Category Archives: Natural Resources and the Environment

Forestry

Greetings from my second home

Hello Finland,

I know your summer is not very hot and sunny this year, so let me give you some of the heat from South West Germany. With around 30°C for 3 weeks I don’t need to be stingy.

My internship is going great! I did not expect that it will become that interesting. Have you heard about Umicore? That’s the place to do your internship. Seriously, my working mates are so super friendly and support me with all their possibilities so I can get the most out of my it. The last 3 weeks I spent in Umicore´s laboratory in the area of sample preparation. Umicore is producing catalysts for cars and working in the sample preparation means to prepare catalysts for cars in a way that further quality tests can be done to them. Next week I will move on to a different area. There I will have a look into such a quality test. I am already looking forward.
My workmates are pretty interested about you, my dear friend Finland. I tell them a lot about your awesome student culture and the beauty of your nature. I even recommended them to spend holidays in a finish Mökki. When I showed pictures about my friends swimming in a lake at midnight in a bright sunset  I did not mention that it is much colder than it seems. Sneaky me 😉

After I am done with my work I am usually hanging out with my friends. We often go swimming in the river Rhein, but that’s nothing compared with your plenty of lakes. But I am not complaining, therefor I can enjoy reasonable priced food and drinks in restaurants. Oh and guess what? Finally I can eat my daily portion of ice cream without getting poor! In deed a portion of ice cream does often not cost more than 1€. Unbelievable! How can your ice cream be so expensive?

Well I have to leave, it is time for BBQ with my family. What a wonderful luxury to have them close by me. But dear Finland do not worry, I will come back to you, soon.

 

My goodbye gift to working mates

Discovering Germany apart from its famous beverages.

I guess that many stereotypes had stuck to Germany. Chosing it as a destination country I wanted to prove that cliches cannot express the full depth of culture and mentality.

My studies took place in Hannover University of Applied Science. Originally, my major is Energy and Environmentall Engineering, but there was no courses available in English from the same sphere. Thus, in these circumstances I slightly moved to Mechanical Engineering Faculty, which was pretty funny. Anyway the experience was worthy since I studied something completely new and participated in interesting projects.

The education approach is dissimilar to Finnish. In Hannover the teachers were more strict and the lectures were very formal (professor was explaining material without much communication with the audience).

Conserning my free time, I believe I would need hundreds of papers to express everything. It was a lot about communication and making new acqauantances, taking part in festivals and traditional holidays. But the best part was travelling inside and outside Germany, the connection is cheap and very convenient.

I explorated many interested places, tried tasty dishes and actually tried many beers!

Pictures are taken by me 🙂

Hallo from Frankfurt am Main.

My exchange semester in Germany was one of the best experiences in my life. Frankfurt is a nice city with dynamic day and night life, with beautiful historic buildings and modern skyscrapers in the center.

Usual sunset in Frankfurt

The Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, where I was studying during this time, had a bit different system in comparison with TAMK. The enrollment system was quite challenging, as you had  to register for the course, for the first exam, for the second one, for the small other exam before the final one, so it was quite coplicated for me to find these things out. And studies in general were a bit more diff icult than in Finland, had to study a lot to pass some exams. 

But apart from studying I enjoyed every minute I was there. I’ve met so many amazing people from different countries, we were spending all the time together: traveling, partyying, studying, complaining about the exams, hoping to just pass them, rejoicing that we have passed, chilling by the river, singing, dancing , living the life! It was extermely difficult for me to say bye to some of them, because I know, that I most likely will not meet them again.

Rheinfall in Switzerland

During my xchange I was traveling a lot, I had a goal to visit at least 5 different counties, and I did it, it is not expensive to travel from Germany, especially from Frankfurt, there is one of the largest airports in Europe . I have visited France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxenburg and Netherlands.

Heidelberg.

I also visited a lot of cities in Germay, my favorite one is Berlin, I fall in love with this city! It’s one of the most beautiful plases I’ve ever seen. I will defenitely go there again, because I did not have time to see everything.

Berliner Dom.

My best friends stayed there for another semester and I’m going to visit them soon so I’ll see all of my favorite places in Frankfurt again!

 

 

Merhaba from Istanbul <3

Cheers from Istanbul it is January but sky is blue and white even though temperature is around +3. This is an amazing city and after all these months I have still so much to see. I am so happy to tell you about my life in Istanbul and to give a sneak peek to the travels that can be easily done from Istanbul.

 

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Istanbul

Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet, Phosphorus…. And the list goes on and on. If you are going to see everything here you will not have enough time for school! I thought that when you live six months you have time to study and explore a massive city thoroughly but I am afraid that I was wrong! In everyday life I love our neighbourhoods Friday Bazaar. Fresh fruits and vegetables with very cheap price and salesmen shouting something that I can barely understand.

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And of course the night life. There is something for everyone on both sides (European and Asian) of Phosphorus. I have preferred bars of Kadiköy on the peaceful Asian side. The clubs of city centre Taksim are not that much my piece of cake but Ritim roof is exception in this. A small cosy piece of rooftop and the few stars you can see above you when the club music plays. I am still a bit bitter that I did not manage to see when they light the bar desk on fire while staff is dancing on it.

 

Travels

Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale trips organised by ESN Marmara and scuba diving trips to Marmaris and Kas together with scuba diving club Müsas. Also a small weekend trip to Athens. Looking at the pictures feels unreal and I will caress these memories for my whole life.

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School

Istanbul is the city of cats and this is also very visible in our school. Looking at cats chasing each other while having a cup of coffee in one of the many cafés inside the relatively green school area is something that I will miss while having coffee at Campusravita. Environmental engineering studies are here highly focused on water treatment, water transportation etc., it is hard work if you take all the same courses as locals but by choosing some technical elective and elective course you will also have some time to ”live Istanbul”.

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I hope that my diary has given you a bit brighter picture of Turkey than what you read from media. Despite of the terrible things that have happened life in here goes on. Living here in general might be a bit out of Finnish peoples comfort zone but the amazing city and lovely people make it absolutely worth it.

Feasgar math! Good Afternoon!

Hello from Scotland!

Scotland is a place filled with history and breathtaking landscapes. Especially, the highlands are very beautiful. At first it felt weird that we studied landscape design in forestry. Forests in the hills must look natural. In Finland we don’t study landscape design that much because Finland is a rather flat country apart from Lapland. Tourism is very important in Scotland and that’s one reason why it’s important that the landscapes are easy on the eye.

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Isle of Lewis and Harris

At the University of Highlands and Island I have to write several big reports and essays. In Finland we have many smaller tasks instead of long essays. I am studying recreational use of forests, urban woodlands, climate change, forest design and forest protection. It has been cool to see some of the tallest trees in Europe. Douglas fir in Reelig Glen Forest is 66.4 metres tall, for example.

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Culloden Battlefield

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The Callanish Stones

The culture in Scotland is rich and visiting the historical sites has been an amazing way to spend my spare time. I have travelled to islands like Skye and Isle of Lewis and Harris. These islands are very curious places because it feels like they form their own little world. The wildlife is fantastic in Scotland. I have seen eagles, shags, deer and seals, for example.

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A roe deer in the Culloden Forest

I have met many brilliant people and experienced a lot during my stay in Inverness. It’s been a great fun!

 

Cheers,

Vera

Finland.Studies.

Hello here. I am going to tell you some of my experiences in studying in Finland. I starting my degree in 2014 in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. That was a nice start of my education as I went straight forward from the high school. I was only 17, when I came here. To my country, I came from Belarus, It was a bit unusual to go to Finland. Usually people are going to Poland, Russian or UK or just stay at home.

The start of studying was nice, I did not have any culture shock, which was really good. That was might be due to the fact that  we had a good introduction at the beginning and the tutors made their work excellent.



During the studying itself there were a lot of projects already, which were good organized and we were forming the teams and everything was pretty nice to work in a team.

Below, you can see some of the pictures, from the labs that we are having, yes, there are a lot of labs have been organized.

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The classes are usually in a good way organized I like the timetable. There are not usually some kind of long spaces in between the lessons. Students do no usually need to wait for 3 hours for the next class.

The organization of the brakes is also good. Students can easily decide with the teacher about having a coffee and lunch brakes. And usually the compromise can be found without any problems.

The food is one of the nice topics here as well. The prices are very cheap and if I got it right, the government are paying around 80 percent of the food price for students. The opportunity to take different food. There are some times, when it is a bit crowded, but in a wile, you can start managing your time and found out the perfect time to go there and do not wait long for the food.



Additionally to the studies we do have a brakes in between. As an example, during the last brake I was going with my friends to Lapland. That was a good experience I can say. I got a lot of fun and exercise during that trip. Below, there are some pictures from the trip.

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All in all, we had a lot of nice moments there. That is one of the good examples that Finland is not only good at studying, but as well a good opportunity for traveling.

 

 

A day in Belarus

Hello everybody! I am here to show you the day of the Belarussian worker in the company called Brest regional committee of Natural Resources and Environmental protection, which is located in Brest, Belarus. I was working there during the summer 2016. Control over protection and use of water resources in Brest region, improving the hydrological state of rivers by establishing of protection zones and work on the survey of springs are the main activities of the sector where I was working in. Mine was water sector, however, there was also air, ground and also trash sectors as well. We were having the office just in the city center and that means if you want to get the space for parking next to the building, you need to come a bit earlier that everybody else.

The day is starting with the planning and giving the instructions from the bosses. After that is done the team (usually) is going somewhere as I had couple of projects going on during the 3 month I was working there. That could be trip to the lake to take the samples or some measurements or to the laboratory for the analysis. We also had some presentations. I remember the moment, when I had a trip to capital of Belarus, Minsk, where our team was giving the presentation about the situation in our region and we have been also listening the other regions as well.

Nobody says NO to lunch, so we had it from 12 till 1 during the day. We were usually having it in the nearest restaurant with my colleagues. And after that coming back to work. The most exiting part was usually during the first part of the day and the second was for making some notes and writing the feedbacks and felling some documents.

All in all, I could say that it was a good experience in the field of Environment and I am happy that I got such possibility to try that on my hands.

Grüße aus Göttingen!

I spent my exchange days in the post-card-like Göttingen. The city of 115,000 inhabitants is not called the university city for nothing. It is famous for its old university, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, that was founded in 1737. There’s also two other universities, one private and one university of applied science.

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Gänseliesel statue in the inner city

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Because there’s so many students in Göttingen there’s a young vibe in the city. There’s a lot to do on your spear time, you can go to the movies, do a bar round, eat in one of the many restaurants or cafës, go to a concert or just relax in the Cheltenhampark. People are mostly friendly and helpful and many people on the streets and stores speak or at least understand English. That makes shopping or navigating through the city that much easier if your German skills are rusty like I had in the beginning. Still there were times when mimicking what you need was the way to go.

I had some hardship with the language in the beginning and that made studying also a bit hard. Still through time I German came back to me.  It was an amazing experience to get to know other cultures. I got to learn about German culture and habits through my friends on free time and I also learned a lot about Chinese culture and people in my German course. I had the opportunity also to tell them about Finland and the Finnish way of life.

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Cheltenhampark

All in all Göttingen is a lovely little city with a long history. I wish to return here as soon as possible. I grew to love this city where people are open, streets are like mazes and education is valued.

 

Mit herzlichen Grüßen

Liisa

Greetings from Prague

 

In my student exchange in Prague coming to an end last weekend exported. All tests have now been completed and marks obtained in coursework. Studies in the English language was not easy for me, but my language skills improved necessarily a wee bit. Also, I made it to survive two oral test. I’m glad, because it was totally new to me. In Finland, I have never had an oral exam and even in English.

Prague is a beautiful city and a very popular tourist destination. Buck has a lot of great old buildings and the streets are clean. Buck has good transport links, as well as within the city, the rest of Europe in Prague. Prague has good opportunities for shopping, cultural experiences, for example, classical music.

In my view, the best was to go hiking just outside of Prague. By train came in an instant out of town and hiking trails were the true wealth of immediately outside the city. Prague, the countryside is really beautiful, because relief are large and the Vltava river flowing at the bottom.

Budapest – where the ruins forever live

Sziasztok!

This means both hello and good bye (to many people) in Hungarian. It has been 2 months since i came to this wonderful country for my study exchange. It has been indeed a fun yet challenging journey here in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

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View to my apartment in district VIII

The city is divided into two parts by the Danube river: Buda – Pest (pronounced Pesht). Some people might say there are two different cities inside Budapest as they have their own distinctive characteristics. I live on the Pest side of the city, where it is known to be poorer than the other side. Geographically, Pest is flat and is where the Neo-Gothic styled Parliament stands along with the St Stephen’s Basilica. In contrast, Buda is hilly with the famous Gellert hill that offers amazing panoramic views of the city. The city has a good blend of old and modern touch, thus, it offers visitors with a guaranteed satisfying view of many different architecture styles:   Renaissance and Neo-Renaissance, Gothic and Neo-Gothic, Roman and Turkish style, Baroque and Neo-Baroque.

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One side of Keleti train station
My study takes place in Óbuda Egyetem – Óbuda University. The university recently came to a big merge so now they have 3 different campuses: one on Buda side, two on Pest side. This caused great confusion for me during the beginning, as well as their way of letting exchange students choose their own courses.

Panoramic view from Margit island
Panoramic view from Margit island

I have had plenty of culture shock experiences ever since my arrival, and I am still expecting some more along the way. The place is so different from Finland, yet so similar to my home in Hanoi, Vietnam. Budapest is so crowded, busy in the day time; and it becomes so lively during the evening/night when people start to head out onto the street for a walk or to ruin pubs for a few beers after a hard working day. The ruin pubs are the true gems of the city where you get to enjoy the mysterious and historical atmosphere of the old ruined buildings dated back in the 19th century.

We escaped the Matrix !!

The city is lovely, people are friendly and please do not find it strange, because you might encounter a stranger smiling to you on the street. It is also a pet-friendly city. The weather is pretty rainy during February to March, but summer comes early in late March which I find extremely fortunate for me. It is time to bring the picnic set out for a sun bath in one of the loveliest parks they have!

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Sun bathing with my foster dog

 

 

The next experience I am eagerly looking forward to trying would be the famous bath houses.  In addition to that, I would love to try out all the famous traditional dishes of Hungary as I have not the chance to.

-Nhung Duong-