My experience at Könkkölä can be described only by positive feelings.
I had been informed about places like that the last two or three years but I never imagined myself in one of these. The experience itself as a whole exceeded my expectations.
Never thought of producing creative integration work in a place surrounded by nature. Furthermore, I can be certain that it is the first time I have been working in an environment where personal space, peace and cooperation are thriving. These combined made me want to demonstrate the best of myself and skills. One of the challenges that appeared was to be able to moderate the integration (culture and language) process according to the needs of the group and the place. The group was on the first month of integration in Finland. That meant that everything was new to them and we were the ones who were the guides through the first stage of the acculturation shock.
Another challenge, was to explain basic culturally different things that we do not even think of because we learn them from a young age. These could be, for instance, manners in the workplace or not littering the environment that surrounds us. Nevertheless, throughout their time at the farm they learned a lot of things about language, culture and work behavior which will be of importance in their future life in Finland. However, I strongly believe that nothing would have been that much achievable without the good communication of our coordinating team. We were four individuals with different personalities and discipline backgrounds that managed to be flexible and on times of crisis we proved skills of professionalism and team work.
To sum up, this project gave me the opportunity to offer my services and knowledge to help people in need, it expanded my horizons, it made me a better professional and it helped me discover parts of myself that I did not know I have. I believe that this work experience at Könkkölä is something that I will carry and treasure on my next professional steps.