Internationalisation in organisations

1. Guide to internationalisation in organisations

International students, both exchange students and international degree students, enrich organisations’ operation. They can give new perspectives and ideas on how to run and develop organisations’ activities. Diversity inspires creativity and makes student organisations a more inclusive for all.

The University, society and the labour market have long been moving towards an increasingly international future. Everyone is not able to go on exchange during their studies or complete an internship abroad. By ensuring that international students can participate in an organisation’s activities, its members get the opportunity to experience internationalisation at home.

Organisational activities also help international students get integrated into Finnish society. A lack of social relationships and networks along with problems getting employed are the biggest reasons for the difficulties international students have staying in Finland after their studies. Organisations have a key role in responding to these challenges, as organisational activities allow international students to learn about Finnish culture and meet Finnish students.

You should also remember that international students are not a homogenous group. Some of them are on student exchange, typically lasting for the autumn or spring term or one academic year. International degree students, on the other hand, have arrived in Finland to complete an entire degree, usually at the master’s level. A significant portion of the students coming to Finland to complete a degree are also planning on staying in Finland after their studies.

Reaching international students and changing your organisation’s operating methods might seem like a daunting task, but it is possible to internationalise an organisation’s activities gradually. The following guide shows different ways of adopting an international perspective in the organisation’s events and operating methods. The guide is divided into three sections: the first one (A) features measures that are easy to implement, while the second one (B) contains changes that require a bit more effort. The third and final section (C) consists of internationalisation methods that affect the organisation’s activities in a more holistic and comprehensive manner.

You can also download the guide here.