Introweek took place in Tallinn in the final week of August, from 24 to 28 August. All study groups and students from both the Tallinn and Helsinki campus took part in the event.
"The aim of Introweek is to bring students together before the beginning of the academic year and create synergy," said Head of Bachelor's studies at EBS Anto Liivat. "I think that boosting team morale among smaller study groups is an important task of the university. This creates a caring, motivating and supporting atmosphere that students can rely on during difficult times, which are normal in the course of studies."
Introweek included a variety of activities. The first day was called 'Welcome to Estonia' and was aimed at all of the international students who had come to study at EBS. The day started with an introductory briefing, which also included a stand-up routine by Louis Zezeran to add a bit of fun. Afterwards, the participants had the chance to enjoy Estonia's unique nature when they visited Viru bog, Käsmu and Oandu.
Tuesday began with an opening ceremony at EBS for all first-year students, followed by a tour of the campus and a study session introducing a new subject created in the framework of Introweek. "I'm glad that EBS and the Master's students from Tallinn University's Adult Education programme were able to cooperate as successfully as they did to launch the new subject 'Leader's Professional Identity'," added Anto Liivat, "we hope to continue with this collaboration next year." The day ended with a visit to the Estonian Open Air Museum, where international students got to learn about Estonia's history.
On Wednesday, when a study session was held for degree students, Erasmus+ students who had come to study in Estonia explored Tallinn Old Town. The midweek also included the programme 'Viroke', which was organised by the students of the Helsinki branch, and a boat party in Tallinn bay where students enjoyed the amazing view and a breath-taking sunset.
Each student got to choose the activities best suited to them for the penultimate day of Introweek, whether it was something sporty or fun. There was a morning yoga class followed by the Olympic games, an afternoon painting class, a session of the brain teaser 'UnKnow', EBS trivia and a trip to the brewery Humalakoda. But this wasn't all for Thursday. First-year students also took an oath at the pledge ceremony in the EBS court, which was followed by an award ceremony and a pub crawl.
Introweek culminated in an open air festival in the EBS court held in honour of all of the students, employees and alumni of EBS. A unique event preceded the festival: Professor Meelis Kitsing was inaugurated as the new rector of EBS at a formal ceremony in the assembly hall. Click here to watch the event on the EBS YouTube channel.
The high number of participants of Introweek highlights the importance of such events. Feedback from students has been very positive; they said that settling in with the help of an event like this makes starting studies easier and definitely more fun. The event allows students to bond with their peers, making it easier to face the following academic year and all the challenges to come.
"I was really happy with Introweek," said Bachelor's student Sander Aukust. "It gave me the opportunity to meet other students in my programme before anything else. This was supported by all of the activities and academic sessions. It was nice to feel the academic atmosphere in the study sessions during the day and also have fun at the joint events in the evenings. EBStival was definitely memorable; it felt like a large-scale event even though I was only surrounded by my peers from the university, and that felt amazing. I'm sure you can't experience something like this in every school."
Vice Rector of EBS Helsinki branch Professor Xiaotian Zhang also highly values the importance of an orientation week. "Introweek is a great bridge linking our students and staff from both Tallinn and Helsinki campuses," he said. "A week filled with entrepreneurial activities has created an excellent synergy – we called it 'the FINEST synergy'."
Lead organiser of Introweek Liisa Maide also highlights excellent teamwork, which is key to organising such a large-scale event. "Thank you to everyone who took part in the event," she said, "and a big thank you to the team of organisers. I especially want to thank our student council, whose efforts contributed greatly to the success of the event."
We wish all first-year students and everyone else at EBS a successful start to the new academic year!