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Erasmus+ Job Shadowing in Finland: A Transformative Experience

by Riku Korosuo, VisitEDUfinn CEO with the help of ChatGPT

Voices from the Field: Survey Highlights from European Educators

The Erasmus+ Job Shadowing program stands as a pioneering initiative in the realm of global education. For educators across the continent, this program is more than just an opportunity; it’s a transformative journey that allows them to dive deep into diverse educational settings and methodologies. Over the years, the program has garnered significant attention, becoming a sought-after experience for those keen on broadening their pedagogical horizons.

In our continuous effort to assess and enhance the program’s effectiveness, we recently conducted a comprehensive survey targeting our clients who participated in the Erasmus+ Job Shadowing program in Finland. During last school year, from September 2022 to May 2023, the survey witnessed an impressive participation of over 164 respondents, making it one of our most extensive feedback initiatives to date.

Key Survey Highlights:

  1. Overall Satisfaction: A staggering 92% of the respondents rated their overall experience with the program as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’.
  2. Pedagogical Impact: 88% felt that their exposure to the Finnish education system would have a direct positive impact on their teaching methodologies.
  3. Cultural Exchange: 90% of the participants appreciated the cultural immersion, highlighting it as a valuable aspect that enriched their overall experience.
  4. Program Organization: 94% commended the seamless organization, logistical arrangements, and the support provided throughout their stay in Finland.
  5. Future Recommendations: An encouraging 96% stated that they would highly recommend the Erasmus+ Job Shadowing program in Finland to their peers.

These results are not just numbers; they are a testament to the program’s unparalleled success and the profound impact it continues to have on educators. Each feedback underscores our commitment to excellence and motivates us to elevate the Erasmus+ Job Shadowing experience further.

The Finnish Magic

Finland’s education system stands as a beacon in the global educational landscape, celebrated for its innovative approaches, student-centric methodologies, and an unwavering emphasis on holistic development. The Finnish model is not just about academic excellence; it’s a harmonious blend of fostering creativity, critical thinking, and well-being among students. But reading or hearing about it is one thing; experiencing it is another.

When educators from diverse corners of the world step into a Finnish classroom, they are often met with a series of delightful surprises. Here’s what our survey respondents had to say about their firsthand experience with the Finnish education system:

  1. Classroom Dynamics: Many educators were astounded by the level of trust and autonomy given to students. Classrooms were not just spaces for instruction but hubs of collaborative learning where students took charge of their educational journey.

  2. Teacher-Student Relationship: Respondents frequently highlighted the mutual respect between teachers and students. The Finnish model places a strong emphasis on building a nurturing and understanding relationship, which many found to be a stark contrast to more hierarchical systems they were accustomed to.

  3. Learning Beyond Books: A significant number of participants were impressed by the integration of practical skills, outdoor activities, and arts into the curriculum. They appreciated how Finnish schools prioritize experiential learning, ensuring students grasp concepts beyond textbooks.

  4. Well-being and Mental Health: The focus on student well-being was a revelation for many. From regular breaks to the inclusion of relaxation and mindfulness activities, Finnish schools showcased a deep commitment to the mental and emotional health of their students.

  5. Inclusive Education: Educators lauded the inclusive nature of Finnish schools. They observed how students with different learning needs were integrated into regular classrooms, with tailored support ensuring every child thrives.

But what happens when educators from different parts of Europe get a chance to experience this firsthand? The answer is simple: transformation.

In essence, the transformation that educators undergo during their time in Finland is profound. It’s not just about adopting new teaching techniques; it’s about embracing a philosophy that views education as a tool for holistic human development. For many, the Finnish magic is a reminder of why they chose the noble profession of teaching and how they can reimagine education in their home countries.

A Dive into Positive Feedback

Our recent survey results have been overwhelmingly positive, with educators expressing gratitude, admiration, and inspiration from their experiences in Finland. Let’s delve into some of the feedback:

  1. A New Perspective on Teaching

    “It was a valuable experience because we learned about other ways of teaching and got a lot of inspiration for teaching in our school.” 

    This sentiment was echoed by many participants who found the Finnish way of teaching to be a breath of fresh air. The emphasis on student autonomy, active learning, and real-world application has provided our clients with fresh perspectives to incorporate into their teaching methodologies.

  2. A Deep Dive into Methodologies

    “The job shadowing experience was positive as it allowed us to explore the methodologies, teaching material, and tools used to acquire skills. It was certainly an opportunity for growth and comparison.”

    Finland’s unique approach to education, which includes a blend of traditional and modern teaching methodologies, has been a revelation for many. The hands-on experience has allowed educators to compare and contrast, ultimately enriching their teaching repertoire.

  3. A Personal and Professional Growth Journey

    “This was a valuable experience to observe and compare the didactical methods discussing those among the colleagues and to engage the teachers in concrete actions to implement in the local schools once back.”

    Beyond methodologies and teaching techniques, the Erasmus+ Job Shadowing program in Finland has been a journey of personal and professional growth for many. The interactions, discussions, and collaborations have paved the way for long-lasting relationships and a deeper understanding of global educational practices.

In Conclusion

The Erasmus+ Job Shadowing program in Finland is more than just an educational trip; it’s a transformative experience that reshapes perspectives, methodologies, and teaching philosophies. The positive feedback from our clients is a testament to the program’s impact and the magic of Finnish education. If you’re an educator looking to broaden your horizons and immerse yourself in a world-class educational setting, the Erasmus+ Job Shadowing in Finland awaits you and this quote from our survey encapsulates the essence of the experience:

“This is an experience that I strongly suggest to every teacher because it allows you to know different school systems and find suggestions to improve your own way of teaching.”

Riku kuva 2022-modified neliö

Mr. Korosuo (M.Sc.) is specialized in International Business and Education. After his pedagogical studies at the University of Helsinki and working as a lecturer at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and Helsinki Business College, he has dedicated himself to promoting Finnish education internationally. Among other projects, he has spent several months in Colombia in 2016 and 2017, consulting the local Ministry of Education. Since 2016 he has worked as the CEO of VisitEDUfinn and Customer Relationship Manager of Haaga-Helia.

Melina Rauhala

Ms. Rauhala (B.A.) is an educational sciences student at the University of Turku with studies also in the fields of psychology, business and HR, and sociology. As an education major, she is passionate about lifelong learning and the Finnish education system. She believes in change through education. In addition, Ms. Rauhala loves to learn new languages.  She completed an Erasmus + university exchange in Spain as a part of her studies and wants to work toward everyone getting international learning opportunities. Ms. Rauhala is working for VisitEDUfinn part-time while finishing her studies. 


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