Between 4th and 8th of February Humak, University of Applied Sciences was hosting an International week in Kuopio. We had student visitors from Hanzehogeschool Groningen University of Applied Sciences from The Netherlands. Main points of the week were getting to know each other and learning about intercultural communication.
Day 1: Welcome to Humak!
First morning started with presentations of students from Groningen and Kuopio. After that senior lecturer Hanna Laitinen spoke us about intercultural communication. In the evening we went to spend a night at Turvalinkki. The evening started with dinner and after that we did some activities to get to know each other better.
Day 2: Workshops
The day started with senior lecturer Juha Manunen’s presentation on Finnish Sign Language. He told us about the Finnish Deaf Community and International Signing. After the lecture and lunch we started working in smaller groups doing workshops.
A couple hours after the school day Humak students organized a Finnish cultural evening at Rauhalahti. There was a chance to bathe in a traditional Finnish smoke sauna, swim in the frozen lake and eat traditional Finnish food. For some of the guests this was a totally new experience.
Day 3: Getting to know each other
Principal lecturer Elina Tapio started the day with a lecture on multimodal interaction. The afternoon we spent in the city center and visits to multicultural centre Compass, Girls’ House, Vamos and Perheentalo (Family House). After school some of the students went to Kasurila skiing centre. Three hours on skis and snowboards went by quickly.
Day 4: Time to say goodbye
Day four was a day to summarize. On the last full day of the visit the students were asked to make a summary of, and to give some feedback about the week. Later that day we visited Puijo Tower and enjoyed views of Kuopio from above.
Some questions and answers from a small-scale survey we did for our visitors:
What did you expect from this week?
“Lots of snow. Finnish people’s lifestyle or how do you guys live. Getting to know you. Social work and studies.”
“We got to know you best during the workshops. It would have been better to do them on the first day.”
What were your favorite things during the week?
“People, snow, skiing, sauna, ice swimming, food, welcoming party, Finnish nightmares workshop”
Text and photos: Joonas Kononov, Tiia Niemelä Heino Pitkänen ja Jesse Siukola,