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A head start for the EAIE week in beautiful Finnish nature

Laurea invited international partners for a hike in Nuuksio National Park.

What would be a better way to start busy conference week than a nice hike in peaceful Finnish forest? That is exactly what Laurea international office had in mind when they organised a Pre-EAIE Conference Partner Day on 23rd of September.

Thousands of attendees have arrived in Helsinki this week to participate in the EAIE (European Association for International Education) Conference. Before the official start of the conference on Tuesday Laurea invited partners to the Leppävaara campus on Monday. The programme for the day included a workshop on international activities as well as a chance to learn more about Laurea’s degree fields and meet colleagues.

Laurea Partner Day ended with a refreshing hike in the Nuuksio National Park in the outskirts of Helsinki Metropolitan Area.  Participants of the hiking trip enjoyed beautiful autumn weather and finished the trip with traditional Finnish snacks around a campfire.

-    This was a relaxing start for the EAIE Conference week, said one of participants, Elisa Lange from Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences in Germany, after the trip.
-    Finnish forest is quite different compared to what we have in Germany. For example, there are blueberries that you can pick if you want.

Fellow German Brigitte Ilg from Baden-Württemberg State University agrees with her:

-    We will spend the next few days inside the conference center so this was a very good idea to include this trip in the program of the international partner day, she said.

Ilg works as the head of international affairs at her university. Even though she has been in Finland before this was the first time she visited Laurea campus in Espoo:

-    Laurea UAS is our long-standing partner so it was nice to finally see the campus and meet all the colleagues here, she said.

The whole EAIE conference focuses on internationalization of higher education. Both Lange and Ilg encourage the students in their universities to take part in student exchange.

-    It’s very important to improve language skills and intercultural competence. Also here in Laurea it’s possible to experience another way of teaching and learning, they say.