After being organised at TH Aschaffenburg in March 2022 and at Mid Sweden University in December 2022, a BIP entitled "Total Immersion Week – Advanced Regional and Transversal Skills" was now held at Turku University of Applied Sciences as a Spring School. This was offered as part of the new ERASMUS+ programme generation called Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) to promote short-term mobilities with blended learning components. There has already been a university partnership of more than 10 years with Turku UAS.
The BIP is offered to TH AB students as a subject-related elective module (FWPM) and is based on the concept of a Total Immersion Week in cooperation with four European partner universities of TH AB: In addition to the organising Turku University of Applied Sciences, students and lecturers from Mid Sweden University, Universidad de Málaga and Université de Bretagne Sud were also involved.
„The Blended Intensive Programme in Turku was an amazing experience in all aspects. […] Prettiest and most fun 5 ECTS of my studies so far!“
The underlying BIP concept of total immersion was developed by Prof. Dr. Renate Link. In addition to subject-specific and intercultural content, it also provides for introductory courses in the national language of the host university (Finnish at the BIP in Turku) as well as regio-cultural activities, such as field trips that fit the motto. The taster courses in particular are intended to promote a more immersive experience and deeper friendships. In this way, TH Aschaffenburg wants to create incentives for students to also participate in future BIPs or to spend a semester abroad at one of the hosting partner universities and learn the local language there.
„As internationalisation becomes more and more important, the BIP was a great option to expand one's network, learn new and interesting content, and get to know the Finnish culture a little better.“
The BIP week in Finland was dedicated to the theme "Resilience - Thriving through Crisis". About 30 students from the above-mentioned European universities, including a record number of ten students from TH AB, approached the topic of resilience through expert lectures by six lecturers from all five participating BIP partner universities. A lecturer from Aoyama Gakuin University, a Japanese partner university of TH AB, also connected live to Turku via video conference to provide a Far Eastern perspective on resilience as well as parallels between Finnish and Japanese stress management strategies.
The portfolio of further impulses ranged from resilient individuals, resilient companies and leadership styles to resilient corporate development and intercultural aspects of resilience. The project-task consisted of several components. Amongst others, the students developed individual and team-specific mind maps on their understanding of resilience in pan-European teams – both before and after the BIP in order to critically reflect on what they had experienced and learned. Furthermore, together with their team, they presented an institution or company of their choice as a best-practice example of resilience. They were asked to convince the jury of the resilient character of this institution or company in several rounds of sales pitches in teams competing against each other, from which a winning group finally emerged.
„I am still overwhelmed [...] especially by all the number of personalities we had the chance to meet. Definitely an experience I will never forget.“
In a complementary social program, the BIP participants visited the Meyer Shipyard in Turku, an icon in the international shipbuilding industry, and the Finnish Design Shop, which is known for its hypermodern logistics centre. The participants also went on a hike in the Kuankuono National Park, where they were able to train their personal resilience with a visit to the sauna followed by a swim in the ice-cold Lake Savojärvi. In addition, the guests gained an insight into the Finnish way of coping with stress on a typical picnic cruise along the archipelago from the coast of Turku to the Swedish Åland Islands.
„The Blended Intensive Programme in Finland was a great experience. [...] I am very grateful for this opportunity and can only recommend the programme.“
The next pan-European Total Immersion BIP will take place from December 11-15, 2023 as a Winter School and has the working title "Risk". Students of the TH AB can have their participation in the Total Immersion BIPs recognised as a subject-specific elective module (see Module Handbook, p. 157ff.) and credited towards the additional qualification "BW/BWR with an international profile" (for more information, see the flyer BW international and the flyer BWR international).
For more information on the current Total Immersion BIP, please visit our English website.