Students are same all over the world, says Joan McBee, professor in Southern Oregon University, US.

In April, she spent two weeks in Imatra through Erasmus+ Global –program.

This is the first time for her in Finland.

“Jukka Moilanen, a lecturer of Saimaa UAS, visited Oregon last fall. Together we organized a really great event and I figured we could continue our projects together.”

In Imatra, professor McBee taught an intensive course in marketing and promoting.

“The first week with the students was a bit quiet. But once we’ve got to know each other, I’d say teaching is pretty much the same as in my home university.”

Carl Reed

Professor Carl Reed from Colorado College, US, visited Linnala also in April. He worked with art students for two weeks.

There were many international students in his group. The main difference compared to the students back home was the concept of time.

“I teach my students that at certain time they need to be at certain place. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t. But as an artist, they have to learn to take responsibility of their own work, they have to have self-discipline”, professor Reed says.

“That is something we have talked about a lot.”

He had many interesting conversations with the students during the two weeks he spent in Imatra

“I encourage them to use modern technologies and social media. Many art students search inspiration from past and they want to work with their hands, that’s what we are used to think artists do. That’s interesting, but we shouldn’t turn our backs to present. In this group, many students sympathize modern technology, which, in my opinion, is a good thing.”

Erasmus+ Globe program funds student and teacher exchanges globally. Students and teachers of Saimaa UAS have visited USA and Russia through the program.

The teacher exchange gives teacher an opportunity to get to know new cultures. That’s useful for everyone, McBee and Reed says.

“I’m going to encourage our students to come here. We have many possibilities to cooperate with Saimaa UAS since we also have business and hospitality studies in our university”, professor Reed thinks.

International contact and travelling is always a good thing, she says.

“World seems very big and scary when you don’t travel. But when you do, you realize people are same all over the world. That’s why I encourage my students and children travel. It helps you to figure out what you want from your life.”

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