OC Business students embrace international study again
Business students from Okanagan College are once again able to travel to Jyväskylä, Finland to experience an international summer school at the JAMK University of Applied Sciences.
Finland’s education system is widely regarded as one of the best in the world.
OC Business Professor Blair Baldwin, who has taught Services Design at JAMK for several summers, says working in Finland has helped him innovate and create new teaching methodologies.
“JAMK employs experiential learning across its curriculum,” he says. “They stress critical thinking, creativity and communications. There is an emphasis on teamwork and respect for human dignity. They generally produce thoughtful, inclusive risk takers.”
Baldwin is impressed with the Finnish system. “It helps me understand why they are the happiest country in the world.”
Fifteen Business students will be attending the three-week International Business School in Jyväskylä. Fourth-year student MacKenna Lenarcic says students and professors who participated in the program in previous years speak very highly of it. The opportunity to study abroad is one of the reasons she chose Okanagan College.
“I want to diversify my education and learn different cultures,” says Lenarcic. She says OC has one of the best business programs in B.C., and she wants to see how it differs from the program in Finland.
Student Sarah Hargreaves looks forward to getting international experience and broadening her horizons.
“I hope it is something a potential employer will like,” she says, adding she was attracted to Finland for its reputation for being progressive and safe. “I wanted to find a place that feels like home.”
Baldwin says, in his experience, “Our students identify with many of the values that are held dear by the Finnish.”
The Finns believe it is important to teach students collaboration, so they’ll help each other reach their goals, instead of just focusing on elite individuals. It’s an interesting concept to fourth-year student Luke Buis.
“It seems to be more of a collective mindset, rather than rugged individualism,” he says.
Buis already runs his own mechanical engineering business, and is interested in the developing leadership and communication skills to help him grow his business.
The OC students who successfully complete the JAMK Leadership, Service Design and Communication summer school will receive credits towards their Bachelor of Business Administration at Okanagan College. The three-week program runs through June.
For further information about the OC School of Business, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/business
Tags: Okanagan School of Business, Bachelor of Business Administration, Inside OC
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