Job shadowing in Huelva, Spain

Hola! As part of the on-going Erasmus+ teacher training project in our school we did a five-day job shadowing mobility during the winter holidays in February 2023. We visited a secondary school named IES Rafael Reyes, which is situated in Cartaya, Huelva in western Andalucia near the Atlantic Ocean. The school has a lower secondary school, which lasts four years, and a two-year upper secondary school, bachillerato, plus a vocational school in a separate building in the same campus. There are over 900 students aged from 12 to adults and about 90 teachers in IES Rafael Reyes. We wanted to visit this school because we already had a contact with English teacher Kay Anne, who did job shadowing in HUYK a couple of years ago, and one of us knew the former principal of IES Rafael Reyes, Estela Villalba.

IES Rafel Reyes

The topic of our project is multiculturalism and community spirit at school. We wanted to see how they tackle these issues abroad. Both at HUYK and at IES Rafael Reyes one third of the pupils are immigrants. Most of the Spanish students are second generation immigrants, many of whom are from Northern Africa. We were a little surprised that there were so many immigrants because we could not tell the difference.

We attended different classes according to our interests, e.g. Spanish, English, French, Music, Art, Flamenco, Agriculture, Art History, Geography and Special Education. The atmosphere in the school was warm and the students as well as teachers were motivated and very polite. Everyone helped us with finding the classrooms and pupils asked us many questions about Finland and our school. The school day started always at 8:25 and finished at 14:50. One lesson lasted 60 minutes, and there were six lessons per day. There was only one 25-minute break during the day when people could eat snacks or buy something from the school café. This was called the second breakfast and everybody had lunch after school.

On Thursday we visited a special education school C.E.E.E.Sagrada Familia in Huelva. The school is for pupils with special needs, from small children to young adults and they come from all over Huelva area. There are many special education teachers, physiotherapists, assistants and a nurse and a doctor available every day. The school was very well equipped and e.g. there were special classrooms like sensory classrooms, a space for play and physical education and also a greenhouse where pupils can grow their vegetables and flowers. We thought the school was lovely and everybody had a smile on their faces.

Our visit ended on Friday when we had a chance to chat with the principal of IES Rafael Reyes, Dña Rocío Forcén Barroso. She told us more about the Spanish school system and the Erasmus+ projects they were having.

We had an absolutely fantastic week full of memorable experiences! We felt warmly welcome and we were taken so good care of. We enjoyed the weather, beautiful scenery, delicious food, and most of all, the people we met.

Un saludo de Erja, Minna y Jaana


An educational week in Barcelona

Greetings from Barcelona! I spent my fall vacation educating myself and meeting new colleagues around Europe. I attended to a course called Conflict Management, Emotional Intelligence and Bullying Prevention. The participation was funded by Erasmus+ Learning Mobility of Individuals -programme.

The course took place in Barcelona, Spain. It was surprisingly warm in October and it was nice to get some sun in the middle of the dark months in Finland. The city is quite busy and vibrant and it has a lot to offer culturally. After studying for the day, we spent all the afternoons and evenings exploring the city and eating great tapas. My personal aim for the week was to practice my Spanish skills as well, so the language immersion was quite intensive.

The week schedule was full: it included daily course studies, lots of interesting conversations with colleagues all over Europe and, of course, cultural activities. The course itself was inspiring and I got to learn theory that is related to my work. We also did a lot of practical activities, some of which I am able to apply in my job. One great learning experience of the week was to hear about different countries’ educational systems and their student welfare procedures.

Pictures from the course. Most of the days we spent studying in the class, but one day we got to visit an art+science exhibition about human brain. The exhibition was related to the course topic.

Our team for the week: Me, Nikéh from the Netherlands and Helen from Germany.

Park Güell – one the most famous works of Gaudí.

Basílica de la Sagrada Familia by Gaudí.

An audio tour in Casa Batlló – another incredible work of Gaudí.

The best part of the week – Spanish tapas!


In Search of the Sunset the Azores

Course website:

Greetings from the Azores! In July 2022 We participated in a teachers course in the Azores. We got funding from Erasmus+ KA1 Learning Mobility of Individuals.

Azores are a group of nine islands  in the middle of the Atlantic. Islands belong to Portugal but the distance to the mainland is about 1600 km. During the week we visited three islands: Terceira, Faial and Pico.

The aim of the course was to “widen the view about Europe”, to get familiar with the western border of the European continent. We had an amazing week getting to learn the history, culture and nature of the area. As in all erasmus projects, the most important part of the course is  to meet colleagues all around Europe, to learn and share thoughts.  During the week we got new friends,  and we are possibly arranging  new erasmus projects with them in the near future.

In the following you will find some pics and moments from the course.

Making friends for (Erasmus) partnerships.
From the left Heini , Tina (Germany), Heidi, Loa (Iceland), Soffia (Iceland)n and Andrea (Germany).

View from the harbour of Angra do Heroismo. The Town is classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Sperm whales skeleton in whaling Industry museum in Pico Island. Earlier sperm whales were hunted in the area to get income. Nowadays all whale hunting is forbidden and income is gained by arranging whale watching tours for tourists.

In our whale watching tour we saw falce killer whales (in picture), sperm whales, common dolphins, pilot whales and a fin or sei whale.

Caldera (left picture) has formed after the eruption of the volcano, when the magma chamber has collapsed. The lighthouse in Faial (right picture) was buried by ash after Capelinhos volcano erupted in 1957-58. Now it is restored.

The Azores are situated on the edge of active tectonic plates. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions (smaller and bigger) have shaped the landscapes and are a part of  everyday life, people have to get used to living with them.

We have already been able to make use of  photos and other material from the course in the geography lessons back home. 

Writers: Heini and Heidi

Merry Christmas and A Happier New Year!

We apologise that our blog has been silent for almost a year!

Due to Coronavirus pandemic our Erasmus+ KA2 project “Fit for Life” has been going at half throttle: the trips to Greece and Iceland in the spring plus the visit to Finland, which we would have been hosting, as well as a trip to Germany this autumn term all had to be cancelled. The project was granted an extension of six months till February 2021, but nobody knows about the future at the moment. Nevertheless, we have kept in contact with each other e.g. through the eTwinning platform.

And Christmas is coming no matter what! We have traditionally been sending Christmas cards to all the participating schools and so it is this year, too. The Finnish Team spent one afternoon making Christmas cards and having a Finnish “pikkujoulu”, a Christmas party at school. Even the teachers caught the inspiration and made cards of their own.

Fit for Life Trip to Buszkowice, Poland

Wednesday November 27, 2019


Veera, Kati and Niklas (from left to right)

We woke up at about 3am, and we met at around 4.30am at Helsinki-Vantaa airport. We were tired, but shaking in excitement. We read the names of our polish ERASMUS+ friends over and over again, speculating what they were like. The flight was exhausting, but the stop at München helped a lot.

The second flight felt a lot shorter, and that might be because of our excitement. We arrived in Poland at about 2.30pm and oddly we were not tired, even though we woke up so early. We drove by bus to the Buszkowice school, and almost immediately met our families. Some of the families don’t speak English very well, but there were some exceptions. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing with the families.





The next morning started early at about 7am. We went to the school, and met the local teachers and students. Compared to the school in Finland, the Buszkowice school is very small, and cozy. There were only a few classrooms in the whole school. We started with icebreakers, to get to know all the other students. Everyone was super nice and friendly. After that, we went to the country club to eat the traditional polish dish, cucumber soup.

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Most of us didn’t really like it, because we’re not fans of pickles. After that we got into a very very small bus, and went to explore a little local apple orchard. After that we came back to the country club, and made some traditional Polish dumplings. It was very fun, and exhanged little facts about our languages with the other students. After the lunch, we hung out for some time at around 7pm. Around that time we started partying. This day was very important, because we got to know all the other students better.




The school started a little bit later, with the schools annual breakfast feast. There were tables after the other, full of healthy breakfast foods. Then we got into a bigger bus than yesterday, and went to the mountains. The view was beautiful, and we saw all of Buszkowice from the hills. There was a great religious statue.




We went shopping at the mall. In the evening there was a disco at the school. There was food and treats. There was also foretelling.



We were woken up very early. We went to Krakow at 5:30 in the morning, but the bus trip was 3h so we mostly slept. In Krakow we got a professional tour guide to bring us around town. We went looking at old castles, churches, and other historical places. In our free time, we decided that we wanted to go eat something. Everything was so fun and cozy.




The school’s 1st-3rd graders made us breakfast. They made bread. Later we went to old historical Polish fortresses. They were vey impressive, and the tour guide explained the history behind each room. We could see the Ukrainian border from the hills that the fortresses on the slope of the hill.


Tuesday December 3

The bus left from the school at 2:30, and we were very tired. We mostly slept on the plane.

Written by Kati, Niklas and Veera

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A new Erasmus+ KA2 project FIT FOR LIFE is starting with a logo competition


We are starting a new two-year EU funded Erasmus+ -project called Fit For Life with five other schools from Germany, Iceland, Poland, Greece and Spain.

Our aim in the project is to support the health and well-being of young people, focusing on mental and physical health, healthy nutrition, becoming a responsible citizen, enjoying culture as a balancing factor and reflecting the chances and risks of modern media. In the course of the project the students will complete different tasks and visit and host each other. The first trip will be made to Poland at the end of November 2019.

The project has started with a logo competition. Each country has chosen three logos for the competition. The logo getting most votes on from the participants is the winner (you are not allowed to vote for your own country). The voting takes place on eTwinning.

Here are our entries:

Finland logo 1-1

Vilma Ahonen 8B

Canon Inc

Han Nguyen 7B

Canon Inc

Milma Tammikorpi 7B


Johannes aus Deutschland sagt Hallo!

I’m Johannes, I’m sixteen years old and I’m from Germany.

I live in a small city in the north of Germany where I have three siblings and all of them are older than me.

Before I came here as an exchange student I visited Finland once because we had a Finnish exchange student in our family in 2011/12 and we visited him and his family in the summer of 2013. We drove around in the country, visited some cities and saw the beautiful landscape of Finland.

This is also one of the reasons I chose Finland as the country I want to do my exchange year in because it was a great experience and very impressive. Another reason I wanted to come to Finland was that I wanted to experience a winter with a higher chance of having snow and ice than in Germany.

I think the biggest differences between Germany and Finland lay in the education. Here in Finland, the school is much more modern than in Germany. We are not using any computers in most of the German schools and I didn’t even hear about things like Google Classroom or Kahoot! before I came here. The relations between students and teachers is also very different in Germany. We have to talk to the teachers as if they were at least two steps above the students and here it’s more like a friendly relation.

Another big difference is the system with the “Jaksot”. In Germany, we have to semesters and the exams are across these semesters and not all at the same time. We also have about 10 to 13 different subjects in the same week, but most

of them just once a week. Until the 11th grade, which resembles the first year in Finland, we study in classes, in the 12th and 13th grade, we have courses like the ones in the lukio.

johannes kuva

Me and my German class. After passing the exam Astrid (down left) treated everybody to some Sachertorte from Vienna.


The Finnish culture is not too different from the German one but, of course, there are some differences. There is the prejudice that all Finns are very shy, which I can’t really support, but I think Finnish people are still a bit shyer than the average German.

The language is another topic I want to write about. I think learning a new language is always a difficult thing but it’s much easier if you are in a country where all people are talking this language all the time and you have no choice but listening to it and trying to understand what the person is saying. That’s why I think that it is easier to learn Finnish than I expected. There are some Finnish words which are, for me, a bit better than others because they are funnier or easier to learn or just sound really nice.

Some examples of this are the word “kysymys” (auf Deutsch die Frage) which just sounds really balanced and nice or even such small words as “joo” (in German Ja or Sicher) because it’s just simple and nice.

I think my favorite experiences here in Finland were finding new friends and the beginning of the year when we arrived in Finland and I met all the other exchange students and we formed new friendships really fast.

I am very happy here and I think it was a good decision to go on exchange. Of course, it’s not always easy, sometimes you are homesick and miss your family or friends or you have other problems but there is always somebody who can help you so I think in the end, at least for most of the people who chose to go on exchange, it is definitely worth it.

If you think an exchange year is interesting and you would want to do it too, you could inform yourself on YFU is the non-profit organization I used to come here. From Finland, you can go to more than 30 different countries on all continents. There are different, very good organizations as well but I think YFU is a very good choice.


R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Erasmus+ meeting in Kato Achaia, Greece in May 2018


Kreikka ryhmäkuva opet

The final meeting of our two-year Erasmus+ KA2 project R.E.S.P.E.C.T. was held in the town of Kato Achaia,  Peloponnesos, Greece, from 1 to 6 May. All the teachers from Iceland, Germany, Poland, Gran Canaria and we Finns stayed in the nearby bigger city Patras and the Greek hosts drove us to the school in Kato Achaia in their cars (early) in the morning.


A view from the castle hill in Patras


King George square in Patras

On our first day we were welcomed by the two deputy mayors of Kato Achaia. Then we headed to a primary school where the school’s choir performed us a few songs. The singing was excellent and the choir had also been abroad and taken part in competitions.






The choir at the primary school in Kato Achaia

We had our meeting in our partner school, Geniko Lykeio Kato Achaias, which is a public senior high school. The school had a nice atmosphere and the students were very welcoming to us. And a fact that caught my eye was that all the floors in the school were made of marble as it is the common rock in Greece.


The parents of the Greek students taking part in the project had prepared us a feast of Greek homemade food. The school does not serve lunch as students and teachers go home to have lunch after school.


The next day after the meeting the students performed us Greek dances and in the end we teachers also danced with them (no pictures here).

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The last day of our stay was spent visiting the archaelogical sight in Mycenae and the beautiful town of Nafplion and the citadel up in the mountain.  The visit was a success and we had a great time in Greece together, thanks to our hospitable hosts and other partners! And since we would like to go on working together, plans for a new project are already under way.

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Erasmus+ KA2 R.E.S.P.E.C.T. meeting in Valsequillo, Gran Canaria in March 2018



Arrival at Las Palmas airport. From left: Noora, Delina, Ria, Pinja, Nana and Roni


Tuesday 27 February by Roni Ritarsola


The trip started rough, waking up at 6am, 6 hour flight with no breakfast, but I was excited to arrive in Gran Canaria. I can’t lie I was a little bit nervous as well. We met up with our families and the first thing I noticed was that the greetings are way different here. In Finland there are no kisses. I met my family’s mother, daughter and uncle. The dad was at work. The uncle took us to Valsequillo, the place we were staying at. It was a cute little village, which was a good change from Finland. We ate and then I met Maria’s (the family’s daughter) best friend, who is also named Maria. We hang out and I got to know them really well, for the first time meeting. Then we went to a  park where we met everybody else from the other countries. I did expect that there were going to be people that I wouldn’t like, but I was wrong. Everybody was really friendly and nice. I was pleasantly surprised. I talked with everybody about their countries, languages and backrounds. I am hoping that they liked me, too. After that everybody went to their homes. I ate and went to sleep. But I knew that this was a start of a great trip.


Wednesday 28 February by Noora Rämö



Today we were supposed to have a school day but because of a strong wind it was cancelled. I had a peaceful morning with my host family. At 11 a.m. we met people of the project at a Canarian girl’s house. Later in the day we went to Las Palmas with my host family. We had a beautiful walk at the sunny beach. I tasted a dessert called crepe, it was delicious. We also ate Canarian traditional food called ”potato omelet” and went on a pizza restaurant this day. All the food has been really good here this far. I went to the english academy of my host sister and I loved it! We were talking today about Finland’s education system and government. Everyone were asking me questions about Finland. At that moment I was really thankful to Maria for keeping us civics lessons in English! 🙂 at the end of the day we went to my host sister’s grandmom’s house where I met their relatives.

Living in a Canarian family has already taught me a lot about Canarian traditions and culture. When I hear them speaking Spanish, I would like to speak it better myself to communicate with the local people and my host parents and their relatives. In here it feels like English is my native language. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the country, people and traditions!


Thursday 1 March by Ria Saha


I.E.S. Valsequillo


Today we went to the school and started to do our Erasmus project. It went pretty well, because everyone got to do something with their groups. We had also big break  and we took a little tour in the town. The view was so beautiful and everyone was taking pictures. The weather was so perfect, it was sunny and a bit windy and everybody was enjoying that. In the evening we went to las Palmas city, and we did also little shopping there. Near the shopping centre was a huge beach, where everybody was enjoying the environment.

I felt that the day started very well, and everyone got on well with each other. My group was so nice to me and to everyone else. I was able to say my opinion about our project, and what we should add.

In the evening I saw the most beautiful sunset ever in my life and I took so many pictures of that with my new friends. I loved the day as it was.



Friday 2 March by Pinja Stålhammar


Today on Friday we had a second school day. We finished our projects; filmed videos and made the rest of our PowerPoint-presentations. During the schoolday we also had a little walk to mountains, it was very beautiful. Rest of the time we just hang out and played some ping-pong. At the end of the school day we presented our projects. There were also a few amazing dances and singing performances by some students.
The afternoon I spent with my host family. After school me and Vicky went home and ate pizza and just talked and chilled for a while. We also had a walk with Vicky’s dogs. Around five o’clock, when Vicky’s parents got home, we were supposed to go to some place in the mountains where is very nice view. But unfortunately when we were driving there, we noticed that it was so foggy that we couldn’t see anything so we turned back to the village. But views what I saw from the car were beautiful. After that we went to a cute little cafeteria and walked around the village. Then we drove to Las Palmas. There we looked at some sights and all that kind of things. For example we visited in Las Canteras beach, which is three kilometres long. We didn’t swim because it was already evening, but we took a lot of pictures. After we came back to Valsequillo me and Vicky went to see our friends from the project. We had a very nice evening, we danced, talked and ate. When we got home it was about half past one am. It was very nice day, like all other days too in Gran Canaria. I have really enjoyed this trip.
The first time when I heard about this project I was like I have to get in that project and I haven’t regretted it at all. I loved meeting new people from different countries and making new friends. I also loved the culture of Gran Canaria, how everyone was so much more sociable than in Finland. I also liked the beautiful nature of the island and of course I enjoyed the warm weather very much. I can’t say anything else but it was such a great week!



Saturday 3 March by Nana Yeboa-Mensa

My day started with a breakfast with the family I was living with. First we went to a beach in Mogan. It was my homestays favourite beach in the world, that what she said. After that we went to another beach called Maspalomas where we met some of the other groups. While we were there we went to watch the dunes and some swam. We were there about four hours or more. After that we went back “home” to have dinner. We stayed inside for an hour then we met with the others and went to Telde to watch the carnival, where people were dressed as different characters, animals and opposite genders. After that we went back to Valsequillo to buy some pizza and went to the park to eat with almost everyone. There we ate, listened to music and said goodbye to everyone who were there. And we ended the day by going to sleep.




Sunday 4 March by Delina Yonas Fissehaie


A fairwell with all the Finnish students and their host families and teacher Laura Tilsa

I woke up in the morning at 5:45 feeling so grateful and sad. I am so grateful and honored to be in this project. And I’m sad, because I will miss everyone from Gran Canaria, especially my host family who made sure that this week would be the best week for me.

I met so many interesting people, that were so nice to us.
When we were in the airplane going to Gran Canaria we talked with an air steward, his name is Jani, just like in our Spanish book.
We tried talking Spanish with him by saying all the words that we had learned in Spanish class. He actually liked us, as we liked him too. And when I asked him if i can buy a water that cost 3€, he told me to wait a minute and went to get me,Ria and Noora waters. When I tried to give him money, he said no and he touched my shoulder and smiled kindly as he gave the waters to us for free.
It happened twice that we got free water when we tried talking Spanish and our teacher got a free coffee, for the same reason. The people were the best part in this whole trip.

We had to be at 07:00 o’clock at the airport. We took one more time pictures with everyone and at that time we realized that it is time to say goodbye. It was so hard to say goodbye, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to see each other anymore, or I hope so.

I learned a lot during this project, especially while doing the project. I was so happy that my group’s project was about Kiva- method that we use in our school in Finland. And I was the expert one in that group. I learned a lot and had so much fun.

We arrived in Denmark at 15:00 o’clock, because our transit was in Denmark.
Our teachers had promised to take us somewhere to eat, and they did that. We went to a restaurant.
After eating we talked and played all together. And after the best school trip, it was time to go home.
We had so much fun in such a short time, and we also met a lot of people who became our friends.

I also believe that I learned more Spanish during this trip.





Emilia and Kamilla’s Diary of the Erasmus+ R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Meeting in Wörth, Germany





Day one, Wednesday;

 We arrived in Rettenbach around two or three o’clock. Our host families picked us up. I had freetime for a little while and then me and Sophia walked to the other village to meet up with Luisia and Emmi. After that we went to Luisia’s house and hanged around there for a while. Then her mother drove us to Sophia’s house and we ate dinner there. In the evening we went to a workout gym.

 Day two, Thursday;

My alarm went at 5:30 am and we left for school at 7 am. Müesli,  yogurt and tea for breakfast. We went to school by a school bus. It took about 20 minutes. At school we played all types of  ”get to know each other- games”, with all the other students from Iceland, Spain, Greece and Poland and Germany. It was quite a long schoolday, from 8 am to 4 pm. The rest of the day we sat in a technology class doing the project. Well, we kind of just sat around and chatted with each other because the kids from Spain in my group said that they’ll do the project in Gran Canaria.

In the evening we went to a welcoming party. All the German kids’ parents had prepared really delicious food.




 Day three, Friday;

We left for school at the same time as the day before and went to the same class. We saw all the students presenting their presentations about their home countries. At 11 am we went to Regensburg for a field trip by bus. It was a little town where we had two hours of freetime to walk around. It was a rainy and cold day.

 Day four, Saturday;

This was our only ”day off” during the trip. I woke up at 8 am and ate breakfast. Then me, Sophia and Elias went out for a walk to an open field to see deers. At 2 pm me and the whole family left for ice-skating. All the other exchange students were there too. We were there for a few hours and then we were split into two groups. After that we walked to a nearby town where we had applestrudel and hot chocolate.



11.11 Saturday.
We drove to Nürnberg with Luisia, Svenja and Birgitta.  We went shopping and ate at a local restaurant. Later we went to a trampoline park.

13.11 Monday.
Today we have school. We rode to school with the bus. Today we finished the presentations for the projects and gave  presentations about the countries. Later in the evening we went to skittle with all the people as a farewell party and said goodbye to all the people from the other countries since we were the only people who stayed there till Wednesday.

14.11 Tuesday
Today we went back to Regensburg to do some shopping and we also ate sushi at a buffet.

15.11 Wednesday
Today we had to say goodbye to our families and we headed off to Munich with a train and a bus. We did our last bit of shopping there and we flew back to Finland.