Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:19
Keeping busy by taking care
Text: Laura Myllykoski Photo: Milan Kolarovic
The School of Business and Information Management is probably the most international school of Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Exchange students come and go and they all get to know the international co-ordinator handling their matters.
Apart from Piritta being there, her office also offers a lot of written material for the exchange students.
Piritta Nätynki is a busy woman. Even as I step into her office for an interview some exchange students come to pick up their certificates. Eventually she has to shut the door to prevent further interruptions.
Piritta is the international co-ordinator of The School of Business and Information Management. She is actually one of the university’s own alumni.
- I graduated in 2001 from the Degree Programme in International Business.
After her graduation Piritta had already started working in a clothes store in Rovaniemi as she got a call from the then co-ordinator asking if she was interested in working as his assistant. She was and later she advanced to be the co-ordinator as the position became available.
Enough responsibilities, and more
Piritta’s job is to handle paper work concerning all of the exchange students from and to the school in question and also to act as a support person for the foreign exchange students.
- I mainly take care of the exchange students because the degree students have their head of the degree programme and the student affairs office in use. But of course I try to help if someone comes in with a question, Piritta explains.
She also works with the practical things concerning visiting lecturers and the organizing of the staff exchange. In addition to this she teaches the freshmen students in Degree Programme in International Business and works as the international deputy in the communication team of UAS.
UAS has 30 partner schools all around the world. Most of the exchange students seem to come from European countries such as Germany, Italy, Portugal, Austria and the Eastern European countries.
- Even though we have a partner school in Sweden we don’t get any exchange students from there but I guess that is natural; the Finnish exchange student’s aswell aren’t too interested in going to Sweden for it’s closeness and familiarity.
The group of exchange student’s that Piritta isn’t too fond of are the free movers. They are exchange student’s who come from schools that aren’t partners with UAS. This means that the school in question is probably unfamiliar to the international staff and there are no information for example about the level of education there.
Piritta is happy to tell that the exchange students usually don’t have any big problems with living in Finland. The biggest issues seem to be with courses and replacing them and that kind of problems are always soluble.
- The exchange students have already a place to live in when they arrive and of course the tutors to help them. The matters aren’t always this well organised elsewhere.
Usually when an exchange student has no problems in the beginning of the exchange period the matters tend to go well till it’s time to leave. Piritta tells that some students only see her once or twice in the beginning when picking up their certificates and then come to bid farewell when they are about to leave.
- Well, some of the student’s aren’t so skilled in English when they arrive but no matter how nervous I am for them, they always seem to manage.
And of course when finished with the exchange they’re English has improved significantly.