Example 2

University of Lapland pair tutoring model

In the University of Lapland, international student tutors work in pairs. The other student speaks Finnish and the other student is a degree or exchange student who speaks a foreign language. The aims of the tutoring pairs are the same as for student tutors who traditionally work alone. The purpose of the international tutoring pairs is to provide international students with contacts to the university, other students, and the city in which they are studying.

The responsibilities for various tasks are equally divided between the student tutors of a tutoring pair. The purpose of the tutoring pairs is to observe the needs of international students in more diverse ways. The student tutor with a Finnish background provides information about practical issues and how to handle them (banks, local register office etc.), as well as the locality and the local culture. The further away from a city or country the students come from, the more interested they are to hear and learn about the region and the local culture. The task of the student tutor with a foreign background is to provide information and support during the integration process in the form of peer support. Topics include what, how, and where the international student can find solutions to the situations that he/she faces in the new university, city, and culture.

Tutoring tasks also serve as an opening to international students into the Finnish labor market. The student tutor receives a small compensation for tutoring tasks at the end of the academic year. What is more important for international students is that they receive a job certificate for tutoring, and the university staff responsible for tutoring can act as referees for other employers. Tutoring provides one possible alternative for the university to implement the idea of jobs on campus.