Maailman Maut Suomessa – filling bellies and souls

Some of the tasks in Xamk’s Integration team (former Talent Boost team) bag include carrying out career-related activities, the promotion of international students’ well-being and the fostering of their integration into Finnish society.

Career-related activities may seem to be, in general, a bit more practical and objective as it deals mostly with external requisitions from the market whereas the promotion of well-being and integration are connected to the individual and their intrinsic nature.

Do not get fooled, though, as both categories can be challenging in their own ways at times.

How Maailman Maut Suomessa came to life

As a member of the Integration team myself, I wake up every morning with this one question in my mind: how do people integrate into a new culture?

And this initial question obviously unleashes a sequence of follow-up questions such as:

  • what kind of activities can I design that will be attractive to both sides of the aisle (Finns and internationals) so that they have to opportunity to interact smoothly?
  • how can activities create bridges and tear down walls that separate the newcomers from the locals so that we have a more harmonious society?
  • what kind of project can give international students visibility and the opportunity to showcase their value and capabilities?
  • how can I engage other actors of society in being more curious about and interested in our international students’ stories and backgrounds?
  • who can I join forces with to make the activities more powerful and reach more people, increasing the possibility of greater success?

As food can usually represent vivid emotional memories and strong identities, international dinners seemed to be a good answer to all those questions above. Therefore, we came up with an idea of creating a favorable environment where locals and internationals could sit down (literally) and get to know more about each other in a relaxed and warm manner.

Maailman Maut Suomessa is a project developed by Xamk’s Integration team in Kotka aiming to introduce Xamk’s international students’ culture to residents (and vice-versa), foster interactions and promote international students’ integration into Finnish life.

How Maailman Maut Suomessa works

Each international dinner is prepared by international students from different countries and each dinner has a different guest list so that different people can know more about different countries.

Spring dinners are held from 17:00 – 19:00 at local vocational school EKAMI’s Katariina campus. The pilot dinner was held on 21 February 2024 with international and local guests from Xamk, EKAMI and local actors.

Our pilot dinner prepared by our Xamk Nursing degree students Fenta Emeinge and Gladstone Makar from Cameroon was a great success!

The guests, a fantastic mix of both Finnish and international teachers and students from Xamk and EKAMI, gave the thumbs up to the Cameroonian Beef & Tomato Stew with rice. Dinner was complemented by a Brazilian starter (spernacchia) and dessert (brigadeiro).

On the occasion, some phone numbers were exchanged, career/future studies tips were offered and lots of stories were shared. Some kind comments and thank you notes have been written in our Guest Book as well.

The language is mainly English, but Finnish is also welcome. Photos are taken and videos are made so that we can later publish the events on our intranet and social media. Participation is free of charge.


Guests can be anyone from our Xamk community – both students and staff, local actors who have developed or are developing projects with Xamk, members of society, among others.

The guest list works mainly as a chain effect: each guest from a past dinner appoints another guest for the next dinner, so on, so forth, making it an actual networking event. Every dinner holds a draw a couple of weeks in advance so that a minimum of two members of our Xamk community (one student and one staff) always take part in one of the dinners.

Our next Maailman Maut Suomessa was a Nigerian dinner on 20 March 2024 and we are finalizing the planning of the last dinner of the season with a nice combination of Peruvian and Chinese cuisine.

Maailman Maut Suomessa is scheduled to continue in autumn with more delicious flavors and interesting interactions.


EKAMI is our first partner in Maailman Maut Suomessa as they kindly made their Cooking school kitchen available. Xamk is always open to more partnerships in the future!

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