What are Marion van Kouwen’s, an exchange teacher’s, top 3 things from Finland?

“Never in my life I ate so much bread, white, brown, long, round, it is all delicious”, Marion van Kouwen told about Finnish bread. Marion was teaching in Rauma in spring 2018. She comes from the Netherlands and works as a lecturer at the Amsterdam School of International Business (AMSIB).

5.7.2018 | By: Jatta Lehtonen

But how did Marion end up in Finland and Rauma?

– I study Intercultural Communication at Utrecht University and I wanted to round my study off with a stay abroad. I chose to come to Finland because I was curious to see how you guys became so successful in education.

Marion has mainly been teaching Cultural Awareness and Strategic Account Management, partly online. She thinks it’s fantastic that SAMK provides a user-friendly and flexible platform for eLearning.

– Distant learning is a solution for many students. I noticed it requires some training and adjustment, but ‘remote teaching’ is definitely one of the great learning experiences for me at SAMK.

What about the Finnish students then?

– Well, some colleagues and students tried to ‘warn’ me about the silence and shyness of Finnish students. I recognize some of it, like I notice where I deviate from the Finns. But I really don’t like to look at differences between people, the Finnish students I met were awesome!

The Finnish colleagues have been very helpful and have invited Marion to several occasions

– My colleagues at SAMK have all been wonderful. Giving tips, directions and support and inviting me to several occasions. One colleague and her family took us to the islands on their boat and another one instructed me with orienteering. The welcome I got from them shows how warm, open and culturallay sensitive the Finnish really are.

Marion has enjoyed her time here in Finland. She describes Rauma as a friendly place.

– Old Rauma is very beautiful with the old wooden houses, but also the harbour and places like Sammallahdenmäki are interesting.

During her stay, she has also visited Turku, Pori and Helsinki. She has mostly been enjoying the stunning nature in Finland. Overall, Marion has been very satisfied with her stay in Finland.

 This has been a great experience, it was fun, but also highly instructive. I would recommend everyone to have an experience abroad and I can recommend Rauma.

If you want to read more about Marion’s thoughts and experiences in Finland, please check

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