International students enjoyed their stay at maritime enterprises in Rauma

By WinNova, Hanna-Kaisa Desavelle & Tuula Raukola,
Published on 29.11.2022
Type of content: Story

In English

At the beginning of this summer, five students from Liepaja arrived in Rauma for a work-based learning (WBL) period as part of the Finlat-Logic project funded by Central Baltic programme. The aim of the project is to align parts of WBL curricula of VET programmes of logistics, and to promote partnerships between educational institutions and companies in the Baltic Sea region. The project partners are National Centre for Education of Latvia, Länsirannikon Koulutus Oy WinNova, and Liepaja State Technical School.

Close cooperation of the partners was reinforced when five students of Liepaja got an opportunity for WBL in two companies operating in the Rauma Seaside Industry Park, Logistikas Oy and Transval Oy. After the four-week internship the students´ overall comments were enthusiastic: fun — very fun, top experience!
Students thought the best thing about WBL abroad was learning new things, such as driving a forklift and even doing paperwork in Finnish. The personnel at the companies were praised for welcoming the students and for being very friendly. In addition, students felt that their work and rapid learning ability were valued. This was also reflected in the feedback of the companies. The students were described as motivated and initiative. Also, WinNova received good feedback from the students for taking care of the arrangements, and for having such fine facilities with machinery and equipment with which students can practice. 

During the internship it became apparent that Finnish and Latvian studies differ in a few significant ways. The studies at Liepaja State Technical School include both vocational education and upper secondary school. In Finland upper secondary school studies can be integrated with vocational studies by completing a combination degree which is optional. The studies of warehouse logistics focus heavily on theory at Liepaja. For example, Latvian students had previously driven a forklift only on a simulator, which complicated the start of their internships. In Finland, vocational education includes practical training at school, such as learning how to use a forklift. The Latvian students thought this was great and it immediately led to the idea for future student exchanges: the first week of internships could be training the use of machinery and tools at WinNova.

Latvian students enjoyed their visit in Rauma a lot, although in their opinion the city was quickly seen. Bicycles were the number one for moving around. One thing the students said was lacking: “We should have been able to skate in June too!” Few of them got a spark to return to Finland and especially to Rauma Seaside Industry Park. A message from Latvian students to those thinking about participating in an international training period: “A really good experience! Try it! Don't be scared.

Students from Liepāja at Logistikas. Photo: Tuula Raukola.