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TAMK Foundation's grants support students' internationalization – Saara's and Annariina's path led to East Asia

Published on 27.2.2024
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
TAMKin opiskelijat Annariina Kuttila ja Saara Del Rio Rajanti.
Annariina Kuttila working as an election official at the Finnish Embassy in Seoul and Saara Del Rio Rajanti in a distinctive Japanese landscape.
Saara Del Rio Rajanti and Annariina Kuttila received a grant of 1400 euros from Tampere University of Applied Sciences Foundation for international practical training. The grants enabled them to pay their flight tickets to Japan and South Korea.

Saara Del Rio Rajanti is a fourth year student in Media and Arts degree programme, specialising in interactive media. Annariina Kuttila is a fourth year student in International Business degree programme.

Del Rio Rajanti applied for international practical training because she believed it would improve her employment prospects. Her dream job is a game programmer, which is why she chose Japan as her training country.  

“The best people in the industry are in Japan and South Korea, so I thought a training there would look good on my CV. I chose Japan because I'm interested in Japanese culture and the language is easier to pronounce than Korean," says Del Rio Rajanti.   

Kuttila has already been to South Korea as an exchange student and was attracted to the country again.   

“Internationality is an integral part of international business studies. There is a period dedicated for the training, so it was really easy to go," says Kuttila. 

Website building and consulate work    

Saara Del Rio Rajanti completed her practical training in Tokyo at a start-up company called 3T (Three Trees), which works to protect the environment and climate. One of the company's major missions is to plant trees in Ghana. The training was organised through Beyond Academy programme, which is a fee-paid programme. Del Rio Rajanti started the training in April 2023 and completed it in December.   

“I had some experience in website building, so I agreed with my manager that I would make a new website for the company. Another person did the plan and I implemented the website based on the plan," says Del Rio Rajanti.  

Annariina Kuttila worked at the Finnish Embassy in Seoul, mainly in the consulate. She found her job on the embassy's Instagram. The training started in September 2023 and ended in February 2024.   

“My duties included managing residence permit application processes, answering the consulate's email and phone calls, organising events and updating the embassy's website and social media channels," Kuttila says. 

The grant covered expensive flight tickets  

Even the cheapest flights to Asia are very expensive. Both students' grants were spent entirely on flight tickets.  

“The embassy required the trainee to get funding from an external source, so the grant was an advantage in that too," adds Kuttila.  

Del Rio Rajanti lived in a shared house in Tokyo with 14 people from several different countries. Housing costs were included in the price of the training programme. Kuttila, on the other hand, lived in a rented apartment in Seoul with her South Korean boyfriend. A local friend helped them to find the apartment. 

Del Rio Rajanti had studied some Japanese in Finland, so she had some idea of the language when she started the training.   

“In a couple of months, I learned how to work in Japanese, for example in a grocery store. It was really gratifying that when I tried to speak Japanese, people never switched to English," she says.  

Kuttila was able to learn Korean through the embassy. However, the working languages were Finnish, English and Swedish. 

The best way to gain experience   

Travelling to Japan had been Del Rio Rajanti’s dream for a long time, so just the ordinary daily life in the country felt amazing. She is also happy with the experience of success and new lessons she learned during her training.   

“I was given complete freedom to experiment and learn how to make websites. Although not everything I did was always usable, my work was not useless. Japanese work culture is very demanding, so positive feedback felt even better than usually.”  

Kuttila’s greatest memory is the great 50th anniversary celebration of diplomatic relations between Finland and South Korea, which she helped to organise.   

“A lot of hard work was done to prepare for the celebration and everyone worked as a team to make it a success.”    

Both Del Rio Rajanti and Kuttila encourage other students to seek training places abroad and apply for TAMK Foundation’s grant.  

“International practical training is the best way to gain experience! It will help you graduate faster and boost your employability. The grant also gives an opportunity to students who couldn't otherwise afford to go abroad," says Del Rio Rajanti.   

“It is definitely worth taking advantage of the financial support from TAMK. A longer training abroad is a great experience and opens doors to a new culture. I would recommend this to anyone who is even slightly interested in living abroad. If you feel insecure, remember that the traineeship will end in time, if being abroad is not your thing," Kuttila encourages. 

TAMK Foundation and International Practical Training Grant  

Tampere University of Applied Sciences Foundation awards grants to students and staff to support their studies and research.  

The foundation supports student mobility and encourages students to participate in international practical training abroad during their studies. The foundation awards grants for practical training outside the EU. 

The application period for international practical training grant is twice a year, in March-April and August-September. The detailed application periods are announced on intranet.  

Further information:
Foundation Coordinator Johanna Niemonen, tel. +358 50 431 6767, johanna.niemonen [at] (johanna[dot]niemonen[at]tuni[dot]fi)  

Read more about TAMK Foundation


Text: Emmi Suominen 
Annariina Kuttila’s photo: Elli Nikkanen 
Saara Del Rio Rajanti’s photo: Saara Del Rio Rajanti