The International Week brought visitors from partner institutions around the world to Laurea.
Every year, Laurea organises an International Week, which gathers teaching and other staff from Laurea’s partner institutions from around the world. This year, the International Week was hosted on Lohja, Porvoo and Hyvinkää campuses on 3–7 April
This year’s theme was ”Come together - Cross-cultural communication”. The week’s programme included not only teaching opportunities for teachers and different workshops for other personnel but also many types of joint activities and possibilities for networking. At the same time, the participants could familiarise themselves with the towns in which Laurea's campuses are based.
This year, the International Week drew 32 participants from 14 countries. All in all, they represented 23 different higher education institutions.
“A good opportunity for networking”
One of the representatives of Jade Hochschule located in northeast Germany at Laurea’s International Week was Andrea Menn, Head of International Office. For her, the absolute highlight of the week was meeting new people.
- An international week of this kind is a great opportunity for meeting colleagues and networking with them. Not only do you meet teachers and students from the host institution but you also have an opportunity to network with colleagues from around the world, Menn explained.
While in Finland, Andrea Menn was particularly interested in learning about teaching in this country and the new teaching methods used at Laurea. On Thursday, she also gave the students on Hyvinkää campus a lecture on inter-cultural communication, and her visit was very instructive, also from the cultural viewpoint.
- I also told the students in my lecture that, while Finns and Germans are quite similar from the perspective of communication, they also have their differences. My experiences here have shown, among other things, that Finnish people speak calmly and do not hesitate to leave pauses, Menn described her observations.
Internationalisation a joint target in Finland and Mexico
One of the visitors having travelled the longest way to Laurea’s International Week this year was Claudia Ugalde from Mexico. She works at a university called Technólogico de Monterrey as an instructor of new students. Claudia was already familiar with Finland, however, as her university has partnership agreements with several Finnish higher education institutions.
- We are increasingly marketing Finland to our students as a good destination for exchange studies. The first preferences for our students often include Spain, France and Germany, but many of them have also come to Finland, she explains.
Like Andrea Menn from Germany, Claudia Ugalde also considers meeting new people one of the greatest aspects of the International Week.
- This week has been a super experience. The programme that brings together teachers and other staff has been enjoyable, and I have made many useful contacts here, she says.
- It has also been interesting to hear how other higher education institution see things. Even if we are located on different sides of the globe, all higher education institutions share a common objective: the internationalisation of students and staff.