Summer courses offer intensive learning and international friendship

Helsinki Summer School (HSS) has once again attracted a large group of international students to Helsinki. This summer, HSS offers 18 courses, with topics ranging from forestry and wood construction to genocide research.

Helsinki Summer School (HSS) has once again attracted a large group of international students to Helsinki. This summer, HSS offers 18 courses, with topics ranging from forestry and wood construction to genocide research.

The 17 students attending the Designing Sustainable Forest Landscapes course come from 12 different countries. In addition to Master’s and post-Master’s students, the attendees include forestry professionals.

– The course has a multidisciplinary focus. Forest science alone is not enough to solve forest issues. Instead, we want to offer a wider perspective. Some of the lectures and excursions, as well as our closing seminar, are arranged jointly with the Ecosystem Services in Tomorrow’s Agriculture course, says Gabriela Albarracin, who coordinates the forestry course.

During the first week of the course, the students acquainted themselves with the Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station, where research work focuses on such issues as interaction between forests and the atmosphere.

Christos Kavatzas from Greece is interested in climate change and its effects. He found the course via an Internet search engine.

– The topic is a good match with both my postgraduate studies and my job. The course is intensive but very interesting. Almost an entire term of teaching is packed into a 20-day course, he explains happily.

He also has more than just professional goals for the course.

– I want to meet forestry professionals from other countries and keep in touch with them. International networks are important in this field. I also hope that I will be able to learn extensively about Finland and its people and culture.

The forestry students were treated to a good dose of Finnish culture in Hyytiälä. In addition to bathing in the sauna and swimming, they familiarised themselves with forest themes in Finnish art at the Gösta Serlachius museum in Mänttä, guided by art historian Hanna Johansson. Judging from the lively conversation and laughter by the campfire in the evening, international networking got off to a good start as well.

Agriculture and Forestry in a Changing World: Designing for the Future, closing seminar, 23 August 2011 »»

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Text & photo: Sanna Schildt
23.8.2011
Translation: AAC Global
University of Helsinki, digital communications

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