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Tia-Maria Sjöblom

International Coordinator, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

I am from the eastern part of Finland where people are talkative and open to new things and that is something I have also recognized from myself. After living 19 years in a really small village I packed my bags and moved to 'big city' Turku to study sociology and educational sciences at the University of Turku. That was bit of a culture shock moving from east to west, but I survived and enjoyed my time there. Then after studies and couple of years at working life there, I moved to Helsinki and started my current position and also met my husband to be. When the family started growing we moved to Porvoo where we had two lovely girls. Now we (husband, 10 and 12 year old almost teenagers, 4 year old boy and two funny ragdoll cats) are living in Sipoo/Sibbo, countryside again, but near Helsinki. Half of the population is actually here Swedish speaking so I feel like Nordplus spirit is very near me ;-)

I've been into internationalisation already during my studies, when I was on student exchange at UK twice and also acted as international tutor for the exchange students. During my studies I was also working at the university as a student counsellor. Then at late 90's the universities got some extra funding for international activities and established the first position for IRC at the faculty of social sciences, and I was appointed there. Then later I changed to bit more dynamic environment to the Turku Polytechnic, where I was working first as an Erasmus Coordinator and later IRC for the field of technology. Then I decided to move to Helsinki and 2002 I got the position as an International Coordinator for the School of Culture and Creative Industries at Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia, which after a merge at 2009 was called Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. During the years the tasks and duties at have varied a lot, but I've always worked with the creative fields programmes, including music and I have enjoyed it a lot, such a bunch of talented people with passion to music and making the world a better place.

I think that having international skills (language skills, intercultural skills, open attitude, curiosity etc.) are very essential in this globalizing world and I am happy to be able to offer possibilities for students and teachers in gaining these important skills. I enjoy the international environment and being able to meet interesting people all over the world. Also working with enthusiastic students is close to my heart, especially when you see the change what happens to them during exchanges, how they come back with such an attitude that I can manage everything! I also enjoy the IRC cooperation, how we can support each other and this aspect works extremely well in this lovely Music Nplus family, which I am so happy to be part of.