25.06.2018

Elizaveta Arzamastseva, Russia

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  • Master's Degree Programme in Intercultural Communication
  • Started in 2016

 

  

 

Applying for the international Master's Degree Programme in Intercultural Communication (ICC), at the University of Jyväskylä, was a conscious and inspired choice for me. Three years before starting my master’s studies, I came to Jyväskylä on exchange. The university provided a variety of courses open for all students and I decided to register for an introductory course on Intercultural Communication. This course gave me valuable knowledge about the fundamental principles and key questions regarding Intercultural Communication and made me very interested in this field. I realised that theoretical and practical aspects of interaction between people from different cultures was something that I wanted to learn about in detail, and potentially pursue as a career in the future. I also wanted to study at this particular university because in my opinion, it was welcoming to international students.

The Intercultural Communication MA programme met my expectations. I was able to get an opportunity to study ICC while constantly being in a multicultural environment. I find it very important that, during my studies, I could constantly apply the theoretical knowledge I had gained into practice, as well as share my experience of living in a foreign country with my peers. My favourite course was “Intercultural Communication Skills” which was an interesting experience of experiential learning. It gave me various insights into ICC and made me use more creativity in intercultural situations. I am also very happy with the informal university culture at the University of Jyväskylä. Lecturers at the University of Jyväskylä are very open and willing to help and support you in your studies.

The biggest challenges for me were the course requirements which for some courses, were very high, i.e. the amount of credits/hours involved per course (usually 5 ECTS = 135 hours of work), and the strict evaluation criteria for the final assignments. However, I find them reasonable because I can see the progress I have made since the beginning of my studies. I also believe that this MA programme has given me a lot of knowledge and skills that will be valuable for my future career path.

For my internship, I am currently working on a marketing and feedback analysis project for a cultural event, which takes place in Jyväskylä each autumn. Intercultural competence, recognising cultural differences, uncertainty management, an ability to handle intercultural conflicts, and an open-minded approach are the essential skills for this project. In the future, I would like to continue working on intercultural event marketing and improve the aforementioned skills. Another desired career path for me would be working as an international coordinator for university students.

Even though the academic workload was sometimes challenging, I still had plenty of time for socializing and hobbies. I have also participated in various events and activities organised by the university. These gave me a deeper understanding of the Finnish culture and made me feel a part of the local Finnish community. I would say that Jyväskylä is a city of students and for students and I find it a very suitable place to study and live.