In the beginning of March, an intensive week in early childhood education of social services was organised in Laurea’s Otaniemi campus for a group of 18 students and 2 members of staff from Japanese Hyogo University. Hyogo University is a private university established in 1995, located in the city of Kakogawa in the Hyogo prefecture. Hyogo University offers studies in for example nursing, early education and business management.
In the spring of 2015, Hyogo’s representatives were familiarising themselves with Laurea's operations with the Development Manager Tuija Partio as their guide. They loved the Laurea operating method and wanted to bring their students to Laurea for an intensive week.
The intensive week programme included 3 efficient study days and some time to get to know the metropolitan area and Finnish culture. The teaching focussed on early education and social services education in Finland and in Laurea. The 18 students from Hyogo University study in a four-year programme for kindergarten teachers, and they were especially interested in Finnish early education: the day care centres, preschools and early special education.
The intensive week was planned and carried out by Senior Lecturers of Laurea Otaniemi, Virpi Lund and Annika Kultavirta. The first study day included Finnish early education and educational system, the social services degrees in universities of applied sciences, and Finnish social welfare system. The second day contained visits to Tuomarila day care centre, Hösmärinpuisto school and Kilo learning centre. The visits were planned in cooperation with the city of Espoo, and they served to familiarise the students with many aspects of Finnish early education. The third intensive study day contained Japanese and Finnish students’ presentations that discussed for example playful learning environments, nature and environment education, language immersion, storycrafting, and productisation in early education. The Japanese students educated their Finnish colleagues about Japanese culture, traditional toys and origami crafting, and also for example panel theatre.
For many of the students this trip to Finland was their first visit abroad, and in the beginning there was indeed quite a culture shock. The professor in charge of the group, Saito Masatoshi, however stated that the intensive week was very important for the students’ professional growth and development, and that it gave the students a lot to think about in the future. In the common feedback discussion, the Japanese mentioned Finnish friendliness, hospitality and cheerfulness, interesting visits, practical public transport and Finnish design as the best things in Finland and about the intensive week. They were very happy with the intensive week as a whole, and discussions about the future are being conducted with the representatives from Hyogo University.
Intensive week is part of Laurea’s fee-based international service business activities.
Read also social services student Iida Puomila´s story about the visit here.
Director, International Business
krista.keranen (at) laurea.fi
Service Manager, International Business
aino.maijala (at) laurea.fi