By Satu Uronen
Internationalization is accessible to all students at Mercuria. Every year, dozens of our students do internships abroad, and students can also participate in various international projects, which are usually organized together with foreign educational institutions. Internationalization is one of Mercuria’s priorities and students are encouraged to participate in international activities.
Due to the corona, international exchange stopped almost completely for a few years. Efforts were made to continue ongoing projects online as much as possible but visits abroad were completely on hold. Now the internships abroad are running normally, and this year already around 60 students have done internships and have participated in various international projects.
Students receive financial support for costs for the internships abroad
Most of our students do their internships in Europe, mainly Spain, where Mercuria has several cooperative companies. Malta has also been one of our most popular destinations, but our students can basically go anywhere in the world if they arrange a job themselves. Mercuria assists the students with the costs of the internships, such as travel expenses and apartment rent.
Students can apply for an internship abroad even if they have already graduated. For example, through the Ready for Life-internship, you can go abroad if you are 18–35 years old and have recently graduated from a secondary vocational school. The internship abroad must start within a year of graduation.
Trainees abroad receive Erasmus+ support, which covers most of the exchange costs. The internships are in e.g., in Spain, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France and Germany. In addition, it is possible to go outside Europe to Kenya or Mombasa. (nuorisovaihto.fi)
Internationalization is also organized through cooperation between educational institutions and projects
Mercuria also has ongoing international projects with foreign educational institutions. Mercuria is currently working on international social media campaigns with four different countries from Europe and Asia. Business Ambulance is organized by educational institutions from Germany, Holland, Spain, and Thailand. This campaign is funded by Erasmus+ and it is managed and coordinated by Mercuria.
The project is to visit each country with five students, where student groups plan a social media campaign for local companies. The first workshop was organized in January in Finland, and the second one was held in Holland in April. New students are selected for each of the five workshops, so there is still a chance to apply for this project as well.
International activities offer experiences
Another ongoing project is the cultural exchange TAB project with a Thai vocational college. A group of Mercuria students visited Ayutthaya, Thailand in February to get to know the local culture and educational system. Our students learned a lot about Thai school culture, and they also attended different classes to get to know, for example, language studies and the tourism industry.
A group of students from Thailand visited Mercuria at the end of March, and our students hosted Thai students during their trip. The purpose was to get to know Finnish culture, both from the point of view of tourism and education. For our students, these international experiences are ones that will be remembered years from now.
It is important that internationalization is possible for everyone, and Mercuria wants to support all our students to gain new experiences and friends, as well as boldly try their own wings abroad.