This is my first time in Asia, so there is so much to discover here! Many exchange students were able to fix their timetables so that there would not be classes on fridays, which gives us one extra day to travel around. Otherwise I have classes from oenology to revenue management and even a course for holistic health and wellness. In my perspective, it seems like a very interesting catalogue of courses.
In Finland we are more focused on restaurant business in our studies while in Malaysia we will learn more about the international hospitality industry. This exchange period is probably going to be very useful for our future careers as we get to widen our knowledge from different viewpoints as well. Also, travelling in Asia and getting to know local cultures would serve us well when communicating with tourists in Finland – or wherever in the world, too.
Spare time in Malaysia is full of activities. There are fancy rooftop bars, swimming pools and numerous destinations to travel for either a cultural trip or a holiday on the beach.
Last weekend we visited Penang – a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 2008, which is full of culture and natural scenery. For example, you can take a hike in the national park and visit monkey and turtle beaches by boat.
Penang is also known for its street food, combining Indian, Malay and Chinese cuisines. Food in Malaysia is overall very delicious and offers many options for everyone! Also, the variety of street art found all over George Town makes the destination enjoyable for any art lover.
Looking forward to the next trip, lovely warm nights outside and many new local dishes to taste.
Greetings from Turkey.
I am happy to say that coming to Ankara was one of the best choices of my life. There is so much to learn in this culture and so many new perspectives to gain, mostly because Turkey differs from Finland quite a lot. One of the biggest differences I noticed is religion, also being the most prominent as there are many mosques and calls to prayers five times a day. These are probably the first things a newcomer will notice here. Also, my exchange takes place during Ramadan, which I am as well excited to experience, although from a perspective of an outsider. I have been able to visit some of the best attractions in Ankara during my time here, and also places in other parts of Turkey.
Inside Kocatepe Camii, the largest mosque in Ankara
Photos from the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – the founder of Turkey
Bilkent University is said to be one of the best universities in Turkey. When we have mostly large, project-oriented courses in Finland, the ones in Bilkent are more theoretical and scattered in many smaller entities. Students here need 52 courses in able to graduate, which seems too much for someone who is used to two 10 credit courses per semester. Although, instructors are knowledgeable and know how to teach, which provides good chances for learning.
One of the more practical courses I am taking is International cuisines, in which we prepare foods from different countries and serve them to the customers. As a part of the course we had also an opportunity to take part in Bilkent Mayfest and sell our products there. That was in fact challenging but fun addition to the course! The final exam will be like ‘mystery box’ from MasterChef, everyone getting different ingredients to prepare dishes from.