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Humak’s second-year community education students in Jyväskylä organized an action-packed week for the students and lecturers of our partner institution Jesuïtes Sarrià Sant Ignasi. The week is a part of a project that includes a reciprocal visit to both countries.

Lecturers Eeva Mäntylä and Tero Lämsä coached the students during the planning stage of the program, and gave them instructional sessions on the basics of leading a group, security planning, and the use of adventure educational methods in community education.

However, the students planned the entirety of the week’s program themselves. The activities included a wide variety of sporty endeavors, e.g. cross-country- and downhill skiing, skating and attending a professional hockey game, as well as a visit to Sports Lab Jyväskylä where athletes get their physical tests taken.

The program also included an adventure educational day, during which the students enjoyed outdoor activities in the vicinity of the scenic Jyväskylä campus. The day included a hiking trip, a lunch enjoyed around a campfire, sauna and ice swimming, and a night spent sleeping in tents.

The students organized everything

While planning the week’s events, Humak’s students worked in pairs, each of which had their own area of responsibility. To ensure that things ran smoothly, two students were assigned the role of a project manager.

Maria Suominen, who worked as the other project manager, says that the week was a success.

’’Even though we had planned everything very carefully, we did face some inevitable surprises. That is to be expected in a project with this many moving parts. I feel like this week improved my ability to deal with pressure and uncertainty’’, Maria says.

Maria states that she gained more confidence in her abilities and realized her English language skills were much better that she expected. She recommends other community education students to take part in the international projects that will be organized in the future.

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The week in Jyväskylä involved a variety of fun outdoor activities.

Getting to know the day-to-day local life

The students who organized the program in Jyväskylä visited Jesuïtes Sarrià Sant Ignasi in 2019. The week, similarly to the one in Jyväskylä, included many outdoor activities, only in markedly warmer weather. The group went camping and hiking, organized a physical education class for the pupils of a local school, and practiced canoeing and surfing.

During the trip to Barcelona, Humak’s students resided in the homes of the local students. In turn, the Barcelonians lived in the Finnish students’ apartments during their stay in Jyväskylä. This way the students had a unique opportunity to immerse themselves into the local life in a way that would not have been possible if they stayed in hotels.

’’Both the week in Barcelona and our week here in Finland were wonderful experiences. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project’’, Maria Suominen says.

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The participants enjoyed cross-country skiing in Laajavuori.

International collaboration

Humak’s lecturer Tero Lämsä hopes that the partnership between the two institutions will encourage students to apply for a longer exchange period abroad. In fact, such an effect can already be seen — many of the students from the previous group of students who visited Barcelona in 2018 have gone on exchange after the trip.

Lämsä says he is very pleased with how well the students managed the Jyväskylä visit.

”Planning and organizing a week like this has been a fantastic learning experience for our students, and a good opportunity to practice how to lead groups and take responsibility. They truly did a great job”, Lämsä says.

The Barcelonian lecturers Monica Bosch and Ramón Riverola maintain that the week in Jyväskylä was organized very efficiently. When asked to single out an experience that their students found especially memorable, they mention the adventure day – sauna, ice swimming, and the night spent outdoors in Finnish nature.

Our students had a fantastic time in Jyväskylä. We look forward to new collaborations in the future.

The mutual visits to Jyväskylä and Barcelona have been organized twice so far, with the first visit to Barcelona taking place in 2018. The next trip is currently being planned for April 2021.

News and further information

Humak University of Applied Sciences is engaged in the development of communities through higher education. Our study programmes are conducted in close cooperation with our research, development, and innovation services. We strive to help our students along their career paths and support professional partners with their endeavors.