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My participation in EKA's Staff Week: Félix Guerrero, Erasmus+ Coordinator at ESADA

My participation in EKA's Staff Week: Félix Guerrero, Erasmus+ Coordinator at ESADA
08 June 2024

From May 27 to May 31, 2024, I had the pleasure of attending the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) in Tallinn (Estonia) for their first International Staff Week, themed "Sharing Experiences". This event brought together educators and administrators from various schools and countries around the world to explore crucial topics such as communication challenges, quality assurance, and digitally enhanced learning environments.

As the Erasmus+ Coordinator at ESADA, I actively participated in numerous sessions and workshops, with a focus on "Learner Centeredness in Digitally Enhanced Learning Environments" led by Kaja Toomla. My participation highlighted ESADA's dedication to exploring the evolving landscape of digital education and the integration of Artificial Intelligence, among other interesting topics.

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Prior to the physical week, participants were able to share on a Padlet board a short introduction about ourselves and some questions and topics that particularly interested us during the week. It was very interesting because we anticipated the questions and themes that would be presented, and it was a way for the participants to get to know each other beforehand.

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I also had the opportunity to present ESADA's pioneering digitalization efforts, focusing on our Virtual School and the online component of Erasmus Blended Intensive Programs (BIPs). My presentation demonstrated how ESADA leverages technology to enrich learning experiences and ensure educational continuity, particularly amidst challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am especially grateful to Kaja Toomla for giving me this opportunity to showcase how ESADA operates, particularly in terms of digitalization, and to demonstrate how we have grown over the years.

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The week was further enriched by guided tours and cultural activities organized by the Estonian Academy of Arts, fostering a collaborative and engaging atmosphere. A notable highlight was the EKA Graduation Show, TASE 2024, showcasing the creative endeavors of EKA graduates. The event concluded with a lively party featuring live DJs at Kunstihoone and various exhibitions, and we enjoyed a good time all together.

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During the week, I also had the pleasure of reconnecting with past EKA's students who had completed their Erasmus experience at ESADA. Together, we enjoyed dinner and they showed me some beautiful places in the city. It was so special to see them again after many years, for example, Kelli Puusepp, an Interior Design student who graduated from EKA, was one of our first Erasmus students at ESADA, and whom I hadn't seen since just before the pandemic.

I also had the opportunity to see Fashion Design students from EKA, Kelli Randoja and Gülnar Velijeva, again, whom I hadn't seen since 2021, as well as Hanna Johanson and Anna-Riika Jatsa, who were at ESADA last academic year and whom I was able to see studying at EKA.

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Additionally, I was able to reconnect with EKA's administrative staff in Tallinn, who had visited ESADA and Granada last April. They welcomed me with open arms at the Estonian Academy of Arts, making me feel right at home.

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My participation in this EKA’s Staff Week not only provided valuable insights and experiences but also allowed me to savor the enchanting ambiance of Tallinn, a city steeped in magic and charm, accompanied by pleasant weather and great company.

Without a doubt, it was a special week filled with exchanges, learning, unforgettable memories, experiences, and new friends. Thanks again to Kaja Toomla, and a special thank you to Sandra Mell and Janne Kukk from EKA's International Office for their dedication and flawless organization of the event. I am very grateful to have had this enriching experience in every way. Looking forward to seeing you at the next EKA's Staff Week in beautiful Tallinn!

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Some of the pictures were taken by one of the EKA students, Sonja Maria Sutt.