Intercultural Connection - ice breaking and team building

Julkaistu 2016-05-16 13:32:47 EEST.

Downhill sliding, skating, baking Karelian pasties and making oven pancake, cooking borsch soup, tasting mämmi, visiting Raippaluoto, the ruins of Old Vaasa, a photo exhibition and the Ostrobothnian museum…

That is what the study unit of Intercultural Connection is all about. The course was organized in cooperation with the students of Social Services and international degree students of Information Technology and International Business.

- The aim was that the students gain knowledge about different cultures and learn about their own prejudices. This way they understand the importance of tolerance and mutual respect in the multicultural world, tells Senior Lecturer Heidi Blom from the unit of Social Services and Health Care.

The students were divided into small groups of Social Services students and international students. They met one another in these groups three times. Each session had both a specific theme and contents and a concrete activity together.


The purpose of cooperation is to support building multicultural society and enhancing the understanding of multiculturalism.

Learning through experience

The international students’ free choice course included writing a learning diary about the course and their experiences. For the Social Services students this cooperation was part of their basic study unit called Cultures in Everyday Life and in the Functions of the Society which included also lectures and theory.

- The cooperation aims at learning through experience and strengthening language skills; English and Finnish. The Social Services students helped the international students to learn more about Finnish society and vice versa, says Blom.

The cooperation in learning multiculturalism was planned and implemented by Heidi Blom with student counsellors Hilkka Vuorensivu (Sc. of Business) and Kalevi Ylinen (Sc. of Technology).

- In the final session it was great to enjoy the presentations of these multicultural groups. They encourage us to continue and develop this concept next academic year, says Blom.


The students chose a pink paper for the experience side of the course or the blue one for the information they learned, says Heidi Blom.


"You do not change prejudices by reading books but by meeting people. I believe I am now a bit more prepared for intercultural communication. I believe that there is more cultural sensitivity in me now", says a student who took part in the course.

Text: Hilkka Vuorensivu
Photos: Kalevi Ylinen