Erasmus students Adventure education Kayaking Liittyviä tiedostoja

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A diverse group of students from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Poland, France and Finland has arrived to Humak Nurmijarvi Campus in order to learn about adventure sports education. The group of the Adventure Sports Course 2015 has a good balance between international students and students from Finland.

In total 12 Erasmus students study different topics at home. Some study social work, others sports but also sociology, pedagogy, applied psychology, tourism and leisure and psychomotoric therapy are among the disciplines.  It is a course that suits well for people whose studies are linked to social studies, education, youth work or leisure and activities. The number of Finnish students is seven.

The members of the group describe the first days of their time in Kiljava and the start of the course.

Neighbourhood Adventure

The lessons start with a warm welcome and an introduction at Neuvola, the classroom. The schedule for the next three months is given to the students during the first day of the course. Aside from an overview of the program and  organisational things (for example get to know the campus), the main goal of two first days is to get to know each other and to start the teambuilding.

On Tuesday, the second day the group is mixed up and split into smaller groups to do a neighbourhood adventure in Kiljava village. The students started their adventure on the road reseaching southern Finland countryside surroundings around Humak premises in Nurmijärvi.  The students  get some tasks they have to present the next week.

Adventure Sports 2015 in Humak Nurmijärvi. The nature is turning to autumn.
Two members of the Adventure Sports Course hiking in the neighbourhood of Kiljava. (Photo: Aline Letitre)

Equally important with the exploration of the area is getting to know better the fellow students.

—At least we had a lot of fun together, regardless of which places we visited, said students  Aline, Nick, Ann-Kathrin and Lieselot from the group. — Could be the abandoned mental hospital or the church of Rajamäki, could also be the beautiful beach of Sääksjärvi or other different places of Finnish way of life or the amazing nature around here.

Kayaking in the pool and on the lake

Learning Kayaking starts in the pool for safety reasons. The water is warmer and calmer, so the pool creates a safe environment to learn. Wet exit is a safe technique to get out of the kayak when it capsizes. It is  necessary to learn the technique so that it is possible to swim to the shore if you capsize in the water.

In the afternoon of the same day the students could also see how the kayaks are prepared by the lake.   The students also get instructions how to adjust the kayak and put on the right gear.

The basics of kayaking is learned on the shore step by step, and after the the students go into the water and practiced these techniques. The second day we got to learn more advanced techniques of kayaking like sculling, scooping and braces.

—“On Thursday we had many continuous hours of kayaking, that was tiring,” commented Marga.

Adventure Sports 2015 Learning buddy rescue
Adventure Sports Nurmijärvi 2015 Pool practice Photo: Ann-Kathrin Schacht

Buddy rescue

During the last day of kayaking the course concentrates on wet exit and buddy rescue in the lake.

Most of the students had a great time and had a good experience. Although some students were a bit nervous at first, they all managed to learn the techniques and did the wet exits and buddy rescue in the lake.

—”The first day with kayaks was interesting, but also exhausting. But the next days we just take the paddle and felt more and more comfortable on the lake and enjoyed it.” summarized Piotr.

The lunch offers a variety of choices

To eat at the cafeteria during the lunch hour, the students need to buy a ticket at the reception. It only costs 2,60€ and you can get all they need to eat. The cafeteria is a lovely place where the group can share a nice Finnish lunch together. Their are some choices of food like a variety of salads, potatoes, vegetables, crackers, nuts, etc. If someone follows a special diet for example without milk or meat, it’s not a problem because you can choose a varied and nutritious menu.

—It’s a true paradise for the big eaters because it looks like a buffet and we can serve ourselves as often as we like, say the students.

Free time: sports and nature

During the free time, there are a lot of possibilities. For example, the students can hike and explore the forest around the campus. The lake is the privileged spot where you can stay to enjoy the nature. The most courageous students can jump into the lake. After our lessons of kayaking and the wet exit, it is possible to use the kayaks during the free time independently. Also the students can use the swimming pool and the gym. At least there is the sauna to relax after a long day of sport.

Quote of the week: “NICE!!!”

Written and photos by:

Aline Letitre, Nick Van den Dungen, Ann-Kathrin Schacht and Lieselot De Jaegher