Diving into the world of projects – analyzing the small port investments in Rauma

In recent years, the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences has been working on making small ports more environmentally friendly and safe through projects like CB Portmate and CBSmallPorts – both managed and guided by the Smart Urban Business research team.

CB PortMate was an international project, funded by Interreg Central Baltic between 2016-2019, that aimed at developing greener and safer small ports in Finland, Åland and Sweden.

CBSmallPorts is a brand-new international project that started in June 2020. Funded by Interreg Central Baltic as well, CBSmallPorts picked up the baton from its predecessor as it continues to improve the energy efficiency of the small ports in the Central Baltic region (including Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Estonia), as well as to develop joint marketing activities among the ports.

In the summer of 2020, a social media campaign was launched by CBSmallPorts as part of the Baltic Sea Day (Itämeripäivä in Finnish), presenting the investments that have been implemented in the small ports so far, and asking people which improvement has been the most effective one.

As part of this awareness campaign, three students of SAMK degree programme in Energy and Environmental engineering spent their summer investigating and analysing the investments in the small ports of Rauma, Finland. The results of their work were collected in a report and final video.

This is their story.

Sonja Korhonen, Tiia Uotila and Maj Virko taking a look at the Wärtsilä-donated Seabin in Syväraumanlahti, Rauma.

Making the most out of an unusual summer  

Given these unprecedented times, summer 2020 was different than usual and therefore a great opportunity to tackle a project while also enjoying the beautiful Finnish summer. We spent a few sunny days in Rauma, exploring its small ports and their investments. On top of all the hard work we did during the project, we also got a chance to sail and visit many amazing places for the very first time.  

There are many projects going on at SAMK throughout the year. If you want to be part of them, all you need to do is reach out! Collaborating with the experienced staff at SAMK, already at an early stage of our studies, has given us opportunities to network and dive into the world of projects.  

There are many projects going on at SAMK throughout the year. If you want to be part of them, all you need to do is reach out!

So, what did we do 

The investments that we analyzed were located in three different small ports in Rauma: Syväraumanlahti, and the islands of Kuuskajaskari and Kylmäpihlaja. The goal of the investments is to improve the energy efficiency and environmental friendliness of the small ports: our job was to determine what kind of impacts the investments have been having in the Rauma area so far. The project consisted of data collection, research, and visits to the small ports. 

First, we looked at the investments in Syväraumanlahti port  

In Syväraumanlahti, the old lighting on the docks has been replaced with hand-rail integrated energy efficient and long-lasting LED lights to increase safety and save more energy. The lights are also controlled by an astronomical clock, which means that they turn off and on in accordance to the sunrise and the sunset. In addition to the LED lights, the City of Rauma received a Seabin as a donation from Wärtsilä, which is now installed next to one of the docks. The Seabin is a floating trash bin with a submersible water pump that collects oil, microplastics and trash from the water. The Youth Workshop of Rauma empties the Seabin regularly and collects data about the different waste that ends up in it. Through our analysis of the Youth Workshop’s excel data, we found out that most of the trash ending up in the Seabin is plastic. However, a notable amount of seaweed is also collected by the bin causing it to get clogged at times. With frequent cleaning of the Seabin, this problem can be solved.

LED lights in Syväraumanlahti port.

Next, we sailed to Kuuskajaskari island   

Kuuskajaskari island has a floating septic tank emptying station. Since the station is easily accessible, boaters no longer have to go all the way to the mainland to empty their septic tanks. This encourages boaters to dispose of their waste correctly, rather than dumping it into the sea. If the septic waste ends up in the sea, it increases bacteria in the water as well as eutrophication, which can have serious effects on the area by causing algal blooms.

Floating septic tank emptying station in Kuuskajaskari island. 

Lastly, we visited the island of Kylmäpihlaja

Kylmäpihlaja island is known for its lighthouse hotel and restaurant. One of the investments is a solar panel system on the roof of the building next to the light house. The system generates additional green electricity that is utilized by the hotel and restaurant. Not far from the lighthouse, there is a new service building that also has a solar panel system on its roof. The energy from the system is used to heat up the water in the service house’s shower and WC. We used a Photovoltaic Geographical Information System (PVGIS) tool to estimate the performance of the solar panel systems based on the panels’ inclination, direction, location, and technical information. The solar energy is very beneficial in summer destinations, as there is lots of sunlight available! 

Service house and its solar panel system in Kylmäpihlaja.

What did we learn from this project?

On top of learning about the technical aspects of the investments, we also gained knowledge about general project work and communicating through different social media platforms. We were also able to take advantage of our knowledge in both environmental and energy engineering throughout this project. Additionally, we got to try our hand at video filming and editing. Check out the video that we made to get a closer look at the investments and the great time we had! 

Thank you to SAMK staff – Riitta Dersten, Teemu Heikkinen, Minna Keinänen-Toivola, Heikki Koivisto and Alberto Lanzanova – for guiding and inspiring us throughout the project. A special thank you also to the City of Rauma for helping us make this project possible! 

For more information on the project visit the project webpage CBSmallPorts (https://sub.samk.fi/projects/cb-small-ports/ ), our research group website (https://sub.samk.fi/) and PortMate webapp (https://www.portmate.eu/)

Text: Tiia Uotila, Maj Virko, Sonja Korhonen, Alberto Lanzanova, Hanna Rissanen, Minna Keinänen-Toivola
Video: Sonja Korhonen and Tiia Uotila  
Photos: Heikki Koivisto, Tiia Uotila, Teemu Heikkinen, Minna Keinänen-Toivola 

Sonja Korhonen, Tiia Uotila, and Maj Virko are third-year engineering students at the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. The environmental project was completed as part of their studies in the degree programme of Energy and Environmental Engineering.

COST AMiCI – Expert work and student cooperation within antimicrobial innovations

The COST AMiCI action is one of the projects led by SAMK’s Smart Urban Business research team, research manager Minna Keinänen-Toivola as the chair of the action. AMiCI, standing for “Anti-Microbial Coating Innovations to prevent infectious diseases”, is funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology, the COST Association.                    

In infection control, the key is as simple as good hand hygiene. However, other measures and new innovations are needed to strengthen the battle. Certain touch surfaces can prevent the spread of microbes and thus the central focus of the COST AMiCI action is to evaluate the use of antimicrobial (microbe growth reducing) coatings in healthcare. The aim is to prevent the spreading of microbial infections and to reinforce the combat against antibiotic-resistant microbes in an innovative way. In AMiCI, researchers, company representatives and other experts from 33 European COST countries, reinforced with USA and Belarus, work together for solutions for microbiologically safe healthcare environments. 

Martijn Riool and Minna Keinänen-Toivola
Vice-chair of the action Martijn Riool and Chair of the action Minna Keinänen-Toivola.

Students as part of the conference team

SAMK invited a group of tourism students to join the practical organization of the final conference. Tiia Korhonen, Eveliina Elkevaara and Meri Cevik had the possibility to see ongoing project work within their own study institution and to experience the various aspects of handling an international conference. They describe their experience as follows:

As a student, attending the organization of the AMiCI conference was a great opportunity to learn about the entire circle of coordinating a conference from being part of the planning, to working in the actual conference and attending the follow-up after it. Before the conference, we had preparatory meetings with SAMK staff monthly. Our first assignment was to prepare an info sheet about Krakow for the participants of the conference. Because we had never planned an info sheet before, it was surprising how much information we needed to find out about Krakow, and how to write all the information about public transportation, accommodation, sights etc. briefly. 

This was the first time any of us had a business trip, so we had no expectations about what was going to be like when we arrived to Krakow. During the event at the Jagiellonian University, our work mainly included coordination of the conference info desk. Our tasks consisted of collecting signatures of the participants every morning, handing out lunch tickets and answering questions that the participants possibly had about the conference program, the premises, or the city itself. We had a couple local students working with us, which was helpful, because as locals they knew all about the city. The days at the conference were fairly long, but interesting and educational. We were surprised about how schedules can change, and how much details we had to take into consideration when working with the coordination of a big event. 

The AMiCI conference, SAMK students
SAMK students Eveliina Elkevaara, Meri Cevik and Tiia Korhonen at the AMiCI final conference registration desk.

After the conference, our task was to plan a feedback survey for the participants. The survey collected the participants’ experiences about e.g. the information given before the event, the practical arrangements during the event and the program of the conference. It was nice to get authentic feedback for our work – most importantly, to find out where we succeeded and where there is room for improvement in the future.

Being a part of the AMiCI final conference was one of the best experiences we have had during our studies and it was interesting to attend an international conference and to meet new people from all around the world. This got us thinking about our future careers – working in the field of event organization could be something we would like to do after graduation.

Text: Hanna Rissanen, Minna Keinänen-Toivola, Tiia Korhonen, Eveliina Elkevaara, Meri Cevik

Photos: Hanna Rissanen

Learning to write an article or learning by writing an article?

On the first lecture of a course called Theories of rehabilitation, our lecturer asked us a tricky question: “would you like to write an article in pairs and publish it together?”. After a few minutes silence we surprised the lecturer by answering why not! I think none of us really realised, what we had to face – not even the lecturer. It seemed to be interesting to get acquainted with a topic that interests us individually, to achieve a deeper insight and at the same time learn something about academic writing skills.

What did we actually learn?

Academic writing was new to all of us. As a future-specialists in the field of rehabilitation, we need to be able to write articles and produce academic papers. By getting feedback from lecturer and peer students we could improve the context and writings. By giving feedback for the others we also learned to check and read our own text with different attitude.

Cooperation skills are needed in every field of working – within and across the professional sectors. In our group we have people living in different countries and face-to-face meetings were not possible for everyone. That challenged us to find new ways of communication and utilise better emails, sharepoint, skype etc.

Implementing a master level course by writing an article

This task taught us to read and summarize articles – search for proper papers and from a huge amount of material gather the most important information and write it in a short and readable form. Cooperation supported each other to work better. By writing a scientific article with another student taught us to discover our own styles. There are many ways of writing and implementing a writing process and it is important to know one’s own style. We learned also each other’s styles and ways of working, which helps us to work with different type of people in the future. Specialists need to be able to cooperate in different situations and with different persons.

What was it like?

Writing an article in scientific style was very demanding and time consuming, but not too difficult and nothing ever comes for free. It was a challenge to work with a person you did not know too well and to combine the different ways of working. But that all made us learn new master level skills and understand learning and writing better. We found out that it was a good way of implementing one of our courses. We got deeper insight of own topics and expanded our knowledge by peer reviewing articles written by others as well. We have different occupations, different perspectives, different backgrounds and by writing articles in pairs we could really utilise our strengths and differences. 

Could we have learned more or better about theories of rehabilitation by traditional way of studying master level courses? We can’t say. At least we learned a lot of things we wouldn’t have learned otherwise – and all these things are very important when acting as a specialist in social and health care sector.

Hopefully health care professionals and students will find the publication and it gives some extra knowledge for them too! The publication is found here: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2019112043233 

Taina Jyräkoski, a student in Master’s degree program of rehabilitation (with the help of other article writers)

First success stories in trade: SMEs being active in Southern African market – this article also in Finnish

Project SME Aisle organized its second business delegation trip for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in April 2019. During the two weeks of travelling, the team and the companies visited Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. Altogether 31 companies from Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia participated in the trip.

[The article in Finnish: Jos haluat lukea suomenkielisen version, vieritä juttua alaspäin.]

These companies represented following sectors: maritime and logistics, automation, ICT and renewable energy. The delegation trip was the biggest of its kind in the project until now.

SMEAisle_DelegationApril_SummaryPoster
Our delegation trip to Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

It has only been a year since the project began, but remarkable results have already been achieved among SME Aisle SMEs. Some of the SMEs have proceeded to sales as some are still searching for their ideal partner. In addition, the business delegation trips have created cooperation between the participating Central Baltic companies as well as friendships. What kinds of solutions are the companies offering to the Southern African markets and what were the results of the delegation trip? These themes will be discussed in this blog.

Namibia: first sales and auditorium full of interested participants

Auditorium full of participants interested in SME Aisle in a business workshop in Windhoek Namibia.
Auditorium full of participants interested in SME Aisle in a business workshop in Windhoek Namibia.

For SAMK, the lead partner of the project, Namibia is a familiar place for business activities. SAMK has years of experience in working with Namibians and due to its geographical position, Namibia is in the focal point for trade activities. Thanks to years of cooperation, the project staff has wide networks in the country and it is possible to find potential partners for cooperation.

During the trip in Namibia, the companies got familiar with presenting their products and services in a new business environment and met interested local companies and actors. The first business workshop of the delegation trip was organized in cooperation with the Embassy of Finland and as a result, the auditorium was filled with interested participants. In addition, SME Aisle organized a workshop in Walvis Bay in cooperation with NAMPORT.

In Namibia, the success stories in our project so far include for example solar panels, virtual tourism and automation technology to improve efficiency at the ports.

South Africa: getting to know local maritime training and smart housing

SME Aisle organized a workshop and brought together stakeholders at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
SME Aisle organized a workshop and brought together stakeholders at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

In Cape Town the project organized a workshop together with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Afterwards, the companies got a chance to learn about local maritime training at the university and at the local port. The companies also visited a smart house by the Finnish company Honkatalot. The smart house is designed to use less energy by using special building materials and methods. This housing project is a good demonstration of a building project actualized solely without external funding.

South Africa is one of the biggest and developed markets in Africa.
South Africa is one of the biggest and developed markets in Africa.

Among the solutions provided by the SME Aisle companies, interest has been showed especially towards ship design, port operations enhancing technology, and broadband availability. South Africa is one of the biggest and developed markets in Africa and thus, competition is hard in many sectors.

Zambia: Possibilities in agriculture, ICT and renewable energy

We arrived in Lusaka at six in the evening, but the darkness surrounding us was surprising. Zambia is a developing country in which infrastructure is expanding in full speed nevertheless. People are welcoming and warm. However, climate change affects the income generation of many, especially in the agricultural sector which is the biggest sector in the country. For example, climate change affects cultivation through increased periods of drought.

During our delegation trip, the Embassy of Finland in Lusaka organized a Finnish Business Week in Zambia. We participated in different seminars, workshops and company visits. One of the main events was the local Agritech Fair in Chisamba, approximately 70 kilometers from Lusaka, in which our project staff visited for two days. Even the president of Zambia honored the event by visiting the Agritech Fair.

H.E. President of Zambia Edgar Lungu visited the Agritech Fair and Nordic Pavilion. SME Aisle company presenting their products to the president.
H.E. President of Zambia Edgar Lungu visited the Agritech Fair and Nordic Pavilion. SME Aisle company presenting their products to the president.

China’s influence in Zambia is remarkable and in Lusaka one may witness several different construction projects led by China. In some sectors competition may thus be hard, partly impossible. Of the products and services offered by SME Aisle companies, especially ICT technology reducing the use of water in cultivation, a new kind of fertilizer in cultivation, solar panels, mobile phones and construction raised especially interest among stakeholders.

Lessons learned to date and next steps

The trip proved that business in the target market requires in-depth information and the right contacts. If the company fails to map the target market carefully, it might face some surprising challenges including problems in import regulations and tendering. Coaching is an important aspect when building the export readiness of the companies. This coaching will be the next step of the SME Aisle project. Coaching includes getting to know the business environment, finding the right business contacts and introducing themes especially requested by the companies such as interpretation services.

Read more about the project and its upcoming events

Text and photos by: Nina Savela

Ensimmäiset menestystarinat viennissä: pk-yritykset aktiivisia eteläisen Afrikan markkinoilla

Projektimme SME Aisle järjesti toisen pienille ja keskisuurille yrityksille suunnatun delegaatiomatkan huhtikuussa 2019. Kahden viikon aikana matkustimme Namibiaan, Etelä-Afrikkaan ja Sambiaan. Yhteensä 31 yritystä Suomesta, Ruotsista, Virosta ja Latviasta osallistui matkalle. Yritykset edustivat merenkulkua ja logistiikkaa, automaatiota, ICT:tä ja uusiutuvaa energiaa. Delegaatiomatka oli projektin mittavin tähän asti.

[Yhteenveto julistekuvassa heti englanninkielisen jutun alussa]

Projektin alkamisesta on kulunut ainoastaan vuosi, mutta siinä on jo saavutettu merkittäviä tuloksia. Osa projektin yrityksistä on edennyt toivottuihin kauppoihin nopealla aikataululla, osa etsii vielä ideaalikumppania liiketoimilleen. Lisäksi sivujuonteena matka on poikinut yhteistyötä yritysten välillä sekä ystävyyksiä. Millaisia ratkaisuja hankkeen yritykset tarjoavat kohdemarkkinoille ja mikä oli matkan anti? Siitä kerromme seuraavaksi.

Namibia: ensimmäisiä kauppoja ja auditorio täynnä kiinnostuneita

[Kuva: Auditorion täydeltä kiinnostusta SME Aisle -hankkeen seminaarissa Windhoekissa, Namibiassa.]

SAMKilla, hankkeen vetäjällä, on useiden vuosien kokemus Namibiasta ja maa on projektimme keskiössä. Namibiassa löytyykin useamman vuoden pohjatyön ansiosta laajat verkostot sekä halukkuutta yhteistyöhön. Matkalla Namibiassa yritykset totuttelivat tuotteidensa esittelyyn uudessa liiketoimintaympäristössä sekä tapasivat kiinnostuneita paikallisia yrityksiä ja toimijoita. Seminaari yhteistyössä Suomen suurlähetystön kanssa poiki auditorion täpötäyteen kiinnostuneita. Lisäksi projekti järjesti Walvis Bayssa seminaarin yhteistyössä NAMPORT:in kanssa.

Namibiassa projektimme yritysten menestystarinoihin kuuluvat tällä hetkellä muun muassa aurinkopaneelit, virtuaalimatkailu sekä automaatioteknologia satamien tehostamiseksi.

Etelä-Afrikka: tutustuminen paikallisen merenkulun koulutukseen ja älykkääseen rakentamiseen

[Kuva: Kapkaupungissa teknillisessä yliopistossa SME Aisle järjesti seminaarin ja toi yhteistyötahoja yhteen.]

Kapkaupungissa projekti järjesti seminaarin paikallisessa Cape Peninsulan teknillisessä yliopistossa. Tämän jälkeen yritykset saivat tutustua merenkulun koulutukseen yliopistolla ja Kapkaupungin satamassa. Yritykset pääsivät myös vierailemaan suomalaisen Honkatalot Oy:n älytalossa. Älytalon ajatuksena on vähentää energiankulutusta asumisessa käyttämällä erityisiä rakennusmateriaaleja sekä rakennustekniikoita. Rakennusprojekti on hyvä esimerkki täysin ilman valtion tukea rahoitetusta projektista.

[Kuva: Etelä-Afrikka on maanosan suurimpia ja kehittyneimpiä markkina-alueita Afrikassa.]

SME Aisle -hankkeen yritysten tarjoamista ratkaisuista kiinnostusta herättivät erityisesti ratkaisut liittyen laivasuunniteluun, tehokkaisiin satamaoperaatioihin sekä laajakaistan saatavuuteen. Etelä-Afrikka edustaa Afrikan kehittyneimpiä ja suurimpia markkinoita, joten kilpailu on kovaa monella sektorilla.

Sambia: mahdollisuuksia maatalouden ratkaisuissa, ICT:ssä ja uusiutuvassa energiassa

Saavuimme Lusakaan illalla kello kuuden aikaan, mutta pimeys yllätti meidät silti. Sambia on edelleen kehittyvä maa, jossa infrastruktuurin kehityksessä otetaan edistysaskelia kovaa vauhtia. Ihmiset ovat lisäksi vastaanottavaisia ja hyväntuulisia. Ilmastonmuutos kuitenkin näkyy useamman paikallisen elinkeinossa, kuten maataloussektorilla, joka on maan suurimpia sektoreita. Ilmastonmuutos vaikuttaa viljelyyn muun muassa lisääntyneenä kuivuutena.

Delegaatiomatkamme aikoihin Suomen suurlähetystö järjesti suomalaisen liiketoiminnan viikon Sambiassa. Osallistumme erilaisiin seminaareihin, työpajoihin sekä yritysvierailuihin. Paikalliset maatalousmessut (Agritech expo) ovat suuri tapahtuma Chisambassa, noin 70 kilometrin päässä Lusakasta. Projektimme osallistui näille messuille kahtena päivänä. Saimme esimerkiksi vieraaksi maan presidentin.

[Kuva: Samibian presidentti Edgar Lungu vieraili maatalousmessuilla pohjoismaisella yhteisosastolla. SME Aisle -hankkeessa mukana oleva yritys esittelee tuotteitaan.]

Kiinan vaikutus maassa on merkittävä ja Lusakassakin on nähtävissä erilaisia Kiinan vetämiä rakennushankkeita. Joillakin sektoreilla kilpailu on täten kovaa, osittain jopa mahdottoman kovaa. Yritystemme tuotteista ja palveluista kiinnostusta Sambiassa herättivät varsinkin ICT-teknologian käyttö maanviljelyssä resurssien kulutuksen pienentämiseksi, uudenlainen lannoite maanviljelyssä, aurinkopaneelit, matkapuhelimet sekä rakentaminen.

Projektin ja delegaatiomatkan opetukset tähän saakka ja seuraavat askeleet

Viimeistään matkan aikana tuli selväksi, että liiketoiminta kohdemarkkinoilla vaatii perusteelliset tiedot kohdemaasta sekä täysin oikeat kontaktit. Mikäli yritys ei ole kartoittanut kohdemarkkinoita huolella, voi se kohdata yllättäviä ongelmia esimerkiksi maahantuontiin liittyvässä lainsäädännössä ja kilpailutuksessa. Oleellista on myös yritysten valmentaminen, joka onkin projektimme seuraava vaihe. Valmentamiseen kuuluu perehdyttäminen liiketoimintaympäristöön, oikeiden kontaktien luonti ja myös muu yritysten toivoma tuki, kuten tulkkaus.

Katso lisää tietoa SME Aisle -projektista ja ajankohtaisista tapahtumistamme (englanniksi)

Teksti ja kuvat: Nina Savela

Trying something new: Have you heard about lacrosse?

Protective gear. Men use helmets, women usually use the goggles. SAMKARIT blog post samk
Protective gear. Men use helmets, women usually use the goggles.

I knew very little about lacrosse before we were asked to do a project about it for the students of Rauman lyseon lukio. I had only seen it played a few times in an American TV-show in fact. So, this project, in cooperation with students from SAMK and from Rauman lyseon lukio, gave me the opportunity to learn not only about how to put up an event but also about this sport.

Lacrosse is one of the oldest sports in the world having roots with the native Americans. It is a contact game played with sticks that have a net in the end. The object is to throw the ball into the opponent’s goal and score more goals than the other team. It is also the national sport of Canada.
Rauman lyseon lukio has a partner in Canada and they wished to learn something about the country before their study trip there. What better way than to try the national sport?

A chance to try lacrosse

We started our project with a short promotion event at the school in Rauma where we had some information available about the sport and the event in order to get the students interested. Lacrosse is not that well known in Finland and many have no idea what it is about so we thought some basic information would be useful. The main event was held in the football hall in Rauma and lasted one and a half hours. There were about 25 students present.

Students waiting for instructions for the next drill. SAMKARIT blog
Students waiting for instructions for the next drill.

The equipment and instruction were provided by Markus Mattila, a 25-year old lacrosse player from Turku Titans. He has played the game for 9 years and said he started like most Finnish lacrosse players start, he changed games from hockey to lacrosse. He instructed the students with some exercises on how to use the lacrosse stick and how to throw the ball. Everyone got to try some moves and have fun.

Interviewing the instructor

While the students were trying some moves, I had a little interview with Markus about his hobby and future plans. I asked how long he has played

Markus Mattila Lacrosse player,SAMKARIT blog
Markus Mattila

and how he got interested. He told me that lacrosse players in Finland start pretty late, usually around 16 to 18 and often after having played ice hockey. Some hockey teams play lacrosse during the summer season and players who for what ever reason can’t continue with hockey sometimes change games to lacrosse. Markus said he turned to lacrosse when continuing hockey would have required him to move.

According to Markus lacrosse has been played in Finland since 2001 and we have men’s league, women’s league and junior league. The popularity of the sport has been growing over the years. The Finnish Lacrosse Association lists six lacrosse clubs. But quality over quantity. Finland is doing quite well internationally in the sport. The men’s national team has gotten third in the European championships in 2016. 2018 World championship games were held in Israel with 46 countries and Finland coming up as 15th. Finland has also hosted the European championships of box lacrosse in 2017 in Turku. Box lacrosse is the indoor version of the better-known field lacrosse.

Lacrosse sticks, SAMKARIT blog
Lacrosse sticks

Markus is going to Canada for the summer to play lacrosse and has interest to play professionally. It’s a long-term plan, he says, and we will wish him good luck for that future. The box lacrosse world championships are held in Canada in autumn 2019 and according to Finnish Lacrosse Association webpage Markus has been chosen as the team captain.

Our main goal was to give a fun opportunity for the students and learn about organizing an event and I think we achieved that.

Our team of SAMK students (from left to right) Jasmin Nurmi, Ira Heino and Sam RobinsonSAMKARIT blog
Our team of SAMK students (from left to right) Jasmin Nurmi, Ira Heino and Sam Robinson

Text: Ira Heino
Pictures: Ira Heino & Sam Robinson

 

 

 

 

This project was a part of our studies in the degree programme in International Tourism Development. We had three members of our class working on this with two students from Rauman lyseon lukio. All three of us are first year students and the project was related to our course about event management. These kinds of projects are a fun and a practical way of learning, and in SAMK we do projects starting right from the beginning of our studies.

Japanese students’ winter school will be soon again in Rauma – here’s a #tb to 2018

Winter School 2019 is soon here, in Rauma. In this text we look back to the winter school a year ago. The story is written by our students.

SAMK Rauma hosted Winter School 2018 for four Japanese students from Osaka Gakuin University, Japan. Winter School was held in cooperation of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki. The students spent one week in Rauma (24.2.-3.3.2018). It was an interesting experience all-around for both parties and the week flew by accompanied by unexpected experiences and turns.

Day one was full of sports

First, JapaneseStudents Winter School SAMK Rauma 2018we went to see a Finnish baseball match, and after that we went to Merijakamo to take a stroll on ice. The Japanese students experienced Finnish winter at its fullest: cold, crisp wind, ice, snow, skiing, and ice fishing. Our stroll was a rather short one though and we later warmed ourselves up at our local Finnish fast food restaurant Hesburger!

Amazingly, the students were excited about Citymarket. We spent at least 20 minutes at the toy aisle, and marveling at the vast selection of different candies. Finally, we went to see a floorball match and ended the day on a good, although busy note.

Day two we started with lessons on Finnish culture and language

We learned about the similarities of Finnish and Japanese. We also visited the Maritime campus at Rauma, and the Japanese students got introduced to simulators and attained general knowledge about navigation and the systems involved in it. We had pizza for dinner, and the Japanese students were quite shocked to see how enormous the pizzas in Finland were!

After pizza, we attended a Japanese class at Adult Education Center to give our guests a taste of Finnish students learning the Osaka Gakuin students’ native tongue.

Day three was too cold for our original plan

Day three was too cold for our original plan, which was winter fun, so we decided to bake apple pie and relax. It was delicious! After baking, we spent the afternoon having a little trip to the local mall.

Day four  we spent outdoors

Day four, however, we spent outdoors. First, we had a tour in Old Rauma. After visiting church and museum, we continued our trip to Latumaja, where we had fun in Finnish style.

This was the first time the Japanese students tried sled hill and pole sled with some slight mishaps. After that, we warmed up in a hut grilling sausages and drinking warm berry juice. We ended the day with swimming and sauna in the pool area of the Maritime campus.

JapaneseStudents Winter School SAMK Rauma 2018

We started the fifth day with bowling

We started the fifth day with bowling soon after we woke up to get in a good mood for the remainder of the day. For lunch, we decided to make some homemade hamburgers for lunch with the leftover ingredients we had. After we were done with lunch and cleaning after ourseleves we headed to Pori; first we visited the Pori Campus and met Pepper the robot!

We were also able to experience VR and many more technical wonders, including 3D printers. In Puuvilla shopping center we managed to pass our time by going out to a Mexican restaurant and splitting up for a short shopping spree, as the Japanese students had seemed fascinated by shopping malls and even general stores. And after rushing against the clock the day climaxed with a hockey game between Ässät and Saipa, accompanied by enthusiastic fans’ cheers.

JapaneseStudents Winter School SAMK Rauma 2018 Isomäki Hockey

On day six…

On day six, the Japanese students gave us an interesting presentation on Osaka, Japan, and Osaka Gakuin University. After the presentation, we started preparing for the International Night where we were meant to entertain and feed approximately 20 students from different countries. Thankfully nobody came in empty-handed and we managed to experience several different cultures’ delicacies.

JapaneseStudents Winter School SAMK Rauma 2018 Intl Food Fiesta

The night proceeded smoothly with party games and sampling multi-cultural treats. Finally, the party ended with the somewhat wacky introduction of a Finnish children’s dance “Sutsi satsi”. The night was tons of fun and our guests were happy to get to know people from different countries, for example, from Germany, Austria, China, and Vietnam.

The final day came sooner than we had wished

The final day came sooner than we had wished despite the week having been somewhat hectic. We met for the last time at the bus station before the students headed to Helsinki. It was a bit sad that they had to leave, but we promised to see each other again in the future. We hope they enjoyed their trip to Finland and to Rauma under our wing!

We want to thank Hiro, Sae, Shinya, and Kazutaka for coming to Rauma! We had so much fun with you! And, naturally, we look forward to seeing you again!

Katri, Jenna & Jaakko

A cultural complex student enters Shanghai Slush

I am a Chinese student and came to Finland in 2010. After that, I settled in Pori and started studies.

I have lived in China for more than 20 years. I was aware of the business culture and a certain business model of the industry which are the past of China. But in the days of living in Finland, time made me seem to be derailed with many things. Therefore, I am not afraid, I went back to school to start learning, and decided to apply for the opportunity to communicate with the world. Because of the experience of Finland and China, my Shanghai Slush volunteer application was passed quickly.

Shanghai SlushSlush is a non-profit platform for high-tech entrepreneurs, companies and investors worldwide because of its global influence, especially in the entrepreneurial circle. In September 2018 in Shanghai, I was fortunate to get funding from SAMK, witnessed this charming event and interviewed Slush founder Peter Vesterbacka.

 No hidden potential and demand

My volunteer work at Slush Shanghai was responsible for a sponsor’s booth. I did some homework because I wanted to complete the interview task. How to interview them in a limited time? Why do they give me a chance? In fact, when I was fortunate enough to get in touch and communicate with Slush’s founder Mr. Peter Vesterbacka, I found out that the Slush platform gives each participant unlimited potential.

mmexport Shanghai SlushEspecially if you have done enough homework to participate in the entrepreneurial competition organized by them, the attention will be even higher. If you want to find a job, it is also possible. When Mr. Vesterbacka knew about my experience in China and Finland, he enthusiastically recommended me to work in the field of interest. I am flattered, and I admire this highly effective way.  I do not want to show off what I had, but I want to share with you that my experience is that courage is not enough; it’s more important to clearly express what you need, and do that in a short time. I promise, this gentleman who is good at discovering the potential of others, will immediately share to you all the resources around.

Courage and communication

Peter Vesterbacka lived in Pori, which is a western city in Finland, when he was young. Partly because of our Finnish ”hometown language” greetings, I was fortunate to have a good interview with him. Mr. Vesterbacka has a good insight into the education industry. For a person who has acquired the Finnish education, I deeply agree with him. The Finnish high-quality pedagogic is worth promotion to the world. After the speech, we had a short conversation.

Calm and silence

After the work, although it was only three days with Slush, it took me several months from excitement to calm down. Those inspiring entrepreneurs made me feel that it is not difficult to start a business. The hard part is how to get out of my own path. “Create the new acceptance” was the theme of Slush Shanghai 2018. Creation and innovation, no matter which industry you care about, even if it has nothing to do with high technology. No doubt, embracing technology, the combination of technology and real-life scenarios is the trend of future business.mmexport Shanghai Slush

The hard part is how to get out of my own path.

For the future exploration and observation, I think I will not stop because of confusion. Thank you to  SAMK and Slush giving me energy and wisdom along the way.

Finally, if you want to start a business, Studying in SAMK and focusing on the Slush platform is a good start.


 

By: Yan Zhang
Photos by: Yan Zhang

Observer,

Entrepreneurship  degree programme, aiming to
Bachelor of Business Administration (SAMK)


 

Our unforgettable NIBS case competition journey

The road to representing SAMK for the NIBS 2018 case competition in Guatemala was a special journey for all of us. We started this journey half a year ago with a qualifying course and no expectations. We had just the goal of doing the best job we possibly could and see where it would take us. After about 6 weeks’ hard working and dedication we exceeded our expectations and qualified to represent SAMK.

We began the strenuous preparation for the RICC case competition taking place in the wonderfully diverse and modern city of Rotterdam in November. RICC provided us with a tremendous learning opportunity and gave us confidence in our abilities as we improved after each and every presentation.

Arriving at the airport, we were welcomed with warm hugs and smiles, which we were totally unfamiliar with coming from the Finnish culture, but which grew to enjoy throughout the week.

Despite leaving Rotterdam without a win we were convinced of our abilities to compete with top students around the world. After RICC we took home the valuable lessons learned during the competition and immediately began to train harder than ever to provide the best possible solutions to any case we might face in Guatemala.

SAMK NIBS team fligt to Guatemala

The Guatemalan experience

Participating in NIBS in Guatemala was an entirely new experience, despite the similar procedures of both competitions. Arriving at the airport, we were welcomed with warm hugs and smiles, which we were totally unfamiliar with coming from the Finnish culture, but which grew to enjoy throughout the week. Everyone was incredibly cheerful, friendly and helpful whether it was during the official competition or just when we were hanging out.

The time difference was a hindrance, but it didn’t stop us from exploring the beautiful city of Guatemala during our first few days of arrival. With the assistance of our ambassador, we learned a lot about the cultures, the local food as well as the magnificent landscapes within the city. Hiking up the volcano and sliding down the soft sand was, definitely, an experience of a lifetime, which we wouldn’t have had the chance had it not been for NIBS and the amazing volunteers from Universidad del Istmo de Guatemala. Also, the busy nightlife of the city was very different than in Finland. It is really astonishing to see the streets full of customized buses, a unique feature of Guatemala.

The competition

The trip to NIBS has been the trip of a lifetime combining leisure and exploring with tough competition and learning. As much as we relaxed and enjoyed the incredible and breathtaking environment the first days, just as hard we worked during the competition. We went into every competition hungry for a win and just as great it felt when we on our 2nd day of competition finally got our first win over London South Bank University. 6 months of hard work culminating into one moment that none of us will ever forget.

SAMK NIBS Team
SAMK NIBS 2018 team members with their coach in Guatemala.

The competition taught us to develop creative solutions to real business scenarios and present them in a convincing manner. Furthermore, the competition truly challenged our teamwork skills as well as tested our ability to perform under intense pressure. As NIBS vice president Robin Richie mentioned in his speech in the opening ceremony, the feeling of walking to the presentation rooms before presenting the solution is an unparalleled mix of emotions that words cannot describe. The walk is a feeling that all competitors will face during the competition and one that can only be fully understood by those who have experienced it.

Money can’t buy a trip like this where every feeling is felt

Money can’t buy a trip like this where every feeling is felt, limits are pushed, great work is a reward and learning comes faster than in any other place. All this while being in the scenery which mostly looked like a paradise.

Text by the team: Alex Dyer, Mathias Hansen, Thanh Nguyen & Karin Turunen

NIBS2018_Guatemala

As trainee in Department of International Affairs in FH Aachen

Me, master degree student Ms. Janika Reunanen from Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) had an amazing January 2018 in the FH Aachen, Germany.

Background

Right now, I’m studying my final part for the Master of Business Management: the thesis work is going on for my workplace SATAEDU, Satakunta Educational Federation, which gives vocational education. I work as International coordinator in SATAEDU and organize about 70–80 ERASMUS + mobility periods for vocational students with our international contact persons every year.

First, I would like to thank Ms. Satu Schrey, International Relations Coordinator at SAMK. She gave to me  tips and ideas where to go! We started to plan my exchange in May 2017.  I chose FH Aachen, University of Applied Sciences, which has every over 13,000 students and about 120–130 of them as exchange students abroad every academic year. Moreover, there are about 100 incoming students in the faculties. The city of Aachen is located very nicely if you want to travel there by  car from Finland and take your lovely family (husband and two kids) with you as I did…

The city of Aachen is located very nicely if you want to travel there by  car from Finland and take your lovely family with you

In FH Aachen

In FH Aachen Ms. Linda Weller organized a great program for me. She works with supporting of exchange students. She also gives consultation on exchange programs in Europe and on scholarships. Furthermore, I could meet all the wonderful members of the department of International Affairs. They organized even a lovely family day for us. Ms. Sabine Brinker invited us to her home for a brunch. After that we had a pony riding in the woods with our kids. I am so grateful for everything that you did – Thank you!

I will develop mobility periods for vocational students in Sataedu.

For my thesis, I had a very interesting meeting with Ms. Nathalie Kazma, the Head of the Department of International Affairs and ERASMUS+ University Coordinator. She was one of my interviewees, and I was very impressed about her work. I had, of course, a pre-made interview document that I used. In my thesis I will develop mobility periods for vocational students in Sataedu.  (I got excellent tips for interviews from my thesis supervisor, lecturer Mr. Kimmo Kallama at SAMK).  With the interview document I could have versatile and interesting discussions also with other experts: with Ms. Linda Weller from the Campus Aachen, Ms. Jennifer Janas from the Business faculty and with Ms. Britta Ritzal from Campus Jülich.

Janika Reunanen and Britta Ritzal.

I made interviews, and, I could have even a day with the mobility tool “MoveOn”! It is the electronic system which FH Aachen uses to run their incoming and outgoing exchange students. On the last days of my exchange, I could benchmark also the ERASMUS + outgoing financial support in the FH Aachen.

I summarize my exchange with these marvelous photos from Germany… I really had a great month in FH Aachen and I recommend for every Master degree students to go abroad!

I recommend for every Master degree students to go abroad!

 

Text by: Janika Reunanen (on the right), Master degree student, SAMK, Pori, Finland

PS. Special thanks for all the advice goes to information service assistant Elina Laineenoja at SAMK!

 

Erasmus, 30 years of success

Article by
Thomas Chirossel

The Erasmus program is one of the things created by the European Union that students adore. Erasmus has largely contributed to the construction of the European university system (Bachelor-Master-Doctorate), which has been implemented since the Bologna Agreement in 1999. The aim was also to counterbalance existing spontaneous mobilities which, without organization, led to a brain drain in Europe.

In this article I will focus on Erasmus people in Pori, Finland in the autumn 2017 and see how they feel about this experience and how it could help them in the future.

Erasmus and employment

Since its creation in 1987, the Erasmus program has aimed at attracting 10% of the students in Europe. However, they didn’t expect to see this number increased by a 25%.

Erasmus is well-known for its capacity to employ people who have used this program. It’s also a huge asset to those who have experienced that because they can have a better adaptation capacity in the professional world, especially if they would like to work abroad.

According to National Statistic Institute, the Erasmus program increases the employment of the  students, decreasing the unemployment risk in the European Union by 2,5.

Erasmus, a kind duck in a controversial program?

Since the Brexit, an increasing number nationalists think that the European Union is not strong enough to support all our countries and that it’s ruining the economies.

In fact, all European treaties are based on Liberalism which means that everyone can compete against the others (economically). Every contractor wants to be the cheapest on the market and tries to reduce the production costs. For that, there is a big solution: relocation. This process causes unemployment in some countries.

This example is one of the reasons why some people want their countries to get out of the European Union. However, the European Union brings with it also a lot of good things, such free mobility, a stable currency and different kinds of programs, Erasmus as an example.

In fact, without the European Union, these types of programs wouldn’t have been created. Today, more than 5 million people have been lucky enough to study abroad and discover different cultures thanks to this program.

Let’s see how exchange students in SAMK have experienced their adventure in Pori.

Interviews of exchange students

A couple of these lucky people studying on the Erasmus program in SAMK, Pori were willing to answer some questions about the Erasmus program and their time spent in Finland in autumn 2017.

Elsa Cuirassier, a 19-year-old student in SAMK Business
Tours FRANCE

Erasmus program is a huge opportunity to secure a job after our studies because it allows us to increase our professional network and to be more open-minded than other people. Moreover, improving one’s skills in another language contributes to opening ourselves to the world and that is what recruiters love.

We’re lucky to be in Europe and to get the opportunity to leave our home country so easily and spend a year in another one. For example, the funds we can get from the state are very useful compared those received by students not coming from a European country. Besides, partnerships created between universities are various and well-founded.

Why did you choose Finland?

In fact I didn’t have the choice (laughs) because there was only this country where English was well-spoken. The other option would have been Spain, but I wanted to improve my English. However, I don’t regret at all because I wouldn’t be here without the Erasmus program.

What do you think about your life here in Pori and in SAMK?

First of all, it was very easy to get settled because the International office managed well this thing and took care of the accommodation and administration. Besides, the tutors were so nice with us and helped us when needed, so that was awesome. Here in Pori, the university is crazy, because everything is new and we have a lot of materials and facilities such as screens in rooms, a gym, a canteen, and so on. However, I don’t like the courses here in Finland, because they are not interesting and I have a feeling that I am not learning anything.  But the relationships with teachers are very nice compared with France.

Some people are scared of leaving their home and going to another country like  you have done. What would you say to them?

Get away from your comfort zone because yes, we might be scared but the best things will happen in the future and we have to dare knowing how good it could be.

What will you miss from this adventure?

Kindness of the Finnish people, they are helpful and respectful. I will miss the landscape because it’s a very nice part of Europe. But the thing I’ll miss the most is friends I’ve meet here.

Now, let’s have a different point of view and tips about this life. Wu Zemin, a student from China will give us his remarks about it.

Wu Zemin a 21-year-old student in SAMK Business
Hong-Kong CHINA

As for me, I didn’t come here with the Erasmus program, because I’m not  European. However, my home university has a partnership with this university (SAMK), and this is another program between our two schools. When I saw this, I applied for it so that’s why I’m here. However, compared to you we don’t have funds from the state, we have to handle it on our own.

Was Finland  your only choice?

Of course not, we have got several choices and it was up to me, I chose what I wanted. I chose Finland because there were big countries, famous countries which are quite the same as my home country so I wanted to discover something else. Finland, in my opinion, is totally different from other countries so I wanted to experience a different lifestyle.

What were your main difficulties here in Finland?

The weather is really different but for me it wasn’t a difficulty. Yes, the winter is cold but not as much as I expected, maybe because we are not too deep in the winter so I can manage it, but I wish luck to the people who’ll stay for a year (laughs). The language isn’t a barrier  to me because everybody speaks English. Maybe the worst thing is the night. We only see the sun for 4-5 hours, that’s crazy. This is a new way of life.

Some people are scared of leaving their home and going to another country like you have done. What would you say to them?

I think it is important for everyone, that if you want to learn another language, master it better, you should go abroad. If you are afraid, it proves that you need to practice. You can enjoy your life only discovering new things, otherwise it’s just routine.  For me, going abroad has been the best experience I’ve ever had.

What will you miss from this adventure?

I think I experienced everything I wanted but I will miss the friends I met here. Everybody was so nice with me, they are all my brothers now.

To finish the interviews, Alejandra Moya, a nursing student from Spain answered some questions.

Alejandra Moya a 20-year-old student in SAMK Nursing
Malaga SPAIN

The Erasmus program is a very good experience to meet people from every part of the world and try to survive alone without your parents and  without help, on your own.

Do you thing it will bring something to you in the future?

Open-mindedness,  the improved language skills and the ability to see how people work in different countries. It gives us a global idea of  the different markets in the world, so that you can adapt easier to other cultures.

Besides, it’s very easy to travel with the Erasmus program because the state gives us funds. I have a general grant, just like everyone from the Erasmus program, and then my district, Andalousia, gives us an additional payment.

What do you thing about Finland and SAMK, your university here?

I think people here are respectful and treat exchange students really well, they take care of you, they help you withi everything especially in the beginning.

What were your main difficulties here in Finland?

There were difficulties in the hospital when I was doing my placement because of the language barrier with patients. Everyone speaks Finnish and I couldn’t understand anybody else except for my tutoring nurse. Luckily, as said before, to facilitate the situation, the teachers and tutors were very involved with us.

Some people are scared of leaving their home and going to another country like you have done. What would you say to them?

To go abroad,  you need to know yourself and know that you can survive alone without your parents, your friends, your home but if you think you’re able to do that, it’s the best experience you could ever have.”

What will you miss from this adventure?

Of course the people I met here and the way of living which is totally different from what I am used to. But we are adults now, we have to live on our own, it’s really useful.