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Opiskelu ja elämä
 
01.11.2013
Welcome to Finland and MAHIS project!
 
The language barrier, challenging target group and little experience. But also discovering new ways to communicate, having fun together and plenty of new experiences. MAHIS was a project that combined students from different backgrounds together.
 
Exchange student Jiae Hwang's thoughts about the project
When I was in Korea, I heard that Finland is a well advanced welfare state. So as a social welfare student in Korea, I really wanted to visit Finland and experience its social welfare.

Actually in Korea, I have not had so many opportunities to do practical things like this project. I’ve done some practical training in a daycare center but I’ve never done anything with children; all I could do was just to help other social workers.

So this was my first time to do this kind of project and also my first time to work with children and international students. Here in Finland I’ve had an opportunity to organize the whole project with our group.

In the beginning I was little bit worried. What could I do for the children? Will there be any language problems? But as time went by, I could interact with children despite the language barrier. That was really unforgettable experience for me!
A group of international students who combined their skills for the project
 
MAHIS? What kind of project is it?
The aim of the MAHIS-project was to organize activities for small children (from 8 months to 5 years) from family daycare. We tried to take their wishes into account and carry out the activities in a health promotive and communal way.

Our international and multi-professional group consisted of 6 Finnish students and 6 exchange students from Czech Republic, South Korea and Spain.

For example, we played a Czech game with the kids and they really enjoyed it. We also tried some activities with music from different countries. In addition to games, plays and other activities, they got to try "the magic dough" and show their artistic talents by painting.
 
An educational experience
The project was an opportunity for us to develop our abilities to communicate with international students and learn some different methods of project working. We could also learn how to communicate with children and keep them under control.

For the kids it was a whole new experience - and hopefully educational, too. They didn’t know each other before this project, and many of them hadn’t even been in a large group. Through this project they could play and interact with other children and foreign students. That way they have hopefully gained skills to communicate with other people.

To give an example, there was a shy boy who didn’t want to play with other children. But with a help of one exchange student, he finally got the courage to participate our activities and play with other children he didn’t know before.
 
What did the exchange students think about the project?
Although it was a bit hard to work because of the language barrier, the exchange students could enjoy this project with children and Finnish students. They could find a way to communicate with children without a common language and got plenty of ideas to make fun activities for them.

The best way to find out whether the project was successful, was to ask the children. They said that they had a lot of fun - and that's the main thing!
 
Kirjoittaja(t):
Jiae Hwang, Meri-Tuulia Koski, students