by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK
This morning the child of a dear friend is set for abroad, on a guided period with other youngsters. There are many fears in the air, lots of excitement and loads of questions in the mind, of both, the parent and the youngster. Will I make it? Will I miss home too much? Who can I make friends with?
Internationalisation for All! (project of EDUFI) has produced a toolbox for increasing the opportunities for learning home and abroad on the international matters. There are many factors WHY we, as VET trainers, need to push our students to developing their individual and social international skills and competences. Equality and acceptance, understanding and widening the personal view on life – all these are definitely needed. We are responsible every day in our tasks to bring this to our students, especially with the new common units of qualifications.
However, referring to the teenager case above, I believe, the international experiences are first and most crossroads, turning points for one to become much more than otherwise he or she would ever be. The moments that one shares speaking other languages or talking Finnish with the people who have moved next door from somewhere far or serving international customers in good Ol’ Tampere city with slightly or greatly different needs, they can train you – if you just let them train you for the better. Those experiences, they can make you more mature, more open, more sociable and better fitted for the society, wherever you are. They CAN make this, it is your choice. Use these opportunities. You have far better work and career chances in your life. That makes it worth it!