Monthly Archives: November 2014

Beautiful Belgium

Hello and greetings from Oostende Belgium. I have been enjoying my time here for the last 3 months now and I can say that there hasn’t been many dull moments.

Sandstorm
Sandstorm
Oostende
Oostende

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m studying here at Vives University college. All of my courses are with local students so I am hearing a lot of flemish language. Construction engineering has only been taught here for three years. Because of that I feel like this school isn’t quite ready yet for exchange students. So from a professional aspect this exchange hasn’t been as fulfilling as i might have hoped.

Brussels

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However this has not been bothering me so much because everything else has been great. I have traveled a lot with the other exchange students. So far I have visited Brussels, Gent, Bruges, Luxembourg, Dortmund, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. I have also made plans for visiting Morocco (Marrakech and Fez), London and Antwerpen. This huge amount of travelling is possible mainly because it is really cheap to travel in here (train ticket from west coast to eastern part of Belgium costs only 5 euros). Also the beer is really great in here which is important of course :). The rest of my spare time I have been using by going to the gym and hanging out with my classmate from Finland.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Amsterdam
Amsterdam

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings

Joona

Best of (Buda)pest!

Hello there and greetings from the beautiful Budapest! 🙂

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I’ve been here for over two months now and the time has just flied. I have managed to get to know the city better and met a lot of new people. I have also enjoyed the warm and sunny autumn weather even though now when I’m looking at outside it’s grey and raining.

Budapest is a lively city offering a lot of activities.

I’m living in the hearth of the city, close to the Parliament and it’s about two minutes for me to get to the school so that’s pretty nice. I’m studying in Budapest Business School and I have to say that it’s different to study here than in Finland; teaching methods can be quite old fashioned sometimes but since I’m spending so little time in here I have to try to get the most of it.

During my stay I have managed to do some travelling outside the country but also inside the country. BBS organized a trip to Erasmus students to North-East of Hungary and we sure got a quite nice overview of the local culture. I have also done a trip to South of Hungary to see the wine areas there. Outside the country I have visited Vienna and Bratislava. It’s so easy to do these trips since bus and train connections are quite comprehensive.

20141002_122302 20141019_100902 Garden is from Vienna and the castle is in Bratislava.

I’m also lucky to have some relatives in Hungary so if I’m missing Finland I can just visit them and go to sauna. 😉

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Best regards,

Marja

DAR ES SALAAM `THE HAVEN OF HEAT AND A PLACE TO BE`

Hello there 🙂

This is my ever beautiful town in which i was delighted to have my practical training.Yes,this feels like home so probably one would think i knew what to expect but suprisingly the whole experience was exciting and overwhelming even for me who is a citizen:)

darkilimanjaro

I had my practical training in  the oldest and largest brewing company in Tanzania known as Tanzania Breweries Limited,it was so much fun and i gained alot from the experience so safe to say,it was a worth go.Funny enough,i thought in companies of this sort,employees can drink as much as they want on an off duty but to my amazament,Beer was like a taboo in this company and thoroughly prohibited especially on duty.But,employees still enjoyed the benefits after work hours like each of the employees was to have two drinks for free after work in the company pub.

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Like they say,all work no play makes one dull.I was able to make friends of my own age,who guided me alot about work placements and how to associate with people an also we went out on several occasion mostlly to the bach and we continued to talk more so i was so happy that my experience went as far as out of the office and also the fact that i made friends who i will eventually benefit from.

my friendsss

In conclusion,I generally had a great time and very good experience and judging from the results,i think also did a great job because i was awarded with a very good certificate and to top it all,I was offered a job once I am thorugh with my studies which was so good to hear.Other than everyone is welcome to Tanzania,which my seem quite hot and annoying sometimes but definitely adventorous and a place to be.YAAASerengeti National Park.

Cheers!

cheers

 

 

 

Maple Syrup and Moose Kissing

Greetings from the promised land of maple syrup, moose and hockey!

Time flies when one is having fun. I ended up I hoping for a longer exchange already at the beginning of September. Algoma University is located in Sault Ste. Marie which is a friendly border city of 75 000 inhabitants. It’s true what people say about Canadians, they truly are the nicest people I’ve ever met! It helps to study at a small school as everybody knows everybody and it’s fairly easy to make new friends (especially if one happens to have a cute accent, just saying).

I have lectures Monday to Thursday and the workload is about the same as in TAMK. I live a 5-minute walk away from school, in a host family. My Canadian family is amazing and we get along really well (they also have two adorable dogs to cuddle with). I spend most of my free time with friends, working out or going out. There’s never a boring moment!

I’ve done a weekend trip to Toronto with my friends and next destinations are the US and Quebec. I’m planning on getting a practical training placement here and never coming back home… I’m only half joking.

AlgomaUni

The Magnificent Algoma UniversityCorn Maze

My first ever corn maze. And my Canadian BFFs. Pumpkin

I Know What I Did Last Halloween.Niagara Falls

The Almighty Niagara Falls. 

 

XOXO
Roosa

 

Taste of France

Greetings from Lyon, France!  Lyon is the most awesome city I’ve ever visited so far. Very safe but still you can find amazing adventures. City sleeps until noon, and most happenings are in evening time.  Champaign until seven in the morning is normal. Baguettes and croissants are the best I’ve ever tasted…

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I’m living here with my friend Sonja, who also studies in TAMK. We’ve been sharing same small apartment and even the same bed for the last 3 months. We do everything together but so far everything has went well. Now it even feels weird being without her somewhere!

How about school then? Well first of all, the atmosphere in our class is so warm and welcoming, students with many different backgrounds but still we are like one big happy family.  This week we had Globalization business ethics lectures by William Moore. Amazing and so inspiring man from the US.  There are no words to describe that man.  Except Thank you Bill Moore for blowing my mind.

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Anyways life is treating me very well, (besides little accident with the knife when cutting bread, got to visit ER here in Lyon and it was really interesting.. Nurses who doesn’t speak English and operating rooms straight from the Soviet Union times..)  But, there is still one month left and I’m going to enjoy it to the fullest. Looking forward to spending Christmas in Paris and New Year eve in our regular pub, in the heart of Lyon’s Old Town, with the most awesome local people.

From Lyon with love,

Kristiina

Lyon1

Same everything

I have now been in Lyon for 2,5 months. The time has gone fast and I’m starting to feel a bit sad because “the back to Finland flight” is getting closer and closer. I have really enjoyed my time here because the city is so wonderful and the people I’ve met are really really nice. I am here together with my friend Kristiina who also studies in TAMK. We live together and we have invented this one phrase that describes our life perfectly “same everything”. People in our school even say: “split the Finns”. Our class is very nice and it consists of people from USA, Sweden and France. At first it was quite difficult to get to know these people because they had already bonded beforehand. They all live in a same building and they will spend the next two years together in France, Sweden and USA. But now that we have got to know them better we have had some awesome time. We even got an invitation to Chicago. That trip will probably happen after graduating from TAMK.

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The teachers in our school are very nice and professional. For example last week we had a two day Business Ethics course and the teacher William Moore was just so amazing that I’m still getting goose bumps every time I think of the way he taught us. He is a character and I wish every teacher could be like him. He has a common sense and he speaks honestly and straight about things. I am very inspired now and starting to feel like that this education is actually taking me somewhere.

We have also done some weekend trips with Kristiina. We have been in Geneva, Marseille, Annecy and Nice. In Nice we met my mother who came to France with her friend to see us. We had a great hotel with a sea view and we ate the best pepperoni pizza ever! Annecy is a very beautiful city and I recommend it to everyone. It’s not a party place but the scenery is so amazing that you can just sit on the beach of the lake and watch the Alps the whole weekend. I definitely want to go back there, rent a bike and cycle around the lake.20140926_182056

Fish and Chips, please.

It’s been over 4 months since I the plane touched down at Heathrow. I arrived a bit ahead of my exchange studies as I also started in a new job here in London end of July.

Packing Done, time to relax!A view over London from Central Saint Giles

The British people are known for their good manners, politeness and good humour. I can concur with that assessment. My experience has been that they are also very welcoming.

A Farm in the middle of London?! Yes. Mudchute park.

As London is the European go-to-place for Musicals I of course had to check out the much praised The Book of Mormon. I can’t remember when I would’ve laughed as much in the theatre. Two thumbs up – recommended!

My exchange university, the Anglia Ruskin University, is located about an hour train commute away from where I live. It’s not too bad for London area where the commutes can be even 1,5 hours one direction.

Anglia Ruskin University - Lord Ashcroft Business School

I’ve selected modules on leadership as it’s the area of business I’m most interested in. The level of teaching is about the same than in TAMK. Britain is lagging a bit behind Finland in adopting digital services for education. Anglia Ruskin has only recently started accepting assignments digitally. This means I didn’t get to experience queuing with a hardcopy to return it to the iCentre as so many classes before ours. I don’t mind.

My classmates are excellent. For one course called International Intercultural Management we had to have  a home cooked dinner with each other, which was quite fun. People seem to have a bit more initiative when choosing groups and doing groupwork, which made it very easy for an exchange student like myself to find a group for the group assignments. Excellent.

Life in London and Studying at Anglia Ruskin UniversityInternational Intercultural Management group at work!

All and all I’ve had very good experience studying and working here. Now I’m off to enjoy the local delicacy, fish and chips. Cheers!

It's real! At least they sell Harry Potter travelcard covers :)

Food heaven next to Mediterranean Sea!

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Selamlar!

First month in Turkey was such a mess for that matter and real living started after all oblicated paperwork. I hope that is the only bad memory I´ll bring from here because otherwise Izmir has been quite interesting place to live. Turkish bureaucracy just can be really frustrating.

I like people in here, we get along well even if they don’t speak English so much. The city is full of friendly people who are really interested of us “white people from northen country”. They  consider us as a people from very far but I don’t feel that we are so different in the end. Stereotypes of Turkish and Finnish people have been changed quite a lot in this time: Turkish people have been also suprised how outgoing and talkative Finnish people we are and for my suprise Turkish people are really hospitable and they act like you have been their friend for ages when you get to know them.

School system in Ege University is very strict which I didn’t quite expect. You must attend all the lessons and teachers might do little quizes for the lessons to test your knowledge. For my luck my lessons are in English but it really depends on a faculty if they teach halfly in Turkish. Subjects are quite understanable but exams are full of squeamish questions. So practicly students in here have to read all the course materials more precisely.

Fun part has been of course travelling together with Erasmus student. I have seen lot of beautiful and interesting places so far and half of the semester is still left. Getting know to Turkish culture by traveling inside the country is something you cannot get from books or internet.

If I would have to say what is the best thing in Turkey I would say food. These people can really cook! And becouse I like to cook myself, I am so happy about all these fresh and cheap ingredients in Turkish food markets. But still best food I had so far here was traditional Turkish dinner from Turkish anne.

Görüşürüz!

Eat Sleep Bike Repeat

Greetings from The Netherlands! The Netherlands is a flat country in the heart of Europe and travelling from here to other European countries is extremely easy and quick. I’m staying in Utrecht which is a lovely student city near Amsterdam. But basically, The Netherlands is such a small country that nothing is far from Amsterdam.:D

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I have totally fallen in love with Utrecht with all its cute streets, old buildings, canals, biking and friendly people. Cycling is actually a big part of people’s everyday life here and I have adapted to that pretty easily. I do like cycling around the city and to school as well. Cycling with friends all day long, having coffee and lunch in the city and sleeping is just perfect on a lazy Sunday. In addition to Utrecht, I really like Amsterdam and thus, I’d love to do my internship there.

Check out the link below. It is just a normal day in the Netherlands. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152278157777647&set=vb.6515037646&type=2&theater

Of course, parties, travelling and hanging out with international friends is a big part of my life here but also studying takes a lot of time. I was actually surprised how much effort we are supposed to put on the school stuff, such as, group works, individual portfolios and finally, to the exams.:P However, I really enjoy my studies too even though they are tough sometimes. At least the classmates are super cool, teachers motivating and competent, and the given tasks are relevant.

We had our first wine tasting class yesterday and, believe or not, I love it!;D
We had our first wine tasting class yesterday and, believe me or not, I love it! ;D

I think that was my student life in Utrecht in a nutshell. I hope you all enjoy your life wherever you are!;)

Dzien dobry, kocham Polskę

Greetings from northern Poland!

I am currently studying at the University of Gdańsk, in the Faculty of Economics in Sopot. One of the best things about studying here is that you get to see three cities instead of just one. Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia are located so close to each other that it is very easy to juggle between them just by jumping on the SKM train that runs amid the cities approximately every 15 minutes. And the train ticket for students only costs 0,50€!

Breakfast and Sopot

Gdańsk is beautiful with its colourful old town, lively riverbank and cozy cafés. The statues and buildings are full of a historical feeling that you never get bored of.

Sopot

Sopot, where I live and study, is a seaside city with crazy nightlife on the clubs of the main street. The view at the sea and the long coastline is breathtaking (especially for a girl that is more used to lakes). Walking on the beach is great and close to the big pier in Sopot there is an old lighthouse. The scenery from the top of the lighthouse is also great, so make sure to go up there. Also the big five star hotels, like the famous Grand Hotel and Sheraton are located just beside the pier. I heard a rumour that even Rihanna once stayed at the Grand Hotel.

Warm weather

When I arrived to Poland at the end of September, it was still like summer here. I think that it is still warmer and more sunny here than in Finland. I have noticed that the people here are amazingly friendly and helpful. Here is a useful tip: learn some simple Polish words before you arrive here and you will be surprised how happy everyone is when you are showing an interest towards this challenging language.

University of Gdańsk

In Poland I especially love the street markets filled with fruits, flowers, and vegetables. They are usually open until late in the night so you can always get your fresh apples from the city centre.

Gdańsk and Sopot in the evening

Also the fact that Poland is so close to many great countries makes it an excellent choice for an Erasmus exchange destination. Living here is so much cheaper than for example in Switzerland, Germany or France, but it is just as easy to travel around Europe from here. Did I already mention that you can also eat a hearty meal in a restaurant for just 5 euros?

Travelling around

Pozdrawiam, all the best from Poland!