We are students and teachers of RASEKO Vocational College, situated in Southwest of Finland. Twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, we have lessons that train us for our internship abroad. During this international training we for example practice talking English, learn about different cultures, learn about the country we are going for internship and in general try find new ways to communicate with people from different countries.
During this pandemic, it has been difficult keeping in touch with the rest of the world, but of course having social media is a great way to meet other people and keep in contact with people. Our school had connection with Horizon College, situated in Alkmaar, Netherlands so we decided to meet with a group of students from this college via video conference in Teams. We organized three Teams meetings, where we could get to know each other, learn about the differences and similarities of Finnish and Dutch cultures and get to speak English.
What was good about our meetings
Meetings were a success! We realized that in communication, especially with a foreign language, it was crucial that we could see each other, we were using webcams to make the meetings feel more alive. The best thing was of course meeting new people. It was amazing to realize that it was possible to keep up with social relationships with people from different countries, even though we have a pandemic going on. We also learned some Dutch:
Moi = Beautiful = Kaunis
Hearing = Herring = Silakka
Hallo!= Hello! = Moi!
The overall experience was great! It wasn’t boring at all and although this idea was stemmed from the pandemic it can and will be utilized after the pandemic as well. The cooperation with Horizon College will continue next fall and maybe some of us will have our internship in Holland, you never know. We think that this was a phenomenal experiment, which no doubt will be developed to an even greater experience in the future.