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How it feels to be the first international TYY board member?

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Ali Benkherouf | 01.02.2017

It has been a month already and people in campus are curious to know about my experience as an executive board member. Perhaps the reason is that TYY is having its first international member on board while celebrating its 95th anniversary, which can be pretty exciting! Several questions were raised like: What do you think about working with Finnish people? Was it difficult since you don't speak Finnish? How differently work matters are handled? Did the work meet your expectations? Etc.

First of all I can say that being in this position is a quite interesting learning experience since day one. The welcoming atmosphere and the community spirit within the office can be immediately sensed in TYY. Although each member has well defined roles and responsibilities, but we all work as one team heading towards the same goal to serve the students and promote their interests.

The University of Turku occupy students from 95 different nationalities and it is ranked among the world's 200 most international universities. Hence, it is important to maintain that position and utilize all resources to move forward with the internationalization and have its impact in all areas of operations. Internally, TYY team is taking the work with an international colleague as a positive opportunity rather than an obstacle. It is good to see their awareness of how flexibility and adopting to different ways of communication can support in professional growth and development.

Now English language is highly used in our training, meetings, and day to day operations which makes it easier to have the full picture of our projects and participate effectively. I am already fascinated here by well-structured planning, punctuality and good time management since keeping on schedules and organizing work is a key for success in TYY.

I also liked the fact that we have "Perjantaikahvit" where all TYY employees, council chair and board members meet on Fridays and brief each other about the key events that occurred during the week. It is an opportunity to express ourselves and share thoughts in a friendly informal setting.

Looking forward for the upcoming weeks and what it has to bring to this experience. Hopefully I can meet the expectations and be able to inspire more UTU international students to take a step forward and actively participate within TYY organizations and student community.

International Affairs
Ali Benkherouf