As tribute to the China and Finland Friendship Year, FICEA celebrated the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries by commencing their 2015 educational and cultural winter camp. The camp was organized by FICEA in cooperation with the cities of Tampere and Sastamala with support from the Embassies of China and Finland. Students from Beijing and Henan came to Finland to experience and enjoy educational and cultural exchange.
FICEA's educational camp included diverse activities. The students organized a culture show, in which they presented the Chinese culture to the Finns. The visiting students also experienced Finnish education firsthand by joining classes in Finnish schools. They had the opportunity to see exotic northern nature and wildlife and visit famous sights in Finland and Sweden. In Lapland the students participated in an innovation course, in which they practiced teamwork skills, such as creativity, critical thinking and communication.
Finnish Education is very student oriented and students' independent thinking capabilities are highly valued. 'Learning by doing' and practical skills are also an important part of the education system. The Chinese students experienced this education system by joining classes at Finnish schools and getting to know different learning methods.
FICEA provided an opportunity for the Chinese students to participate in different types of unique Finnish courses with the local students. These courses included Woodwork, Needlework, Home Economics and more familiar courses like English and History. The Chinese students were very excited about the practical courses in particular, because it was their first time trying out equipment like the sewing machine and electric saw.
The students were highly impressed by the high-quality education facilities, equipment and the strong practical skills of the peer Finnish students. Furthermore, the Chinese students were deeply moved by the hospitality and the sincerity of the Finnish teachers and students. They were quickly integrated into the Finnish school life and made new friends. They even exchanged contact information with the Finnish students in order to continue to stay in touch.
Museum Education is a unique part of the Finnish educational system. FICEA designed relevant courses in the museums for the Chinese students. The students were divided into different study groups to interactively observe the exhibitions and to study subjects such as technology, history, biology and environmental protection. The objective was to think about these topics creatively and to consider different perspectives.
One of the most important topics was the development and trends of innovation, which we delved into at the innovation museum. In the experience zone of the forest science center the students tried out forest industry related tasks in order to better understand the great importance of sustainable development as well as the relationship between humans and the environment.
During the visit to the Finnish library, the students enjoyed reading books, learned about the significant Finnish library culture and love for reading. By visiting the City Hall in Stockholm which houses the Nobel banquet, the students received inspiring information on the influence of the Nobelists on science and technology.
Encouraging students’ imagination and creativity are at the core of the Finnish educational system. At FICEA Winter Camp in Lapland the students participated in special innovative courses on snow sculpturing, designed and executed by experts. Firstly for inspiration, FICEA invited a very famous snow sculpture designer from Finland to give a lecture on innovative and creative design with snow and ice. After being greatly inspired by this, the students from different schools got rearranged into new mixed teams, and within limited time, they experienced the process of creation. First brain storming, planning and task division, then the execution of the snow sculpture and its presentation.
On the competition field, all teams fervently showed their skills in leadership, creativity, imagination and team work. In one afternoon, the students passionately worked on the selected snow mounds and turned them into beautiful works of art in front of the judges. During the competition, each team gave their best effort and had excellent results. The teachers and staff highly praised their work and noted the different teams’ unique views. The competition was a great way for the students to enhance their creative thinking and more importantly, to recognize the paramount importance of collaborative teamwork.
In order to improve the students’ English level, FICEA provided fluent English speakers as team leaders to accompany them at all times. At the arctic camp, FICEA also provided professional outdoor clothes for the exploration of the arctic wildlife and ecosystem, and invited a group of outdoor sports experts to instruct the students. It was the first time for the Chinese students to cross the Arctic circle border.
Under the guidance of the professionals, the students experienced different kinds of winter activities, such as skiing, sledging, snow shoe walking and riding the snow mobile. According to the students, the pure white snow landscapes felt like a fairytale come to life. Moreover, they described sitting around the campfire, eating barbecue, looking up into the starry sky while sharing dreams and making wishes as the most memorable moments in their life.
Altogether, the students in the Winter Camp had a wonderful opportunity to immerse themselves in the Nordic education, culture, music, and nature. The Chinese students finished their trip in the FICEA Educational and Cultural Winter Camp with unforgettable memories.
To continue educational and cultural activities of the Finland-China Cultural year after Winter Camp, FICEA has prepared further cultural exchange activities for primary and secondary school students. From May to August in 2015, FICEA will organize different kinds of music festivals and educational exchange activities in Tampere, Jyväskylä, Turku, Mänttä, Vaasa and Rovaniemi. Moreover, '2015 Intercultural Exchange Summer Camp’ is open for registration.
Meanwhile, the 12th World Principal Conference will grandly open in the early August in Helsinki. As the organizer, FICEA warmly welcomes all the principals and decision-makers from the basic education field to participate.
FICEA summer educational events are waiting for you!