The students group is very international including five Finns with Russians and Vietnamese.
The Summer School on Arctic Cooperation and Cross-Border Expertise is
organised in Tornio for the first time by the School of Business and
Culture of Lapland UAS. Summer school commenced at the beginning of June
and has now resumed on 3 August after a four-week recess.
Paul de Jong got interested in the Arctic summer school when he saw
the notice at his own institution and was attracted by the Finnish
landscape and wanted to see Lapland.
- I also like the summer school idea due to my previous experiences of summer school atmosphere, Paul tells.
At first, he was not as impressed by the outskirts of Tornio but was
awed by the Kukkolan rapids and enjoyed visiting Rovaniemi. After a
while he began to feel at ease in Tornio and comfortably visits the
He is fascinated by the fact that Tornio is on the border with
another country and can experience two cultures. His classroom
experience began with a slow start but with the diversity of
nationalities, he found the experience to be creative due to students’
eagerness and motivation.
The diversity strengthens the feeling of internationalism.
- I hope to have given tools to the students to think out of the box “less conventional and more creative”.
He would certainly encourage his own students in Holland to come here
and study as Tornio offers a cozy atmosphere and high standard of
education level. He is impressed by individual emphasis on students.
Finland is not a strange country to Marc Clerkx as he has visited
this country multiple times but Tornio has been a unique experience for
him. He likes Tornio due to its location and he feels at home, like the
way the houses are arranged and the “beach” near the waterfront.
He felt the experience to be cultural as well as touristic. He was
glad to have the assistance of the summer school assistant. He likes the
small campus that is ideally located as everything is “so close”. He
found the students to be silent and he sometimes wondered whether they
understood or liked his comment.
The school is well equipped and this has been impressive. He would
like to come back and would promote Lapland UAS at his home institution.
- It is wonderful that the students group is multi-cultural. I wishes that the summer school will grow, Marc Clerkx says.
The Chinese visitors Mr. Liu Gang and Ms. Liu Bing
are the observing lecturers who arrived at the end of June and has been
following the summer school ever since. They found the teachers to be
active and the lectures are interesting, the teaching methods are
different than what they had experienced in China. They found
interactive sessions to be more fruitful for students’ learning.
The students are very creative which is apparent through their
communicative skills and the way they deliver their thoughts. They found
Tornio to be quiet and lonely but very beautiful and they especially
enjoyed the fresh air. Overall they believe it has been an excellent
experience learning about the Finnish education system.
The objective is that with the summer school experience students
would be able to create an international network of long-lasting
friendship that could also turn into professional benefits in the
Editor: Ms. Teresa Chen
Photographer: Mr. Artem Klimenko
See also: Unforgettable summer in Tornio summer school, Lapland UAS News 17 June 2015
Visiting lecturers Marc Clerkx (upper left) and Paul de Jong (next to Marc) are discussing the terms of the project work with Finnish students (from left to right Maria Ollila, Jarno Siivola, Anniina Törmä, Anna Alm, Annika Pelkonen).