Tag Archives: Working

My EVS story

by Barbara Jazbec, degree student in Media

 snow crowded sea shore with a couple of quays in the sun set

My EVS destination – Kokkola by the winter sea

EVS stads for Europen Voluntary Service, is an international volunteer programme funded by the European Commission. It enables all young people legally resident in Europe, aged between 18 and 30 years, to carry out an international volunteer service in an organisation or in a public body in Europe, Africa, Asia or South America for a period ranging from 2 to 12 months. EVS is a very good opportunity to experience living abroad, meet new people, become more independent, practice your English and learn a new language. They provide the reimbursement of travel expenses and complete coverage of the costs of food and accommodation for the international volunteer. European Voluntary Service is practically FREE OF CHARGE! It is a good opportunity if you are lost, if you do not know what to do next… It can help you to ”find yourself”.

My EVS project was in Kokkola, Finland. Kokkola is a town located in the west coast of Finland. My EVS journey started on the 13th of November 2013. My project was 10 months long.

My work was to help in the youth center Villa Elba and in a local Finnish kindergarten. I was 2 days in a week in the kindergarten and two days in Elba. In the youth center mainly my work was in the international office where they plan all different international events and EVS projects. There I sometimes helped also to do outside work, for example cutting grass, taking the leaves away and so on.

Moomin characters implemented using collage

Of course I created Moomins of my own!

The other two days when I was in the kindergarten, I was helping the teachers to take care of the children. I was working in a group where the children where form one to three years old. There with my Finnish language skill I was basically fitting in the group of one year old. Teachers were singing songs about colors; ”se on vihreä, se on vihreä” that they and me could learn colors. Then they were also teaching them numbers “yksi, kaksi , kolme…” Children in that age know only one language so they could not understand that I do not speak the same language. They were talking to me in Finnish: “Lisää vauhtia, Barbara!” when I was swinging them outside. Through that I learned the most of my Finnish at that time when I knew just “Kiitos” and why was that because I was forced to speak only Finnish with the kids so trough that was the most fun and easy way to learn the new language.

Behind two pinetrees there is a large blue wooden building in snowy environment.

Here I learned Finnish playing with children!

This was my short story about coming to a new country and how to learn Finnish by playing.

How to apply for EVS; contact your local youth center for more info!

 

 

 

Coffee places for working in Finland

by Yulia Pak, degree student in Media

A student boy sitting at a cafeteria table writing his home work

Jungsoo writing Finnish exercises at cafeteria table

Working in coffee places is a special culture, at least for me. Firstly, I would like to specify what do I mean under “working”: come to coffee places to do study or work, if person is a writer, for example. As for me I spend plenty of time in coffee places by doing my studies, thinking, making notes or just meeting my friends. Coffee places can tell a lot about mentality of people and in every city or country I check how popular is this culture. Of course, I did the same in Finland. I’m not really good in making good and understandable structure of texts therefore I will write all articulately.

Which coffee places are appropriate for working?

The main criteria are quite easy and obvious: a lot of sockets, wi¬fi and light. It is good to have bright day light and when it is dark to have individual light for every table. Individual light creates a feeling of personal space which is really required for working. Personal space can also be created by good arrangements of tables. Good and calm background music is also really needed. Additionally, when I’m looking for coffee places I prefer old style places with a lot of design elements which make comfort.

Findings in Finland.

Here I would like to write some my findings about this culture in Finland. When I came 7 months ago to Finland it was difficult to find any place to study but during this time two new Wayne’s coffee places were opening and they have almost all criteria for working. But still there are not so many. Another appropriate places simply don’t have sockets or wi¬fi. Most of the people that I met in Wayne’s just come to communicate not for working. If people usually come to work to cafes because they need to isolate theirselves from home or they want to find a special mood for working. May be it is possible to say that Finnish people are really home lovers! They better bring atmosphere of comfort to home than try to find it somewhere else. I think like this because Finnish shops are full of homy style stuff but it is difficult to find cafes in this style. In this way, I really appreciate the fact but as a foreigner here with my crazy love to cafes I would like to see more cafes for working than bars.

 

Finnish language is not difficult, it’s different – Suomen kieli ei ole vaikea, se on erilainen

by Maksym Sytnyk, degree student in Environmental Engineering

Easy Finnish expressions with pictures on the blackboard

You can learn the language only when you have a clear goal for what you are learning it for; otherwise, it’s just “Puhun vähän suomea” throughout all 4 years of the studies. Be sure, visiting basic classes is not the way to become a master.

Self-controlled learning at home combined with studying at extra schools and live-conversations with everyone of any age and status is the way to become fluent in Finnish. “You can’t learn to cycle a bike by reading the instructions”. There is also a second way: enroll officially to some course of your interest that is conducted in Finnish; take in seriously and aim to get grade “5”.

There are examples of people, who were able to master the language in 1 – 2 years. Their driving forces were a desire to have a professional job in Finland during the summers and after graduation; ability to do own business; doing non-English Master’s programs in the field of interest; passion towards the country, Finnish friends and desire to stay here.

There are hard moments during the realization of the goal – feeling that it won’t work out. It is natural; just continue working. You’ll reach new higher level after overcoming that point.

For your learning process:

1. You can officially study professional and language courses at TUT and UTA.

2. Finnish language schools are organized in Tampere (also online):

http://www.livetampere.fi/living/finnish-language-courses/

3. Learning is fascinating with real books, journals, and comics. There are many at TAMK’s library and at local Second hand stores’.

4. Be sure, Finnish is essential to get a summer work.

5. Don’t limit your learning methods: search for fun and interesting ways of realizing your big goal, and one day you’ll say “Puhun suomea sujuvasti”.