TRAINING IN FINLAND
Lecturer Ashley Scott (School of Health and Society) took part in the Erasmus+ staff mobility for training in Lappeenranta, Finland. Here's what he had to say about his experience...
Where did you go and what did you do with Erasmus+?
I went on a training trip to our partner Saimaa University of Applied Sciences in Lappeenranta, Finland. The trip consisted of multiple meetings with colleagues from the University in their School of Health, as well as a trip to the local A+E department to learn about the health service in Finland.
What are the main benefits of Erasmus+ for staff?
The main benefit for me professionally, as a new lecturer, was that it built my confidence in communicating with other academics. I began to realise that although new to academia, I did have a lot of knowledge and skills to share with our international colleagues. It was also really beneficial for me to meet with partners to discuss exchanges for students, to enable me to better support students in the future, both incoming and outgoing.
How has the Erasmus+ programme developed your skills and how do these skills transfer into your current role?
I met with the Dean of the School who took the time to give me a fantastic overview of both the health service and educational systems in Finland. This will directly enhance my teaching skills as I have practical experience that can translate into my teaching on our Global Health Nursing module. Finland is renowned for its use of simulation in nursing education, and I was able to meet with colleagues to discuss simulation pedagogy, and we are even planning an international simulation between our Universities, broadcast online in order to enhance our student’s understanding of international issues. As an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, I was able to give feedback on our partner’s plans for an Advanced Practice programme, which has enhanced my skills in curriculum design, and also built my confidence. I also met with my counterpart in the University, the link for nursing students who are on an international exchange. Being able to put names to faces will help me to facilitate smooth, high quality exchanges for our students.
What advice would you give to other staff members wanting to take part in the Erasmus+ scheme?
Apply! The exchange has been invaluable to me in both my professional and personal development. Our colleagues at the partner institution couldn’t have been more welcoming, and I have learnt a great deal – I was exhausted by the end of the trip!