“The newfound freedom in Tampere universities community inspired me to reinvent my career”

Dimitra’s international mindset has led her from Greece to further north in Europe. On her way she has seen universities in the Netherlands and in Finland as a student as well as an employee. An eye-opening experience, she says.

“From a young age I was interested in meeting and interacting with people from different countries. Greece’s long history of emigration and immigration allowed me to interact with individuals from different cultural backgrounds since childhood. This hunger to understand cultures led me to moving abroad in 2009.

It has been very interesting to encounter the cultural and lifestyle differences of three European countries. Traveling, not as a tourist but as a student and employee is an eye-opening experience. This way, I also had the opportunity to familiarize myself with distinctive teaching styles.

I could say that my studies in Library Science at A.T.E.I.Th. (GR) were old-fashioned. The lecturers focused on giving us a good balance of theory and practical know-how in the classroom. The school did not offer projects, but several lecturers collaborated with the local community and to create volunteering opportunities for the students who were interested.

During Erasmus+ exchange in Hanze UAS (NL), I experienced a more project-based learning environment. A big emphasis was given in practicing our interpersonal and work-life skills. We even learned project management and team coordination hands-on while organizing a festival.

In 2012 I moved to Finland and began working at the library department of Laurea UAS in the capital region. There I experienced the Finnish higher education system for the first time. The low power distance and frequent project collaborations between students and staff seems to play in important role in the quality of the studies.

On top of that, in the Tampere universities community the students have the freedom to take courses from different study programmes and create the ideal degree outline to fit their needs. While I focused on intercultural communications during my masters’ in Tampere University, some of my classmates chose programming or art classes provided from TAMK. That allowed all of us to draw a different path in our careers upon graduation. This newfound freedom inspired me to reinvent my career; I left the libraries and turned my attention to communications and marketing.

I will always be an advocate for the mobility programmes available for students and staff. The benefits greatly surpass the occasional feeling of homesickness and longing for mum’s cooking. It can help us open our mind, elevate our skills or even change our life course. For this reason, I am more than excited to be a member in TAMK’s communications team and to create content for our international audiences.”

Dimitra Panopoulou-Huovila

Content Editor
TAMK’s Communications Services

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