Category Archives: Natural Resources and the Environment

Forestry

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-

 

 

 

Scotland adventures

Greetings from Scotland! I have now lived here for a bit more than two months and already feel at home. At the moment i’m enjoying a two week Easter holiday, which is actually not much needed, since i only have school three days a week. So can’t say that life is stressful around here! I live in a city called Inverness, which is the biggest city in the northern part of Scotland. It’s still a rather small city, approximately 80 000 people in it, but it’s got everything one needs and the atmosphere is really nice due to the very kind and chatty people here.

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I’m studying forestry here in a brand new forestry campus. My studies have gone fairly well here, although there is one course that i have troubles with due to the difficulty of the subject. But no worries, because apparently it’s normal if not advisable to have one course where you feel clueless. Just part of the exchange experience! Otherwise i have enjoyed my classes a lot. We do a lot of field trips here and it has been a great way to explore the surroundings and nature around here. The weather here is usually pretty unpredictable, but i feel that i have had quite good luck with it.

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I have a lot of free time here and i have used that time for exploring outdoors, doing sports and having coffee with my new international friends. Scotland is amazing place for outdoors related activities. There’s a lot of mountains, beautiful nature, and you don’t have to travel far to explore it. For a nature enthusiast like me, this place is perfect! Here’s some pictures from our trips.

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I’m really glad i decided to come here and I’m planning to enjoy the rest of my stay here and keep exploring the outdoors with these great people I’ve met here!

Mind-melting Magyarország

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Duna seen from Margaret bridge.
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Buda meets Pest (Buda on the left).

Greetings from the land of great wines and paprika! I’m here to study, currently one month into the stay and getting to know Budapest better every day. I live on the Pest side, which is a tad bit more unpolished than the other side, but lively and well in all possible ways. My favorite pastime for a time now has been plunging into all the parks of the city, which are plenty and even more pretty now that the spring has come around. Can’t wait for the summer to come around! So far the best parks in my opinion are Margit Island and Népliget (People’s Park).

Even though Hungarian is related to Finnish via the link of an family tie (Finno-Ugric language family), it’s challenging to get the pronunciation right at times. Now that I have been here for almost two months, I can finally happily greet and and say sorry and be certain I got it right. I’ve noticed Hungarians are very polite and friendly, so I think it is of essence to learn the basic phrases here.

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Vajdahunyad castle on a cloudy day. One of my favourite spots in the city.

I chose Hungary for curiosity; I study Environmental Engineering and I wanted to see the situation and general atmosphere toward environmental protection in a big, central European country. My learning agreement, however, now consists of several different topics from welding to sociology – I was delighted to be able to choose from this abundance of variety! It was a surprise to me to find out that instead of few, there’s actually seven different campuses of my destination university Óbuda. This adds some commute time to my normal schedule, but all in all I now have lectures in only four different campuses and some of them are located quite near each other.

The education systems seems pretty familiar when one compares it to what we have back in Finland; grading is from 1-5 as is in my home University and e-materials are uploaded in a moodle environment. I have lectures every day, but still enough free time to enjoy the city and all of its’ perks.

 

 

 

 

Hello from beyond the Artic Circle! (Location – Murmansk, Russia)

It’s been long 3 months while I was there – in the North of the world – the city of Murmansk.  I worked in the governmental organization in the special department of ministry of emergency as an environmental engineer’s assistant.  Looking back, I can say for sure that this experience was very important for me and helped to deepen my professional knowledge.

Murmansk is the city of charming but harsh nature, it is summer with never crossing the horizon sun and it is a place where the wind almost never stops. One thing that makes this place special is the famous – beyond polar circle – nightless nights. How does it feel? Great! In reality, the midnight sun helps you to be more energized, felling that you can stay up long into the night as your body begins to synchronize with the sky overhead. And also it looks amazing!

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Murmansk is also the northern fleet! Thus, it is totally normal thing to meet military people in the street, café or grocery store!

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It might seem that the life is pretty sad due to the lack of the warmth, however for me it is one of the dearest places in the world, with its magical landscape and very warm-hearted people!

Namaste! Hello from the country of Himalayas

Hello everybody,

 

A warm greeting from the land of Himalayas . Although I am not working on the Himalayas location but beautiful Himalayas attracts all. I made trip to some beautiful location where we can see the snow capped mountains bright shining in-front.

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snow capped mountains

 

 

I am working in a village nearby a city on a community water supply organization. This place is also lovely and people are so friendly and helpful. I live in a rented room as here are no apartment systems. But its enjoyable to live differently although there are not all the facilities that you can find on student apartment of Finland.

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Beautiful houses on the lap of hill

On my leisure time I just room around and go for small hiking. There are even more cultural things to enjoy. Good bites of MO MO’s nepali style of dumplings gives  rich taste of local food.

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MO MO, yummy dish

And not to miss are many of the historic and old statues and idols every where on the locality.

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Old statue on the side of road.

A photo from the reservoir of the drinking water supply tank plant where I am working.

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Reservoir on high hill

Not only these, but there are a lot to enjoy and learn about in this community. As I said earlier, friendliness of people, good food, good air and surroundings attracts everyone although internet and mobile network are poor.

 

Ramesh

Nawalparasi

 

 

 

 

JAPAN THE BEAUTFUL

Japan is a wonderful and beautiful country to visit, stay and to do the studies. I arrived in Sapporo, Japan on April 4, 2015 at Chitose International Airport and I was picked up by Dr. Ilto to my apartment which was located North 12, East 2. During the time I arrived, Japanese people were celebrating cherry blossom the symbol of love, family unit and friends coming together to enjoy good moments of the year. Cherry blossom is characterized by trees flowering with different colors thus giving the environment a sense of beauty and attractiveness. And during this period the weather was very good.

During a four days national holiday in Japan, I was privileged to travel with my friends to various places in Hokkaido Island starting from Sapporo to as far as matsumae. I had a good moment with friends and enjoyed the trip. During our journey we kept on stopping and viewing some volcanic eruptions residues, Cherry blossoms, eating, listening to the history of Japan and having wind bath along sea coast. The journey took us two days to go round, on the map the red line shows the route we took, I must say that it was a wonderful moment to see the beauty of nature unrevealing itself in such a manner.

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The map of Hokkaido Island, Japan

Some of the moment we cherished so much was togetherness, laughing, eating and posing for pictures, as shown below.

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The beautiful moments of the two days tour in Hokkaido Island, Japan.

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In the pictures you can see the happy faces, cherry blossom, the Japanese temple, sulfur on the volcanic eruption site and the mountains

Another moment which captured my attention was the initiative of African student studying at Hokkaido University hosting an African day event. The event was spectacular and wonderful, I was pleased to part of it. Hokkaido University consist of different international student from all walks of life and having event like African day or other events hosted by international student are very productive and enhances team work, peace,support and eliminate all kinds of discrimination within the campus. Below are the pictures of the event.

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The moment at African day event with lovely people

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Some event was to wonderful to forget, like this one shown below. The wearing of Japanese traditional dress known as Kimono. During this event we were served green tea which is characterized by bitter test prepared in front of us. Kimono is a traditional dress which is highly valued by Japanese people.

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Wearing Kimono, Japanese traditional dress.

Despite my engagement in all this mentioned activities, I had time to spend with my fellow laboratory student. I enjoyed each moment we spend together both leisure and academic time. Academically I learnt a lot via observation, discussions, practicing and instruction, and during leisure time we cherished each other and we had good moments.

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fellow labs Environmental engineers in the division of Sanitation enjoying themselves.

Overall the internship period was remarkable and nothing to regret. Japan is a beautiful country, you must visit. My journey began from Tampere all the way to Japan, Sapporo and back to Tampere, Finland. Throughout this journey I saw the beauty of nature, the breathing of seas and was surrounded by good friends who cared and helped me a lot thus the journey of leisure and academic fulfillment was achieved with excellence.

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The Emerald Isle

The time of my five month practical training in Limerick, Ireland has been like a roller coaster – full of interesting turns, butterflies in the stomach and feelings of: “Is it possible that I have had enough?” but finally ending at: “I want to repeat this!”. I have gotten the chance to learn about laboratory work and a great deal about biomass analysis.

Extractives of an unknown sample from Sweden
Extractives of an unknown sample from Sweden.

As well as working a 9 to 5 I have joined an outdoor pursuit club at the University of Limerick. This club organizes hiking and climbing trips. (Plus the main reason why I joined in the first place; they have a small bouldering wall where you can climb for free AND meet awesome people)

Beenoskee, Dingle peninsula
Beenoskee, Dingle peninsula
Irish climbing sceneries, to be missed!
Irish climbing sceneries, to be missed!

What I now know about Ireland: everything grows greener every day, when you go running in the forest you have to be careful that a goat won’t eat your shirt, by hanging around with Irish people you always have a good craic and that no one ever gets tired of talking about the weather.

Adventure to be continued.
Adventure to be continued.

 

Time with pleasure and profit

I am on my practical training in Russia for 1,5 month already and I can confidently say that it is my the most productive summer. First of all, let me remind you that Russia is my home country so I didn’t have any problems with adaptation or any cultural shock. I am working in the centre of laboratory analysis and technical measurements. They are making eclolgical monitorings and check quality and contamination level of soil, water, air and waste. This is a governmental organisation and basicaly they  make checks of some factories, farms, beaches and other important objects that can influence environment. But also they have private orders to check drinking water from a well, for example, or others. I was assigned to work in water department. I must admit that it is more difficult than I expected. This is a real chemical laboratory, with hazardous and dangerous chemicals, various technical devices. I had to pass all the safety tests. My supervising teacher is teaching me different analysis (now I can do quite many). For example, phosphorus analysis, content of nitrates and nitrites in water sample, chlorides, sulphates, hardness of water, the amount of such metals as calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), pH measurements, alkalinity of water. I was helping to keep records on overdue chemicals. Here are some pictures from the laboratory 🙂

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To make my practical training more interesting, my supervising teacher took me to several water sampling operations. I was not allowed to be on a boat (2 ppl max) so I was making pictures from the shore. Here they are

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Summer is time for holidays for many people, so everyone in the laboratory is happy that I’ve come, because I’m helping them to manage with all the orders. My working day is from 9am till 3 pm so I have free evenings to do what I want. In most of the cases I spend time with my lovely friends or with family as I missed them very much in Finland. I can not post all of the pictures of me and my friends, but here is one of the decorous ones (because not many of us met that day) 🙂

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I like working in the laboratory very much. It is really a good experience and I like that feeling of responsibility. I am a little bit sorry that very soon it will be over but at the same time I start to miss Tampere, TAMK and my new friends from Finland.