Interview with the Finnish lecturer Mr. Harri Tuomola

First of all, can you tell us something about yourself?

My name is Harri Tuomola and I am a Senior Lecturer in the International Business program of Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) in Valkeakoski, Finland

Why did you choose to do your teaching exchange at IBCM?


HAMK has just started a new Erasmus+ project with three universities in the region and it was important to get this cooperation started on a tangible level as soon as possible. As I am always looking for new experiences and as I have never been to Mitrovica before, I felt that IBCM would be a perfect destination for me.

Since you are an Intercultural Communication lecturer, could you highlight some of the main similarities and differences between IBCM and Finnish students that you noticed during your visit?

As I work in the International Business program back home, the differences between students are not huge. I have great students in Finland and have encountered great students here. Perhaps the main difference is that IBCM students seem to be a bit more achievement oriented than the Finns.

Our students were amazed with your lectures and they all had a wonderful time learning from you about the Finnish culture, and doing business in Nordic countries, but we also want to know your perspective. What was different and what was similar about giving lectures in IBCM vs HAMK?


Referring to the previous question, there are great students both in HAMK and IBCM. The atmosphere is rather similar in ICBM as I teach on an International Business program in Valkeakoski. Both are small units which have a strong international flavor. I really enjoyed the classes and it was also good to see how well students worked together on Wednesday’s workshops.

Based on your rich professional background, you are known to have visited +140 worldwide. Which country had the most interesting culture of all, and why?


I get asked this a lot but it also is a really unfair question. Countries and cultures are so different and all of them are interesting. I always like the place where I am at the moment best.

We learned from you that it is a cultural trait for Finns to be very transparent people. Could you please describe the three most interesting and/or unusual traits that IBCM students had according to your opinion?

There are lots of big personalities, and they are all unforgettable and that is great. They know how to turn challenges to opportunities. They are quite competitive and that makes them interesting.


Thank you so much for taking your time to answer these questions. Do you have something to add that we might have forgotten to ask you and you think is important to mention?

Live long and prosper! And above all, be happy!


Thank you. I have enjoyed my week. I want to thank Charlene and Mirjana who facilitated my visit and all the students for their kind input. See you in Finland…or at IBCM…or anywhere else.

IBCM would like to thank Erasmus+ who funded this staff exchange.