The programme brings together international students and South Karelian families. The aim is to help foreign students learn more about Finnish culture and family life. In return, the students provide the family with a greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures.
The Meet a Local Family Programme is voluntary, which means that the students and families decide themselves how often they meet and what they do together. You may meet once a month or even every week and cook together, go swimming, skiing or to see a basketball game – it is entirely up to you and the family.
International degree and exchange students coming to Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) or to Saimaa University of Applied Sciences (Saimaa UAS) for the autumn semester / academic year are offered the chance of participating in the Meet a Local Family Programme. The application round is organised once a year, each autumn, and it ends 9th of September 2019. Fill in the application form and return it online. You may also return the form to LUT Student Services/Tanja Karppinen or Saimaa UAS International office/Alexandra Karaseva. Application form can be found here.
The programme is coordinated by Lappeenranta University of Technology and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, Finnish Student Health Services and University and college chaplaincy of the Lappeenranta Evangelical Lutheran parishes and Imatra Evangelical Lutheran parish.
1.The Meet a Local Family programme aims to promote internationalization and knowledge of new cultures among both students and local families.
2.The Meet a Local Family programme is voluntary, and the students and families themselves decide how and when they meet.
3. The host family and student are introduced to each other: they will be given each other's contact information and the first meeting is arranged by the coordinators in the beginning of autumn. From there on, the families and students get together at their convenience.
4.The schools and tutors help the students with practical arrangements and everyday matters. The family is not responsible for guiding the student in such matters, but may do so if it wishes.
5.The family has no financial obligations towards the student; studies, accommodation and recreational activities are paid by the student him- or herself.
6.The family may not use the student as workforce (e.g. as a baby sitter) unless both parties consent to the arrangement and conclude a written agreement.
7.The well-being, safety and cultural differences of both parties must always be taken into consideration.
8.The students must have extensive personal insurance when they arrive in Finland. Therefore, the family is not liable to pay compensation if something happens to the student while taking part in the meet a Local Family programme.
9. If problems or questions arise, the family and student should turn to the international offices of Lappeenranta University of Technology or Saimaa University of Applied Sciences.
10.Feedback is collected from the families and students in writing at the end of the semester. This will help develop and improve the programme.