Turku Åbo Summer School successfully moved online
In August 2021, 80 participants from 30 different countries opened a connection to Turku, Finland, to join the online version of Turku Åbo Summer School.
Turku Åbo Summer School is organized as a collaboration of the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Novia University of Applied Sciences, Humak University of Applied Sciences and Turku University of Applied Sciences.
Annukka Väre, International Affairs Officer at the University of Turku, coordinates the summer school activities.
- Unfortunately, summer 2020 had to be canceled completely due to the coronavirus situation, so we decided to plan for next summer with offline and online options. The team quickly realized that the world is unlikely to fully open by summer ‘21, and that we need to have Plan B ready, Väre describes the challenging planning process of the Corona era.
This summer, Turku Åbo Summer School offered seven interesting courses that attracted enthusiastic participants.
- Naturally, some of those enrolled dropped out when the implementations were moved completely online. The basic idea of summer schools is to get to know the everyday life of students in another country and cultural environment, Väre says.
The online courses have received great feedback: 100% of the feedback survey respondents would recommend summer school to their friends. The encouraging feedback indicates there will be a demand for online courses in the future as well, but the summer of 2022 will be planned primarily for campuses.
Home internationalization materialized in a virtual social program
Pinja Raivonen, who worked as an intern at Turku Åbo Summer School, has extensive international experience.
- I’ve been on exchange three times and participated in two summer schools, Pinja sums up her international study experiences.
- It was great to get a peek into the role of the organizer. Organizing a virtual summer school brought a variety of challenges that could not be prepared for in advance. I learned a lot of new skills for coordinating and managing online learning.
Pinja was especially diligent in planning and implementing the social program.
- Especially the virtual speed friending was really fun! The virtual tour in Turku was also a hit – although the participants were surprised how deserted the streets become when it’s raining, Pinja laughs.
As a concept, Turku Åbo Summer School also receives praise from Pinja, who is studying in the East Asian master's program.
- The course offerings give you a good idea of what you can study in Turku. We are a versatile higher education provider with the help of five universities and as a student city, Turku does sell itself. Turku is simply a great city to study!
Turku Åbo Summer School will be held again in August 2022
The course offering will be published at the end of 2021. Are you interested? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org