Laurea International Week 2023: ”Co-creating International Learning” 

Teksti | Sini Aalto-Friman

Laurea International Week 2023 ”Co-creating International Learning” was organized on the campus of Tikkurila (in the city of Vantaa) 20th – 24th March 2023. We welcomed both teaching and non-teaching staff from Laurea´s partner institutions and other institutions as well for the week. We offered a common program and networking opportunities for all participants as well as classes for teaching staff and workshops for non-teaching staff.

stock photo.
Phto. Ann H / Pexels

We were surprised to have more than 100 participants who wanted to attend our international week! In the end we received 74 live participants and 8 registered to take part online. The event was hybrid so online participation was also possible. We had about 15-20 participants daily online. This year it was the first time there was an international week teaching possibility simultaneously on different campuses and the systematic streaming possibility available for all Laurea campuses and of course for anyone around the world. The previous International Week was organized in Laurea 2019, so it was great to finally meet guests live again after COVID.

A joint program for teaching and non-teaching staff

Minna Huotilainen, Keynote speech. Photo by: Juho Lumiaho, Laurea communications team

On Tikkurila Campus there was an ongoing program for anyone to take part in. Visiting lecturers met Laurea lecturers on Tue, Wed and Thu on all campuses and some of them had lessons for Laurea students in Tikkurila, Leppävaara, Otaniemi and Porvoo. For Hyvinkää students the teaching was online and available for others as well. Also, specific meetings with Laurea staff members of many types of expertise (HR, library etc.) were organized. The unfortunate train strike affected our week a bit, but we survived well!

Monday March 20th, 2023

After registration we had a welcome session where President Jouni Koski and unit directors Krista Pahkin, Salla Seppänen and Tanja Johansson presented greetings from their units and internationalization there. We presented Laurea international team as well. Throughout the week the guests had the opportunity to visit our multisensory space, which the participants enjoyed.

Our keynote speech was by Professor Minna Huotilainen, Department of Education, University of Helsinki, titled “Brain at Work: How to focus”, where we gained important insight on how focusing increases our capacity of learning and enhances our wellbeing.

After that we had our lovely language lecturers hosting the campus tours in Tikkurila in three groups. The guests were surprised to see our great facilities in Tikkurila. The campus tour ended in our lunch restaurant where we welcomed our guests with sparkling wine and snacks in the Meet&Greet Afterwork Mingle. The guests enjoyed the performance of our Laurea choir as well.

From international fair. Photo by: Ilpo Vuorivirta

Tuesday March 21st, 2023

Helsinki Cathedral photo from the sightseeing tour. Photo by: Suvi Martikainen

In the morning we learned about the Commissioned Education (Education Export) at Laurea introduced by Development Manager Sanna Partamies. Then we got an introduction of Laureamko student union by Minny Meriläinen. After that we familiarized ourselves with the MOTION project, introduced by Senior Lecturer Päivi Mantere. MOTION is an EU project with the aims of raising awareness leading to action to solve tourism issues and to increase people’s understanding of the value of sustainable tourism.

Then the session continued, and Laurea Wellbeing Services were presented. Pauliina Nurkka, Director of Guidance and Study Well-being explained our L160 system (Link: Didn’t finish your higher education studies? Laurea offers the opportunity to complete your degree flexibly – Laurea-ammattikorkeakoulu). Senior Lecturer Ilona Rönkä explained about special education services at Laurea and Senior Lecturer Leena Kuosmanen introduced a student wellbeing case.

During Tuesday and Thursday, it was also possible to get to know the ETHCOM project, which means “Enhancing learning of ethical competences in nursing education”. The contact persons from Laurea for this project are Teija-Kaisa Aholaakko and Elsi Haverinen-Mottaghi.

Then we had a workshop regarding Best Practices of Double degrees, where Senior Lecturer Kaija Koivusalo was leading the discussion. Our guests had also the opportunity to attend an online seminar by Talentia Union of Professional Social Workers – Pioneering New Forms of Social Development: Social Work Practice in Situations of War and Crises.

Most guests continued with us to Helsinki city center, where we had sightseeing walking tours in sunny Helsinki. After that the guests had a possibility to continue to Suomenlinna sea fortress or spend the evening enjoying culture and restaurants in Helsinki.

Wednesday March 22nd, 2023

The morning started with the introduction to gamification and the use of AI at Laurea by Tomi Tolonen, who is an Expert of Digital Pedagogy at Laurea. Then we learned about our Hospitality Management and Service Design program from Senior Lecturer Miia Vakkuri. After that our degree student Valeryia Mäkinen presented the program from student´s perspective.

Simultaneously some of our guests visited the Winter Garden in Helsinki with Senior Lecturer Leena Kuosmanen. The purpose of the visit was to present a stimulating learning environment and the use of camera as a learning tool.

Photo from Winter Garden. Photo by: Leena Kuosmanen
Photo from International Fair. Photo by: Sini Aalto-Friman

The inspiring program continued with KOTAMO project – Diversity and equality in the higher education institutions, initialization by Anna Ylitalo, Specialist at the Ministry of Education and Culture. After that there was a workshop hosted by Principal Lecturer Karoliina Nikula. Link: KOTAMO. Report on the state of equality and diversity in Finnish higher education institutions ( 

We naturally presented our renowned learning model in a show room presenting the Learning by Developing (LbD) pedagogical model. The guests were welcome to join to discuss LbD related questions. The showroom also hosted presentations about student performance evaluation in LbD projects. LbD topic continued also on Thursday when Learning by Developing (LbD) pedagogical model simulation workshop was offered to our Pioneer and InCITIES project partners. The contact person from Laurea for this session was Sanna Ketonen-Oksi.

In the main session we had an interesting presentation from our Senior Lecturer Paresh Rathod, titled “Journey from Classroom Teaching Towards “Onlife” Learning: Research, Development, and Innovation (RDI) approach in pedagogical and study offering practices in higher education”.

The afternoon ended in an International Fair where our partners and guests presented their UAS/universities for Laurea students and staff. There were almost 20 different universities present and Laurea staff members got great networking possibilities and Laurea students got ideas for possible exchange abroad.

To finish our inspiring day, we continued by bus to Fazer Experience Visitor Centre where our guests learned about Fazer and naturally got to taste various flavors of chocolate.

International Week Participants group photo in front of Fazer. Photo by: Fazer employee

Thursday March 23rd, 2023

We started the morning with Pioneer partnership presentation by Mika Launikari, who works as a RDI expert at Laurea and is involved in Pioneer network and is applying for European Universities network status together with Laurea employees.

Then we had a presentation of our Career Services by Specialist Esa Hukkanen. Specialist Olga Kymäläinen introduced us JobTeaser, where you can find work and internship places. She also explained about other events and possibilities.

Our Laurea nursing lecturers and eight students and their lecturer from Freiburg Germany especially enjoyed our simulation hospital presentation sessions by Senior Lecturers Kirsi Tulus and Marina Arvonen. Laurea has simulation teaching spaces in Tikkurila, Otaniemi, Porvoo and Lohja. In Hyvinkää there is a simulation hospital. Link: Nursing – Laurea-ammattikorkeakoulu. Laurea is the biggest nursing educator in Finland.

In the evening we had a lovely gathering together for our farewell dinner at restaurant Factory in Helsinki city center. Restaurant Factory is Laurea ´s Key Partner, and we even were welcomed in by our Laurea alumni who was working there.

Friday March 24th, 2023

Workshop Photo by: Saara Vestu

The last day started with Key Partner Concept introduction by Anssi Kuusela, who is a Manager of Key Partners and Customers at Laurea. After that we offered workshops related to international affairs. International Officer Lorena Canaku, from Università Iuav di Venezia, had a workshop about Erasmus+ Traineeships in non-European Countries. Senior Specialist of International Affairs Sini Aalto-Friman held the workshop regarding teacher & staff mobilities. Senior Specialist of International Affairs Riikka Lindholm hosted the workshop about Development of Internationalization and Planning Officer of International Affairs Saara Vestu facilitated the workshop regarding incoming exchange students.

We finished our exciting week with photo challenge winners and prices, feedback, and certificates. Naturally we ate one more time lunch together in the campus restaurant. It was great to meet so many guests from 18 countries live! The guests came from Germany, Poland, Slovak Republic, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Czechia, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, Kosovo and Turkey.

In conclusion

The international week was a great way to meet people from partners and other higher education institutions. The guests were happy about the week and the organization of it. We had plenty of networking possibilities, everyone gained new experiences and planned new cooperation possibilities. The keynote session got plenty of praise. The participants gained knowledge about trends and methodologies at Laurea but also at other international universities through exchanging information and experiences of their representatives, widening the networking of the international network, presenting institutions to other participants at the Laura International week.

If you have any questions related to international week 2023 or future cooperations please contact Sini Aalto-Friman ( or our International Team in general at

I hope to see many guests at Laurea International Week 2024 again!


Jaa sivu