Monthly Archives: January 2016

안녕하세요, 고려 대학교.

I spent an exchange semester in Korea University, in Seoul. Location for the University was good, it was about 20 minutes to the real city center.

My accomodation was in the University dormitory. This was really cheap way to live, but quality of the room wasn’t so good.

If you are planning to go to study in Korea, I recommend you to read the dormitory rules really carefully. Most of the dormitories here have curfew (Time when you are supposed to come back to the dormitory, usually before 1AM). Korea University didn’t have this kind of rule.

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This was the cheapest dormitory available, I didn’t want it, but they chose to place me in there.

Studying in Korea University was pleasant, busy and hard at the same time. Most of the courses were harder than back in Finland, but with effort you can manage to get good grades out of them. So this made up a problem that there was no time to just sit down and relax, basicly I was studying or going out for attractions or dinners all the time.

Namsan

The city itself is really big to explore, and you can find yourself at a new place at any time you wish! I visited Nami-island, Busan, Osaka and DMZ apart from Soul while I was doing my exchange studies. Nightlife is really great in Seoul, when you have got enough of seeing the traditional things!

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I would recommend this University for exchange studies. There is alot to experience and normally the quality of teaching is good. Just remember to make sure you spend proper amount of time to view the courses, and don’t rely on that you can change them!

안녕하세요!

안녕하세요 from Seoul, South Korea!

My exchange takes place here in the capital city of South Korea. It is located in the northwest of South Korea, on the Han River. Seoul has around 25 million inhabitants, so little bit more than we are use to here in Tampere. I live in the dorms at the Konkuk University campus (biggest mistake ever).

IMG_3531#2South Korea’s terrain is mostly mountainous and the lowlands are primarily located in the west and southeast. Most spectacular attractions in nature were shield volcano called 한라산 (Hallasan) on Jeju island, which was also absolutely amazing, the other one is mountain called 북한산  on the northern periphery of Seoul.

Little bit about my studies in here. Studying here in Konkuk University has been quite relaxed and easy. Have had some difficulties with couple of 북한산my courses due to language barrier, but I have still managed to survive from them in a way or another. So far the level of education has been what I expected.

This exchange period here in South Korea has changed my perspectives completely. I wouldn’t change anything about it and I would do it again in any given time.

Allt í lagí á Íslandi!

As the title addresses, It’s all good here in Iceland!

IMG_7645I live in the second largest city of Iceland called Akureyri, which actually has no more than 18 000 inhabitants. It is located in the North Iceland in a fjord surrounded by mountains. I live in a private owned flat in the harbour and the whales swimming just behind my window remind me every day that I really am in Iceland!

Pic. 1  The view to the fjord from Akureyri

 

One of the greatest attractions here are the colourful Northern lights that are visible almost every night starting already in the Autumn, something which really surprised me. Besides my studies, I have been able to get familiar with the amazing nature of the country, its hot springs, waterfalls and other attractions that draw the typical Icelandic landscape.

IMG_7662Pic. 2  Student Union arranges competitions among different faculties every semester.

 

 

 

The studies in Háskólinn á Akureyri, the University of Akureyri, has started well and the courses have met my expectations. There are almost forty Erasmus exchange students here in the University and since the most of the Icelandic students complete their courses as distance students, due to the lack of Universities and long distances in Iceland, most of the students I come across at the Uni daily are students from other nationalities. During my exchange, I have also learned to speak Icelandic, of which usefulness, to be honest, I am not really sure yet.

The exchange period has provided me a great opportunity to extend my experience in International Marketing. During my studies I was responsible for taking care of improving a marketing plan of a company called Fine Focus, An International Microbiology Journal for Undergraduate Research, and got selected to represent the company in British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) in Manchester in March 2016.

 

IMG_8478The experience here has exceeded my expectations and regardless of my previous experience of 12 months in Australia, the one semester in Iceland has been great, if not even more significant for me in terms of my career in the field of International Business!

Pic. 3  Vetur á Íslandi, winter in Iceland

Lithuania. Erasmus. Family.

My erasmus time is running out. Every day there is goodbyes to say, hugs to give.

Vilnius Christmas Market.

My erasmus started on September 2015, and time has literally been flying! Four months seemed such a long time and now I’m thinking where did all the days go?

Studying in my college VTDK (Vilnius College of Technologies and Design) was nice. One thing I really liked was that in lectures we were usually focusing on big course projects, and we didn’t have so many exams in the end of semester. Also, there was a good range of courses to choose in Civil Engineering Faculty. I had many different kinds of teachers, most of them were good with english.

Gediminas tower in Vilnius city center.

Vilnius as a city is lovely, quite the same size than Helsinki. You can see the history of Vilnius while walking around the center, also the time under Soviet Union is still touching this country. The city center is full of little pubs and bigger night clubs that we were enjoying in many many nights!

Family dinner at our dormitory 🙂

We got close to each other with other erasmus student really quickly in the beginning, especially with my roommates. It was easy to settle in here, I felt like I had a family to do and learn everything with. We were cooking and eating dinner together every night, nobody was left hungry 🙂

I will miss my erasmus family, all the moments together. Thank you for this time! 🙂

-Maiju

Õla! It is Portugal calling…!

I started my Erasmus in Porto on September. I studied Mechanical Engineering at ISEP (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto) in industrial management area. First days were pretty confusing because we were told that we have to wait three weeks for Indian people to come. So we had pretty easy start with the studies but we used the time getting to know the city and enjoying the sun.

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Matonsinhos beach

Our school started on October and we had good English speaking teachers but studying effort needed wasn’t that demanding than in Finnish schools. Although courses were interesting and teachers knew what they were talking about.

Free time was usually spent in the city or in the beach. In the nights people used to go with other Erasmus students to a place called Adega. Porto city is so beautiful and attractive that it never gets boring to see it!

Adega, Erasmus bar
Adega, Erasmus bar
Porto city
Porto city

Main touristic place is Ribeira which is the street close to Duoro river. That is really beautiful place both in the day and night.

Portuguese people are very warm and helpful people. People speak English pretty well in general and everything can be solved in English. Also they are fanatic about football which is their main sport. Food is good and especially seafood. Very good seafood can be found in Matonsinhos which is about 40 minutes from Porto by metro. Their most popular food is Fransisinha and they sell it everywhere. Although the best places must be founded!

Fransisinha
Fransisinha

One big problem here in Portugal is their houses. Even if the weather outside is warm and sunny the houses are really cold. This is caused by the high humidity, no isolation and with no heating systems. If you are thinking about going to Portugal make sure your house has some kind of heater and bring warm clothes with you!

Porto is a really nice city to spend time and enjoy many sunny days!

Porto
Porto

 

 

 

Crikey, it’s UK innit!

Greetings from England!

This blog post is a bit late, so for your information I am reflecting on the time around February – April 2015 in particular.

I had the pleasure of coming to one of the best areas to live in London for my training, Balham – which is one of those areas that have gotten ‘posher’ over time. While the area is still very expensive, the rents are bearable. And the area has the biggest and loveliest commons. Central London is a very short tube journey away (20 minutes give or take a few). Here you can see a few examples of Clapham and Wandsworth Commons that make the area so much nicer. Still the area is surprisingly close to River Thames and the Central London.

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As London is the city of commuters, my training period in that sense is not that much different from the typical nuisance a Londoner experiences. Although the commute usually is to Central London, but we had the pleasure of travelling to Manchester. Which usually meant enjoying the rainy view of M6/M1 or M40 through a car window for a few hours.

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My practical training period has included all sorts of marketing work and grasping the functions and different parts of how a cosmetic surgery group works and its marketing works. And what kind of different obstacles and things have to be taken in consideration the very unconventional area of business causes.

Here is my typical breakfast at the hospital which consists of a large cup of Costa cappuccino with some cereal. And in this picture there is a 800 cc implant that was lying around the office as a sample.

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And the most common wildlife you can come across in London is: Foxes. Like in the following picture, fox pups are cute indeed – HOWEVER the sound that they make is like babies crying and that can be really unbearable in the middle of the night. The sound of adult foxes sound when they are mating or going through the rubbish and doing whatever in the middle of the night is rather unbearable too. One can think of a hellish creature eating its own babies and attempting to sing all the death metal songs at once and being blended in a food processor – to just even try to describe the fiendish sound they make.

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The necessary random picture: (Virgin Trains)

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Over all I am very pleased with London and I can definitely see myself living in here and starting my professional career here after graduation.

TLDR: If you come to London, South West is the place to be! Unless if you appreciate dirty and rough areas, then feel free to bugger off to East London. 🙂

met vriendelijke groeten from the Netherlands

Well.. where would I start? My exchange has had more events that could have ever imagined, both good and not so good.

The action started on the day I got to the Netherlands. I found out that the dorm is under renovation and there’s no certainty on when we would be able to go back. So I spent the first weekend in a hotel. Then we moved to a small cruise ship! It wa
s kind of old, the rooms were really small and we didn’t have wifi. That was actually pretty great because everybody got to know each other very well because there was nothing else to do than IMG_0001hang out the a bigger common room. We lived on the first boat for a month and then moved to another, bigger and newer boat. It was the same thing there. When we finally got to move back to the dorm in lateOctober, we looked back at the time spent on the boats and realized that even though it was challenging and out of the comfort zone, it was great because by then we all knew each others and has become really good friends.

IMG_0705Rotterdam as a city is about the size of Helsinki. It is a bit different from other Dutch cities because it was basically bombed down during the WW2 so they’ve had to build it all over since then. This has made this city to be sort of an architectural melting pot because the city is full of relatively new buildings, some being more weird than others.

School here in the Netherlands in very competitive, everybody wants to get good grades. We have had a lot of group work which has been somewhat challenging because even though the Dutch are very social, they are also very independent and like to most of the school work alone. So most of the times, we would just divide work and do it at home. Nice things about the school here are that we don’t have a lot of lectures but we’re doing most of the work on our spare time and that we are working for a real company which makes it more challenging and requires more logical thinking.

I have travelled to sevIMG_0003eral countries during the exchange. It is really easy to go to places by a train and it is not even very expensive. For example a train to Paris took only two hours. Seeing other countries has been one of the best things during the exchange. I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London and the European Parliament in Brussels.

Greetings from Terrassa!

I have lived four months in Terrassa, what is city close of Barcelona. Here I’m studying in Escola d’Enginyeria de Terrassa, which is part of Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, UPC. My studies here have been more or less electricity instead of my mechanical line in Finland. Studying here has been different than excepted and courses have caused lot of work for me. Luckily the most of classes have had in English, although teacher’s language skills haven’t been so good.

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School in Terrassa

It has taken a while to used to small talk what local people are doing here. People are also more open minded here and therefore they are asking strangers to parties, football matches dinner etc. They are also friendly and ready to help with your troubles.

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Traditionally local food, Paella

Terrassa is a nice city without touristic and peaceful place to live, but there aren’t so much nice things to spend your free time.  Luckily Barcelona is only 40 minutes way by metro and there are a lot of things to experience.

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FC Barcelona – AS Roma, Camp Nou stadium

 

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Montjuic and Placa Espanya in Barcelona

 

Alright, ta?

I arrived in Malta in mid-September when the weather was really hot, reaching up to 36 degrees Celsius – it took a while to get used to the heat and humidity. I started the exchange together with my classmate Mira and we did all of our placements together too.

We did our placements in Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre, operating theaters in Mater Dei and Paola Health Centre. All of the placements were really interesting and I’ve definately learned a lot, although many things are done differently compared to Finland. For example people usually work 12 hour shifts and they have long breaks during the day – in one of our placements the nurses used to take naps during their break.

Life in Malta is different. People are laid-back and friendly – and loud. Sometimes you feel like you’re listening to a huge argument in Maltese but it turns out they’re just casually talking about the weather. If you ever get lost, people are more than willing to help, and it’s normal to strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. The official languages are Maltese and English, so wherever you go in Malta most people speak very good English.
There’s a lot to do and see in Malta and we’ve been around a lot, these are some of the places we’ve seen:

Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino
Another picture from Comino – it’s really quiet and peaceful outside the tourist season
The silent city of Mdina
Azure Window in Gozo
There are stray cats everywhere in Malta and you can find shelters like this anywhere you go
Sliema and St. Julians – the Point in Sliema is the best shopping mall on the island 🙂

PS. If you’re going to stay in Malta during the winter, make sure to take some warm clothes with you! It can still be warm and sunny outside but inside the house it’s really, really cold.

Warszawa, drugim domem

IMG_20151005_174533715Dzień dobry! I started my study exchange period in Warsaw University of Technology in Poland last October. My field of studies is Building Services Engineering with focus on HVAC, but during my exchange period I have been stud ying in the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology. So my studies here don’t have that much in common with my studies in Finland, but it has been an interesting trip and I’ve learned a lot.

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I’ve been mainly studying telecommunications with some programming mixed in. The faculty has an English study programme here, all the Erasmus students attend regular classes with the full time students. Studying a different major in a University of Technology has had its own problems, but so far I’ve been able to follow all my classes. Classes are a lot more theoretical here than in TAMK, but most of the professors have great English proficiency so at least there isn’t a language barrier.IMG_20151206_153743267

There are people from all over the world including India, Spain, Turkey, Ecuador and South Korea.  Also in Warsaw there’s a lot of Universities besides WUT so I’ve gotten to meet a lot of people during my Erasmus and I continue to meet more and more every week.

 

IMG_20151003_124534552There’s always something to do as it’s pretty easy to gather a group of friends and hangout, try an escape room or just shoot at each other for a couple hours on the paintball field. The local ESN organisation organizes a lot of event ranging from city tours to swing jumps and also a lot of trips, which are quite affordable and an easy way to travel if you don’t want to organize everything by yourself.

When I first came here I didn’t know much about Poland, but it seems like a great country. Sometimes
you can feel a bit like an outsider in Poland as like in Finland it’s a really uniform country culturally. The overwhelming majority speaks Polish while English levels vary wildly. But it’s definitely possible to survive here while not knowing Polish. All in all Warsaw doesn’t differ that much of Helsinki, it’s just a bit bigger even though it’s easy to get around in the city center by foot. I would also recommend visiting Kraków, which is a really beautiful city with all its old buildings and great views.

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