First of all I want to give an understanding about this course. Get Finternational is about cultural awareness and to improve your own intercultural skills and responsibilities. It should help you to reflect your exchange semester, to value your own experiences and to minimize intercultural barriers. Moreover this course is a possibility for the students to get in contact with the finnish society and to learn something about their culture and tradition. The students can participate at different events and can increase their knowledge in international issues.
You will pass the course if you participate at the two mandatory workshop- lectures and then you have to choose one further workshop, in which you are interested in. Furthermore you have to participate in five other events organised by ESN-IAC, Get Finternational or Student Union Tuo. Finally you have to write a final report and to return your full passport.
The course consists of interesting lectures about international issues, a lot of fun at the events and the possibility to make new international friendships. It includes events where you can learn something about other cultures and their traditions as an example the “International dinner”. There you get known to some foreign gastronomic specialities and common meals of other countries in a comfortable atmosphere. Furthermore there are also sports activities and events. Sports give you the possibility to work in an international team for common goal. Although there are maybe some communication problems, you try to reach the same objective and that makes a connection between the team members. Events like The Hang Around Monday where we could try some common finish sports, the “We are! Football tournament” or the ice skating event makes this possible. Moreover events like the Ruissalo Hiking, Blueberry pie baking or the Christmas Gathering give you the chance to learn something about the finnish culture and to discover finnish nature.
In my opinion this course is a must for all exchange students, because it gives you a view to the finnish life besides the university. Furthermore it gives you a variety to the normal university courses. Although there is a high number of event offers and activities, it wasn’t easy for me to get all the stamps for my passport and there are a lot of reasons for that. Sometimes you couldn’t register for activities because of a high number of people, who want to participate and there were place limitations. Then there could be the situation that some interesting courses overlap with other university courses or it happened that there were events while you were travelling or learning for exams. As a result it is very useful to do a compensation work like the blog or the video to get your stamps.
Text & photo: Matthias Sommer