Human-Technology Interaction Get-together in nature 

The past Monday, 11.10.2021, a group of enthusiastic students and teachers from the international HTI study program gathered to share some time in nature in the beautiful area of Arboretum, Hatanpää in Tampere. An exciting experience where many students met physically for the first time after more than a year of virtual lectures. Now that little by little, restrictions are becoming more flexible, and what we know as "normal" life is coming back. We had fun introducing ourselves using gestures that represent us. We practiced mindful photography in groups and learned about the area's history while enjoying the autumn colors. Thanks for everybody for making this as an event to be remembered!

Here are some testimonials from the student’s international community: 

Participating in the HTI get-together was a wonderful experience, I was able to interact with all the teachers and classmates after a prolonged period of distance learning. We had several group activities for ice breaking at the beginning of the event. During the walk, students shared their own experience in a variety of fields which include living, study and working, etc. Teachers were very friendly and enthusiastically introducing the history and buildings in the Arboretum area. I had the feeling that teachers in Finland are not only the one who is teaching us new knowledges but also our friends who can do some interesting and relaxing activities together. This event was a fantastic opportunity for me to know more about Tampere and relieve my stress with the help of mother nature. I am looking forward to having a walk with everyone again! __ Chia 

From a first-year student perspective, this gathering was amazing! We had the chance to meet our current classmates, advanced and former students from HTI and also our teacher tutors and the head of the HTI program in a very relaxed and informal way. We had a lot of fun doing different activities while getting to know each other, such as walking around and learning about the place, and we did some ice-breaking activities as well. I think it was visible the happiness we all had for being able to share this moment together; at the end we were feeling a little bit cold, after spending 2 hours in nature, but anyways we didn’t want to leave, haha. As a new international student, it is important to have these opportunities where I can meet my classmates, teachers and share with them. I would definitely love to have more experiences and activities like this one! Thanks to our teachers and responsibles of our program for organizing it! __ Natalia 

“HTI in Nature”- the name of our event is enough to get the gist of the get-together. It is already mid-autumn in Finland and the mother nature is full of colorful leaves now. So, there could not be any better time than this for having a get-together with new friends and teachers to get to know each other and enhance bonding as well. Personally, I would like to thank our teacher tutor and other faculty members of HTI for arranging such an informal, fun-filled meeting. I started my masters study last year during the pandemic situation hence I did not have any in-campus class back then and still we are studying remotely. So, I was eagerly waiting for this kind of meet-up where I would be able to meet my friends as well as teachers and interact with them face to face. For me, as an international student, one of the major reasons to come Finland was to get acquainted with the diverse academic environment and be knowledgeable about different cultures, norms, behaviors and so on. This get-together gave me the opportunity to meet and greet my friends from HTI for the first time. Moreover, I got the chance to meet my teachers in-person. 

The get-together started with an ice-breaking session where we made small groups and tried to take some pictures of the Arboretum area. During this task we got to know each other, and we had a great talk about ourselves, our experiences, academic life, work life, home country and so on. I must say, our teachers are very friendly, and we shared our views, ideas, confusions or whatever we had in our minds with them without any hesitation. They made us comfortable with them which really helped us to overcome the little awkwardness of distance learning. Also, some witty wisecracks from our teachers brought big smiles to our faces and made the meeting environment more casual. Furthermore, we got to know some facts about Finland and some information about the Arboretum from our teachers. We took a few group photos as well. All of us walked, talked, and did fun activities together for about two hours but at the end, it felt like the get-together started just a few minutes ago. Everybody was really happy and relaxed. This meeting was such a stressbuster. We laughed our heart-out with friends and had fun with each other like the time before the pandemic. It was a particularly good bonding opportunity for us. Before this meeting we mostly met virtually and the feeling of meeting those people in real life was amazing. It also reminded me of what I was missing in the last one and a half years. Now, I am feeling more connected with the university and the people of HTI. Overall, it was a wonderful experience for me and indeed a very memorable get-together. Surely, I would love to have more experience and bonding opportunities like this. Hopefully, our teacher tutor will arrange some more get-togethers that we have planned during this session. __ Rahat