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Wine, cheese and miroir d’eau

Salut from the wine capital of France, Bordeaux! I’ve spent the past fall here in the city of wine and I’ve completely fallen in love with it. I study Business Administration with a major in marketing and the exchange school here, Kedge Business School, offered all kinds of specialized marketing courses like Wine Marketing (actually drinking wine in class!) and Luxury Marketing. I’ve definitely enjoyed it here a lot. The school is very new with lots of different facilities and possibilities of student life. I joined a student association as well as a sports team to meet more French people and I definitely recommend it, it’s proved to be an amazing experience and an opportunity to befriend the locals. Courses don’t run all week, every week, which left me a lot of time to travel around other cities in France and also to go discover Spain and Portugal.

Miroir d’eau in Place de la Bourse

The French say that Bordeaux is like a little Paris because it’s smaller, cheaper and very, very pretty. It’s 45 minutes from the ocean by a local train and Bordeaux itself also has a lake beach where I spent many afternoons until late autumn. Great wine is very affordable; you have the possibility of visiting many wine châteaux all around Bordeaux and doing wine tastings.

San Sebastian, Spain
San Sebastian, Spain

France is definitely very, very different culturally and a big part of it is the bureaucracy. Things here definitely take more effort and a lot more paperwork to accomplish. The French also really pride themselves in their gastronomy, so I’ve learned that a lot of business is conducted over long dinners. The French truly enjoy many different courses at every single meal and they savor the time they’re spending eating with other people.

Carcassonne medieval city

Gros bisous !

Greetings from Seoul!

안녕하세요!

I am currently doing my 4 month exchange at Soongsil University in Seoul. My major is business administration, but since I had already completed most of the business courses offered in english, I decided to take other courses like, “east asian culture” and “history of Korea”. These courses are aimed at exchange students and I found them to be very interesting. Generally the level of english my teachers speak is much better than I expected, and many of them have in fact lived or studied in the United States. Workload-wise Soongsil and Tamk are quite the same, perhaps at Soongsil we have a bit more presentations. One of the most important courses I have taken is basics of the Korean language. I learned to read korean which is a big help especially on the subway. If you are considering going to Korea, I warmly recommend you take a beginners course prior to your exchange!

I only have school monday-thursday, making it possible to travel for the rest of the week. I decided not to go abroad this semester, but did a lot of travelling in Korea. For example, I visited Jeju-island, Busan and multiple cities on the south coast of Korea. The best time for longer travelling is during Chuseok, which is a ten day holiday beginning at the end of September.

  Busan

  Yeosu

  Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul

  Gangnam

I have really enjoyed my time here. Living in Seoul is quite affordable, for example lunch or dinner around the Soongsil University is about 3000-7000 won (3-5-€). People are very kind and helpful even though there is a bit of a language barrier sometimes since many Koreans can’t really speak English. Overall, I have found this a very eye-opening experience and I hope to come back soon!

Br,

Yasmin

 

 

Groeten uit Zwolle!

Christmas is almost here which means that my exchange period is almost over. Before my exchange I was excited, scared and I didn’t know what to expect because this was my first time when I was going abroad alone. Before I came here, five months seems such a long time but I can certainly say that time flies here! Now it’s sad to leave all these nice places and wonderful people and come back to Finland.

I’m living in Zwolle which is quite small (population around 125 800) but very cozy and calm city in the northeaster Netherlands. If you like big and crowded cities, Zwolle isn’t probably right place for you. But it is just perfect for me. The city center is small but there are many nice restaurants, cafés and shops (such as Primark, H&M, Zara). And of course, there are beautiful canals and old buildings.

I’m studying at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Windesheim is quite big school and there are many students. Most of my lessons are in the X building which is the newest building and very modern. My program is called Doing Business in the World and I have chosen courses like sustainability marketing, business ethics and organizational psychology. In addition to these we have one project for a real customer.

Studying here is very similar than in TAMK. We have many groupworks and projects. I think that the biggest difference is that the teachers here are more direct they have higher standards than in TAMK. For example, if they aren’t satisfied with your assignment they might ask you to improve it. Most of the students in my class are exchange students but there are also a few Dutch students.

Dutch people don’t eat lunch at all. At lunchtime, they eat only sandwiches or fries. And they eat fries A LOT! You can find snack bars almost in every corner. I would never have thought to say this but I really miss TAMK school lunches!

The first thing I did after I arrived at Zwolle was to find a bike because bike is the easiest way to move from one place to another. Bikes in here are quite expensive for example I paid 90 euros for my secondhand bike. I live in Leliestraat in a shared room where we have a bunkbed, own kitchen and bathroom. The building is old but the room is nice and my roommate is wonderful.

In my spare time, I have enjoyed walking around the beautiful city center and the park right next to my accommodation. I had quite lot of work in the first period but now I have more free time and I have been travelling around the Netherlands and Germany. Travelling here is easy and the distances are really short compared to Finland.

-Anniina

Grüß Gott! Greetings from Vienna, Austria

SCHOOL & STUDIES

I´m doing my exchange in Vienna, Austria. Our partner university here is FH Wien University of Applied Sciences. The department is mainly focusing on management and communications, which means I could not really choose tourism courses, but have rather been focusing on marketing, management and general business courses.

All my courses are mainly with other Erasmus students and in english. We have a lot of group projects and presentations but also individual essays depending on the course. One thing that differs from TAMK is the fact that my timetable changes practically every week, so I do not have the same courses at the same day and time every week and the length of the course depends on the lecturer. I have really enjoyed my studies here in Vienna so far!

 

FREE TIME

I have school only 2-3 times a week which gives me plenty of time to travel. During the first month I spend my free time mainly exploring Vienna and getting to know the city better. Inside Austria I have visited Salzburg and Hallstatt. I have also made trips to other countries such as Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Poland and Czech Republic.

I had never been to Austria before my exchange, but I have not regretted my choice for one second! Austria is such a beautiful country and Vienna is definitely one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited. There is so much to do and see here!


LIFESTYLE

Overall, I would say that Austrian people and the way of living is pretty similar to Finland. People might seem a little cold and distant at first, but they are really nice and helpful once you get to know them. It has been relatively easy to adapt to the culture and the only difficulty has been language, although I´m studying German here. The Erasmus community here is huge and I have got a lot of new friends from all over the world. I would recommend everyone to go abroad for a semester if you have the chance!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Emmiina

 

 

 

Greetings from the city of love

Bounjour á tous!

I’m doing my exchange studies in Paris, France and the time has passed very quickly. I have been here now for 10 weeks and I have three more to go. Here, I’m studying in PSB (Paris School of Business) and I chose to study Luxury.

Studies and school

I chose five courses, because I wanted to get an certificate from PSB, that I have studied the track which includes 3 core course and two electives. I chose the track Luxury Management and I have the following courses; Doing business in Europe, French, History of Luxury, Fundamentals of Luxury Industry and Luxury Merchandising. The courses havebeen very interesting and I chose them, because I wanted to study something that differs from our’s school courses. It was great to get acquainted with different brands and different merchandising techniques, for example we went to a luxury boutique and we took some pictures and made some notes about their merchandising. Also, in other course we have made some research about luxury markets in globally, as well as in China and in the USA.

Free time

On my free time, I have experienced city a lot with friends from school and also with my friends from Finland, who have visited me. I have been in different parts of Paris and also I have seen many sights such as Louvre, Versailles, Disneyland Paris and of course the Eiffel Tower. Besides Paris, I travelled to a South-France, which was part of our integration week in PSB. It was great to see the Paris countryside as well.


 

Here, in Paris the restaurant culture is different than in Finland, for example there are a lot of cute restaurants and cafes.

What is different?

Compared to Finland the lessons are much longer and the teachers are more conservative. One lesson lasts 1.5 hours and usually we have two classes per day, so my school days lasts at least four hours a day. The school system is more hierarchical here, and also the teachers can be very strict, if you’re not coming on time for a lesson. Also, I have had much more presentations here than in Finland. It’s also different that they have shared the rating system, for example we have mid-terms and final exams both here. This way they try not to put enormous pressures on the students.

Also I have noticed that French are not very punctual, for example in Finland you will get all the details about the course and the exam during the first lesson, but here in France, you will get all the details just a week before exam or presentation. This has been difficult to accept, but I’m almost used to it.

Bisous Suvi

Groeten uit Ljouwert!

Greetings from Leeuwarden – or Ljouwert as the Frisians call it. Leeuwarden is a city of around 95 000 people in the north of the Netherlands. Leeuwarden is a nice and cozy city, full of canals and everything one could need. This city will also be the cultural capital of Europe in 2018!

Leeuwarden in August.

I study at Stenden University of Applied Sciences, which is – I have come to notice – a very nice and valued school for hospitality industry. During the first module here, I studied international hospitality management; hospitality operations design, to be exact. This included topics such as, how to define the perfect price for a night at a hotel (from hotel perspective) and how different kinds of layouts at restaurants affect the work motivation of employees. All in all, the first module was a lot of work, but also honestly very interesting at the same time!

Flowers and canals.

The biggest difference with studies at Stenden and my studies at TAMK, was the method of teaching. Here we also had lectures but they were not the main focus. Everything came together in PBL, Problem Based Learning, which was a hard method to learn at first, but most rewarding after getting the hang of it. We had two PBL classes each week and at every session we were given a problem, based on the topics discussed that week in other classes, and our job was to come up with a solution for it. This way the students were “forced” into learning how to apply the information received beforehand and just learning it by heart was not an option.

During my spare time I have traveled a lot. Already in the beginning we came up with a nice group of girls to travel together and have been doing it ever since. Because the Netherlands is quite small, it has also been possible to do a lot of day trips around the country. One could even say, we have now seen every corner of the city – or at least the most major ones. Here are the cities we have seen, just to name a few: Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Groningen and Zwolle.

Although studying at Stenden has been a lot of work at times, I think I have also learnt a lot from it and would definitely recommend this university to others. And when one is able to schedule school work efficiently, one has plenty of time to travel as well and also explore the cute little city of Leeuwarden itself. 

Greetings from South America

I am doing my exchange semester in Montevideo, Uruguay. The partner University here is a private University ORT. The campus Pocitos is quite small and compact where they have all the business-related studies. The classes are always either in the morning or in the evening, since most of the local students are working during the day. Last classes can last until 10.30pm which was first a bit of a shock for me but now it’s obvious. The exchange students have some courses which can also be in the afternoon. The work load really depends of the professor how much do they require from you. Some of them are quite relaxed and really support us with travelling once we are here. The exchange students are not required to for example do an obligatory work, but only the final exam. In some of the courses I have had to do a presentation or parcial, midterm exam. Otherwise the studying is based mostly on lectures which differ a lot from the teaching style in TAMK where we have had a lot of group works. First, I was unsure about studying in Spanish, but it became easier after a month I would say. I encourage everyone just doing it if you are at all unsure! It will all become easier after a while when you are forced to hear and use it in daily basis.

This was my first time travelling to South America. I did not have that much of expectations on Uruguay but it is not what I thought about South America, thinking of for example Peru or Chile. Montevideo is more European and advanced in that sense. I first lived with a local lady but quite fast moved to an apartment with three other exchange students. What surprised me really, was that how expensive the living expenses food were. For this, it’s good to buy all fruits and vegetables in the ferias organized in various barrios every week.

During my free time, I did some sports at the rambla, sort of a beach boulevard going through all the cost of Montevideo and mainly hanged out with friends. There is a student organization called MIS which is organizing all different happenings, parties and even trips to the neighbor countries. I travelled with them to Buenos Aires and Iguazu waterfalls where the bus trip lasted for 24 hours but totally worth it! Then I also travelled to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, did a jeep safari in Bolivia and continued to Chile. We did a couple of road trips with my friends to see more of Uruguay as well. The flights inside South America are not that cheap, so be prepared to pay a bit more for your travels here.

The lifestyle is super tranquil. Having an asado, sorth of bbq, with friends or just chilling at the rambla sharing mate. Even if the lifestyle is chilled, though you must respect the deadlines given by the Uni, those are still strict. For accommodation, I would recommend looking for a residence or do as I, move in with your friends. Also, it is always windy in Montevideo and the weather took me by surprise. Indeed it was always unpredictable and more cold as I imagined and rained quite frequently for the two first months as well.

 

Greetings from Ireland!

Hello!

I’m currently doing my exchange study period in Cork, Ireland. I study Business Administration and was happy to hear I was accepted to CIT. I live in a student accommodation at Edenhall with my three roommates. I’ve been here since September and have only three and a have weeks left. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by!

Cork City
Galway

Cork Institute of Technology

Here at Cork Institute of Technology I’m mainly studying marketing. I had some problems with the courses at the start of the semester but I got everything sorted out. I have four courses including: Emerging Markets, Digital Marketing Management, IT skills for Marketing and Digital Advertising. I’ve been very pleased with liked my course choices and learned so much about marketing. I have for example set up a digital marketing blog, learned and did AdWords campaigns, set up a professional Twitter and Facebook account.

The first semester here lasts for 13 weeks and after that are the final examinations. Studying here hasn’t seemed too hard. The lecturers were easy to understand even if they had strong Irish accents. All of them were really friendly and helpful. It was nice to notice that some of the lecturers were really interested in Finland and asked us a lot of questions for example about Finnish companies and their ways of marketing. This made the lessons even more interesting.

Cork Institute of Technology

 Free Time

Most of my free time I spent with my friends. We have spent a lot of time just here in Cork but also been to many trips around Ireland. We have an International Students Society at our school and I was a member of this society. The society arranged a lot of trips that I was on to places like Blarney Castle and gardens, Mizen Head, Mahon Falls and Cobh.

My roommate from Germany came to Cork with her car and this was really nice because we had a chance to do trips by ourselves also. With the girls, we had a weekend trip to Galway on Halloween and we also saw the Cliffs of Moher. Also, when my parents were here we drove around the Ring of Kerry and with my Finnish friends we had a two-night trip to London.

Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
London
London
Ring of Kerry
Ring of Kerry
Cobh
Mizen Head

What is Different

The school here is a lot bigger and It took some time to get used to the lessons. They only last for 45 minutes which is really short compared to Finland. It is a little weird to me that many of the Irish students wear track suits to school.

The people here are very different compared to Finns. It’s awesome when you enter a pub and people come to say hi and ask where you’re from. I think this sentence sums up the Irish culture very well: “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet.”

 

 

Greetings from Cork!

Studies and School

I have been studying here in Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland now for seven weeks. The first semester lasts 13 weeks and after that there are final exams. I have chosen four courses, which are Digital Marketing Management, Digital Advertising, Emerging Markets and IT Skills for Marketing. All of the courses have been really interesting. For example we have created a digital marketing blog, professional Twitter and Facebook account and learned how to use Google Analytics. I think that these things are really important when finding a job in Finland.

Compared to Finland the lessons here are really short, only 45 minutes. It goes so fast. We have every course three times a week. Another difference, which I have noticed, is that the students always dress up in their tracksuits at school. Almost every boy wears Adidas sweatpants and girls wear some gym leggings.

The school feels a lot bigger than TAMK. Here are many different societies, anything you can think of, from karate to Muslim society. I have only assigned to international students society. They arrange really nice trips almost every weekend and the trips are really cheap.

 

Spare time

At spare time we have been to trips around Ireland. I have seen so many beautiful places here, for example Mizen Head and Blarney Castle. I also visited Dublin last weekend. The city was similar to Cork but bigger. One thing I still must see, the Cliffs of Moher.

We have also gone shopping to city and for a cup of coffee. Here are so good shops and almost every clothing store has a student discount. This should also be in Finland! In few weeks we will also visit London, which will be fun.

Nĭ hăo! Greetings from Shanghai

Studies

I chose four courses which are Foreign Trade of China, Chinese Language, Chinese Culture and China and Globalization. Every subject is held once a week except Chinese language is twice a week. The culture and language courses really help in this big city since it is really hard to find someone who speaks English. Learning about the Chinese culture is interesting because the cultural differences are so noticeable in some cases.

   Spare time

There are so much to see in Shanghai so whenever we have spare time we try to use it wisely, such as exploring the city and places. Shanghai exchange is really short which does not leave that much spare time so you must plan ahead what you would like to do. We have made plans for traveling and sightseeing. So far we have been to famous tourist attractions such as Yu Garden, Shanghai Zoo, Shanghai Museum and The Bund.

Studies – Finland vs. China

The classes in the school are longer, they last about 3,5 hours. Lectures are really similar to Finland. When it comes to the differences between Finland and China, there are not that many. Teachers don’t give assignments here and the projects are bigger and require more effort in Finland which was surprising.