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CE Riga 7/2013

I’m Sini and I’ve been in BEST for more than three years now. Actually I’m more like an alumna nowadays, but take part in BEST activities whenever I find time for it besides my work and other stuff. This summer I had the chance to participate in Culture Exchange (CE) in Riga, Latvia with other seven members of BEST Helsinki. The event took place between 5 and 15 July 2013. Besides us, there were participants from the Netherlands, Turkey, Malta, and naturally Latvia. There were also a couple of guests from Belgium.

The idea of the event was to get to know each other’s culture and thus a whole day was dedicated to each country. On our Finnish day we woke the others gently up by a sauna and other morning rituals. After the breakfast there was a common warm-up that was inspired by Finnish winter sports. Then it was time to move to the lake where we organized a group competition for the others, including typical Finnish activities such as wife carrying and making of vihta. I was partly responsible for these activities. After the presentations of Finnish history, culture, and rituals I helped set up the tables for sitsit and was one of the organizers of our afterparty with casino theme. For the rest of the event I participated actively in everything the others organized and also contributed to making a video that was later played in the centre of Riga for a couple of weeks.

I enjoyed this event a lot. It was well organized and full of awesome activities and nice people. During the event I learned more about cultures that had been less familiar to me before, got to know Riga, had the chance to see a song and dance festival parade that only occurs every five years, and gave a try to wake boarding, among other things. The lovely weather made the event even more perfect. It was a pity to leave Riga and say goodbye to all the great people who took part in the event but hopefully we’ll meet somewhere again!

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SC Bucharest 6/2013

Hi all! My name is Niklas and my position in BEST Helsinki is Social Activities Coordinator, in other words HR and PR. It’s an important job but really fun to do :D I joined our local LBG in spring 2013 to widen my social network, learn new stuff from organizing events and to have awesome time with awesome people in awesome places all over Europe. Because that’s what BEST is ultimately about.

I was really thrilled when I heard I was accepted as a co-organizer to the Summer Course (SC) of LBG Bucharest. So, a few months passed and I found myself from the capital of Romania. Co-organizers are part participants part organizers – no fee except flights, attendance in all parties and trips and a decent amount of sleep daily :D The course was about 3D modeling of which I knew nothing about. Luckily I was only taking care of organizing things! The Romanian SC had parties every night, cheap beer, fun and exciting activities and so pretty women you have to go see yourself :DD After all I made some really good friends and totally changed my idea about Romania. I loved the whole experience.

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RM Helsinki 3/2013

Hi! My name is Pablo Cantería, I’m 25yo and I’ve been an exchange student here at Aalto for the spring semester 2013! I was a member of BEST in Barcelona and when I knew there was a group here, I wanted to join as well!

The event I’m about to explain is the Regional Meeting, it’s an internal event (so, just for BEST members) in which delegates and members from other groups of BEST in the Region (Nordic – Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland) get together to discuss about topics, prepare the upcoming General Meeting (reading, discussing proposals), getting trainings for many different topics (as fund raising, human resources management, time management, etc.) and getting to know people from different countries, exchanging experiences and improving the international network that BEST International is. It was hosted by BEST Helsinki, in Otaniemi, Espoo, in the campus facilities during the last days of March, from the 28th until the 1st of April which was the departure day.

My role in the event was being half organizer and half participant. This means I attended many training sessions and most of the team building activities such as sharing sessions and parties in the evenings but I was also helping out with the cooking, with the logistics, shopping, parties’ preparation and cleaning, etc. Definitely a great experience to see the event worked out amazingly well!

From the trainings point of view, it was great to learn to lead and coordinate different working teams from the human resources perspective, taking into account the different cultural backgrounds and working cultures, I also participated in a Market Research Task in order to improve and boost the services that BEST International is offering to students all around the continent and joined a Sharing Fair in which I shared my knowledge in time management and in fund raising as well as I gained some more insight of the tasks that some international committees within BEST are performing. Really cool!

All in all, I spent 5 unforgettable days surrounded by Nordic people, we enjoyed sessions together, parties, saunas, we bonded very much because we were together almost all the time and now I can say I have more than 30 new friends spread in the Nordic countries! :D

LBG Helsinki goes Tallinn!

One of the good things about being a member of BEST is that since we have more than 90 local groups spread through the European geography, we can easily get together, spend time together, enjoy over a nice BBQ sharing past BEST experiences, talking about friends we have in common from Spain, Italy, Russia or Iceland for example. We all have what we call “The BEST Spirit” and so, we in BEST Helsinki decided to spend a whole weekend with the guys from BEST Tallinn, not only to get to know them better but also as a team building activity.

We got to Tallinn and they were waiting for us with a huge van. The plan was to drive around 80km west from the city, to a location called Nŏva where there is a huge beach, some fireplaces for BBQ-ing and plenty of space for camping. We saw the sun setting and then rising few hours later, sharing beers, stories, food…

After sleeping for few hours, we drove back to the city, visited the Tallinn University of Technology and the facilities and offices BEST Tallinn has in there. We also walked around the university area, had another BBQ in the middle of a nearby forest and kept on chatting and having a good time with more experienced members from BEST group there.

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