Usually every university or unit has their own staff which takes care of the international relations.
In the same way, also the entrepreneurship and team-leading unit Proakatemia in Tampere University
of Applied Sciences, has their own international team. The really big difference is that in
Proakatemia the whole international team consists of students who are interested in
internationalization. Head of International Relations is also always one of the students in
Proakatemia and gets a salary from the university for taking care of that position. So, what is the
purpose of the international team and why in Proakatemia there are students in that team?
Proakatemia is a really student-driven unit and all the decisions are made by students themselves.
Students also usually know the unit and it habits better than the teachers or as we call them in
Proakatemia coaches. The international teams main job is to take care of the international visitors who
want to come to visit the unit. Of course, their job is also to develop the internationality and share
knowledge about the Proakatemia abroad. In the year 2017 Proakatemia had over 250 visitors
from approximately 25 different countries. Every one of the visits was hosted completely by the
When people want to come to visit Proakatemia they usually contact Head of International
Relations first and after that, they will plan the visit and program together. Then Head of
International Relations discuss with his team and they make the program happen together. The
most common visit is just from 2 to 3 hours, so the visitors get just a quick taste of the unit and
team learning. Some of the visits could last the whole week and also then the program is made
and ran by the students. Coaches are always helping students and visitors if needed but they
never decide what kind of visit it will be. Hosting the international guests is a really powerful way
to learn performing and English skills for the students. During the visit students also gets a lot of
useful contacts for the future.
Also, one important job for the international team is to develop the internationalization of
Proakatemia. One example of that is education export trips that the team makes every year. In
2017 team was in Brazil and visited 5 different universities in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. This
year team is going to Switzerland and again to South America but this time to Peru and Bolivia.
Meaning of these trips is to spread the knowledge of Proakatemia abroad and also make contacts
from other countries during the studies.
Big growth in visits during last two years is one of the biggest reasons why Proakatemia decided to
arrange the Academic Adventures last year. Last year Academic Adventures was a huge success
and that is why we decided to create the event again and make it even better. Also, the Academic
Adventures is run completely by students, like everything else in Proakatemia. I am again really
excited to be part of this big project and I hope that we will have a lot of new visitors and
customers during that week.
– Aleksi Orenius, Head of International Relations at Proakatemia