International Students Explore Finnish Language, Culture and Literature during Summer
​– Last summer, the course organised at the University of Turku was a success, and expectations are high also for the course organised  this summer. The course has received thanks for its diversity among others, says the leader of the course Viola Parente-Čapková (second from the left in picture).

​About 220 university students from around the world will study Finnish language, culture, modern literature and history in Finnish universities this summer. Courses are organised by the University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, University of Jyväskylä, University of Oulu and University of Vaasa in collaboration with the Finnish National Board of Education.

The main focus in most of the Finnish language and culture courses is on the development of verbal language skills. The courses also contain grammar revision, reading, writing and listening. The goal is to activate and develop language skills in a genuine language environment. All the courses also introduce Finnish culture.

Three of the seven courses are organised in Turku. In July, two courses are organised on Finnish language and culture in addition to a course on modern Finnish literature. Altogether 94 students will participate in the courses organised in Turku.

Finnish Is Learned Best in Finland

The Department of Finnish Literature at the University of Turku is going to organise a summer course in collaboration with the Finnish National Board of Education already for the second time. This year, they won a competition for organising the previous course.

– Students studying the Finnish language, culture and literature abroad know that a language is learned best in a country where it is spoken. In order to understanding literature, one needs to know and understand its context, says Viola Parente-Čapková who is in charge of the course.

In the centenary year of Finland's independence, the literature course pays special attention to how modern Finnish literature discusses the meanings of Finnishness, Finnish history and future, and Finland's global role. There will also be writers visiting the course.

– Finnish literature at the University of Turku has always had a good reputation among the advanced students studying Finnish literature abroad. I, myself, knew already as student that interesting literature research is conducted in Turku, tells Parente-Čapková.

Parente-Čapková first studied Finnish language and Finnish literature at the Charles University in Prague and later in London. She has also taught the subject in several European countries.

Finnish Language and Culture Taught in 30 Countries

The summer courses offered by Finnish universities are meant for students who study Finnish language and Finnish culture in foreign universities. The most participants come from Russia, Poland and Germany. There are students from altogether 24 different countries.

Finnish language can be studied in almost 90 universities in nearly 30 countries. The most universities teaching Finnish are in Russia and Germany, but Finnish language university education has long traditions also in other European countries and North America. In Asia, teaching is available in China and Japan. After graduating, those who have studied Finnish language often work e.g. as teachers and translators in the fields of culture, research, administration, journalism and travelling.

Text: Tuomas Koivula
Translation: Saara Yli-Kauhaluoma
Photo: Minna Numminen-Jalava

Published date 7/5/2017 4:20 PM ,  Modified date 7/5/2017 4:29 PM

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