I knew that I will go for Erasmus exchange even before I knew what I would like to study in university. On my third year of BBA studies in Proakatemia, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, I finally moved to the Netherlands to study for one semester. When I arrived in The Hague for my exchange programme, I found myself in the heart of Europe in a cosmopolitan city, alive with world-leading government, legal and peace institutions, cultural gems and multinational businesses. There were parks, beaches and woodlands to explore and plenty of nightlife.

An exchange at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS) was truly international experience. THUAS welcomes more than 500 exchange students from around 50 nationalities every academic year. I gained a rich cultural experience by working alongside the large number of international full-time students on English language bachelor degree programmes. Their high-quality European study program encouraged me to explore other cultures to become open-minded and independent thinker – qualities which are essential in the present day market. Working in a multicultural and cosmopolitan environment became second nature to me. I became a ‘global citizen’.

When I started studying in a Dutch university of applied sciences, l experienced a hands-on, open minded and interactive learning environment. They employed a problem-solving approach, just like the real professional world and in Proakatemia, with exercises that nurture personal leadership skills, like games, debate and group work. My host school had really taken all the best bits from team learning and I was very impressed by the professors’ curiosity towards my study experience at Proakatemia. It was a pleasure to give them a glimpse of our team learning studies.

How to motivate students?

One common thing seems to worry teachers from all around the world: How to motivate students?

The answer is to involve more student-centered learning experiences in teaching. But in many schools that transition is not easy. One way to get students to feel more involved is to increase the amount of group work. It challenges students to work together and improves teamwork skills. Reflecting helps to give meaning to experiences. Reflecting is also easy to adapt to daily studies. Feedback is most effective when given regularly. To collect feedback, teachers or students can have short reflection sessions together after lessons or group work. Motorola model’s four questions are a great example of useful reflecting tool:

  1. What went well?
  2. What could be improved?
  3. What did I learn?
  4. What am I going to exploit in practise?

More useful tools to motivate students you can learn in the Academic Adventures!

See you in next May!

– Hanna Kallio, a student at Proakatemia