Trainee teachers from Germany

Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Lisa. I am 30 years old and come from Darmstadt. I love music and traveling around the world to get to know different cultures. Before studying I worked as a hairdresser. I love the creativity of this job. Because of that I decided to become a teacher for the haidressers.

My name is Kathrin, I am 29 years old and I come from Frankfurt. Before I decided to attend the trainee teacher program, I studied “Social Work“. I worked in a bilingual kindergarten and an after school club for primary school pupils. During my studies, I spent an “Erasmus“ term abroad in Stockholm and worked for a social project in Buenos Aires, which definitely encouraged me to apply for the“Erasmus Plus Program“ in Jyväskylä.

I am Michaela, a 25 year old trainee teacher from Germany, living in a small town next to Frankfurt. Since September 2016 I teach the kindergarten teachers pedagogy and politics. Before that I studied social pedagogy and worked as a social worker in the kindergarten and later on in youth welfare services. I like traveling and getting to know new people and cultures.

My name is Janine, I am 38 years old and come from Kassel. I studied Business Administration and English. In my freetime I like spending time with my family and doing some sports like Yoga. I am interested in meeting people from different cultures and countries.

What are you studying?
We are trainee teachers at vocational schools in Germany. Our subjects are “Hairdressing“ and “Politics“ (Lisa), “Business Administration“ and “English“ (Janine), “Early Childhood Education“ and “Politics“ (Michaela and Kathrin).

What have you been doing in Jyväskylä?
We stayed three weeks in Jyväskylä and prolonged our stay with a cruise from Helsinki to St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Stockholm. During our stay we got to know the different campuses of “Jyväskylä AO“. We got a great overview of different programs related to our vocational subjects. We also presented the German school system to the students and teachers to compare similarities and highlight differences.

Trying to be typical Finnish, we went ice swimming! It was incredible and highly encourage it. The Finnish sauna afterwards was amazing! We also attended an ice hockey game, which we recommend. We also explored around the town, visited the Toivola Old Courtyard, went up the tower of Jyvläskylä and visited the church.

Do you think the time has been too short/long?
The length of time was exactly right. The program is mixed and well-organized which made the time fly by. It gave us a great overview about the Finnish school system from pre-school programs to vocational trainings and also the adult education training. Also the Introductions about the background of these programs where very helpful to understand the Finnish way of education. After school, especially in the evenings and on the weekends, we had plenty of time to explore Jyväskylä, with helpful recommendations of the teachers.

What have you learned during your stay?
In any case, all the Finish people we have met, left a great impact. They were all extremely friendly and helpful!

Concerning the vocational school, we realized that the school system is different to the German one. The main difference might be, that in Jyväskylä, they do a lot of practical work in school, whereas in Germany, most of the practical work is done at the workplaces. The hairdressers for example have their own client service at school or the practical nurses organized gym lessons for elderly people at school.

The practical nurse program is different to the kindergarten teacher program (Erzieherausbildung) in Germany. Finnish students get a great overview during their studies about working in child care, but also rehabilitation or dental care and working as a nurse for example. To become a kindergarten teacher, they have to continue studying at an university.

A big difference is also that Finnish students get free lunch at school!
Students at Jyväskylä College have a great chance to go abroad during their vocational programs, which the school encourages.

What have been the best moments during your stay?
We felt very welcome during the whole stay at Jyväskylä. Finnish people were cordial all the time. The teachers, the hosts, people in the streets and in the shops. They all were very helpful and made our trip great.

We saw nice places all around Jyväskylä as well, like old factories, shops and countryside.
At the hairdressing and beauty department we all were invited to enjoy a full-body-massage. It was an amazing experience to see (and feel) how independent the students of the first year were working.

We got to know a great overview of different situations of the schools daily routine. For example visiting elderly people and a kindergarten in the social and healthcare department or different workplaces in the business sector.

Also our weekends were very exciting. We stayed 2 days on a lake near Laukaa. We relaxed in nature directly at the lake while sitting in a hot tub and using a real Finnish sauna.
We also went to Lappland for 2 days to see Santa in the Christmas Village and some northern lights. Very impressing!

Give three tops and tips (based on your own experience) to someone who is planning to come to Jyväskylä.
1. Jump into frigid waters and ice swim followed by a traditional Finnish sauna!
2. Go to an ice hockey game!
3. Renting a cottage at the lake, equipped with a hot tub and sauna.
4. Dive into the Culture! Meet Finnish people, eat typical Finnish food and try local drinks.

More information: Rea Tuominen p.6159

Tourism Winter School

Who are you and where do you come from?

We are a group of six students from East Frisia in Germany. Our names are Angelina (24), Fenna (25), Nadja (27), Imke (23), Julia (23), and Deike (23).

What are you studying?

We are in the second and third year of a school for business administration with the subject tourism in Wittmund, Germany. We learn a lot about marketing, accounting and the management from companies, especially tourism companies like tourist information, bus companies or hotels.

Our school includes three work placements, each of them takes 6 months. We can collect many experiences in that time.

What have you been doing in Jyväskylä?

We were on a school for tourism and did many interesting things in Jyväskylä. The special attention was sustainability in other European countries, how to do tourism activities in bigger groups and how to act with problems while guiding a group. We did many winter sports like snowshoeing, fat biking and cross-country skiing. We were doing some sports we have not done before and we have collected great experiences.

How long have you stayed in Jyväskylä?

We were in Jyväskylä for two weeks. (11.03.-25.03.2017)

Do you think the time has been too short (why?), too long (why?)

It was a perfect time for winter tourism. The time was not too long or too short. It was very physical to do all the kinds of sports all day but in the two weeks we had the chance to do some sports two times to assure the skills.

What have you learned during your stay?

At first, we learned how to work in a group and of course the new sports. As a second aspect, we learned lots of the culture and the people in Finland. It was awesome to become friends with some classmates, to spent time with them and to be in another country.

What have been the best moments during your stay?  

The best moments were definitely the excursions to different places, the flexibility of the teachers and the program, the different kinds of sports and the people. Our class became more a class like before the trip and we are now a good team. The people we met were also great, they were so nice to us and it will be a pleasure to meet them again.

Give three tops and tips (based on your own experience) to someone who is planning to come to Jyväskylä. How should they prepare? What should they do/see/visit/experience?

  1. Visit the tower of Jyväskylä. You will have a great view of Jyväskylä and the lakes around the city.
  2. Go to an Ice-Hockey game. The spirit is incredible.
  3. If you have, the chance enjoy a finish sauna and go after it into the icy lake to cool down.
  4. On a nice clearly evening in the right time, you have to see the northern lights.

More information Timo Lehtonen and Hanna Syvälahti

Josef and Quirin from Germany

Two students from our MusicXchain partner school,  Neue Jazzschool mMchen e.v,  stayed with us for two weeks in March 2017 and answered some questions: 

Who are you and where are you from?
Josef Meixner from Germany

What are you studying?
I study Music. Main instrument is guitar.

What have you been doing in Jyväskylä?
I visited the Music Conservatory. Went to jamsessions in Poppari jazzclub. I was in a sauna and jumped into the lake.

How long have you stayed in Jyväskylä?
2 weeks. I arrived on March 12th and fly back to Germany on March 27th.

Do you think the time has been too short (why?), too long (why?)
I think 2 weeks are perfect because I have my final exams in June so it’s not good when I miss so many lessons.

What have you learned during your stay?
I learned a few songs in the jazzband workshop. In world music i learned many samba rhythm patterns. In music theory i transcripte songs. In my 2 guitar lessons i learned different ways in improvising.

What have been the best moments during your stay?
There were many good moments here in Jyväskylä. But one of my favorites was the jamsession were i played with Marian Petrescu.

Give three tops and tips (based on your own experience) to someone who is planning  to come to Jyväskylä. How should they prepare? What should they do/ see/ visit/ experience?
Buy good shoes because in winter you need shoes which don’t get wet inside. Go to a sauna and jump in a lake. You feel newborn after that. Eat typical Finish food. It’s very good.

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Quirin Schuhbeck and I'm from Munich (Germany)

What are you studying?
I study music, my main instrument is drums

What have you been doing in Jyväskylä?
I took part in an exchange programm for european music students.

How long have you stayed in Jyväskylä?
For two weeks

Do you think the time has been too short (why?), too long (why?)
I think two weeks are quite a good time to get to know a different school system. When it comes to forming a band and setting up a concert it surely takes a little more time to get to know the other players as well as possible.

What have you learned during your stay?
Some nice new songs with the Jazz -band-workshop, a lot about playing together especially in brasilian Samba music (world music workshop) and I have also had great lessons with Raimo the drum teacher.

What have been the best moments during your stay?
When we went to a jamsession and both got to know and play with Marian Petrescu. We visited a few fantastic concerts and the people around here are some really nice and cool guys, so spending time with them was kind of a highlight, too.

Give three tops and tips (based on your own experience) to someone who is planning to come to Jyväskylä. How should they prepare? What should they do/ see/ visit/ experience?
Go to sauna, to poppari club and climb up the the tower of Keski-suomen Luontomuseo (You have a breathtaking view over the city and surroundings of Jyväskylä)
One should also reckon with the sometimes capricious weather situation 😉 And it can get very slippery, too.

More information Markku Rinta-Pollari

More visitors from VWNotts

Jyväskylä Educational Consortium had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Andrew King (Director of Innovation and Strategy) and Ms. Kadri Saat (International Coordinator)  from our partner college in Mansfield, UK for three days between 10-12 April 2017.

The visit was short and intensive covering many areas of mutual interest including entrepreneurship education, management of the blended learning (VET & Adults), use of technology, plans for the future as well as relationships with employers (delivery and what part they play in VET) and relationship with HE and progressions for VET learners.

Kadri Saat, Pirjo Kauhanen and Andrew King

The visitors impressions were very positive and although the visit was short  we were able to indentify several areas where we can continue cooperation and learn from each other. When asked to mention three main takeaways from the meetings and discussions they had during their visit Andrew and Kadri mentioned the following:

Firstly,  the relationship you have with the local employers: the way you nurture these, the impact to the skills and competencies from an extended on-the-job learning and how the end competency test is often completed at the workplace.

Then, how the entrepreneurship is embedded across the college and how all students are encouraged to establish and run mini companies with the support from the college.

The partnership and strong collaborative work that you do with two local universities. The new centrally based joint company to share the resource, expertise and support the progression.”

Andrew King, Jaana Virtanen and Hanna Frilander visiting the new facilites at Harju Campus.

Kadri and Andrew would like to thank everyone who participated in their visit: Pirjo Kauhanen, Anu Tokila, Maarit Kaija, Hanna Rajala,  Niina Helin, Pia Kotro,  Sinikka Luukainen, Sari Mynttinen, Mira Ahtila, Milka Niskanen, Minna Ahokas, Jaana Virtanen, Hanna Frilander & Markku Tarvainen.

More information: Rea Tuominen p.6159

http://www.wnc.ac.uk/

Digitalisation in Northern Ireland

Money is tight and in all our development work the motto is ”more for less” – there is an increased need to find new, efficient ways in organizing VET provision with the help of ICT and learning technology and all supportive services around them.

VET qualifications in Finland are fully competence based and in no way linked to any input elements anymore. With the exception of comprehensive school leavers for whom there is a targeted, national joint application process, also intake is now more or less non-stop which means that new learners can start their studies basically every week. This also means that VET providers are required to make learning plans for each learner individually.

With the above in mind, a team of Jyväskylä Educational Consortium staff members – including  Hanna Rajala, Chief Information Officer & Quality Manager, Jaana Virtanen, Learning Technology Expert, Vesa Pulkkinen, IT designer, specialized in student information systems and learning technology and Minna Ahokas, Programme Manager, guidance counselling, libraries – set out to investigate how our partners in Norther Ireland are using digital tools to improve and make their processes more effective.  The visit took place at three of the six NI VET providers, all members also of The Network of Networks (NoN) led by The Dutch Alliance (TDA).

Keith Kilpatrick, Assistant Director for ILT Development and ILT Systems

The group had with them a long list of question such as

  • How are ICT services organised; what is done internally, what is co-created with partners and what services, if any, are bought from a third party? Where client-software / cloud-software are used and what kind of support services are provided for college staff and (VET) learners?
  • Virtual learning policies and strategies; what is the procedure, how are decisions on eLearning tools used/ supported made? How is the support for teachers organized so that they can efficiently use learning technology in their teaching? What kind of virtual learning tools are used and how and how is the use monitored?
  • Guidance; how are guidance and career counselling processes organised? Who are responsible for various stages of guidance and career counselling (recruitment, student admission, guidance during and at the end of the studies? What kinds of digital or other tools are used in guidance?

Glen McMahon, International Manger, Belfast MET

More often than not, we find out that there are more similarities than differences between our practices and those of our partners, and this is also the conclusion of this benchmarking visit. In some areas we are a little bit behind, in others perhaps a step or two ahead. Although all hosts, Southern Regional College, Belfast Metropolitan College and Northern Regional College are operating in a relatively similar context, they had all solved some of the issues in slightly different ways or started their implementation process from a slightly different angle. These contrasts made the 3-day visit very interesting and not repetitive in the least.  Having said that, perhaps the most important outcome of the visit was the message of cooperation. Although all VET providers have their own processes and various things are created and provided for local use, they also benefit greatly from cooperation not just on regional but on national level as well.

The Northern Irish VET providers are all members of Jisc – the UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions. Jisc champion the importance and potential of digital technologies for UK education and research; and do three main things: operate shared digital infrastructure and services, negotiate sector-wide deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers and  provide trusted advice and practical assistance for universities, colleges and learning providers. The research and development work done by Jisc is integrated across these three areas.

A relatively cheap Jisc annual membership provides its members a significant advantage by pooling resources and sharing expertise nationally.

Discussions on this issue will continue at the Network of Networks Annual Meeting in the UK in September 2017.

Jaana Virtanen, Hanna Rajala, Damien Caldwell, Minna Ahokas, Vesa Pulkkinen and Irvine Abraham at NRC Ballymena campus.

The JEC team wishes to thank the hosts Southern Regional College, Belfast MET and Norther Regional College. Hopefully we can return the favour to you all sometime in the not too distant future!