In spring 2015, TAMK launched a pilot programme to train student volunteers to act as guides and hosts to international guests coming to TAMK for formal visits, thematic international weeks and other international events.
The volunteers underwent a two-evening training session; then they were ready to use their knowledge to work as TAMK Ambassadors. The students were asked to host three to five groups and write a blog story about the visit in order to get their TAMK Ambassador qualification.
– Not much time has passed since the ambassador training, but Daria and I have already given our first guided tour to a visiting professor and a student assistant from the Republic of Korea, Ekaterina Abakumova recalls.
Truly international experience for visitors
Daria Popova tells that their task was to give the visitors a tour of TAMK and to briefly describe some of the most important places.
– We started in the library. At the beginning, Krista Merikoski, a TAMK Ambassador trainer, was there too, so we were not so nervous about our tour, Popova says.
– Overall, it was a great experience. Such tours make you proud of the place you are studying in, she adds.
After the first training session, TAMK now has ten TAMK Ambassadors. They come from various degree programmes and national backgrounds, allowing them to showcase the TAMK student experience from many different viewpoints and create a truly international experience for visitors.
Kirsi Tolvanen, Head of TAMK’s International Services, came up with the ambassador idea some years ago. This spring she decided to make it happen: funnily enough, it seems like the idea has bloomed in other organizations as well: Tampere Region Economic Development Agency Tredea Oy has launched their own programme to build international networks and promote the Tampere region.
TEXT: KRISTA MERIKOSKI
PHOTO: JOEL FORSMAN