Business students explore sustainability in Finland

Ten students from Nipissing University's School of Business recently embarked on a transformative expedition to Finland, as part of the ADMN 3336-Special Projects (iLEAD) course. Funded by Global Skill Opportunity - Transcultural Interdisciplinary Learning Experiences (GSO-TILE), this three-credit course allowed students to explore sustainability in the world's happiest country, as ranked by the 2024 World Happiness Report.

Under the guidance of Drs. Anahit Armenakyan and Anahita Baregheh and hosted by the esteemed team at Y-akatemia at Karelia University of Applied Sciences, the course provided an immersive learning experience. Y-akatemia, also known as the Y-Academy, is an innovative educational program that provides a dynamic and flexible learning environment, encouraging creativity and innovation. The program uses a variety of learning methods, including workshops, seminars, and peer-to-peer learning. 

School of business students sitting in a group on a staircase during their recent trip to Finland

Nipissing students engaged in various activities, including discussions led by Finnish students, seminars on sustainable business practices, and business sparring sessions to support local sustainable enterprises. They also visited businesses committed to sustainability. 

“It was amazing to witness our diverse group of Nipissing business students not only discover a new country and culture, but also embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth,” said Dr. Armenakyan. “We also had an incredible opportunity to connect with our Finnish colleagues, exploring new avenues for collaboration and sharing expertise in different teaching practices.”

A particularly memorable moment of the trip was the dialogue session led by Nipissing students at Y-akatemia. This session enabled the students to collaborate on projects related to sustainable practices in higher education and brainstorm ideas with their Finnish peers.

“For me, the highlights of this expedition were the daily debriefing sessions where I experienced Finland through the eyes of the students.” Dr. Baregheh reflected. “It was wonderful to see how they embraced this opportunity to build new relationships and grow both academically and personally.”

Beyond academic activities, the students explored Joensuu and Helsinki, enjoying Finnish hospitality and Nordic cuisine, relaxing in Finnish saunas, and hiking in Koli National Park, reminiscent of the landscapes in Northern Ontario. They observed numerous sustainable practices, from biodegradable cutlery and air-purifying plant walls to ergonomic chairs, inclusive workspaces, and alternative energy sources such as scooters and e-buses.

For more details about their incredible journey, visit


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