FINLAND: Internationalisation at home: Canadian chef tour in Finnish VET colleges
Finland-Canada vocational education network annually invites two cook teachers from Quebec to stay one month in Finland and teach in vocational colleges, one week in each college. This provides an opportunity for cook students and teachers in Finland to learn about the Quebecois cuisine, and practice English skills without traveling.
Luksia, Municipal Education and Training Consortium in Western Uusimaa, Finland
Finland-Canada VET network: https://finvet.fi/en/kanadaverkosto/home
Finland-Canada Twitter account @kanadaverkosto: https://mobile.twitter.com/kanadaverkosto
Video: Canada network in Finland (subtitled in Finnish, spoken mostly in English)
What problem or issue has the innovative practice aimed to tackle?
Not all vocational students are able to take part in international mobility during their studies for socio-economic and other personal reasons. Inviting a professional from abroad to teach in our vocational colleges in Finland, as a form of internationalisation at home, provides a more equal opportunity for all students to gain global competence without needing to travel.
Since 2015, the Finland-Canada network of vocational colleges has organised a teaching tour of Canadian chefs from Quebec. Two chefs from a partner VET college in Quebec have come to Finland to teach in VET colleges for a month, one week in each college. The tour has taken place in different parts of Finland.
What have been the achievements?
This is a good practice of internationalisation at home where the network of vocational colleges shares the cost and work for preparing the chef teachers’ visit to Finland. The carbon footprint of internationalisation is smaller when only the Canadian teachers need to travel to Finland: this way dozens of students have the international experience and can benefit from the lessons provided by the visiting chefs. Staff and external guests can join lunches, experience something new and meet the chefs. Students and staff learn practical English when working with the chefs.
Our activities are reciprocal, as we also send students and staff to Canada, usually 2-3 teachers and 4-5 students per year. During their tour in Finland, the Canadian chefs get to know the students and staff who have been selected for the mobility in Quebec. Meeting with the chef teachers helps the Finnish students and staff to prepare better for their mobility period in Canada. This kind of collaboration strengthens our partnership.
Who was involved and how?
The Finland-Canada Network is funded by the National Agency of Education in Finland and coordinated by Kainuu Vocational College. There are seven Finnish VET providers in the Network, with several Canadian partners. In the future, Erasmus+ grants can potentially be used to fund these kinds of activities.
The hosting VET college is responsible for organising the programme and possible special events for which the Quebecois dishes will be prepared and served by the students. For example, in Luksia, we organised a Canadian dinner where local partners from the industry (restaurants, bakeries etc) as well as the management of Luksia were invited, with a programme and presentations related to our activities in the Finland-Canada Network.
The sending VET college in Canada pays the teachers’ salary.
The network is also planning to work more closely with the Embassy of Canada to Finland in the future.
Local media has been invited to cover the chef tour in different parts of Finland.