Experience of EMEU study module (Health Care)
At Hyria, we have had a very intensive 5 month long EMEU project activity period. During this time we have implemented our first virtual activity and study module. The second virtual activity is currently is in the process of implementation, as well as the second study module is planned to be implemented in autumn 2018.
I has been great time, but also demanding. We have learned many new things, both students and teachers. These activities are challenging ourselves, and that is really good. At Hyria, we have some experience of arranging international study modules from other fields, but now the study modules are embedded into our curriculum, and the curriculum is changing at the time, so it requires double time for planning.
Hyria’s first study module is called “Health and well-being of children (under 7 years old)”. It was offered as part of studies of Vocational upper secondary qualification in Social and Health Care (Practical Nurse) for students who has chosen a competence area in Children’s and Youth Care and Education (both adult and young students). Visiting students were from MBO Rijnland (2) and from Horizon College (2).
The duration of the module was 3 weeks, consisting of 2 weeks study period at college, and 1 week of work placement at Kids’ Valley, which is an English language day care setting. The programme also included 6 visits to different settings related to maternity care, support of families with children and day care. The visits supported the theory learned at class rooms well.
Teaching was conducted in English. The study period included lectures, videos, group assignments and discussions. The students were provided a lot of materials that supported the theme in question.
4 teachers were involved into the teaching and organized study visits. In some days the teacher was teaching alone, in some days there were two teachers working as a pair. There was also a visiting professional, a Psychiatric Nurse Yrjö Kaikkonen, who has been working in family rehabilitation in hospital. He was giving a lecture about preventive family work, and especially about professional communication between families and professionals in order to be able to support families with children.
There were many professionals involved into the implementation of the study module in form of study visits. The group visited in a Family Center in Riihimäki, and met Head of Center Outi Pyrhönen over there. At Kota (a pre-school) the representative was pre-school teacher Rea Vähämäki. At Kids Valley’s, in which they visited and worked later on for a week, they were acquainted with manager Mira Slawinsky, and Practical Nurse (Child Care) Sanna Puustinen. Public Health Nurse Anu Ahola hosted the visit at maternity clinic in Riihimäki. Päivi Salo told the student group about the operations of Montessori Pedagogy Day Care. Kindergarten Teacher Janna Vastela received the student group to Piikinmäki Day Care, which is operating 24/7.
A lot of cultural activities were organized for foreign students. They visited a national-level ice-hockey game in Lahti, had one cultural day in Helsinki and one in Hämeenlinna, and one activity day at the college, on which they were cooking and baking some Finnish traditional food and bakery with their class mates and children. They also visited in an agricultural campus of Hyria, saw cows and plenty of small animals at our zoo, and barbequed some sausages on campfire. In addition to that they spent one day in a Finnish family in Janakkala with lot of outdoor activities and traditional food.
It was great experience to offer Hyria’s students an authentic international study period at the college, and to activate and improve the English language skills, and to expand their professional vocabulary. The study module really challenged our students and teachers to bring their competence to an international level, and to activate/maintain their language skills.
The feedback from industry was very positive. They were delighted about the model how the study module was conducted. New industry representatives were pleased that they were chosen to be for places of visits and they are ready to co-operate with Hyria in national and international level. Many of them were not aware that we do this kind of activities, and therefore the EMEU activities were highly appreciated. In Finland we have many multicultural families as customers of maternity clinics and early childhood education, and therefore we need to produce workers with international skills.
As an end result the teachers will bring more English language study material to Finnish students during their normal everyday teaching. They also want more language activation for their own students. They found the 3 weeks period brought variety on normal school days and was stimulant for themselves as well. The study module made them to think about their teachership, and way they delivered the teaching.
As a conclusion, we are happy to be involved into this project. It brings a lot of work, but also sustainability, as all activities are embedded and repeated. The activities will remain in our curriculum, and are also offered for students of our partner colleges.
Tanja Korteharju, International Relations Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 50574 8544