Monthly Archives: December 2015

Greetings from Germany!

Hallo!

I have spent many amazing days in abroad, It has been almost 4 months when I arrived to Esslingen am Neckar. This city is more than 1200 years old and you can find unbelievable amount of grapevines from uphill regions. Location of my dormitory is one of the best, it takes me less than 5 minutes to get school and about 10 minutes to train station.

 

View from Esslingen
View from Esslingen
Neckar river
Neckar river

One surprise for me was that the school food is usually very salty and you need pay extra if you want salad and drinks.  Teaching style is maybe a little bit different and more broadminded than in Finland. Most of the Professors speak fluent English and it is easy to understand what they want to say. Next year I have only one exam and project work to do.

All in all I time in here has been great, I have met awesome people and enjoyed everything to the full. The most I have liked gorgeous trips with incredible people.

 

Jungfrau, Switzerland
Jungfrau, Switzerland

 

End of the September Volkfest took place in Bad Cannstatt and it lasted 2 weeks. It is similar event than Oktoberfest.

Volkfest
Volkfest

Medieval Market and Christmas market is arranged in Esslingen in December. It is very popular event, which appeals to people.

Mittelaltermarkt und Weichnachtsmarkt
Mittelaltermarkt und Weichnachtsmarkt

 

Einen guten Rutsch in neue Jahr!

 

 

Servus! – Greetings from the Austrian Alps

I started my exchange studies at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences (FH Salzburg) three months ago and I couldn’t be happier about the decision. The landscape here is unbelievable and I’ve met amazing people from all over the globe. Luckily I have still almost two months left here before heading back to Finland in February.

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Untersberg.

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Studies in the FH’s Business Management Degree Program have been interesting and I’ve achieved most of my study targets. FH has a great variety of business courses in English and I’ve get to known also some local students since the groups are mostly mixed with regular students.

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Prague, Czech Republic.

Besides studying I’ve also had time to travel. Together with my new buddies we’ve explored Venice, Prague, Linz, Munich and Innsbruck so far. January will be reserved for exams, Vienna and skiing.

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Frohe Weinachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Riina

A-ma-zing Berlin

Greetings from the capital of Germany! My time here has been exciting. 99 days behind full of interesting things to do. Every day has been different.

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Back in Finland I am studying civil engineering and here in Berlin I am studying business and marketing. So, the only culture shock I had was from the change of subject in the school. On the other hand I find it really refreshing. If you have a chance to study something else abroad, I would highly recommend to do that! At first it was a bit hard to follow English lectures but I got used to it really quick.

I did not get a place from the student dormitory so I had to find my own accommodation. I share a flat together with one Belgian and one Dutch guy in a really nice neighbourhood in Kreuzberg. They both turned out to be really nice guys.  In the area there are lots of good, cheap restaurants and also pubs and nightlife. Berlin is really cheap city comparing to other Germany.

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I have been travelling here as well. I love Berlin but when I visited München and the Bayern area, it really took my heart. Amazing food and nice old architecture plus the atmosphere.

Learning German language here in Berlin is more than a challenge. You only spend time with erasmus people and also locals know good English here. In other words, my German skills haven’t improved that much.

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About one third left of my exchange and it feels like we are just getting started. Everything has been perfect here. I was so lucky that I ended up choosing Berlin. Prost!

Greetings from Dortmund

The time has flying here in Dortmund! Last 4 months have been packed with fun experiences, hard studying and maybe too much of Bratwurst (some delicious German sausage), I hopefully do not have a scale with me here… 😉

The studies has gone quite well, but it has required much of work. Lot of group works, presentations, and some smaller tasks are needed to done on the small amount of time. But at the same time, the autumn here has developed me maybe more than I even expected!

Dortmund is not the prettiest city, but for a football lover like me, this is perfect place to live. Near of Dortmund is lot of attractive places to visit (Köln, Münster, Düsseldorf, Netherlands etc.) so I like this location. The life here is not so much different than in Finland. Of course, almost everything is cheaper than in Finland!

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Supporting local football team with my friend =)

Best regards Isto

Paris

Paris is a lively! There is so much to do, only problem is the limited student budget. The town itself has many places to see and visit. I walked a lot once I arrived and saw many nice neighbourhoods and parks that are not advertised, which is also good cause they were quiet and neat. Best things about the city are buildings, parks, atmosphere and language since I like French. My least favourite things are: how disorganized gorgery stores are, some parts of town where it’s not safe to walk alone and absolutely everything has to be done by mail.

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The school building is really nice and has  a great location (in my neighbourhood.) On the other hand it doesn’t provide group work places, there is only ONE computer room for students and many of those computers are constantly not in use and also there is no proper food in the cantine. Only paninis, muffinis etc. Good things are the level of teaching in many classes and the class rooms are not bad. The international office is quite helpful but the school’s management is really bad. Schedules change all the time and during the first three weeks there was no way of knowing whether I actually had class or not.

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Besides school I’ve been getting to know the city and hosting visitors from home. Versailles and Disneyland are for example really nice places to visit. There are also cheap bus routes to neighbouring countries and cities. I e.g. went to Amsterdam and Marseille.

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The mood changed a bit after the attacks but the increased officers and soldiers are making everyone feel better.

Greetings from Greece!

I have had a great times here and I have met many new interesting persons. My placemement in Attikon and Agios Sophias hospitals has been very well and now I have seen general view how healtcare is organized here. I have experienced many interesting threatment situations and participated to them. People here really like Finnish people and trust me. They appreciate Finnish healtcare very much, too.

Two souvlakis and beer 5e.
Two souvlakis and beer 5e.
Smoking and drinking whiskey in local nightclub @Kerameikos
Smoking cigar and drinking whiskey in local nightclub @Kerameikos
Discovering new interesting places.
Discovering new interesting places.
Working in hospital icu.
Working in hospital icu.

I have travelled a lot around the Greece, discovering many new places and partying like animal! Of course not forgetting eating in fine restaurants and tasting good cocktails in the best nightclubs. The situation here is not very good generally. People don`t have much money to use because of economic crisis. Unemployment rates are very hight. I can see many homeless here sleeping on a street. On the other hand for tourist this city is very cheap and especially for finnish purchasing power. Anyhow people can still enjoy for living here, because it is very warm and sunny here almost the whole year.

 

xoxo -Ville-Veikko

Grüezi aus der Schweiz!

 

I’m doing my exchange semester in Lucerne, Switzerland. The time that I have spent here, has been amazing and better than I could have ever imagined. The worst part is ahead when the end is coming and I have to say goodbyes to Switzerland and all the new people that I have had the honor to get to know. Now I will try to show you what I have experienced during these past months.

First of all, the city I’ve been living for a while now, is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.

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I have had the honor to get to know a lot of amazing people or as we call it an Exchange Family.

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I have had really unforgettable moments.

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And last but not least, I have visited unbelievable places.

 

 

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Last but not least, a little bit about studying in Switzerland. I study in Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.  The level of the school is pretty high and sometimes studying might feel pretty exhausting. The positive thing for me was that we have been doing lots of group works and it has also been lots of fun in international groups. The problem was the lack of time because during an exchange semester there is lot of things going on but you also need to use a lot of time for studying.

Even though it has been hard to keep up sometimes, I can only recommend this university. All the professors are good and very helpful and all the local people are very friendly. There is also lots of exchange students every year so they are very welcoming. The international coordinator of this school is amazing and she has been very helpful and supportive with studies and all the Swiss bureaucracy.

Thank you for reading!

Nelli

 

Howdy from Hungary!

Before I came to Budapest, I thought that Erasmus would be only about studying. Now, after spending more than three months here, I can see that I was wrong. Erasmus is not only about studying, it is also about so much more. Meeting new people, getting to know the cultures of other countries, learning new languages, having lots of new friends.

I’m studying civil engineering in Szent István University, Ybl Miklós Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering. Our faculty is quite small and we have only 22 Erasmus students in our school. We are all in one group, both architects and civil engineers, and  I think it is nice to have also some artistic viewpoints and not only calculation all the time. Our group has become like a family for me because we have the same courses and we also spend a lot of time together outside of school.

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Budapest is very old and beautiful city with a lot of history. This picture is taken from Gellert Hill. The river Danube splits the city to Buda and Pest, Buda is on the left on this photo and Pest on the right.

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View from the Erszebet bridge to Buda side, which is full of hills. Pest side is flat.

I am staying here only for one semester, so it will soon be my time to return to Finland. On the other hand I am happy, because time here has made me realize how much I love Finland and for example seeing so many homeless and poor people here in Hungary is a little bit upsetting. On the other hand I wouldn’t want to leave my Erasmus family (and cheap beer). All good things come to an end, like they say.

Viszlát!

Experiencing Switzerland

Hello reader!

I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Lucerne, Switzerland over the past few months. It has been an experience I certainly won’t forget, as I’ve never traveled alone before this exchange. Lucerne in itself is actually quite small, but makes up for it with quite magnificent scenery and beautiful landscape. For example, here is a picture from the day I went up to nearby Mount Pilatus with my parents:

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For comparison, here is a slightly fuzzy picture of what the mountain looks like from the lake of the city:

 

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My studies here have consisted of e.g. Human Resources Management, Macroeconomics, Corporate Communication, maths and the German language of course. All the courses I took tie in well to my current study plan in Finland, which is really great since I did not get all the courses I originally hoped to have. Group assignments and small individual tasks are very common as I imagined, but what is different compared to Finland is the lack of group works in class. This depends on the teacher of course, but generally speaking the lectures were more lecturing oriented, not group works or other engaging teaching methods. That did not bother me at all, as that style suits me better personally.

During my time here I’ve also pondered about the fact that why is Switzerland’s so far above others in terms of average income level. My best guess right now is the fact that the education is on a very high level, and coming from Finland I was really surprised by the amount of knowledge and input required from the students. All that is still quite manageable, and I’ve enjoyed my stay a lot. Here is a result of that high income level, Koenigsegg Agera R. Supercars everywhere, a nice change compared to Finland in my opinion.

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Of course Switzerland does come with its very high price level as I said, everything being about double the price compared to Finland. Not exactly the best option for a student, but nevertheless an experience I would definitely re-experience. We had first snow at the end of November, although the snow disappeared immediately from the city, it left a nice view from my apartments shared balcony:

 

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Greetings from Switzerland,

Henri

Memorable Netherlands.

Hello there!

Quotation by Julian Barnes:

“I know this much: that there is objective time, but also subjective time, the kind you wear on the inside of your wrist, next to where the pulse lies. And this personal time, which is the true time, is measured in your relationship to memory.”

I live in Breda, in the small city of Netherlands. This plausible city has a lot of history, history which reaches far away, even that far that us present-day students, we were not even born.

The weather here stays timeless in winter time, sad and rainy, but beautifully timeless and efforless. The people are open-minded and their way to speak is as vacant as a flower in summer, but the time, the time flies fast, even too fast to catch. That is why we have our memories, the memories which never disappear.

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Breda, the place where students love to go, Breda where when the time goes by, you realized that you don’t want to leave, Breda which remainds you of the people who became accidentally your whole life in short period of time, Breda which stays in your mind always.

I studied  International business operations in Breda. Education program was very extensive and instructive. The courses we went through were economy, foreign exchange risks, international law, business English and English communication. All courses deepened my essential knowledge of the overall business economy. The courses were very clear, but challenging of the viewpoint of passing. 
All students of the Avans University of Applied Sciences were very smart and knew how to speak proper business English, some even better than the teachers themselves. Overall feeling of The Neterlands, Breda and Avans was exceptional. The school itself is my point of view very progressive and pragmatic, which is an valuable aspect for students who are searching reliable extension of their business knowledge by using English.

Thank you for showing my personal time, which is measured in my relationship to memory.

-Aleksi