave me a new perspective to the academic world, and the differences between countries. Everything seemed to go in slow motion there, which was both good and bad at the same time. Most of the modules I attended were similar to those of in TAMK and in a way, I was studying the same things again.

Unlike TAMK, they had both lectures and seminars there. TAMK only has “lectures”. They might sound different, but the lectures of TAMK just combine the two and make everything happen at once. At UoS the idea is to have one large group lecture first for the theory and then have some sort of applied task for the small group seminar days. I like the idea this way, so you can actually digest the knowledge over a night and then remember it afterwards.

The University had great welcome sign

The teaching quality was very good, and for a non-native English speaker, it was very understandable. The accent was usually quite bland and the lecturers spoke slowly enough for good comprehension. Now keeping that in mind, I have been studying in English for the past two years and mostly consume written and spoken media and material in English. This helped me quite a bit over my classmates from TAMK, who had a little adjustment period for the language.

I have listed everything below that I did at Salford

Task list for the first semester – September to January:

  1. International Business: 3000-word market entry strategy for bicycle company Halfords. 3 months DL.
  2. International Business: Exam. 5 months prep time.
  3. Applied Business Research and Analysis: 3000-word applied research report about a freely chosen topic. 4 months DL.
  4. Business Ethics and Sustainability: 3000-word report on Sustainability or Ethics from a freely chosen company. 4 months DL.

Task list for the second semester – January to May:

  1. International HRM: 2500-word essay on a foreign country and its HRM practices. 3 months DL.
  2. International HRM: Exam on course topics. 4 months prep time.
  3. Strategic Management: 3000-word group report on Coca-Cola strategic analysis. 3 months DL.
  4. Strategic Management: Essay exam on 2 topics out of 5 questions. 4 months prep time.
  5. German Language: Spoken exam. 8 months prep time.
  6. German Language: Written exam. 8 months prep time.

As you can see from the humble list here, there was not that much to do in a year. For me, most of these tasks were something I have previously experienced unlike the British students that have never done anything applied, like the research report. And, I managed to complete nearly every task in a week of coffee filled reading and writing days. Instructions for these tasks were also very informative and the lecturers were approachable for further guidance. Sometimes it felt like spoon feeding…

3. The City of Salford and Manchester

Before I left Finland, I thought that my destination was going to be Manchester. This was however not so true as University of Salford is not just a name, but the University is in Salford that is an adjacent city to Manchester. The situation is somewhat similar to Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. To make things more confusing, Salford is actually part of Greater Manchester county that holds around 2,5 million people. Though, the population of Salford is 248 700, and is quite the same size as Tampere.

Salford Shopping Centre

The city of Salford is not much to look at and resembles one of those rough neighbourhoods that you hear about in the news. It has actually been one of those areas where bad things happen, but its gotten better from what I heard and saw there. There is not that much to see in Salford, except the University and MediacityUK, that has all of the big broadcasting companies and nicer areas there.

It has one large shopping centre called Lowry Outlet. There are mostly clothing stores and small boutiques there. The area is very nice to walk around as it’s a former canal harbour with many waterways like Amsterdam.


The other interesting place is the Salford Shopping Centre, that has all of the major grocery stores such as: Tesco Extra, Aldi and Lidl. They have some speciality stores like Poundland and Post office, but mostly the everyday essential stores. It’s around 20 min walk away from the university.

For restaurants, I would just go to MediacityUK with the bus number 50 from UoS. This bus is also free between the two campuses for the students. Though only between the main campus and MediacityUK campus and not to the Manchester city centre. To there you need walk for 45 minutes or take a bus for £2.

The city of Manchester has quite many things to do that Salford doesn’t have. It has one very large shopping centre called Arndale. There you can find all kinds of clothing stores and department stores. It also has quite the variety of restaurants near it. For touristy things, I’d suggest you check out the following things in no particular order:

  1. John Ryland’s Library
  2. Manchester Museum
  3. Central Art Gallery
  4. Football Museum
  5. Science and Industry Museum
  6. Cloud 21
  7. Central Library

These are mostly the things I remember the best as they are all at a walking distance from each other in the city. I’d suggest you take two sights for one day, so you won’t run out of them so fast.

For commuting around the city, it is easiest to just walk everywhere once you get there. Though during night and evening time, I’d suggest using cabs or Uber. Even if it seems safe and there are streetlights everywhere, you can never be too sure about the dark times. I didn’t run into much troubles as I’m quite big guy and the people are generally very nice there.

4. Food and Living

First of all, this story is not going to be about the campus food as I have no idea what that is. I can count with my fingers the times I ate at TAMK before my exchange. However, for someone who has lived in Tampere and loves hot wings, the ones they have at the campus, in a bar called Atmosphere, are the best ones you can get in Manchester. This is definitely not a joke. The second best option is TGI Fridays and their appetizer habanero wings. It took me 9 months to come up with these two options, whilst trying to help my hot wings cravings with countless non-qualifying options. I even started to experiment with my own homemade ones in desperation.

Bathtub at our apartment

But sometimes you can’t eat out and must go back to home through the grocery stores and I would say it’s very similar to Finland. The food is almost at the same price level and maybe a bit cheaper on the healthier option side if you like to cook. The only really expensive stuff is fish, but you can still afford to cook sushi every now and then, maybe for someone special. They have the same basics are there as in Finland. This was a very pleasant surprise for me as I tend to be a bit strict and picky about the food choices I make. So, for those health nuts who have special diets without gluten, wheats, sugars, soy, milk, pork and processed foods. it’s just alright and you won’t die from starvation.

Once at home, the houses are be a bit different from what we are used to having back in Finland. For example, there might be gas heating and cooker, and two taps for water. Water seems to be the major difference as our apartment shower had lights and different settings for it, just like a space shower! And what often houses this shower, is the bathtub. They are everywhere in UK. Though don’t get too comfortable with everyday baths as the heating and water bill might be a bit higher than in Finland. The electricity price levels are around double or more depending on the company you make the deal with.

To lower the electricity bill, me and my flatmate rarely used the heaters in our home and just got these cliché hot water bags that you see in English soap tv shows. Warm blanket for winter is also a must. The thing with English houses is the lack of insulation so it gets a bit hot during summer if you forget to close the curtains and very cold during winter. The coldest I remember at our apartment was around 15 degrees Celsius during some January evenings. Our apartment even had double glaze windows which was a plus for the single ones they usually have there. Now compare that to the Finnish ones with four or more layers!

Basic grocery shopping

Another thing I didn’t expect was the change to my body. I am more used to being in cold now than I have ever been before. Sometimes it’s too hot indoors as we have constant temperature from 20 to 23 in Finland. The English people used to have funny looks when we Finns said it was cold indoors. They said “But you live in the coldest part of Europe, with snow and everything? How come you are cold?”. To what we answered; “Its only cold outside where you put on clothes and take them out indoors where it’s warm, because we have heating and insulation” and we’d all laugh for the stereotypical expectations for us “tough” northern people being not so tough after all.


5. I miss High Tech Finland

Very usual sight for our place

Very usual sight for our place

I’m sorry to say, but the word “f*king developing country” slipped out from my mouth every now and then when something involving internet, buses or general digital services was on going. To think that in 2017 in Europe that is the most developed area in the world, one can simply not walk into a shopping centre and have internet connection in their phone is just absurd for someone who has had that kind of access for 10 years now. This was maybe the biggest difference between Finland and United Kingdom.

Starting with our everyday cause of happiness, frustration, conversation and socializing device, the smartphone. In Finland, the no data limit 3G and 4G connections have been around for a while as the world is going more wireless, but in UK this is not the case. There was only one company that had this unlimited access and every other company had data limits of around 5-10Gb per month. And some houses like ours didn’t have up to date broadband connection like light fibre connections. Just to compare our 2009 built house near the media company hub of the north got access for 5mb internet. In Finnish cities, the norm is around 50-100mb that costs half or third the price. Though the worst of funniest things was the text messaging. People actually communicated via SMS there.

Sometimes its good to have other options, both the book and coffee came from Amazon.

Also, nearly every service that involved money was done with paper. Everything required signatures on paper and sent through snail mail. These things seemed very bureaucratical and slow. But, when it came to those everyday normal services involving people, everything was surprisingly fast. Like going to grocery stores or ordering something via post order. For example, if you get Amazon Prime, which is free for students for 6 months. They sometimes deliver small items on the same day and usually the next day. In Finland, anything takes at least a week.


6. Travel times

BMW Museum was stylish – history of the BMW Model 3.

I actually ended up technically visiting 5 countries during my exchange. First trip was to Münich in Germany to have a guy’s classmate meetup there. The second trip was actually sprung from that one and I went to Haague and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Those were just before Christmas and I decided to take a little week long de tour through Paris to Stockholm and then to Finland for Christmas with family.

Louvre was my favourite sight in Paris.

My final adventures were at United Kingdom where I went for a hiking trip to Wales to do Welsh 3000s with my mom and the last trip through London for couple days before I departed back to Finland.

Natural History Museum

I could go on and on about the adventures and sights I saw, but sometimes it’s best to see for yourself. Like on top of the Snowdon mountain. No picture can fully give you the same feeling as just standing there, feeling small and insignificant with wonder.




7. Friends, fun and tips

Little Christmas party with the core group!

Coming back to more practical matters on exchange in University of Salford. The social activities in the University are numerous. I made the rookie mistake of not joining a society or sports group during the first semester. I thought the studies are going to be extra tough, coming from University of Applied Sciences. Though, in general TAMK is a bit tougher sometimes.

The majority of social activities within the University happen through these Societies and Sports clubs. You could compare them to the clubs that the engineer students of TUT have. All of them are mostly open to join and they have a little entrance fee for the semester. I joined the swimming club and this fee covered the track payment at the sports centre.


International Society get together evening

If you got scared about the sports part, there are societies and clubs for nearly everything you could think of. It’s good to go to the society and sports club fairs that are organized at the beginning of every semester. Just don’t make the mistake of joining too late, as this is how you can meet other people there.

Meeting people is generally easy during your exchange as people are usually curious about the foreign students. Lectures are not the best of these situations. Unlike TAMK, it’s very hard to connect during the lectures as there is not very much interaction between the students.

Being proactive and joining a society or maybe organizing exchange student get together evenings is one way. Most of our social activities and meetups were between other exchange students. Funnily, the core group that came to be our friend group were the people I met on my second day there. To think that a simple Facebook post about a city exploration day could spark this kind of friendship was amazing.

Go Air with Exchange students

Our friend group mostly hanged out at someone’s place for pre-party or something in like movies or eating out. For movies, I’d suggest you check out one of the Imax theatres. The screens are bigger than what I’ve ever seen. There are Vue theatres as well. Movie tickets cost anywhere from £5 to £15 depending on the theatre and time of the show.

For more sporty options I would check out the Go Air Trampoline park, where you can make a group reservation. Even if you haven’t jumped on a Trampoline it is still much fun as our group had complete beginners and nearly experts flipping different tricks. For a bit different activities, there is the Boulder Depot that has one of the largest bouldering walls in Europe and Chill Factor for indoor downhill skiing and snowboarding. Salford Snow organizes regular trips and social activities in Chill Factor.

Lightbulb Moment at the Alchemist

Those social activities usually include variety of bars and nightclubs and there are quite many of them. Best options for nightclubs to visit is the Deansgate area and Printworks area. These areas have the more familiar dance floor pop and techno music types of nightclubs. For a more indie and hipster atmosphere, you could check out the Northern Quarter. Oxford Road is also one place that has Fifft, where most student nights end up.

There are so many options for bars, but I’d say Pint Pot is my favourite. It’s just 10 min walk away from the campus and has that cosy English pub atmosphere. For something different like cocktails, I’d try Font or even Alchemist that is a bit more expensive.

I hope my lengthy stories have been of interest to you. I will leave you with a little list of tips for Manchester and exchanges. Thank you.

  1. Don’t leave your things un-guarded as UK is not like Finland.
  2. People are generally nice, but remember to be careful. Especially women.
  3. Have cash available as sometimes the cards don’t work.
  4. Use taxi if you are going somewhere during evening.
  5. Don’t walk under the street tunnels during evenings
  6. Prepare for a little lower living standards and get those extra blankets for winter.
  7. The lecturers and professors are there to help you, so ask questions if you don’t know.
  8. Join a society or sports club that might interest you. You’ll meet new people this way.
  9. It doesn’t rain all the time in UK, but umbrella is useful.
  10. Join social activities even if they sound a little scary. People are as excitedly scared as you are in new situations.

Text: Pirkko Varis, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland 

Photos: Cristina Lopez Duarte, Vice Dean International Relations, Faculty of Commerce, Tourism, and Social Sciences, Universidad de Oviedo, Gijón, Asturias, Spain  &  Pirkko Varis



Pirkko Varis and students from ten countries in Gijón, Asturias

In November 2017 Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Pirkko Varis, from TAMK School of Business and Services had the possibility to visit Universidad de Oviedo, Faculty of Commerce, Tourism, and Social Sciences, located in Gijón, Asturias, Spain. In addition to lectures in international marketing for over 30 students, Pirkko had for students an assignment from a Finnish company to work with.

Five student teams created for design products of the company multiform international marketing communications campaigns, including digital, mobile and social media. Cristina Lopez Duarte, Vice Dean International Relations, had planned the programme very well, and the teams had enough time to work with the assignment. On the last day all teams gave their presentations and suggestions to be delivered to the company. This is a very good example of a fruitful company and university cooperation, and learning through company projects.


San Lorenzo beach in Gijón


San Lorenzo beach with a view to Church of San Pedro

It was also possible to visit Gijón with some touristic attractions, and taste delicious Asturian food. Asturias has a wide variety of destinations to offer for tourists, and in marketing of Asturias as a tourist destination these are promoted.


Swimming in the outdoor pools of a regatta club


The sailboat harbour of Gijón


Thank you Cristina for your great hospitality!

Text: Tiina Ylinen, Project Engineer, TAMK’s Textile Laboratory

Photos: TAMK Archives



The abrasion test is one of the most important tests of the laboratory.

“Textile Laboratory! What is that?” This is a common question heard on TAMK’s I0-wing corridor. To answer this question I decided to write this short article about Tampere University of Applied Sciences’ Textile Laboratory .

TAMK’s textile Laboratory offers a vast range of textile testing services. Our main job is to co-operate with companies, which can order testing services ranging from single material analysis to broad product development projects. TAMK’s textile laboratory has altogether over 20 years of experience in textile testing and company co-operation.

Customers from Various Parts of Industry

Our customers are a very diverse group of people who come from different parts of the textile industry, for example, manufacturing, importing and sales. These companies operate on the fields of working clothes, upholstery, technical textiles and many others, which indicates the broadness of the field. Many of the partners have been in close co-operation with the Textile Laboratory for many years, but as a result of long-term marketing, new clients have been reached, as well. In the recent years the client co-operation has been extended also to the Northern and Baltic Countries.

Assesment of the colour fastness test.

With textile testing, companies can determine the quality of their products and the suitability of the products for their end use purpose. It pays off to test the product, especially when new materials are used and when the supplier or the production equipment has been changed. Because the manufacturing industry has largely moved abroad, the importance of quality control in Europe has been emphasized. This is why we believe the significance of quality textile materials and quality control will continue to grow in the future and the knowledge in this area will become a great competitive advantage.

The demand of the fibre content test has increased lately. Microscopy is one part of this test.

What Do we Actually Do in Textile Laboratory?

We can analyse materials, such as fibres, yarns, fabrics and knits, as well as finished products in a variety of different methods here in TAMK’s Textile Laboratory. The most common tests include determination of different kind of tensile properties, such as abrasion and colour fastness. Also the determination of fibre content has been demanded. Other examples of the performed tests are determination of burning behaviour, antibacterial activity, air permeability and pilling. Sometimes also the different kinds of applied tests are needed in the product development or problem-solving situations. The testing range is developed all the time and our aim is to meet the demands of companies as thoroughly as possible.

Tensile testing in progress.

Textile Technology is no longer its own independent degree programme but Textile Laboratory works proudly under the Degree Programme of Bioproduct and Process Engineering. In addition, Textile Laboratory provides a variety of courses, such as tailor-made courses for companies and educational establishments. The laboratory has been in co-operation with Finnish textile design academies and offered them textile testing courses, which focus on the technical suitability, rather than the visual aspect of the product. These courses have provided an excellent possibility to achieve a fruitful dialogue between engineers and artists.

In conclusion, textile testing with various testing methods is highly demanded service provided by TAMK’s Textile Laboratory. The textile courses, from short fee-charging trainings and seminars to Open University laboratory courses, have been popular among the textile companies, educational establishments and anyone interested in textiles. This is an extremely wide branch of technology, which is why our versatile expert services are demanded among many operators on the field.

Further information on TAMK’s website and follow us on Facebook (in Finnish).


Assignment to market the satellite programme – introduction by Manager Rauno Gordon

In fall 2017 we spent one week in Tallinn, Estonia. 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 Professor Martin Pärn and Assistant to Dean Anneliis Tomingas from Tallinn University of Technology, School of Engineering organized the programme for us.


Coordinator Pirkko Varis with all participants of the intensive course

Altogether 33 students and 9 staff members from Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Norway and    Estonia joined the intensive course. From TAMK, Finland students Anna Jaakkola, Jenna Mäkelä, Kajsa Lundell, Minttu Kylmälahti, Janni Huura, Riina Hahtokari, Vili Haara and Aleksi Orenius took part in the Nordic & Baltic week. 


Teambuilding activities

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 disciplinary and international backgrounds we visited some places in relation to famous legends in Tallinn, tried to re-an-act the legends as we understood them and took some photos/videos to be used in presentations of the stories to take place on Monday. On Sunday we also had presentations of all the countries, cities, universities and study programmes taking part in the intensive course.


Teambuilding outdoors


Visit to TTÜ Business and Innovation Centre Mektory

On Monday we were given the assignment from the representatives of the satellite programme,  Rauno Gordon, Manager of the satellite programme and Katrin Arvola, who is in charge of marketing of the satellite programme.  Student teams were given tasks to develop marketing activities for the whole period of the satellite programme, to choose marketing channels and media and create marketing campaigns for the selected target audiences.


Visit to TTÜ Mektory

On Monday we also had the presentations of Sunday’s team building game, campus tour and visit to TTÜ Business and Innovation Centre Mektory.


Design Spark with Professor Martin Pärn – initial team ideas

On Tuesday morning we had a design spark workshop by designer and professor Martin Pärn.  On Tuesday and Wednesday we worked in our teams with the assignment.  We created marketing and marketing communications plans including online marketing, mobile and social media. We finalized our work and also delivered our reports by the deadline.


Presentation of team 1


Presentation of team 6 – Kosmosbuss

On Thursday our presentations took place. Various marketing and marketing communications plans were presented, and a winner was chosen between the teams. All teams did great work and the results of the teams can be used at various stages of the satellite programme. The winning team 6 – Kosmosbuss members were Zeynep Yarkin, Anita Larsen, Jenna Mäkelä, Kristian Østgård, Tautvydas Iešmanta and Ghalib Ashraf. 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 Tallinn with a lot of nice experiences.


Winning team – Tautvydas, Kristian, Zeynep, Anita, Jenna and Ghalib – happy with the award


Thursday evening dinner


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

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

Zeynep Yarkin  

I am very happy that I had the chance to attend the intensive course in Tallinn. I met and worked with many amazing people from different countries. I gained friends, which I am very happy to have met. We had a lot of fun and also worked hard and learned many things from each other. I saw how creative people can be, even in groups with whom they just met. Being a member of the winning team was also an honour for me.  First I would like to thank you Pirkko and Anneliis and everyone who took part in such a good organization and all of my friends for turning this week into a week to remember for a lifetime.

Kristian Østgård

We talked in Tallinn about our countries’ prejudices towards the other countries, and after a week with students from Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and Denmark, I can assure all Norwegians that they are beautiful, intelligent and fun to be around. We learned a lot about them, ourselves and marketing / innovation.

Roy-Anders Jørgensen

I have so much good experiences from this course, which I want to take with me in my life.

Different people, different cultures, but under the same roof we are the same, with the same goal to learn something new in marketing. And I feel blessed, I have got new friends from 5 different countries. Thank you so much Nordic & Baltic Business Innovation week 2017!


Presentation of team 5 – Kajsa, Minttu, Kristina R., Roy-Anders, Kaarel and Mikkel Thune


Simon Bruhn from the University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Product Development and Innovation, Odense, Denmark

It was a good experience to work in mixed teams of different nationalities and study programmes. It was also interesting to work on a real case, and nice that our findings were embraced. The best thing was to spend the free time with the other students.

Team 4 – Marcela, Simon, Anna, Ieva and Sander – presenting the results of the work


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

Tautvydas Iešmanta

I want to thank you for the great opportunity to visit Tallinn, learn some culture, meet new people and of course, the challenge that had been prepared for us. Although it was not an easy one, we and our team did put a lot of effort and passion in solving the task given, had a lot of discussion and ideas to consider. The experience we got is invaluable and I really enjoyed working together. Not to mention we made friends and good memories for years to keep. Team KOSMOSBUSS and the time we had together was something really special. Thank you again and hopefully I can make it to future projects 🙂

Kristina Rudytė

I really wanna say thank you. It was such an amazing week. With full of experiences, practice, meeting people, enjoying stay in Tallinn, and all the atmosphere about the project. I can say that was one of the best weeks during my studies. And it is all due to you, who are doing this really good project. If I could repeat this week, I would! So, thank you a lot for this amazing experience!

Kristina Jusytė

One week in Tallinn was full of new experiences. I was glad to work with people of different outlook into the life and work. These courses show that despite that we are living in different countries and have in them one society and system in life, we are all tolerant and patient for different people. That’s why I think that all groups suggested good plans and interesting ideas for the satellite project.

Viktorina Kaunietytė

I really enjoyed these days with this project, it was great opportunity to practice my English. I was really impressed with Tallinn and the university. Hope to visit Tallinn soon! Thank you!

Ieva Stankevičiūtė             

Thank you for an amazing week! The hotel, spa and food were perfect and the assignment challenging, but very interesting. I would definitely do it all again!


Audience having fun in doing quiz about Lithuania



Pirkko Varis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland 

Students from Norway, Denmark and Lithuania


Anneliis Tomingas, Tallinn University of Technology, School of Engineering


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 University of Technology, Schools of Engineering & Business and Governance, Estonia

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

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

Text: Topias Lehtimäki (student, International Business), Trung Dang Viet (student, Energy and Environmental Engineering) and Alessandro Zocca (student, International Business)


This writing is done by students participating Tampere3 Smart Campus Innovation Lab (SCIL) summer 2017 projects. At SCIL, students from various fields and university professionals collaboratively carry out development projects that benefit the higher education consortium on a wide scale.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

There are two words that are thrown around a lot nowadays. Sustainable is one, development is another. When combined with each other, a concept called sustainable development is born. Many of you readers have heard of the concept, some of you may even be educated in the matter.

Sustainable development has many definitions by various organizations. Even TAMK has its own definition of the concept, and by the way, did you know that sustainable development is also one of the four values of TAMK’s current strategy for 2020? Because sustainable development is one of TAMK’s values, we decided to ask some of the staff and students what it means to them.

Janne Hopeela

What is your occupation here at TAMK?

Three main areas actually: I’m a student counsellor, which is my main responsibility, then I’m working with practical training; coaching our practical trainees. I’m also responsible for international coordination.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

That’s a very big question. Well of course I try to think about the small steps and things in my private life, how to recycle things, it’s an everyday thing. I really want to do my share and take care of sustainability. I’m very interested in that.

Sustainable development is a value of TAMK, how has it changed the way you perform your daily routines?

Of course it has. I have been working in TAMK for 20 years, so I’ve seen some of the changes here as well. For example, we are using more double-sided copying and at the same time we try to do less copying and use more electronic ways of circulating materials by teachers and students. The attitude towards copying has radically changed.

But then some of the things I have seen changed here when we implemented the strategy for example the kind of lights we use but of course we should be switching off more. During winter we can still see quite a lot of class rooms where there are no people inside, but lights are on. So how could everyone of us really notice that I am the last person leaving the classroom – just remember to switch off the light. Very simple things.

How, in your opinion, could TAMK develop its sustainability further?

For example, in my own office they are changing the windows at the moment. I guess it’s because it’s an old building from the 60’s and they are trying to become more efficient in finding a way to reduce the use of energy in different ways. Of course it’s quite expensive to do that. But I think in the long run it will be for the benefit of TAMK as it’s a big institution.

If we can save some costs in heating during the winter or cooling down during summer time. Money is an issue for UAS’ nowadays so if we can find ways to reduce the use of energy, let’s go for it. An example: switching off the lights when I’m the last person leaving. This is just some of the tiny things I notice in everyday life.

Paula Nissilä

What is your occupation here at TAMK?

Customer services secretary at TAMK Info Desk.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

For me it means that everyday there is something new to learn, in different ways, even at work we are improving all the time and all we do here, has become more advanced.

Sustainable development is a value of TAMK, how has it changed the way you perform your daily routines?

It has changed the way of working here at TAMK. Sustainable development is discussed constantly and the staff is trying to come out and develop new ideas to improve and also to reflect on it. Also thanks to this, sustainable development has been imprinted into my mind permanently! I try to learn more about it, because I understand that we have to save the nature somehow and at the same time intensify the elimination of unnecessary operation that isn’t helping the cause.

How, in your opinion, could TAMK develop its sustainability further?

I was in Scotland for an exchange last year (2016) and after that I have realized that maybe even here at TAMK we could for example decrease the amount of paper consumption by using more monitors instead of normal boards and banners.

Tinja and Riikka

What is your occupation here at TAMK?

We are Nursing and Healthcare students.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

Recycling and also thinking in a more ecological way come immediately to mind .

I can think about it in relation to nursing work, as well, said Tinja, when discussing about effective use of medical supplies.

Sustainable development is a value of TAMK, how has it changed the way you perform your daily routines?

At least, we are trying to use less paper and utilize more online material on Tabula, Tinja said.

Having some of the exams on screen and not on paper is helping the cause, Riikka adds, and also last summer I participated in an online course where it was possible to take part in the discussions and consulting the slides directly from home.

How, in your opinion, could TAMK develop its sustainability further?

About social sustainability; making students that are studying different subjects, cooperate together is a way to implement that, for example being able to practice with a team formed by nurses, doctors and physiotherapists is a good thing.


As it can be seen, staff members and students are already aware of what has been done and what can be done to improve sustainability. Now the question remains: is TAMK ready to take sustainable development to the next level?


Text and photos: Henri Annala, Kirsi Jokipakka, Tarja Kalliomäki-Linnas, Sanna Laiho



The EAIE Conference is the biggest event in Europe within the context of higher education, and this year it was organised under the scorching sun of Seville, Spain. Taking place on 12-15 September, it was the 29th EAIE conference ever organised, and it hosted a record number of 6,000 participants from 95 countries. TAMK sent a team of four people to attend, and in this blog post we try to crystallise some of the ideas and insights raised by the event.

Henri Annala, International Coordinator for the Language Centre and Social Services, attended the conference for the first time and felt it was a really immersive experience in many ways. Besides attending a number of very interesting and relevant sessions on topics such as online collaboration, internationalisation at home and internationalising university strategy, the week offered plenty of chances for ever so crucial networking.

The opening reception

This proved to be the most significant benefit the conference could offer: as a result of several meetings, receptions and negotiations, there are now many new contacts and ideas for collaboration both in the field of languages and social services. In addition to creating new contacts, it was of course also really important to meet with the already existing partners (for example the Hague University of Applied Sciences) and strengthen TAMK’s collaboration with them.

Henri would definitely recommend the event for staff wanting to kill several birds with one stone in terms of networking and relationship building – instead of attending a single international week hosted by a partner university, you could go to EAIE and meet almost all your partners at once. In addition, Seville proved to be a really beautiful and hot venue for the conference.

Kirsi Jokipakka, Head of the International Services, had visited the annual conference already several times before. One of the main insights for her was that the top management of the university needs justifications why internationalisation is so important, and the International Services staff is responsible of providing enough useful information to them.

In terms of international co-operation, staff training is key for success, and we need enough individualised training for our staff. In addition, it became very clear to Kirsi during the week that the International Services is the bridge between partners and university community.

FIBES, the conference venue

Sanna Laiho, International Coordinator for Health Care, attended the conference for the first time and it was a memorable and worthwhile experience for her as well. The conference programme offered various opportunities with hundreds of different activities; to mention a few, lectures and sessions concerning internationalisation, online learning and intercultural competence. They offered a good insight into the current situation in European higher education.

The conference was an excellent opportunity for networking, arranging meetings with partners and gaining new collaboration opportunities. Sanna also had a great opportunity to have a poster session presenting the outcomes of an Erasmus+ project where TAMK had a role as one of the partners. The poster session was a unique chance to introduce not only the project, but also TAMK and its Health Care unit to new possible contacts and future cooperation possibilities.

Sanna giving a poster session

Last but not least, this visit to beautiful and sunny Seville was a great opportunity to share experiences and make future plans with your own colleagues from TAMK; going to an intensive conference trip together is a great way to get to know the people you work with.

Tarja Kalliomäki-Linnas, Head of Study Services, attended the conference for the first time, too. Her point of view was maybe slightly administrative, but it was interesting for her to take part in sessions concerning how smaller regional universities compete and how to prepare for international work and study experience. In addition, all the poster sessions were like spices in the conference soup – many interesting projects were presented.

Furthermore, both exhibition halls were really huge! Tarja also had the opportunity to take part in the discussions with TAMK’s partner university MUAS (Munich University of Applied Sciences) with Kirsi. The discussion topics ranged from the upcoming academic year to the double degree students’ studies. In Tarja’s view, it was really great to have a possibility to meet people and colleagues face-to-face.

Plaza de España

Tarja also visited Pablo de Olavide University (founded 1997) which is Seville’s second public university and one of the youngest state universities in Spain. With a student population of over 11,000, Pablo de Olavide University offers over 30 degrees in areas such as law, economics, business administration, social and natural sciences, nutrition, technology, the humanities, sports science and many others.

Mind full or mindful? Tarja attended plenty of interesting sessions concerning ideas to support staff and faculty in dealing with international students and mental health, the efficient, effective and culturally sensitive use of e-mail, managing stress, and being more productive among others.

The conference experience has definitely opened up new viewpoints for the participants. All the interesting discussions with the representatives of partner universities and other participants were thought-provoking and unforgettable. To sum it up: it was a most memorable and enjoyable lesson on internationalisation.

Text and photos: Peter Perttula, Project Assistant


While I was studying in the second year of Proakatemia, the headmaster of the business school Universidad Catolica Boliviano visited us. I showed Tampere, TAMK and Proakatemia to Gonzalo Chavez and a few years later he invited me to visit his school in La Paz, Bolivia. Gonzalo was impressed with our team-learning model and the Y-kampus that we have in TAMK so the purpose of my visit was to introduce the team-learning model and coaching to 27 teachers from his university.

The second day of the internal workshop

I held a three-day internal workshop for teachers (and a few students) from the business school. In this workshop, we went through differences between teaching and coaching and looked into different kinds of tools for coaching.

It was fascinating to see how open minded Bolivian teachers were to a different way of teaching. As a personal note, it was interesting to work in a culture where working days are split into two sections because of a “siesta” break between 12 am and 4 pm. People use this “siesta” time to go home for a nap or sports and to have lunch with their families.

After the three-day internal workshop, I held a three-day business development course for teachers and students from other universities. In the workshop participants worked on real business cases for three days. It was interesting to see them working in teams and learning about our team-learning model through a practical assignment.


La Paz from a Teleferico (a ski lift that locals use as public transportation).

My plan was to provide some theoretical information and tools such as the Business Model Canvas and then let the teams split work between their team-members. I explained that as a coach I am not there to provide answers but to ask questions that might help figuring out the answers. After the initial shock and with the help of a very tight schedule the participants realized that in order to have a solution for their business case they must work efficiently as a team.

Bolivia was a very pleasant experience overall. It is a developing country with a bright future ahead based on the passion that I saw in the teachers I had the opportunity to work with.

Text: Minna Metsäportti and Kirsi Saarinen

Since autumn 2016 engineering students and health care students have been provided with an alternative way to accomplish their compulsory professional English courses (Technical English for Professionals and Professional English for Nurses).  Fast Track English is a Tabula-based web course where students from the fields of engineering and health care study collaboratively. The course attracts students with solid command of English, and a desire to study at an accelerated pace. Those interested in participating in Fast Track are required to send in written applications presenting their backgrounds as users and learners of English.

The five-week Fast Track is wrapped up with final projects designed and presented by multi-professional small groups. Work Safety in Various Working Environments, Healthy Building, Robot Assisted Surgery, and Virtual Reality in Health Care are examples of final projects that the cooperation with students from fields other than one’s own has generated.  When contributing to the project, a student utilises and applies the perspective of one’s own special field, alongside with being exposed to a completely new professional field.

The guiding principles of Fast Track are self-directed studying, collaboration, and reflection. Students choose study material by themselves (e.g., educational video clips and scientific articles), and process them in a variety of ways on a shared platform. Self- and peer assessment, as well as mutual feedback are an integral element of the study process. Communication is open – both the contributions submitted and the feedback provided are visible to the entire group.

Among the most significant goals of the course is to practise and reflect upon Successful Professional Communication; what is characteristic of the concept, and how does one communicate successfully as a professional. It can be said without hesitation that the students of the previous two Fast Track courses have indeed succeeded in achieving this goal.

As of the second week of September, the third set of Fast Trackers are studying together again. The added bonus this autumn is the anticipation of cultural exposure thanks to a number of international exchange students whom we were glad to welcome to the course this time.