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International Tutoring - Getting Involved with International Students First Days

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Julia Litokorpi | 19.05.2015

For last few weeks TYY’s international sector has been quite busy with international tutoring. It is unique even in Europe’s perspective that in August when the international students are arriving to Turku there is several tutors going back and forth between Turku train station, airport and bus station to meet their new international tutees. The reasons for being international tutor are mostly experiences from tutors own exchange time, want to be more international and get new friends.

Being a tutor for international students is probably the funniest way to experience international atmosphere in your own University campus. At the same time the tutors can learn something about themselves and especially something about being a Finn! Of course there are several tutors who are from Finland and for them tutoring is way to meet new people and remind themselves what kind of it was to arrive here and face a few problems.

In Finland there are a few things that we never think because we are got used to them. And these are the things that international students are facing in their first weeks. You have probably at least once to forgotten your keys to your apartment and locked the door. Many international students do that several times because in their home countries you need a key to lock your apartment’s door. When you are stopping a bus you of course raise your hand. And the international students in front of you wonders what you are waving for and then is confused when bus just keeps going even there is people in bus stop. When he or she finally get to the bus they wonder why you are not sitting next to each other and thinks if speaking is forbidden.

These are only few examples about the things we should remember to tell international students. There must be more, we are just not recognizing them anymore.  So my wish to you all, not only for tutors, is to help our great international students in their first weeks. Tell how Assari’s lines are working, tell the way to library and remember to laugh the mistakes not the persons. It doesn’t matter what you say about Finland, it matters that you in general are talking to our international students. They will have their own conclusions after spending some time in Finland. And the thing which matters is that do they feel that they are part of the community or not.

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Julia Litokorpi