IB #4: You just can’t resist the sweet “I”: “International”!

Today I used a fun-fact application for my Facebook friend list, and here come some numbers:

*In 2008 when I was not an IB-er at JAMK:

© T. Surugiu
© T. Surugiu

– I had 40 friends

– Friends from 4 countries

– Friends from 2 continents of Asia and America

*Now at the beginning of 2011 when I’ve enjoyed my JAMK-IB life for a while:

– There are 424 friends in my list

– Friends from 31 nations

– Friends from all continents except the Antarctic

I bet you see a huge difference between those two points of time regarding how international my IB life has become, and note that I have been at JAMK for only 1.5 years!

Well actually not that hard to explain… The very first thing I want to reveal is that whenever being at JAMK campuses, I always have the feeling of being in a miniature world. I hear all kinds of languages at the school restaurant, I see all sorts of learning and living styles of my international friends when we are together. Could it be any cooler than to have many Chinese friends to practice the language with them right after your lessons, or to check the correctness of some culture lecture when the person who sits next to you in class is from that country?

© O. Glukhovskaya
© O. Glukhovskaya

Moreover, IB professors are from various nations (Poland, Finland, the US, Turkey for the time being) and with many years of working experiences, they do know how to bring us to any corner of the world. We also welcome a number of guest lecturers from, again, all continents. The point here is, once we have those kinds of daily “tests and experiments” with our international teachers and friends, the accuracy of our understanding about business knowledge from the global perspective will be much more guaranteed.

Remember when I told you in the very beginning that we IB-ers are asked to go abroad at some point of our study? Such a pleasant requirement! Thank to JAMK’s wide network with many higher education institutions outside Finland, IB-ers can choose to go exchange in our favorite nations (in/ outside Europe) for one semester or one academic year. We start to apply for the exchange period in the spring of the second year, and there are three choices for one student to apply. The school will then give us mobility grants (200€/ month) when the exchange period is started. Actually I have just sent my exchange application before writing today tale. My choices are the US, Canada and the UK for the next school year. Cross your fingers for me guys!

The last piece of my IBers-going-even-more-international tale is about the Seventh International Youth Scientific Conference which is hold annually by the Business Faculty of JAMK and Frida University in Obninsk, Russia. This conference is regarded as a concrete bridge for JAMK IB-ers and Business students in Russia to perform and share relevant knowledge and experiences. I participated in the conference last April, and that has been one of the best times of my life. 🙂

© A. Zhang
© A. Zhang

Not only gaining lots of professional and personal development after giving presentations about Business/Politics/Innovation topics, or appearing as an ambassador for my hometown Vietnam in the country fair, or joining in thought-provoking Cafe World sessions; I also had such  a memorable time with Russian teachers and friends: our pan-cake party, the country tour across Moscow-St. Petersburg and other outrageously beautiful Russian cities (the list does go on). The warmest connection has been kept between us since the conference, and more great times are coming on our promise.

Have you got more excited about being an IB-er? We still have more stories reserved for you… *giggling*.

~ Kathy

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