When I think of my journey in Canada, I think it with great warmth. It makes me thankful that the school can provide us students with such awesome opportunities.
Since not being able to go for an exchange during my studies in senior high school, I knew that in my future studies I will go. I did my exchange in spring 2023 in Saskatchewan Canada.
I did similar studies in Canada as in Rovaniemi as well, but they were a little bit different. My favorite course was sports marketing since it was something I couldn’t take part in Lapland UAS. The studying was similar, but we had midterms and finals that were more official compared to exams at home. I learned a lot of things in Canada at my classes and seeing the different ways to think and view things brought great knowledge to me.
The housing was made clear, and with the help of the international services I was able to apply for my dorm room. Some parts were paid prior to the exchange period and then the rest during the first weeks. It was somewhat expensive, but my accommodation included unlimited diner points.
On my trip in Canada, I got to see NHL games and ice hockey in general. That was something I was the most excited as a hockey fan. All in all at the campus there were a lot of possibilities to take part in sports and the University had teams in all big sports. On top of ice hockey we went to see lake Louise and ski at the mountains in Alberta. That was something I will remember for the rest of my life. Not just the views but also the weather was freezing.
When I think of my journey in Canada, I think it with great warmth. It makes me thankful that the school can provide us students with such awesome opportunities. I got to make new friends from all around the world and study in another international environment. If there is something I want to do soon it is to return to Canada and continue the adventure. I hope everyone would go and try these exchange programs. They give some much to your studies, a global perspective and most likely something new.
-Matilda Heino, International business -
With the aim of creating and implementing education for Sustainable High-End Tourism throughout Europe, SUHET is an Erasmus+ project, aimed at providing participants with knowledge on sustainable luxury tourism.
In order to test the MOOC (massive open online courses), an intensive week was organised in Barcelona, Spain with the involvement of teachers, experts and students from the University of Maribor, Erasmus University Brussels of Applied Sciences & Arts, the European Center for Quality, the Foundation of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Lapland University of Applied Sciences.
Learning the theory: Classroom days
After boosting ourselves with a filling breakfast we walked to the campus, which was just a few steps from the hotel, and started a new working day.
Picture 1: In a classroom, teachers introducing the intensive week for students.
Photo credit: Petra Paloniemi
Monday, Wednesday and Friday were for testing the MOOC. We started the class by familiarising ourselves with the subject through video lectures, along with the support of the teachers. Many issues arose during the learning process, requiring us to have discussions and analyses in small groups.
After that, students had to take the quizzes related to what they have learned, as this was also the reason we were here - to provide our feedback on online courses.
Putting theory into practice: Barcelona City
The classroom days were interrupted by two excursion days, giving us a welcoming break from the theory and the unique opportunity to peak behind the curtain of luxury hotels in Barcelona.
Picture 2: Hotel Almanac name over the front entrance with a view of the street in the background.
Photo credit: Liisa Siippainen
Tuesday was our first excursion day. After taking the train from the campus in Bellaterra we made our way into Barcelona to Hotel Almanac. A luxury boutique hotel, the Almanac provides its guests with a unique experience defined by the local environment. We got to sit down with Victoria Simpson, the Sales and Marketing Director, who told us about the hotel’s use of technology to ensure the high level of sustainability.
Picture 3: Hotel Almanac, a suite with couch and two arm chairs and a view of a balcony.
Photographer credit: Liisa Siippainen
Next we visited the UAB Campus in Barcelona which is located in a section of Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a UNESCO heritage site. Here we met with Glòria Pou, co-CEO at the DMC The Real Thing, who gave us a presentation of her business. We learned about the ups and downs of being a business owner in the luxury tourism industry - especially throughout the pandemic - and the value of effective networking and building of partnerships. For many, this visit was the highlight of the week.
Picture 4: UAB campus, a red brick building in an art nouveau style.
Photo credit: Liisa Siippainen
Finally, after a break for lunch, we visited the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona. We were greeted with a presentation by Eva Villar (Personal Assistant to General Manager) and Viviana Iglesias (Director of Commerce). Paul Ciaccio, the Sales Manager at the hotel, showed us around and emphasised the importance of privacy and personalisation in luxury tourism.
Picture 5: top – a group of students standing in the hotel lobby listening to a presentation by the Sales Manager Paul Ciaccio, bottom left – a hotel suite view of window and desk, bottom middle – a hotel suite view of bed and side table, bottom right – a picture of a hotel bar wall covered in old safety lock boxes.
After a long day walking around the city students were free to stay and explore. Our group from Lapland joined the local students from Barcelona for a drink before hopping back on the train to Bellaterra.
Catalonian countryside: Exploration of unconventional luxury
On our second excursion day everyone was excited just a little bit extra. Why? Well, on that day we were going to the Catalonian countryside to explore an old village, a luxury winery, and most importantly to many, an authentic Catalan lunch in one of the best restaurants of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia.
Picture 6: Colonia Güell, a Mediterranean stone building with an archway and a corner tower.
Photo credit: Kristian Tyurn
Colonia Güell is a factory town founded by a Spanish industrialist Eusebi Güell and designed by his closest friend, Antoni Gaudí, built at the turn of the 19th century. The town’s sole purpose was to house workers of Güell’s textile factory. The community formed around the factory was fairly well-off compared to the ones in other factory settlements – they had access to education, healthcare and housing, all provided by Eusebi Güell, in return for a fair share of their salaries. Now the town is a destination for all cultural heritage and history enthusiasts visiting Barcelona with its main attraction being a unique church and crypt built by Antoni Gaudí.
Picture 7: Colonia Güell, church stained windows in a flower shape.
Photo credit: Liisa Siippanen
Our next stop was the Gramona winery where we were received by Miquel Herrero, the Head of Hospitality and Wine Tourism. Barcelona is famous for its Cava sparkling wines, a term used by Gramona in the past before collaborating with other prominent wine makers to create the new term and quality label: Corpinnat. Other than creating exquisite sparkling wines, Gramona offers exclusive tours around the vineyard and their wine cellar, telling the full story of how their wine travels from the vine to the restaurant table, providing highest quality Corpinnat wines while staying in touch with nature and adhering to traditional and sustainable ways is Gramona’s true passion.
Pictures 8 - 10: top – Gramona wine fields, middle – wine cellar, bottom– wine field scenery.
Photo credit: Kristian Tyurn
Our final stop of the day was the La Cava d'en Sergi restaurant in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia. For many, this was the true highlight of the entire visit to Barcelona. Exquisite local food of the highest quality paired with local wines created a long-lasting impression for the group. This shows how important food is to experience the culture of the destination.
With our bellies full and having enjoyed the visits to the wonderful locations of the day, we went to the bus that took us back to Bellaterra.
Picture 11: Lapland UAS teachers and students standing outside the entrance to Hotel Almanac in Barcelona. Left to right: Liisa Siippainen, Teija Tekoniemi-Selkälä, Le Quyen (July), Kristian Tyurn and Petra Petra Paloniemi
Picture credit: Mitja Gorenak
Some final thoughts
As much as there is to learn about theoretical concepts and their practical applications when participating in a project like this, there is even more you can learn about yourself. In a new environment, outside your comfort zone, there are many situations you would not encounter in your daily life. You might try strange foods, share a room with someone you barely know or find it more difficult to adapt to a new culture than you imagined. However, you will return home with great memories, new found friends and more confidence in your own abilities.
Written by Liisa Siippainen, Kristian Tyurn and Le Qyuen (July), the students in the Degree Programme in Tourism
SUHET project is been granted by Erasmus program and will be a 2-year cooperation between LAPIN AMMATTIKORKEAKOULU OY (Coordinator, Finland), EUROPEAN CENTER FOR QUALITY OOD (Bulgaria), ERASMUSHOGESCHOOL BRUSSEL (Belgium), UNIVERZA V MARIBORU (Slovenia) and FUNDACIO UNIVERSITAТ AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA (Spain).
During three or four years of studies, it is a valuable time to explore new experiences and improve yourself.
Here are a few tips about what you can do to succeed and enrich your student life.
Finnish language and scholarship
If you are an international student from non–EU and non-EEA countries, you will need to pay tuition fees. However, in the year 2023 Lapland UAS offers scholarships for students based on their study progress and Finnish proficiency. If you pass the required level of the Finnish YKI test (Finnish proficiency exam), half the tuition fee is deducted. The school offers Finnish courses for students to learn and prepare for the exam. You need to plan whether to take the Finnish YKI test because it takes time to learn and practise. It is also useful for job applications and working in Finland in the future. You may have a higher chance of getting a job if you communicate in Finnish.
Going abroad for exchange or practical training
Practical training is a crucial process in the studies to get work experience and familiarise yourself with the workplace. You can choose to do practical training in Finland or other countries. Apart from that, you can also choose to go for an exchange. A few types of going abroad options suit your needs, such as an exchange for one semester, doing a double degree for a year, and a short-term exchange and project for one to two weeks. However, some of them have different application deadlines and processes. Therefore, it is better for you to do research and discuss with their study counsellors. You can get more information on our school’s “Going International” website or join the International Day for exchange stories, application briefings and Q&A sessions. It is a great experience to meet new people, study and work in countries which have diverse cultures.
Work experience and opportunities
While study progress is a critical part of your student life, work experience is also a way to enrich it. It is possible to get a job in Lapland, especially during the winter tourism season since they need a lot of staff and employees. Moreover, the school provides positions for students, for example, social media ambassador, international student ambassador and student tutor. For instance, being an international student ambassador is to organise events for and help exchange students, host international guests of Lapland UAS, and do social media marketing. You may get experience in social media marketing, event management, teamwork etc, which can improve your skills and apply to your future workplace. Besides, you can get credits from the positions which are beneficial for your studies.
Hence, plan for your studies and do not miss any opportunities of expanding horizons. Wish you all a fruitful student life!
- Lucia, international student ambassador -
Weber State University students from Utah visited Lapland UAS as a part of their communication studies.
On Monday 15th of May we had the pleasure to welcome 22 students and two professors from Weber State University
to visit Lapland UAS Rovaniemi Campus. The Weber State University locates in city of Ogden, Utah, United States of America. Our day consisted mostly of different presentation from our staff and students. After each presentation, there was an opportunity to ask questions related to the topic. One of the main objectives of the visit was for the students to learn about Finnish education system and student life in Finland.
Our day started with presentation from Mari Putaansuu the Head of International Affairs. Her presentation was about Lapland UAS and Finnish Education system. After the presentation and questions our international service staff gave a little presentation of our campuses Rovaniemi, Kemi and Tornio. When presentations were done, it was time for campus tour.
After the campus tour, we had a school lunch with our visitors. After lunch break, we had the pleasure to have a presentation about ’’Climate Crisis - Why Sustainable Investments for mitigation and adaptation need to be done now!’’. The present was given by Adrian Braun who is a Researcher in the University of Lapland.
Seven students from Lapland UAS were also prepared presentations from different subjects. The topics were:
• Laura – Students union activities and student life around ROTKO
• Sirpa – Student life in Finland
• Ismo - His own study field, ISA activities, Finnish nature
• Klara, Anna, Eneja – Their experience in studying at Lapland UAS as an exchange student and how did they find living and studying here.
After every presentation there was time for questions and talk around the topic. Our day together ended with a coffee and tee with some apple pie in the restaurant. During the coffee break we had good and active conversations about Finnish culture and climate acts.
One other main goal set for the visit was for the students to get to know more about the climate acts against climate crisis in Finland. Most of the students studied communication in their home university and the visit was part of their study course. Students had cameras and voice recorders with them and they captured the presentations for a video project they are going to make about the visit. They also made couple small video interviews from Lapland UAS students about their climate acts and thoughts about it.
Sirpa Paakkola, Lapland UAS student and trainee at the international services
As an international student ambassador for Lapland University of Applied Sciences, I had the pleasure of organizing a trip for exchange students to the beautiful destinations of Levi and Kilpisjärvi.
Our adventure began on a Friday morning, where we departed from the Rovaniemi campus and headed towards Levi. Our first stop in Levi was the Samiland museum, which showcased fascinating artifacts related to the Sámi culture.
The owner of the museum, a Sámi himself, even arranged a traditional Sámi singing performance, Sámi Joiku, for us. We were also able to feed his reindeer and explore the exhibition of old Sami buildings in the museum’s reindeer area.
After our visit to the museum, we settled into a cozy cabin I had rented in Levi for the weekend. We took some time to relax and prepare a meal together before embarking on a hike up to the Levi fell. It was quite the adventure as we had trouble finding the route, but with my guidance, we were able to find Santa’s childhood home, which was featured in the Finnish movie “Christmas Story – Joulutarina."
After a day filled with stunning natural scenery and outdoor activities, we returned to our cabin for some much-needed rest and relaxation. To following day, we woke up early and drove to Kilpisjärvi, which was a long but scenic journey. The further north we traveled, the higher the fells rose, and their snowy peaks sparkled in the sunlight.
Once we arrived at Kilpisjärvi, we discovered that an ice fishing competition was taking place. It was fascinating to see so many people gathered for the event, with camper vans parked for at least a kilometer along the village road.
We then headed towards Saana fell in the Malla nature park, where we hiked through a birch forest towards the Lapland hut and made lunch there. The views throughout our hike towards the top of Saana were absolutely breathtaking, and we were lucky enough to have sunny and warm weather.
At the top of Saana, we sat on a rock and indulged in some chocolate to energize ourselves before descending the peak. The journey back down was faster than climbing up, but unfortunately, I had an accident and sprained my ankle twice. Despite the setback, we persevered and made it down the slope.
We then enjoyed a delicious meal at the Kilpisjärvi camping lodge before returning to Levi for a peaceful evening in the sauna. Our final day in Levi was spent exploring the town center before we departed for Rovaniemi.
The trip was filled with new experiences and breathtaking sights that will remain in our memories for years to come.
- Ismo. International Student Ambassador -
Tourism students participated in an international project at the beginning of April. The project’s aim was to develop sustainable nature-based luxury services for tourism companies which are operating in Rovaniemi. This year our commissioners were Arctic Treehouse Hotel, Beyond Arctic and Wild About Lapland. In addition to Lapland University of Applied Sciences, students from Breda and Kempten University of Applied Sciences participated in the project as well.
Programme of the international intensive week
The intensive week started on Tuesday with a Get-together evening which was arranged in Kansan Pubi. The students got the opportunity to get to know their group members before they started to work on the project.
Picture 1. Get-together. Picture by Petra Paloniemi
On Wednesday we walked together with the students to the Campus where they officially started working on the project. The teachers gave short lectures related to product development before they gave instructions for the students what they needed to do next. The student assistants prepared coffee and snacks to make sure that the students had enough energy during the day. Later on, we went to Jyrhämän laavu to grill some sausages and enjoy fresh air with some hot juice.
Picture 2. Kick off and barbecue at Jyrhämänlaavu Picture 2 Petra Paloniemi, 3 and 4 Magdalena Haag.
FAM-trip day: Getting to know our commissioners!
On Thursday we started our day in Arktikum where we were given a lecture by Ilona Mettiäinen and had lunch there as well. After that, we visited the commissioners and Arctic Reindeer Farm where the students learned about reindeer husbandry in Finnish Lapland. We also had a chance to feed reindeer which was a nice experience. Wild About Lapland took the students to nature where they tried ice fishing and sliding snowshoeing. After the snow activities the students grilled sausages and enjoyed hot chocolate by fire. I think the FAM-trip day was everyone’s favourite day during the intensive week.
Picture 3. Moments from FAM-trip Picture 5 Magdalena Haag, 6 Teija Tekoniemi-Selkälä and 7 Julia Vuollet.
On Friday the students returned to the Campus and started to build prototypes for their designs. In the evening we gathered in Uitto Pub where we hung out and played card games together.
On Saturday afternoon the students went to the city centre and Santa Claus Village to test their prototypes. They collected a lot of feedback from tourists and locals for their designs.
Picture 4. Testing prototypes Pictures Petra Paloniemi.
On Sunday the students had a day off. Many of them wanted to explore Lapland during their visit and rented a car for that. We went bowling and hiked on top of Ounasvaara to see the sunset later on that day.
Farewell dinner and special guest
The final day arrived on Monday. The groups presented their ideas for the commissioners and teachers. After the presentations and feedback, we celebrated the end of intensive week. In the evening we went to final dinner at Restaurant Rakas where we enjoyed a delicious three-course meal. The students received their diplomas and took a picture with our special guest, Santa Claus.
Picture 5. Presentation day and final dinner Picture 10, 11 Magdalena Haag, 12 Petra Paloniemi.
The intensive week was intensive for all but also rewarding. The students performed excellently in teams under great pressure and supported each other. I think it is amazing that our school co-operates with different institutions around the world and supports local entrepreneurs. This experience was certainly memorable for everyone.
Written by student assistant and 3rd-year tourism student Julia Vuollet
Students from Lapland UAS, University of Maribor and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona participated in Arctic Design Week in March. What were the challenges and what did the students learn from the event?
Collaborative Experience Design is a study unit in which tourism students design events in collaboration with Arctic Design Week. The objective of the study unit is to get a holistic view on experience design and collaborative event management.
This year the study unit was integrated into ERASMUS+ Blended Intensive Program which meant that the study unit was organized in cooperation with international universities in Maribor and Barcelona. In total 41 students took part in the collaboration and 4 student groups were designing, implementing and evaluating events for the design week.
The Arctic Design Week is a multi-faceted arctic event in Rovaniemi that, among other things, promotes design know-how and business in the North, as well as provides an arena of influential people for the entire Arctic. This year the event took place 20.-26.3. The city celebrated the 15th edition of the world’s most northern design event under the theme “Better Future - Arctic Smartness”.
Student Groups working remotely
It was nice to be able to collaborate with such a great event and still be able to implement our own ideas as students. As students and tourism managers to be, students from Lapland UAS, University of Maribor and Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, were invited to participate at this year’s event. The study unit kicked off in January and team members got to know each other remotely. Theory lessons were organized in Zoom.
Students started planning and discussing the event right at the beginning of the study unit. Since students live in different time zones, it was a bit of a challenge to get used to that. Another issue that could be counted as a challenge was technical difficulties, which could occur at any given time. As for the benefits of starting a project with remote teamwork, it is a great way to ensure that we are thoroughly prepared for our event. The first two months were filled with a lot of discussions and planning. (story continues after the picture)
Picture 1: Design Your Dreams: Ariadna, Magdalena, Katariina, Alicia, Ester, Neža, Riikka, Diana, Klara and Logan.
In conclusion, remote teamwork is an important skill to have in today’s working life. It helps us to work in a more relaxed atmosphere, and we can get the job done efficiently. Luckily there are a lot of different programs and applications which are available when working together with international students from different countries. Programs such as Miro, WhatsApp, Teams, Padlet, Open Moodle and Canva were used during the projects. (Story continues after the picture)
Picture 2: Arctic Immersion: Marble, Jason, Alisa, Anna, Olivia, Juulia, Carla, Alicia, Almaida and Luka.
Experience Design Process
Preparations for events required brainstorming and ideation of the concept. Ideation involved us to think about the theme, the activities, timetable, roles, partners and of course the user personas. Planning the event took the most time but during the event a concrete and detailed plan helped a lot. The budget needed to be done and approved weeks before the event. When looking back, this should have been done even earlier so the discussions with the partner could have been done before.
Student groups planned marketing in which they aimed the message to their target groups and visualized all the material. Groups designed logos, posters, Instagram -account and also cooperated with the partners. Mostly the focus was on digital marketing such as Instagram or Facebook.
At the end of the project time was used in getting the supplies needed, preparing the venue and after the event of course, cleaning. After the event it was important to evaluate how did the event went and report on the metrics and indicators of the event. What went well and what are the things that could be developed? (Story continues after the pictures)
Picture 3: Students and teachers in Arctic Snowhotel & Glass Igloos.
Picture 4: Better Future with Sustainable Fashion: Abdo, Tajda, Liisa, Sandra, Julia, Simon, Lilly, Aino, Eneja and Kaja.
Learn by doing
Students learned the following aspects during the process:
Creativity and imagination: To organize a successful event, creative and imaginative skills are needed to plan and design activities that are attractive and engaging for the target group.
Patience and a sense of humor: A dose of patience and a sense of humor is needed to keep calm and maintain a positive attitude when unforeseen or challenging situations arise during the event.
Cultural sensitivity: It is important to have cultural understanding and sensitivity to ensure that the event respects and celebrates the cultural diversity of the people participating in the event.
Teamwork: Teamwork skills are essential to collaborate with other members of the event and to manage resources effectively. Being organizers from different countries, students were able to encourage collaboration and the exchange of different ideas, so we learnt about ideas from different cultures.
Social learning: The event was an opportunity to socialize and meet new people. Participating in these activities helped us to develop social skills such as communication, empathy and collaboration.
Problem solving: Organizing the event involved effective problem solving. As challenges arose, students learned to adapt and find creative solutions to ensure the event ran smoothly.
Evaluation and improvement: Once the events were over, students were able to evaluate its success and could see the lessons learned for future events. The organization of the event provided us with valuable lessons on what worked well and what can be improved in the future.
As a result, 4 events were organized in collaboration with Arctic Design Week and other partners in Rovaniemi 20.-26.3.2023. Students from Lapland UAS, University of Maribor and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona had a huge impact on the design week program through these versatile event concepts. Next year a similar collaboration will take place and students will design and produce a set of innovative and engaging events!
- Students of the ADW-project & their teacher Jenny Janhunen -
Exchange students from Kemi and Rovaniemi gathered in Rovaniemi for a special trip to the Santa Claus Village and Reindeer Farm Raitola.
The day started with a bus ride from Kemi to Rovaniemi, followed by a lunch at the university restaurant.
After lunch, the students headed first to the reindeer farm, where they got to see real-life reindeer and even go on a reindeer sledge ride through the snowy landscape. It was a 500-meter ride, and it was such an incredible experience.
Did you know that in Lapland, there are more reindeer’s than humans?
It is true and each reindeer has its own owner.
Reindeers are not only cute but also play a crucial role in the local culture and economy. We also learned that reindeers are gentle creatures but might not like to be touched, especially in their antlers, as it is a sensitive area for them.
Each of us got our own Reindeer driving license from reindeer sleigh drive, we are now professionals in reindeer sledding!
After the reindeer sledge ride, we had the opportunity to have a husky sledge ride. The husky sledge ride was much faster than the reindeer sledge ride, and it was a thrilling experience. We also had a chance to pet the huskies and learn about their personalities and unique traits.
Did you know that huskies were first used widely in Alaska during the Gold Rush on Klondike? They were used to transport gear to the wilderness where there were no roads, and maintaining horses would take too much effort.
After the fun–filled visit at the reindeer farm and husky park, we headed to Santa Claus Village, where we had over an hour to explore and enjoy the winter wonderland.
It was an opportunity to feel the magic of Christmas and visit Santa Claus himself to take pictures with him. We also visited some souvenir shops and stopped for a coffee.
Did you know that the birth of the Santa Claus Village dates to the 1950s?
Incredible as it may seem, the Santa Claus Village that we know today has its roots dating back to the 1950s. The history is, that the first lady of the United States, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, paid a visit to Rovaniemi in 1950, with the aim of studying the post-war reconstruction of Lapland and Rovaniemi. During her visit, a beautiful lodge was built for guests on a piece of land located north of the Arctic Circle. This lodge went on to become what we now know as Santa’s Village, a beloved attraction for tourists from all over the world. It is fascinating to think that this iconic destination started from such humble beginnings, and it is a testament to the enduring magic of Lapland that it has since become such an important and enchanting place for so many.
Overall, the exchange students had a wonderful time experiencing the magic of Lapland and learning more about the local culture and wildlife. Making trips like this is part of the freely chosen studies for international student ambassadors, and we feel grateful for the opportunity to share these experiences with others.
- Ismo. International Student Ambassador -
Last Saturday (18.02.2023), I organized a nature trip to Korouoma Canyon for exchange students who are currently studying at Lapland University of Applied Sciences.
7 persons joined with me for this winter adventure. We saw three frozen waterfalls and walked a 5 km nature path through the snowy and icy canyon, with plenty of uphill and downhill trekking to keep us on our toes.
During the trip, we had a lunch break where I built a fire, and we enjoyed sausages, sandwiches, and juice. It was a great opportunity to sit down and enjoy the beauty of nature while getting to know each other better. The trip was a great way for everyone to bond and get to know each other more.
In addition to the group´s laughter and conversation, we saw a lot of tourists and some ice climbers who were climbing up to frozen waterfalls. It was amazing to watch them in action and see the beauty of the canyon from different perspectives.
On our way back to the city of Rovaniemi, we stopped at Auttiköngäs for a quick visit and to take some pictures. The whole trip was a wonderful experience and a great opportunity for everyone to experience the beauty of Lapland's nature.
If you are in Lapland or visiting here, I highly recommend a visit to Korouoma Canyon and Auttiköngäs. They are must-see places that will leave you in awe of the beauty of nature.
- Ismo. International Student Ambassador-
Last weekend was a historical event for the gaming community in Rovaniemi, Finland as the Global Game Jam 2023 was hosted by IGDA Finland in the premises of Lapland University of Applied Sciences.
This year's theme was “Root” and participants were tasked with creating a game idea based on this theme. The event was an enormous success,
with 24 participants from all over the region coming together to share their passion for gaming. Creativity was flowing as participants explored the theme in new and innovative ways, resulting in a diverse range of games that were developed over the weekend.
One of the event's highlights was the variety of games created. From board games to VR games, mobile games, and touch screen games, there was something for everyone. The participants also used a variety of tools and technologies to bring their ideas to life, with games developed using Unity and Unreal, among others.
The board game idea update the classic format with a fresh take on the “Root” theme. Players build a root system from pieces to harvest potatoes in the game.
One of the most notable games of the event was a VR game that had the audience in stitches. The developer had created a dentist's clinic where, in the VR world, the customer's teeth were pulled from their mouth. This game caused a lot of laughter in the audience, showcasing the developer's sense of humor and creative approach to the theme.
Another game that received a lot of attention was the mobile game that was based on the same concept as the VR game, but with the added twist of being played on a mobile device. Player had to pull teeth on their mobile screens, providing a new and exciting take on the theme.
The Unreal engine game was another standout, with players exploring a dark cave as they collected roots for food for a monster. The enemy was moles that were also trying to collect roots for food, making it a challenging and intense experience for players. If the player did not collect enough food, the monster's head would eat them, but if they collect enough, they were freed from the cave.
Unity engine also had several successful games, including a rhythm game and a potato game where carrots attacked the potato. The game was played using touch on the screen and had the audience in stitches with its quirky and comical approach.
A 2D carrot game what was a platformer was also made using the Unity engine as well a mushroom game, where the mushroom character builds
mycelium on terrain and avoids natural disasters.
Also, a game that was a RISK- style game where different telecommunication companies tried to take over Lapland and northern Finland was made.
The participants in Rovaniemi were passionate and dedicated, working hard to bring their game ideas to life. With so much talent and creativity in one place, it was no surprise that the event was an enormous success.
In conclusion, the Global Game Jam 2023 in Rovaniemi was an unforgettable experience for all who participated. With so much creativity, passion, and talent on display, it was clear that the gaming community in Rovaniemi is thriving. We cannot wait to see what exciting game ideas will be developed at the next Global Game Jam.
- Ismo, International Student Ambassador -