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Tampere Universities community creates guide for international talents

Published on 31.1.2023
Tampere Universities
people smile.
Within the HEI LIFE project, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) and Tampere University worked together to create a guide for all international staff of Finnish Higher Educational Institutions arriving in Finland alone or with their spouses and children.

Upon their arrival, newcomers face a new bureaucratic system they are unfamiliar with. In addition, they try to learn and assimilate into a new culture all while focusing on their daily work and daily life tasks. In many cases, international talents move to Finland with their life partners or families, who also need support to join the local community. 

Having worked regularly with newcoming international researchers and their spouses through the Hidden Gems Finland programme, Raisa Suominen knew a compact guide would benefit and solve a lot of the problems faced by international staff arriving to Tampere Universities community.  

Within the HEI LIFE project, Raisa Suominen from Tampere University and Krista Merikoski from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) created a solution. The goal of this guide was to create an accessible and easily understandable guide for international researchers and staff arriving to Finland.  

“It was important to have this digital quide, so people can read it even before moving to Finland. It gives them time to process the information and adjust to what is waiting for them here, “ comments Raisa Suominen, Senior Specialist in HR services and Tampere University community representative in the HEI LIFE project. 

The guide is published on EURAXESS Finland network where it is easily accessible by everyone. Find the guide here.

Vital input from international staff 

Early in the process, the international staff of Tampere Universities community was able to give their input and suggest additions to the guide.  

There had been several workshops with the HEI LIFE partners and the network of international staff in Tampere Universities community, where ideas on themes and topics were discussed. In the end, the focus topics were decided and the first drafts of the guide were ready for comments. 

“This curated guide collects all useful information on one place for the ease and comfort of our new international community members. Offering the information on different formats ensures that everyone can access the information with ease,” exclaims Krista Merikoski, International Coordinator in TAMK Education Export and TAMK representative in the HEI LIFE project. 

Everybody wins 

Positive feedback has already been received from publishing platform, the EURAXESS Finland Network, international staff and other universities and universities of applied sciences. 

Several Finnish universities have contacted Raisa Suominen and Krista Merikoski to inform them about their use of the guide while onboarding international staff and to express their gratitude. So far, many organisations needed to create their own small guides. So they are pleased to have a bigger guide available to work with.  

The network of international researchers and staff of Tampere Universities community is even more excited about the guide. Many have commented that they wished something like that existed when they moved to Finland, so that a lot of confusion with bureaucracy would have been avoided. 


Read more about HEI LIFE project in an earlier article here.  
Find the guide for international researchers and their families here.


Text: Dimitra Panopoulou-Huovila 

Photograph: Unsplash