In the student interview Social Services Degree Programme student Archibong ”West” Eyo.
Archibong Eyo, better known by his nickname West by his study group, studies in the Social Services Degree Programme in Laurea University of Applied Sciences. He started his studies in the autumn of 2015 so he is currently on his second year of studies.
West has also worked as an afro-dance instructor for eight years and in this line of work, he has learned to work with different kinds of people; children, youngsters, adults and seniors.
- For me it is important to make people happy and when they dance with me, I’m happy too, he explains.
- The will to help people was also the reason why I wanted to study Social Services. Right now, when many refugees and immigrants have come to Finland, I wanted to find a way of touching people's lives.
According to Archibong Eyo, especially tolerance and the ability to encounter different kinds of people are expected of those who work at Social Services. The sincere will to help in particular is also needed.
- In my opinion, you can’t work on this field if you only think about money. You have to love this job and do it with all your heart, he describes.
“Studies at Laurea UAS are very practical”
So far Archibong Eyo has been content with his studies at Laurea; the students are very motivated and the teachers helpful. However, two things in particular have made a huge impression on him.
- The Social Services studies in Laurea are very practical and we do a lot of projects. There is one project that I’m sure I will never forget and that was the Night of the Homeless, says West.
- We students were very committed to the project but it was very impressive to see president Niinistö participating in the Night of the Homeless event in Helsinki.
Another thing that has aroused Eyo's interest in his studies, is Encounter Art. Encounter Art is a visual art form performed in groups and which can help a person to find support in different situations in life.
- Encounter Art is definitely a subject I want to familiarise myself with more in the future because it offers tools to understand how people feel, West says.
- It can be helpful especially with refugees since they may have very heavy experiences. Encounter Art is also a form of non-verbal intercourse in which words are not necessarily needed.
Multicultural student group
Archibong Eyo, a resident of Vantaa, has lived around ten years in Finland.
- It took its time before I considered myself a Finn. My African roots are an important thing for me and now I think myself as a combination of both cultures in a certain way, he says.
Eyo's student group in the English Social Services Degree Programme is multicultural, as well. Archibong thinks that there is a good mix of native Finnish speakers and students with foreign backgrounds in the group.
- I definitely do believe that my background is an advantage for me as a professional of Social Services – especially when working with immigrants. Maybe I’m better able to understand the situation they're in and help them adapt to the Finnish society, says Archibong Eyo.
- Finland is all the time developing into a more international and multicultural society. Therefore, our need for professionals from different cultures grows more and more, so that the Finnish society will become more tolerant for everybody.
Read more student stories from Laurea.