From Chemnitz to Tornio: Friends Til and Robin enjoy northern nature and technical design studies at Lappia

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In May, Lappia’s technical design field got guests when Til Schneeweiss and Robin Heinisch, who study at the German Bildungs Werkstatt Chemnitz vocational school, participated in an Erasmus+ exchange period under the guidance of teacher Jouko Raappana and instructor Martti Mylly. During the exchange, the students familiarized themselves with Finnish culture and language, and they also learned entirely new things, such as 3D architectural design.

Mölkky-games and coffee on a campfire

The choice of the exchange destination was effortless for Schneeweiss and Heinisch, as Lappia and Bildungs Werkstatt Chemnitz have collaborated for nearly two decades. Scandinavia and its nature also intrigued the two outdoor enthusiasts. Towards the end of their exchange period, they participated in a campfire excursion organized by the field of technical design. At the campfire, teachers and students played traditional Finnish game Mölkky, roasted sausages, prepared coffee in a nokipannu (traditional Finnish coffee pot), and threw darts.

– Our students have warmly welcomed the exchange students. Til won the dart competition and I took victory in the Mölkky tournament, Raappana reports the results.

Schneeweiss and Heinisch found that their expectations for the exchange were met, and people in Finland have been friendly and helpful. The most significant difference from the German education system, they noted, was the relaxed atmosphere of studying in Finland.

– The student-teacher relationship is more straightforward, making it easy to ask questions. Additionally, school days are shorter in Finland. 

In mid-May, during the campfire excursion, teacher Jouko Raappana (at the center) drank coffee from his kuksa (traditional Finnish wooden cup). As the exchange period came to an end, he gifted kuksas to the exchange students as a gesture of appreciation for the excellent experience. Instructor Martti Mylly (on the left) and international coordinator Marja-Liisa Tyystälä (next to Mylly) expressed their gratitude.

“It’s wonderful that we have the opportunity to host exchange students”

Schneeweiss and Heinisch are already the third exchange students in the field of technical design. According to Raappana and Mylly, the experience has been positive for the entire field, and both teachers and students have gained an extra boost in their daily lives.

– We have been pleasantly surprised by their strong expertise and motivation to learn new things. They have instilled confidence in us that motivated, responsible, and eager-to-learn individuals will continue to be found in the future, Raappana stated.

The exchange period has also sparked interest in other fields at Lappia, and many have realized that welcoming exchange students to their own field could be beneficial. Raappana and Mylly have clear plans for international activities, including a trip to Chemnitz with the students that is already marked on the calendar for October.

– It’s wonderful that we have the opportunity to host exchange students and that we can also go on exchanges ourselves, summarized Raappana, expressing special thanks to Education Manager Kai Heikkinen.

Drawings on a whiteboard.
Technical design students have warmly welcomed the exchange students and language courses have been held both ways.


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Tyystälä Marja-Liisa

Osaamis- ja työelämäpalvelut
Kemi, Meripuistokatu 21