This is my travel report from my Erasmus+ staff mobility period at Luksia’s international partner Rijn IJssel college in Arnhem, the Netherlands. In April 2016, I spent five full days there, learning more about the Dutch vocational system, the field of safety and security, and practices for student mobilities between Finland and the Netherlands.
Day 1: Meeting with safety and security people
Luksia´s cooperation partner Rijn IJssel in Arnhem, Netherlands, was having one of our safety and security student (Antti Huovila) to have his five weeks internship period in Arnhem. He had already been there for four weeks. Correspondingly we will receive some of their students to have their internship in Luksia, Nummela, Finland, sometime at the end of this year 2016.
I met Antti and his work colleagues Sylvana and Wesley who provided information regarding internships and explained different places in Rijn IJssel. They arranged nice introduction of school system and showed the whole building and workstations, where safety and security students work every day. The school building is a very bright place to be, because there aren't any curtains in classes, as you can see below.
There are two entrances, which are in control by two security guards (students) all the time. Their job is to ask purpose of people coming to the building, so that they can guide them to right direction or stop the person in the entrance. They also monitor cars and people to go to parking hall and in it under the building. You have to have a permit to get in. When the school is closing, between 7 p.m – 9 p.m, they will check up the whole school building starting in 5th floor classes. Their job is to check also, that all the windows are closed. If there is still someone studying, they politely ask them to leave and make sure, nobody has left in the building.
I also discussed with Antti, that how he has done and enjoyed himself during his internship. He was more than happy that he made a decision to come to Arnhem. He is really confident of what he is doing here and he has got good feedback from his tutors and counselors. He would have liked to stay longer, if it was possible.
Day 2: Learning about the Dutch educational system and student services
This morning I met Lenny van Kempen (coordinator international affairs) at school (location Middachtensingel 2) and he made an introduction of Rijn IJssel and Dutch education system. In general the Dutch system doesn’t differ from ours. In vocational studies they have one to four levels, which are quite hard to explain. The main thing is, that inside the vocational schools the highest level (IV) qualifies you for postgraduate studies. Security training program is done by two years (level II) with the internship.
In the afternoon I met Lisa Harms (location Zypendaalseweg 167), who told me about student services and structure for student care. They have similar systems as in Finland. There is first teacher or group adviser, who will get together with student and try to solve problems being there. If necessary, there are public health nurse, psychologist and possible parents to take apart in problems. The conclusion were, that we try to keep the students at school and try to avoid students drop out. They have also tried methods where student care people go to normal classes to watch teaching and at the same time to observe students.
Day 3: Visiting military base and sport facilities
Today was a little bit different: I was taken to military base of Schaarsbergen where Rijn IJssel safety and security students spend 15 weeks of their studies. In the future they might have this option to join the army. We had a military base round up and Sergeant Veldkamp showed some places we civilians were allowed to go. In the picture below there is one of the training fields.
In the afternoon we went to see Rijn IJssel sport facilities. It is really nice campus with all the sport tracks and big sporthalls. Rijn IJssel safety and security students can use it for force classes. We were taken care by coordinator Marc Rameckers, who showed us all the facilities they have in use. In this picture below you can see training hall, where they practice their use of force.
In the evening we had a tapas dinner with all the security stuff and view security students from Rijn Ijssel including Antti, our internship student from Luksia.
Day 4: Visiting Palace of Justice and Antti’s presentation on Finland
Today I was introduced to see Palace of Justice, which is one the internship workstations for students. This place was supersafe with all the professional team of guards and high technology. I was guided there by Marcos who used to be a student for Rijn IJssel (safety and security), but is now working as a teacher in Rijn IJssel. They have a radio room with numerous amount of cameras, so they control every door, every place in the building. They also have a normal x-rays to control people getting in there and prison cells in the basement of building, which is controlled by police. So the guards co-operate with police every day. They have certain court rooms for the most difficult cases, which have also a high risk session because of dangerous criminals. There is a bullet proof window between the judge and the public, shown in the picture below.
In the afternoon Luksia’s student Antti made a presentation of Finland and vocational education in Luksia (location Middachtensingel 2). Audience were from Rijn IJssel safety and security class. Antti did very well. After that two teachers of Rijn IJssel evaluated Antti’s five weeks internship period.
Day 5: Job-shadowing classroom work
On Friday I got to join few lessons and see the classroom work In Rijn IJssel (location Middachtensingel 2). There were lesson for object security by Sofian Bougria and lesson for law and legislations by Jaap Fukkink. Of course I didn’t understand Dutch language, but classroom work didn’t differ from our in Luksia. The last lesson was practical with enforcement, surveillance and security by John Lam. They were using one classroom for this practical work as we use our class environment the best we can. In the afternoon Anne- Marie Snel and Bastiaan Dragtsra were taking me a little tour walking around the city.
In the evening we got together with all the security teachers and had some snack at the local cafe.
Results and what happens next
The results of this visit were surprisingly good. During the week, we were discussing student exchanges and what kind of cooperation we will do in the future. People were extremely friendly and were very interested about Finland. Internships in Rijn IJssel differ from Luksia, because they have more options and workstations inside the school. Our students mostly have their internships outside Luksia. We need to think, what are the possibilities, what kind of things can we offer considering our study environment. That way we could offer more internship options to safety and security students who come from Arnhem. We will have meetings in our safety and security department to discuss different ideas: how we could implement something that they already do in Arnhem.
At Arnhem, they were very proud of our student's internship. Antti was doing all the tasks well and didn’t hesitate to use English. He also got a lot of good feedback from the teachers. We will use Antti to tell his experiences to other students sometimes in September this year 2016.
In my opinion, students going to Arnhem should prepare themselves to tell something about Finland and Finnish culture and of course something about Finnish vocational college system. It would be nice, if they brought some original Finnish items with them.