Digiverstas received four Erasmus+ interns from Malta, Matthew, Shaun, Karel and Isaac. Matthew studies game programming and Shaun, Karel and Isaac are business and marketing students. They will be working in various projects and activities during their two months internship. The guys visited a local International Game Development Associations (IGDA) events earlier this year and wrote about their experience and how they felt about the Finnish sauna experience.

On the 31st of July, we were at Datariina where we met Vesa Raudasoja who happens to be the Vice Chairman of the International Game Development Association (IGDA). After a nice chat with him we were invited to the IGDA barbeque, which was being held later that day in Karhula. This was our first event with IGDA and it was an amazing experience. We got to meet a lot of new faces who are involved in the gaming industry of Kotka and Finland. As for the area that the barbeque was being organized, we were surrounded by beautiful scenery with multiple areas of relaxation. One could go swim in the nearby river, play some football at the sports ground or chill out by the BBQ area.

During our first IGDA gathering, we discussed different topics that relate to the gaming industry with numerous individuals such as students and members of the IGDA group. It was an important topic to debate, as the gaming industry in Malta is all about betting and online casinos whereas here in Finland it’s mostly about mobile applications. Even though the Finnish government heavily regulates gambling, several firms have found loopholes to get around their own way. In addition to all of this, gaming companies are using loot boxes that mimic lotteries.

We also had the chance to taste different Finnish food, such as Finnish strong mustard, sausages, local beer and Finnish long drink. The long drink reminded us of home and our local Cisk Chill ginger & lemon beer.

After some time, we were invited to another IGDA gathering in Karhula, which was held in Sam’s pub where we had a couple of cold ones. The barwoman was very patient as she explained most of the drinks since we were foreigners.

When chatting with some members of the IGDA, we told them that we have never been in a sauna and they told us that we had to visit Kuura. At Kuura, there was an indoor pool with a sauna right next to it. Not only that they had an inside sauna, they have ‘Lola’ which is a bus that has a wood burning sauna inside of it.

On our first sauna experience, we underestimated the heat that was coming at us. The heat made us feel a bit nauseated after a few minutes inside the sauna. We had to take a short cooling break in the cold pool as we couldn’t take the heat. When going for the 2nd round, this felt a lot better as our bodies got used to the heat and we finally had the whole sauna experience.

Attending these IGDA gatherings got us to meet various new faces and experiencing new cultures while having fun along the way.


Shaun Saliba
Matthew Farrugia
Karel Tanti
Isaac Grech

Erasmus+ Interns at Digiverstas