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The Point of Internationality

The Point of Internationality

by Antti Hodokainen

At the end of the March 2022, the International Team of Business Academy (Y-Akatemia) made a one-week trip to Prague, Czech Republic. The travel crew consisted of one coach and five students, including me.

During the week, we made our commute to the campus of Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague almost every day. The campus area consists of numerous buildings, each one representing a separate faculty. The building which we visited daily served as the Faculty of Economics and Management.

Campus of Czech University of Life Sciences

There are two big rooms in that building which are reserved for Tiimiakatemia Prague. In one of those rooms, we spent most of our time working on the event that we did together with the students of the local academy.

On the first full day of the trip, we did some sightseeing, as you can see from the photo below.

Sightseeing at Prague Castle

It was on Monday, when the weather was still warm. The rest of the week was not as sunny, unfortunately. This meant that instead of sightseeing, we did plenty of trips to various restaurants, below is a photo of one of those trips.

From left: Sonja, me, Hanna, Andrei, Olga, and our team coach, Riikka

As mentioned earlier, we did an event there. We called it the International Challenge. It was a competition where we formed teams of Finnish and Czech academy students and made them attend a Start Me Up business idea competition, which is organised annually by Business Joensuu.

International Challenge group photo.

Why?

The point of this blog post is to offer some reasons on why to do all this stuff. The travelling, the meeting-new-people-and-doing-stuff-with-them thing and being in the International Team.

The reasons for travelling might seem obvious at first, but we are going to dig down a bit deeper on what is the point of internationality, and what is the point of our International Team, and why you should join it (if you study in Y-Akatemia).

Stating the Obvious

By travelling to different countries, you get to meet new people and get new friends. In our context we also got to visit another educational organisation which provides similar entrepreneurial education as does our beloved Y-Akatemia. We got to meet the “teampreneurs” of their academy. We created a reason to do some stuff together with them, and in that kind of situations you learn a lot. Also, having expanded our international networks, we might have more future opportunities in business.

Spending a week in a country in which you have never been before is itself a memorable experience. Getting to know to the historical part of Prague was a nice portion of expanding my cultural knowledge.

New Home

One week is probably too short of a time to get so used to a place that you could call it a “new home”. For one of our team’s members, though, the case is a bit different. Sonja did a 3-month exchange in Prague; you can read it in the blog post she wrote lately.

In the future, I think it would be cool to get a similar experience as Sonja had in Prague. To spend an extended period of time in another country. To get so many new close friends that you start missing them when you finally leave the place (although, leaving is not always a necessity).

Improved Thinking

By meeting people from other countries and cultures, you can see how much in common you have with them, but at the same time you can learn from the people who are very different from you.

Novel experiences and new people might expose you to ways of living or ways of doing things that you have not encountered previously. This can help you to think outside of your own mental box that you have developed by living in the same cultural environment for your whole life. In other words, you might lessen the strength of the invisible shackles you have.

Lastly: Improved English Skills

During the trip we had to speak English. In fact, being in our International Team means that you must speak English. As you do it consistently, you get better at it. Just like in any other skill.

This, and all the stuff mentioned earlier, are reasons why you might want to join the International Team, if you end up, or already are, studying in Y-Akatemia.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Have a nice day.

-Antti