The exchange students were lucky enough to have a visit from two friends, my best friend Teal and also from our Cal Poly Department Head of Natural Resource Management and Environmental Sciences.
Dr. Doug Piirto’s Grandparents came to the United States from Finland. The Piirto family is influential to Finnish history and Dr. Doug is the reason we are able to study abroad with SeAMK. We enjoyed his visit and the SeAMK students appreciated his guest lecture.
With Dr. Piirto we attended the Opening Ceremony for the international exchange students at the Seinäjoki SeAMK, 20 km away from our Ilmajoki campus.
There were approximately 130 students from the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Argentina, Canada, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Russia, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Malasia and Poland. We listened to presentations about the school, community, events and other good things to know while we are in Finland.
The Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences,UAS, often abbreviated as SeAMK, which means “that university” has 6 campuses that intend to “bring higher education to the region of South Ostrobothnia.” Their 2015 vision statement is that “Seinäjoki UAS, is a successful, international and entrepreneurial institution of higher education” (University President, Tapio Varmola).
The university has a history of over 100 years of education was merged with other institues in 1992 to form Seinäjoki UAS. They offer 20 bachelors programs and 7 master degrees.
The university has 4,600 full-time students, 200 Academic Staff members and a research and development program that focuses on practical emphasis and student involvement. This is a perfect match with Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing motto. The Seinäjoki campus was beautiful. Catch a tour of the Ilmajoki campus, where I am studying, in a future blog post.