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On the road with EURES Finland

The EU supports a range of projects in rural Finland. In late April 2019, EURES Finland and Europe Direct Pohjois-Satakunta invited a group of students and teachers on a bus tour of their local area in order to see the results of that support in person.
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“We wanted to demonstrate to the youngsters that the EU provides many different kinds of support,” Europe Direct representative Krista Antila explains. “It helps to form people’s professional paths, but also supports hobbies, tourism and community life. The EU also offers many opportunities for international experiences.”

“Our vision was that when you see things with your own eyes and hear about them from the people who have been working on the projects, the positive message can be perceived much more effectively than just watching a documentary video or listening to a presentation in the classroom,” she adds.

The itinerary for the trip was carefully planned to cover as many EU-supported projects as possible.

 

 

  • Departure: The students and teachers were collected from their school in Kankaanpää, a town in south-western Finland. During the drive to the first stop, EURES Staff member Taina Tuovinen talked about the EURES services that are available for young people and employers, while Krista introduced the EU-funded projects that they would be visiting.

  • Stop #1: The first stop of the tour was the Käenkoski area in Parkano, where the students were shown a number of EU-funded sites, including a lakeside harbour with a floating ferry restaurant, a sauna by the beach and a Frisbee golf track. The students got the chance to try out the Frisbee golf track, which runs through the forest and involves competing to get Frisbees into 18 baskets along the track.

  • Stop #3: The Pyhäniemi resort in Parkano was the third destination on the bus tour. Founded in the 1960s by Finnish entrepreneur Kalevi Keihänen, today the resort consists of over 50 summer cottages and offers a variety of outdoor activities. A play area on the beach, an outdoor gym, another Frisbee track and a renovated restaurant were some of the EU-funded areas that the students were able to visit.

  • Stop #4: The final stop of the tour welcomed the students to a house in North Parkano village. The house was originally the old village school, which the villagers bought from the municipality and are renovating thanks to EU funding.

The tour was a great success, as EURES Staff member Taina explains: “The students were happy and interested in seeing and hearing about something new. Some of them said they didn’t know the EU had invested in places near their homes, and they were excited about that.”

Krista agrees. “They were enthusiastic and very focused during the trip. We held a quiz on the bus based on the facts they had learned during the day and that demonstrated that they had been listening well. We got good feedback from them and somebody asked if there would be more of this kind of learning experience in the future.”

Will there be another bus tour in the future? Krista is optimistic. “This was a very good experience and showed the different projects the EU is involved in and how these affect everyday life for people in rural Finland. It was also a great collaboration effort with the school, Europe Direct, EURES and the local stakeholders. We have a lot of projects funded by the EU in our area, so it’s a good theme.”

 

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07/06/2019

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