International experience

Ellas international experience

Undertanding health in the global context

Four years ago, I wanted to expand my knowledge base and was admitted to study Public and Global Health at an international master’s programme at Tampere Univerity. The study curriculum consisted of numerous global health and wellbeing issues such as epidemiology, gender issues, sustainable development, health promotion, social and health policy, global population trends and the global pharmaceutical markets. About half of my fellow students were international students from different countries. Some of them had come to Finland especially for the degree, and some had already moved here for other reasons. I learned a great deal from them during group homework, class discussions, and free time activities.

Experience in international conference business

I have a good understanding of urban development trends from a global perspective due to my experience as the Convention Directior at Tampere Convention Bureau for eight years. Our main aim was to support conference organizers in planning scientific conferences. In addition, I had the privilege to host international visitors and potential conference organisers, and show them the best parts of our beautiful area. This experience allowed me to closely monitor and dive into the insights of global trends and developments as we collaborated very closely with colleagues all around the world. Through conferences and meeting of the International Congress and Convention Association, I had the possibility to visit many leading cities. One of our great achievements was the initiation of the Global Destination Sustainability Index, which measures and boosts sustainable development within the meetings industry.

International studies in Finland

Studying Public and Global Health was not the first time for me to attend an internationally oriented programme in Finland. In fact, I was among the first high school students to complete an international Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in Tampere (Tampereen lyseon lukio) in 1995. As the degree was completed in English, it strengthened my English language skills immensely. Later, at the University of Jyväskylä, I wanted to enhance my international competence and thus I studied Intercultural Communication and ”EU Studies” as minors, while completing my degree in Organizational Communication and Public Relations.

Exchange studies in Holland, Sweden and India

I have headed abroad a few times while studying. During my Master of Arts Degree at the University of Jyväskylä, I spent a spring in The Hague, The Netherlands. Later on, when I completed a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences at Tampere University, I spent a spring in Uppsala University, where I studied Climate Change Leadership. I also travelled to Bangalore, India for a month to complete a course in environmental and social sustainability.

Across the Atlantic as a kid

I remember the moment when my parents told us kids, that we would move to America for a year. I was about 10 years old. It was really exciting because our family hadn’t traveled much before that. I attended 5th grade at Starkville Elementary School, Mississippi. Later, I went abroad with my parents twice more: to Quebec, Canada and to Massachusetts, USA.

Those years taught me a lot about life and different cultures. Our family realized that people are pretty much the same everywhere. On the other hand, those years also showed how well many things are in Finland. For example, our health care system and our education system are open to anyone – regardless of the family background and affluence.