Hi everyone 🙂 My name is Keshia D’silva and I have been the Chair of CISSI for the last 6 months. While it is an honour to have this position, I can’t say I’ve done anything special to earn it. No one else was able to volunteer for it at the time and now I understand why…
I come from India and as the first non Finnish chair, I have learned how, paradoxically, running an international organization when you are an international yourself is harder, rather than easier. This is because much of university life is still organized in Finnish despite the tri-lingual policy that is only selectively followed.
Case in point: To be able to have events at Kuppala, our board has to attend a user training but the training was organized completely in Finnish so we missed out. It took 3 months of emails to arrange an English training, only after which we could have some of the events we had been planning for so carefully.
Though this non-inclusivity frustrated previous boards, they found a way to adjust as a fair number of them were Finnish and could work around the language barrier. This was not an option for our board composed almost entirely of internationals.
Thus, we have truly had to and will continue to use all the obstacles in our way as opportunities to push harder for the rights of international students at this university. Hopefully, this will enable you to have an enriching experience and get the most out of your time here 🙂 So stay tuned to our facebook page, our blog and our instagram (instacissi) to get interesting information, updates on our activities and to get to know the rest of our amazing team in time for the fall term 🙂
Have a great summer <3