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Not that rainy after all, The Univeristy of Salford, UK

Hello from Salford, United Kingdom!

I am happy that I came to Salford to do my exchange studies. Salford is a part of Greater Manchester, so it doesn’t have a center of its own (well it does, but it there’s only supermarkets) so as you wish to shop, go to bars and pubs etc. you go to Manchester city center.

I have lived in a student housing called Bramall Court, it is in a good location between the center and uni, I walk to both of them in 15 minutes. The public transportation is expensive in here so I would suggest you to move close to the uni so you can walk there.  Student apartments are popular here, and there are a lot of them. Bramall Court has been ok to live in, but I would get more with the same money if I still lived in Tampere. So, living here is pretty expensive. Also, if you move to a student accommodation, you have to buy __everything__ yourself. Pans, pots, glasses, cutlery, sheets, pillows etc, nothing is here waiting for you. So if you wish to save some money, bring something already with you and use the second hand shops that the university provides. They sell kitchen supplies there with a good prices. Btw, you also have to pay the rent for the whole 5 months in advance, so be ready for that.

Lectures start pretty late here. Mine started 23.9 if I remember correctly, but I moved here on the 6th of September already. That was a wise thing to do. Semesters start first with early arrivals week (mostly exchange students come then) then welcome week takes place and only after those two weeks, lectures start. During the first 2 weeks, there is a lot of free events on campus where you can make friends, and that  is also what I did.  There is a lot of exchange students and also international students here in Salford, so I am sure that everyone will find friends here.

You will select 3 modules (=courses) that you study while being here. I study service sector marketing, managing international events and business ethics and sustainability. I have school only 3 times per week, 4 hours a day. So there is a lot of free time to do you assignments and travel. I think the courses are very good here and teachers are polite, well educated and want you to learn, so they are here for you.

The weather is also better than what I expected, it does rain a lot but not that much. If you come here with an attitude that it will rain all the time, you will be surprised that it does not and then don’t even mind the rain when it does. The winter here is nice because there’s more sunlight than in Finland and it’s not as cold. Now in November its usually from 4-8 degrees.

All in all, I think Salford is a place to be and if you want to do your exchange in the UK, I think you should come here. Manchester is a good location, big but not too big of a city, close to Liverpool and in the center of the UK so it’s easy to travel to Scotland, Ireland and other places. Btw, trains  are suuuuper expensive here, so be ready to sit in a bus when traveling.

 

Books and beer in Germany

During my exchange I studied business administration in Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt in Germany. The school is technical university of applied sciences, but they also have a Business School within. Courses for international students were diverse and major of them were about international business or technology based. I found it harder to study in Germany than in Finland. Of course, one reason for that was that the teaching was not in my mother language, but also courses seemed more difficult. I was really surprised how much I had to study to cope with my courses. The studying culture in Germany is differing from Finland and often the main point is to memorize everything from the course material. The quality of teaching was good on my opinion. The school’s library was open everyday till 12 pm and in the exam period 24/7. It was nice place to gather with friends and study together. I never thought that I would spend the whole night in the library before exam especially during my exchange but now that I have done it, I can’t recommend it to anyone.

Despite the hard studying life, we surely had lot of fun things to do in Ingolstadt. Naturally as we were in Germany, drinking beer was one of the top activities in our spare time. Beer culture is very strong in Germany and especially in Bavaria where Ingolstadt is located. They say in Bavaria that beer is rather food than a drink. Our school organized a lot of different events for international students as well as all students. For example, we had beer bong tournaments every now and then. Ingolstadt is quite small city and with the bad weather it was sometimes quite boring. On sunny days we spend time outside playing games, riding bikes or in the lake.

Germany’s location is brilliant for the person who wants to travel. You can take a cheap Flixbus to many destinations or rent a car and drive buy yourself. Also Ryanair has very good flight offers and you can buy tickets with only 20 euros. I traveled as much as I could during my exchange and in 4,5 months I visited 11 countries.

Experiencing Korea

South Korea is a truly unique country. I knew early on that I wanted to do my exchange studies there. TAMK has an amazing amount of partner schools in Korea and it was quite hard to choose one that would suit me best. In the end I ended up going to Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul. The university has two campuses, but all my classes were located in the city center one.

The location of the school is amazing, being very central and at the same time having views over the city. The campus has modern stylish buildings where the classes are held and that house many other kind of services too. The university was originally founded in 1398 and still has an area of beautiful traditional buildings that were used for teaching.

 

All my classes were aimed at exchange students with topics revolving around Korean culture and language. The teachers mostly spoke good English so I didn’t have any troubles with understanding. They were also very nice and understanding, unlike my expectation of strict attitude based on pop culture. Even though natives were studying very long hours, I didn’t find the studies too stressful and studied pretty similarly to how I do in TAMK.

The neighbourhood surrounding the university is nice with lots of shops and places to eat. I spent a lot of my free time hanging around Hyehwa area with my friends or going around Seoul. The city has a lot of interesting events and so many cool things to see and explore. I also recommend travelling elsewhere in the country to experience a different side of Korea.

 

The wine city with a lot of offerings

I really like the way Kedge Business School takes the approach on studies and how the professors take their jobs seriously and in the most professional sense, yet providing all sorts of beneficial information and helping students reach their personal goals and also the course objectives.

I love how each professor talks about their experience and linking it to a methodology and explaining how it could work in a real life situation and how they have faced challenges in career because of certain experiences or mindset. Although, strictly speaking this would not be part of the course, however, most of the teachers believe in self-improvements when it comes to students and if their own experiences can provide assistance or something they can relate or learn from that not only gets students to actively participate but also ask more questions and learn about more things in general.

In a double degree program you may be thinking that a lot of stuff would be repetitive, but you would be surprised to learn the same course may have a different approach on the topic and what sort of learning objectives that teacher may set. However, the methodologies may be the same but a different approach on the same topic could raise a lot of questions and sharing of experiences, hence, enhancing the learning.

Moving on, when you have time for yourself Bordeaux and the cities neighboring it could offer very heart-warming site seeing and a great time with friends. Not so far, from Bordeaux is a place called Arcachon which is known for its beaches and breath-taking experiences. Image result for arcachon bay"

It is a great way to spend an afternoon/evening with the friends and just go surfing or sunbathe in this beautiful area and the people are quite welcoming and friendly of tourists and students.

In my experiences, the food is quite expensive comparatively to Finland and if you think the rents in Finland are high wait till you see how much a student accommodation may cost in Bordeaux, France. However, even though it may be expensive but the quality of food is something to die for and certainly offers tastes that you would only experience from a French Kitchen.

Furthermore, in terms of studies Kedge is quite similar to TAMK in many ways, teachers genuinely want to help students and are available for them to clear doubts and provide further feedback on their assignments/work. Nonetheless, it is different in its own way and just the way one can create networks in Kedge is something very interesting and not what you may think or experience in Finland.

However, during my last months I can see the similarities and differences in terms of experiences and the significance of the learning outcome form them. All in all Bordeaux, would be an amazing place to go for an exchange, just if you remember to book an accommodation, WELL ahead of time due to the shortage, other than that you are sure to meet a lot of people with multicultural backgrounds, inevitably creating a very informative and learning environment. A word of advice would be to try as many Macarons and Chocolatines (chocolate pastry) as you can, it is worth treating yourself to that after or before a long day at the university.

Grüße aus meiner Heimat!

Greetings from my homeland! I started my practical training in a medical technology company in my German hometown Tuttlingen. Tuttlingen is located on the Danube river, close to Switzerland and France and if the air is clear we can see the tops of the Alps. With more than 400 medical technology companies in the Tuttlingen area, the city is also called the “World Centre of Medical Technology”.

I found a trainee position in the Marketing Communications department of Aesculap AG, the oldest and biggest MedTech company at this location. My main tasks are designing marketing materials such as brochures and flyers, publishing news articles and the monthly newsletter and assisting at events and in workshops. What I enjoy most about my practical training are the creative tasks, the international environment and the familiar atmosphere in the office.  

Right from day one I felt very welcome, however I felt obvious differences between the Finnish and the German working culture. Particularly noticeable is the profound hierarchy in German companies and the use of the formal “You”. Colleagues who know each other or work a lot together address each other by their first names, but higher-level colleagues are usually addressed by Mr./Mrs. and their surnames.

Working life as well as everyday life of Germans is characterized by Ordnung and punctuality. The working day in the Communications department starts at 7:30 in the morning, but when I arrive at 7:25 in the office, most of my colleagues are already sitting on their desks. We have a lot of paperwork, everything needs to be documented and it takes months to complete a project. For example, before a new brochure can be printed it gets reviewed multiple times by tenths of people. These people can be product managers, compliance officers, the legal department, the financial department and external inspection bodies who have to comment the document until it gets finally released.

After work or at the weekends I am usually meeting old friends or visiting relatives who are spread all over Germany.  Below you see pictures from the Oktoberfest in München: 

See you soon again in Finland!

I’m in love with The Hague

I really had the best time of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing. Everyone should do exchange period!

I spent my August 2018 – January 2019 in The Hague The Netherlands. There are about 500 000 inhibits and it’s an hour’s train ride away from Amsterdam. I really loved the city and there were not so many tourists as Amsterdam has.

I studied in The Hague University of Applied sciences where my specialization was International Business. You could choose one 15 ects minor, I chose Human Resource Management. In addition that I had for example Business English Communication and International Business Law courses. The best thing about my studies were HRM courses. I learned so much! Teachers were all very motivated and inspiring and classes were well planned. I also think student respected teachers more which was nice. A lot of the studies were something I wouldn’t have had a chance to learn in TAMK so I was very happy with my curriculum.

I lived next to the school in this big building in 21st floor and had amazing view of The Hague from my window . I had my own room but shared the rest of the apartment with three others, two boys and one girl. They were also exchange students. We became a one big happy family and spent a lot of time together. Our friends often came to our apartment and we had movie nights, cooked together, sang singstar, talked, drank and partied and played a lot of Uno. So many happy memories. After Erasmus our group has stayed close and we even had our first reunion already!

 

During my free time I traveled to many other Dutch cities as it was very easy by train. I also visited Vienna (where I had two of my friends from TAMK doing their exchange), London and three Belgium cities.

I really had the best time of my life, in school and in the free time. More of my thoughts can be found from SoleMove feedback section and don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to know more. I can warmly recommend The Hague and all Erasmus experience.

Auf Wiedersehen Wien

Vienna, Austria was absolutely amazing. The land of classical music, äpfelstrudel and Sacher-torte.

I arrived to Vienna in the end of August and I left the city in the end of January. The experience was unbelievable. I can highly recommend the city and the country for a exchange, if you don’t want have big cultur shock. want to learn german and see beautiful places. Vienna was my number one choice when applying for exchange so it was like a dream come true.

I studied at a local business school called FHWien of WKW. Teachers were kind and professional and they understand that we were exchange students. I had teachers from around the world, from Australia etc.

I had seven different courses during my exchanges. For example Austrian culture, German language, HR-Management, Cross-Cultural Management and Communication Psychology. I think the courses very interesting and useful. Timing of the lectures changed every time in every week and sometimes I had only like two schooldays in a week. So I had a lot of spare time.

In my spare time, I traveled a lot. I visited seven different countries during my exchange, In Italy, Slovenia, Poland etc. Travelling there was very cheap and easy.

Greetings from Antwerp!

Hello!

My Antwerp journey started in the last weeks of January 2019, and my exchange is about 5 month long. My expectations from Antwerp were little, since I knew nothing about this city nor Belgium as a country. I was very pleasantly surprised on how nice people are on the streets, and how in a way everything is kinda similar compared to Finland. My school here is AP university, which actually is a bit tougher than I anticipated. We have a lot of work. A lot. Gladly they are done in teams, which takes the load off my back a bit. Even though the studies are tough, I’ve enjoyed the vast selection of very very very good beers.

On my spare time we hangout with other exchange students, usually in bars, go out, do sports and just stroll around the city. I would say one can’t experience Antwerp only during a holiday. The real thing is to live here to actually and truly experience it.

Our exchange student organisation is gladly hosting different kinds of events, ranging from museum visits to pub crawls. I can’t tell much of the museum meets, but the pub crawls were fun! They also hosted a beer pong tournament which me and my team almost won. 😉

If you ever want to visit a very nice city with lovely street architecture and good vibes, you need to come to Antwerp.

city centre

γεια σας κι γεια μας 

I went on exchange to Cyprus and studied the field of business administration in University of Nicosia. The experience was very pleasant overall. Teachers were mostly very expressive and passionate about their own subjects. The atmosphere was quite chill but students were expected to actively take part in the lectures. I studied two language courses and two management courses and I found that in Cyprus solo work is more common than group projects. In one of the management courses we had to do two case studies and presentations in small groups while in the other one all the work was done solo apart from some in-class discussions. 

Pic#1: Nicosia.                                                                    Pic#2: Nicosia at sunrise.

University of Nicosia was in general way easier than Tampere University of Applied Sciences is. I and another Finnish student scored straight A’s with ease while in Finland neither of us does. However for local students and some exchange students from other countries the exams didn’t seem to be that easy. Often the exam questions would have answers straight from the study material written in the same exact words and we didn’t need to apply the information into practice in any way.  

 

Pic#3: Buffavento Castle, North Cyprus.                  Pic#4: Golden Beach, North Cyprus.

I mostly spent my spare time with other exchange students. There was an organization called Erasmus Society Nicosia (not to be confused with the official ESN) which arranged lots of events for Erasmus students every week, so many of us got together in the evenings, usually multiple times a week. We travelled around both Greek and Turkish Cyprus and the adjacent countries such as Jordan, Israel and Greece. We visited all the cities in Cyprus such as Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos multiple times. We also spent a lot of time sunbathing on the beautiful beaches of Ayia Napa.

 

Pic#5: Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa. Pic#6: Ayia Napa Sea Caves.

Going on exchange to Cyprus was the best decision I have ever made and I strongly recommend choosing Nicosia as one’s exchange destination.

Mon printemps à Paris

I spent my study exchange in Paris for almost five months in the spring of 2018. My exchange was at the ESCE International Business School, which is one of the few schools and universities that have their campus in central Paris, located 1 km from the Eiffel Tower. The campus is relatively small with 2500 students and for each semester around 100 exchange students.  

The courses I undertook were a mix of bachelor and master level courses in interesting subjects like international mobility and EU lobbying, with credits mostly ranging from two to four per course. My courses were all in English and mostly with other exchange students, because local students tend to choose the French teaching. Lectures are similar to TAMK, with quite much group work and projects, but that is all dependent on the teacher’s style. Compared to Finland more work is done individually outside school hours and exams are more comprehensive and demanding.  

However, the relaxed schedule at university gave me the opportunity to explore Paris and surrounding areas very well! As a self-proclaimed foodie, I spent my spring eating my way through Paris, and exploring all the corner bistros offering wines sold by the term piscine aka pool, the closer to summer it got. My home area, 11th arrondissement, became very familiar, and nearby Coulée verte René-Dumont is my favourite park in Paris, with Jardin Des Plantes close second.  

Overall, Paris is not all of France, but its own entity with fast pace and endless opportunities. I strongly advice everyone to travel outside of Paris to see the difference in lifestyle and of people’s attitude to life. I would recommend exchange in Paris to anyone, even if your French is not very good, as a simple “Parlez-vous Anglais?” will result in French people actually communicating fully in English after the initial proclamation that they speak “a little” English onlyParis will forever have a  piece of my heart!

 

Photo credit: Emmi Korhonen