I hope that you are still interested in reading about International Business programme at JAMK. Today I’m going to tell you more about practical issues – how the studies look like from student’s perspective.
First of all, everyone starting her/his IB studies at JAMK has a peer tutor. Peer tutor is a person, most likely 2nd or 3rd year student of IB, designated to help a newcomer in first steps in Finland. Peer tutor contacts his/her wards well before they come to Finland, so if there are any questions, it is easy to get an answer. Peer tutor picks up her/his tutorees from Jyväskylä airport/bus or railway station and brings them to their apartments. She/he also helps in getting to school for a very first time, guides around the city and is of any assistance if needed.
There is also a teacher tutor designated for each student. He monitors study progress and helps in sorting out any problem issues. Each student has annually at least one discussion with her/his teacher tutor so to make sure that everything is going well and according to a plan.
First year studies begin with an orientation week. During this time students get to know each other, their teachers, and Heads of JAMK. Ideally there is 50-50 division of students in every IB class: half of the students are Finns and another half foreigners. Besides more formal presentations of school, programme and staff, there are also other activities helping in familiarising with others and creating group spirit. I would say that participating in first week events really helps in finding good friends 😉
Nice information for people who already studied something before IB at JAMK: there is a chance that some credits for IB studies will be granted based on your knowledge and skills acquired at previous university. For more information visit this site.
Now something more about regular studies. At the beginning of first year whole class is divided into smaller groups (in my class there were 6 of them). Teachers try to do it in this way that in one group there are people from different continents, countries, cultural background. There is plenty of group-works during studies, so each student will experience working with various people in various teams. However for at least first semester groups are assigned – just to make sure that everyone works with different people, not only closest friends, and that studies are really going to be international 😉
I’m not sure how it works in different countries, but for me way of working at JAMK was a bit surprising at the beginning. What I mean is that during my studies in Poland I of course had classes, sometimes small homework, announced tests during semester and one 2-3 weeks long exam session for all the subjects at the end of the semester (and that was the only time when everyone was actually learning). At JAMK it looks different. Students work during the whole semester. There are many assignments, projects, presentations, group-works, so besides classes everyone spends quite a lot of time on school stuff. But it really works! I feel that I learn a lot by doing, by listening, by presenting and it is not this kind of knowledge I’ll forget two weeks after exam session – because it’s practical knowledge. In different courses there are different assessment criteria, but one I can assure – grade from exam (if any) is just a part of final grade. The overall performance counts. Earlier shocking for me, but really nice and fair! 🙂
Another great “feature” of JAMK is Optima – web-based learning platform. Teachers publish there materials, schedules, links. Students may find there also descriptions of assignments and return boxes for tasks done. Everything is in one place – easily accessible from wherever you are. Additionally JAMK uses internal school email system. It makes communicating with teachers and fellow students easier and faster.
Greetings from cold and snowy Jyväskylä 😉