International Intensive Programmes as part of SeAMK Studies
Kirsi-Maria Välimäki, student of SeAMK Degree Programme in Library and Information Services, participated two international intensive study programmes during her studies. First one was “Managing and Leading in Different Cultures”, which was held in 8-12th of April 2019 in Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany as part of Prominence project. Programme participants were students from different countries: Germany, France, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland.
The second one was a course called “Information behaviour, internet & libraries”. It was organised in Bucharest, Romania, 13-18th of October 2019 by University of Bucharest. There were five Finnish students and about 20 students from Romania from the Library and information studies.
– When I started my studies in Seinäjoki, it was clear to me that I wanted to make the most of my time in school, says Kirsi-Maria. This plan included to participate as many activities as I could master. I also love to travel and after spending a year abroad before, I wanted to make sure I would be able to take advantage of the programmes and courses that gave the opportunity to travel.
Both programmes Kirsi-Maria participated included not only lectures but also company visits and free-time activities.
– For the programme in Aschaffenburg we had to do two preparatory tasks before the course. The first one was an interview of some company’s international head about managing and leading. And the second one was to plan a national dinner, which was later held in Aschaffenburg during the course. During the course we had lectures as well as group work in multi-cultural teams. We also had one company visit during the week. Students could choose to visit Linde Material Handling or European Space Operations Center. We also had workshops, free programme with other students (pub crawls etc.) and of course some free time to get to know the town, Kirsi-Maria tells, and continues:
– For the Bucharest course we studied some articles beforehand and made a presentation of the library system in Finland. We visited Library of the Romanian Academy, Library of the Faculty of Letters and National Library of Romania. The visits were interesting mainly since the Romanian library is different compared to Finnish one. They have a long history of library, and it was interesting to see all the old manuscripts and the way their libraries work today. We had some free time activities planned as well and were able to visit Peles and Pelisor castles, and Bran Castle. The last one is also known as Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s castle.
Kirsi-Maria is satisfied with the international experience these opportunities offered to her.
– In my opinion meeting students, or should I say future colleagues, from different countries is the main point in these kinds of courses. Getting to know people from other countries and getting into their cultures gave me new perspective of living, studying, and working. Aschaffenburg showed me what it is like to work in international leading positions, and Romania showed how different the library system can be in different countries. I was also able to get some new friendships from different countries.
– I got a great advice from a friend when I heard I was accepted to study at SeAMK: “Seize the moment and do everything possible.” I’ve studied with this advice and found myself doing different things including traveling and meeting new people from other countries. Intensive courses gave me so much that it’s impossible to get it all written here. I recommend you try it yourself!