IP "Multicultural Understanding in the Baltic Sea Region –Opportunities and Obstacles in Communication"

29 March - April 2 2011

Åland University of Applied Sciences hosted the IP "Multicultural Understanding in the Baltic Sea Region - Opportunities and Obstacles in Communication", which was held in Mariehamn, Aland Islands, 29 March - April 2 2011. During this meeting students from Baltic region (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark and Finland) worked together trying to find the way to protect the environment and what was the main concern – the Baltic Sea.

 

Completion of the course

On the first day every group made presentations about their home countries. They were talking about the things which should be known to everybody. The biggest surprise for the students was that Aland is the country almost fully covered with Wi-Fi and that Skype came from Estonia. Later that evening the test on personality profiles was taken, on the basis of it the teams were formed. The participants also played Barnga game.

On the second day presentations about home researches were made, it included media coverage, young people's concerns for the future and interview with local company about their green policy. It appeared that Aland is the country, in which the biggest concern for the future is unemployment. All the rest countries are more concerned about the environment. After presentations there was the lecture on cultures and values. Later that day the students were divided into the groups of 4-5 people, in which later they were working on the green projects. The main idea was to collect all "colours" from the "personality profiles test" in one group, so that each person could work with another who was completely different. In the evening a lovely excursion around the island was organised, so that everybody could see how people live there.

On the third and the fourth days the groups were working on their projects, but still there was time to listen to 2 interesting lectures "The future of the Baltic Sea" and "How to Present Complex Ideas in a Catchy Way?" After the busy day everybody had some extremely amazing time in Maritime Safety Centre, where they were given some information about how to rescue people and even had trainings in heavy suits and under the rain and strong wind and stormy weather. The task was to safe the person who was in the open sea. Despite the fact that everything took place in the swimming pool, it was an extremely difficult task to do, but, at least, everyone was safe. The lesson learned was: respect the sea.

On the final day the students' groups had their project presentations, which were very interesting and really possible to be managed. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd places were given. And finally after the hard work, all had the gala party, where people were happy and didn't want to say good-bye.>

Conclusion

Overall that was a useful meeting to be: the students had learned how to work in teams, where the only thing in common you had was your second language, think fast and believe that your ideas can change the world.