keskiviikko 20. toukokuuta 2015

The First day of the International Summer School in the May 20th

Welcome to read about the International Summer School in Social Work & Social Sciences 2015.
In the morning, expectations were exited and waiting on the dawn of 18th International Summer School. Participators represent 18 countries and the amount of participator - 95 people - is the largest group ever. All participations got “an Arctic Coolbag” full of information. Professor Merja Laitinen (University of Lapland, Finland) and Professor Stanley L Witkin (University of Vermont, USA) welcomed all students and lecturers. Stanley wished everyone would enjoy our week, meet new people and encouraged to speak English. We learned that Stanley himself had already learned amazing things about Finland. For example, they drink milk most of all nations (not beer like Germans) in the world.

All participants introduced themselves, and after the introductions Professor Witkin told us about Social work from the global perspective. One part of the message was, that Social Workers Wants to Make a Difference - not just work for scratching a living. And there is any single truth, but many perspectives, interpretations and opinions that differ from each other. Then it was time to have lunch together, with new friends.

After lunch all participants were jolly and they nattered with each other; like they had known each other for a long time. Then Stanley gave the floor to PhD. Liisa Hokkanen (University of Lapland, Finland). She spoke about the Finnish Welfare State, society and social work. She introduced briefly Finnish history, the civil war and the difficult situation of children evacuated abroad at the time of Second World War. After all, Second World War gave us something good, ‘the spirit of winter war’, which united the society. The Welfare State of Finland consist of many elements, where the core principal is universalism. That means free education for all citizenships and publicity provided services, for example health care and day care for children. That is possible only when everyone pay taxes.

After the Lecture, Stanley shared participants up to seven groups. Every group included one lecturer of Summer School as a facilitator. The aim of the workshop was to get to know each other better, for example, in one group everyone told something about him- or herself by using the first letter of her or his own name as an adjective. Participation learned from each other, how social work is taught, understood and regarded in different countries. Discussions were very interactive and interesting.  That is the Spirit of Summer School. Let´s have great time together!

Best wishes:  

Eevaleena Kesti, University of Lapland, Finland
Katri Herala, University of Lapland, Finland

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