29 May, Wednesday
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The library of essays of Proakatemia

My trip to Switzerland

Kirjoittanut: Veikko Airas - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 6 minuuttia.

My trip to switzerland

So, I left Finland. The long-awaited trip to Switzerland was finally here. I went to HEL, bought the classic overpriced airport coffee, and watched people go with their luggage. A cool-looking businessman that I wish to be someday, Families with stressed moms and Grandparents going on their sunny vacation together ahhh I love the feeling in the Airport. I hopped into KLM Cityhopper and sat next to a gentleman. After a while of discussion, I figured that he was originally from Oulu and was going to South Africa to do a thesis work there about a system that automatically reports harmful insects in the fields. Really interesting. I told him about my cool trip as well I´m going to Switzerland for two weeks to study at the Sierre, Team academy and to see my friends. In Amsterdam Schiphol, our roads crossed, and I continued my trip to Geneve. Longest 2 hours that I´ve had in a while. But then there I was Geneve International airport. My dear friends Yann and Nicolas were waiting for me with big smiles already at the airport! What a great feeling it was!

On the trip, I was a professional tourist. Took a lot of pictures with my camera. I know the quality is bad I hate the size limit of esseepankki…

The First day

We drove from Geneve to La Tour de peilz which was a two-hour drive away. I was staying the first week with Nicolas’s family. His family was kind and had a good sense of humor I was warmly welcomed there. One thing I will especially remember will be the food. Nicolas’s mom did every evening a good dinner. We had Raclette, Cheese and beef fondue all kinds of traditional foods from Switzerland. The town they live in is called La Tour de Peilz it is in between bigger cities called Vevey and Montreux and next to Lac Léman a beautiful clear blue lake surrounded by big mountains. As you can imagine the view was astonishing. I was lucky to be able to stay there.

View of the Lac Léman

The first school day

The next 2 weeks I was going to spend with Noventid Team from the HES-SO team academy. They were a 3. rd. year team and they were around the size of 15 people. They normally talked in French in their team but now they had to do their “Esde” -Training session in English. English is more widely used in Finland than in Switzerland so for some people on the team it was hard to communicate in English, but it really showed that people really tried their best with the language. We had school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The days when we went to Sierre were always long because it took so long time to drive there so we wanted to make the most of the days we were there.

“Esde” explained

Esde was the base structure of the week in there. Same way as we have our Paja´s. Rather than our Paja´s that are called Dialogue sessions in English Esde was a training session. It was held twice a week and it was three hours long so six hours together per. Week. The Esde included a Check-in and 2-3 Book presentations Feedback from a chosen teammate and the coach of the team, time for informative things in the end, and a check-out. The structure can change but this is the base structure based on my observations.

HES-SO Team academy Sierre

The school is located 1h 15 min Highway drive away from La Tour de Peilz in the town called Sierre. The school was smaller than Proakatemia both student-wise and physically, the school had around 50 people and not many rooms for holding Esde´s. The program had 1 team per. Every year 1., 2., and 3., Their studies last only 3 years instead of our 3,5 years. The teams were sized around 15 to 20 people. Their Coaches changed every year based on the year they were in, also their team spaces as well.

Preparing for the trip

The trip needed some preparation, and the date was the hardest to choose but I and Nicolas started the preparation well in advance, so we managed it well. The thing I would prepare now better is to think about the activities that you want to do well in advance before you go to the country and budget them. It is hard but worth it. I thought that I won’t need that strong planning for the activities before the trip but then during the stay the fact that I didn´t research possibilities beforehand that much caused me unnecessary stress.

The thing that surprised me the most was the price of the train in Switzerland. It made me stress about the money. There was a possibility for cheaper day passes but they were sold in limited quantities and by the time I was looking for them they were sold out already. Renting a car or borrowing a car could be the best option to reach hard-reachable places if you don´t have a day transportation ticket.

Keep in mind that in many countries using a bicycle or electric scooter is not so popular or even possible to use. Also, public transport is more accessible in Finland than in many other countries.

Differences between HES-SO Team academy and TAMK Proakatemia

Both schools follow the team pedagogy theory but differ from each other. In Proakatemia dialogue is Highlighted more. We learn by using dialogue in the pajas. In Team academy the learning is based on the books that you present and share in esde. A good balance between them would be good to try. Hold paja´s that are based on books and have a dialogue together about the book’s topics. That gives more freedom for enriching the information from the book.

A place of improvement in team academy

A problem that I discussed with Nicolas and Yann was that the education system has needs that the team academy must follow which gives the school less flexibility when it becomes to students compared to Proakatemia. This makes the students busy doing the tasks and works that they have in the school and takes away time from projects that you could run, for example, we are more capable to implement our projects in the studies in Proakatemia than in Team academy which makes it easier to have more practical learning about business and projects.

I made new friends as well on the trip 🙂

My thoughts about the trip

I think everybody should go abroad during their studies. Although my visit was only two weeks, I think it was beneficial. It broadens your thinking about the world and gives more perspective on your own day-to-day life it will make you appreciate it more or want to change it for to better. For me, a strong motivation to go visit Switzerland was to get to know a new country and see how it would be as a country to live or work in. For me, for now, I´m still looking for a country in that I would like to live or work. Switzerland was great but I´m more interested in countries where the mother tongue is English.


Thank you for reading I hope this gave your insight into my trip and hope this could help you prepare for your own trip during your studies.

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