Category Archives: Technology, Communication and Transport

Bioproduct and Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Laboratory Engineering, Construction Site Management, Construction Architecture, Construction Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Building Services Engineering, ICT Engineering, Vehicle Engineering, Wellbeing Technology, Automation Engineering, Strategic Leadership of Technology-Based Business

Hello from Denmark, from the land of wind and hygge

I arrived in Odense, Denmark in mid-January just in time to experience the ultimate Danish weather: wind, snow, wind, slush, sun, wind, rain. This also pretty much sums up the weather for the rest of the spring.

Frozen H.C.A
H.C. Andersen taking an icy bath at the Odense harbor.

During those cold and windy (and later on warm and windy) days, most of my time was spend on Erhvervsakademiet Lillebælt (EAL for short) campus and in HC Ørsted Kollegiet dormitory. One thing that sparked my interest when choosing an exchange destination, was that EAL was building a new campus here in Odense just in time for me to come and get all the benefits of the new place. Before the new campus was built, EAL had seven different places all over the city, but now all the different departments are under same roof in a beautiful modern building next to the city center.

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EAL campus

Back at home I’m an ICT engineering student and even though EAL doesn’t offer engineering degrees, they have a comprehensive list of IT modules. I ended up taking on Artificial Intelligence and Web Development courses which meant that I would study with their 4th semester Computer Science students.

The teaching and studying here in Denmark is quite different from how things are back at home. I only had lectures 2 times a week and rest of the time was dedicated to individual studying. Danish educational system emphasize group work from the kindergarten to uni, so even the individual homework was usually performed within a group of classmates. Teaching methods differ from teacher to teacher. The AI teacher preferred giving us more classic lecture, which did however include discussions with students, but the WEB teacher was more of an ”I’m here only to inspire you!” –type of a teacher. He would give us examples of what we could do with a specific topic and then let us do our thing with it. During security lecture he urged us to hack to a website he had created for the day!

Our lectures (and my 6 months in Denmark) we’re fueled by coffee. 9 out of 10 students carry they own coffee thermos and in our dormitory kitchen there are 5 different ways to make coffee! Danes love their coffee and cake. Oh, I will miss Danes and their cake! Every other day there was someone in class who would bring cake to class.

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Onsdagssnegle aka the Wednesday slug. The biggest cinnamon bun I’ve even seen!

And the same thing happened at the Crossfit gym were I spend a lot of my free time. After torturing and sweaty hour of training you could grab a piece of homemade chocolate cake and a cup of coffee for free!

But then again I guess they can eat all the cake since they bike everywhere. No matter the distance, the time of the day or the weather. Even though I’m a Finn, I had never biked in slush and in snow before I came to Denmark. The 8am rush hour in a snowstorm? On a bike? Sure! I felt like a champion after that! Getting a proper bike is a must when in Denmark and I was lucky enough to find a guy who rented good, used bikes to Erasmus students. My bike was rusty and old, but the ride was smooth as dream!

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Bike parking hall in the campus cellar
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My rusty ride

I ended up living in the H.C. Ørsted Kollegiet dormitory, which is a huge student housing complex built in 1970’s. I had my own room and bathroom, but I shared the kitchen with 13 other students. I was so lucky to end up in this particular kitchen, with these lovely people! Most of my roommates were locals so I had the ultimate Danish experience. Cake, coffee and weird Danish humor so full of irony and sarcasm that sometimes I’m wasn’t sure whether they were joking or not. We had common dinner every Monday and there was always someone to chat with and drink coffee with. I must say that for all the things I got to see and experience here, my roommates were the best thing that happened to me.

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Last common dinner with my Danish family. On the background you can see the dormitory building.

 

Grüß Gott from Austria

 

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The entrance to the old city of Wels

What did I know about Wels beforehand? Nothing. A small city in upper Austia, 60000 inhabitants. That was what Google said. Still it turned out to be a much more than that. Nice old buildings, a university of applied sciences and events going on. In total, beautiful and lively city.

I studied one semester in Upper Austria University of Technologies in Wels, Austria. My study program there was Innovation and Product Management, which was a bit different compared to mechanical engineering back in Tampere. Still this period gave me different overview about management field, especially when all my courses were in master program. At the beginning, I thought would it be doable but it turns out that the courses were not impossible. If you are thinking is something possible, it is, just jump into it!

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The Alps

Manners

Daily living in Austria is not so different compared to Finland, except there is some more traditional habits. All shops close early and are closed on Sundays. Besides, cash is still widely used and credit cards work just in supermarkets or bigger shops.

What comes to manners, Austria is more masculine country than Finland. In Geert Hofstede’s analysis Austria got 79 point out of 100 in masculinity, when Finland got only 26 points. That means that Austria’s society is more driven by competition, achievement and success. In Austria, people live to work, unlike in Finland where people work to live. That means in Austria people are more career-oriented than in Finland. I didn’t see the difference every day, but generally people were very oriented in school and wanted to achieve big things after it. For my opinion, this kind of attitude at least in the school was just positive. (https://geert-hofstede.com/austria.html)

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Hallstatt

 

Travelling

In middle Europe, everything is near. Trains work perfectly (no delays because of snow or electric failure..) and you can reach cities and different countries just in couple of hours. That is why the best thing was travelling: ski resorts, capitals, small cities, everything! In every trip, I also tried to explore as many different cuisines as possible. Especially in eastern Europe you get very good dishes with reasonable price. Berlin is also heaven for a gourmet, totally recommended.

In conclusion, if someone is thinking there do I dare to leave out of my comfort zone and do something new and exciting, I have only one tip: definitely. It will gain something that you did not know even existed. Be open-minded!

 

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Berlin food

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Berlin TV tower

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Brno

The greatest beer and waffles in the world, greetings from Belgium!

I’ve spend the last 5 months in Aalst, Belgium and it’s now my last 2 weeks here. Aalst is a smaller city located between Brussels and Ghent. I studied construction engineering / site management at Odisee College University. I’m really not the type to share an apartment with other people so I had my own studio apartment close to the centre of Aalst which was great.

One of the reasons I wanted to come to Odisee is that I wanted to do my bachelor’s final project in English. The final project structure was completely different than in Finland. I had this building site I visited regularly and the final project was to make plans, drawings, schedule etc. for them. I think that doing final project like this is more practical and educational for a construction engineer than doing a thesis. Otherwise I think that studying in TAMK is more theoretical than in Odisee. For example we had this course in Odisee where we did plans for a roof and a balcony and then actually constructed them at the school. The studying atmosphere was pretty relaxed, the teachers knew their stuff and most of them spoke English almost fluently.

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There wasn’t lot of other exchange students in Aalst so all the exchange student activities were in Ghent which is one of the greatest cities I’ve ever been to. I also had my Dutch classes in Ghent so I spend a lot of time in there. The trains are very cheap and easy to use in Belgium so I spend a lot of time travelling to different places. My favourite cities in Belgium are Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp, the streets on those places look like a fairy tale. The location of Belgium is amazing for a traveller, in my time here I got to visit France twice, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Netherlands. Other than travelling I really liked biking here since the weather was amazing and there is like zero uphills in the whole northern Belgium.

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Before coming to Belgium I didn’t even know that I like beer but the first time I ordered Rochefort 10 it felt like falling in love. My Belgian friends showed me all the different beers and I can now understand why Belgian beer culture is on the UNESCO cultural heritage list. The people here are very helpful and somewhat like Finnish people. What I mean by this is that Belgians also aren’t the type to small talk and such but when you get to know them they become great friends.

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I really enjoyed my stay Belgium, this place is now like a second home to me. I made some Belgian friends and learned a lot about their culture. My spoken English is now top notch and I’ve learned some Flemish/Dutch too. I could see myself living here again in the future.

Groetjes,

Jesse

Grüße aus Deutschland ;)

Hi all! 🙂

I started to work on my bachelor’s thesis in the middle of May in Marktheidenfeld, Germany. Marktheidenfeld is a small town that has a population of about 11,000 people. Since Marktheidenfeld is so small, I decided to live in Würzburg (~120 000 inhabitants) instead. Würzburg is about 40km off from Marktheidenfeld. This is my third time already working for the same company (Schneider Electric) in the same location. So far I’ve worked on my thesis for 4 weeks, so I still have about 2 months to go!

Phhhh how do I spend my leisure time… Well this is my third summer in Würzburg already, so I know all the best places and all the best festivals to go to 😉 There’s lots of great wine & beer festivals in the city and the local white wine is actually well know, at least within Germany 🙂 I spend a lot of time at the Main river, either chilling, swimming or grilling with friends ;’) Music is perhaps my most important hobby and luckily I have few friends to play with, so there’s no way I could get bored here 😉

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Würzburg^^

I’ve never worked in an office in Finland, so it’s therefore pretty hard to compare the German office working culture with the Finnish one… I work in a marketing department, where I happen to have only few German colleagues from about 12-14 employees. That means that our working environment is really international, which I find really good. My boss comes from Iran, but my other colleagues are from France, Japan, Finland, China, UK and of course Germany. Everybody has their own habits, but anyways the atmosphere at work is really good which is pleasing!

Best Regards from Würzburg,

Mikael

Grüße aus München ♥

Servus!

I just came back to my lovely little flat from a day trip to Eibsee, which is a very beautiful lake at the base of Germany’s highest mountain called Zugspitze. Since the connections are so good and travelling is pretty cheap, I’ve done few trips on my own and some with my fellow exchange students inside Germany and to other countries close to Germany. There’s a lot to explore in Munich alone, so you never really get bored here and with the numerous beer gardens and big attractive parks, you can always find a nice place to relax with your friends.

 

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Lake Eibsee in Garmisch, roughly 100 km from Munich
Enjoying the view in Olympiapark in Munich with two other Finnish Erasmus students
Enjoying the view in Olympiapark in Munich with two other Finnish Erasmus students

 

I’ve been living and studying in Munich for approximately 3 months now and I never thought time would go so fast. Unbelievable, only two months and I should be heading back “home”. I say “home”, because as much as I miss my family and friends back in Finland, I feel at home here. Sure there has been few awkward moments with the locals when you don’t speak perfect German and they don’t understand a word of English, but luckily those situations don’t happen too often. I had very little trouble settling in to my apartment, which I’m really lucky to have, because the location is super. It takes about 17 minutes to walk to the school (10 minutes with a tram, which goes basically from door to door), 10 minute walk to the main train station and 20 minutes to the central square of Munich, Marienplatz.

 

The “Glockenspiel” in the tower of the new city hall at Marienplatz
The “Glockenspiel” in the tower of the new city hall at Marienplatz

 

Studying in Munich university of applied sciences doesn’t differ much from studying in Finland, but they do have some very nice labs here. I found the sound measurement room for air conditioning systems in the lab really interesting and a nice addition to all other air conditioning related stuff they had there in that lab. I’ve also spent a lot of time in the 3D printing lab, because I chose a course called “3D printing and design”, which is a really nice course even though it’s not straight down my study major.

Overall I feel like I’m doing pretty good in my studies, but the real test awaits when the exam period starts. I chose a reasonable amount of courses (little less than what Erasmus students usually take), knowing I would have to also advance in some courses I started in TAMK before my exchange (there’s about two month difference in semester times), because it’s important that I also get those courses done this semester. In my study program, building services engineering, it might be pretty hard to place your exchange in a convenient time, but to all my fellow engineers, don’t let that stop you! There’s usually a good solution to be found in the end.

 

Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit! 😉 (@Frühlingsfest, “the little sister of Oktoberfest”)

Greetings from NC State University!

Studying here in NC State has been very different compared to Tamk. Here we have only few hours of lectures in a week. For one class there is only about 2-3 hours of lectures but there is way more homework than in Tamk. Also in here they give us lot of midterms during the year and also final exams in the end. I study engineering and engineering professors do give a lot of homework every week.

 

I have been living in international dorm called Alexander hall on main campus. It has been great experience because I got to meet lot of people all over the world. We have had lot of trips with people of Alexander hall for example we have been hiking in mountains, we have been travelling to Chicago and Washington. There has been lot of events on campus too like every few weeks we have this thing called cups of culture where group of people from same country makes some traditional food for everyone and they also tell about their culture. We have coffee talks every two weeks where people just gather drink coffee and talk about some interesting/important topics. Living with these people has been so nice and interesting.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle alexander hall nc state

Here is a picture of Alexander hall

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This picture is taken from Chicago and these are some of the people of Alexaner hall

Greetings from NC, US

Greetings from North Carolina!

Semester here is getting close to the end, which is sad, but I have enjoyed every single day in here. I think there is a lot of difference in studying here than back in Finland, at least in engineering. First of all I have to say that I study in North Carolina State University and it has very good engineering programs for undergraduate students as a public state school.

As most people probably know already, there is a lot more homework in US schools compared to Finland. The grades are constructed (in most cases) from you homework, projects, midterms and finals. In Finland we usually have only one or two exams per semester. Both has their pros and cons, but there is no denying that studying all the time the whole semester helps you to learn. But as a exchange student, I have to say that sometimes there is too much work, since I would like to travel and have a social life etc.

Compared to the Finnish university life, the American students take studying way more seriously and are much more concerned about their grades than Finnish students.

THE CITY AND SPORTS

Okay, enough of studying, lets talk about the city and sports.

raleigh

Raleigh is the capital of the state of North Carolina. There is about 400 000 people living in Raleigh and about 40 000 people studying at NC State. The campus is about four miles away from downtown, which is not too far away at all if you ask me. The downtown area in Raleigh has a quite few bars and nightclubs which offer live music and things to do for college students.

SPORTS

The school of course has it’s own football and basketball teams and it is a huge deal.

stadium

The Carter Finley stadium has a capacity for almost 60 000 people. It is free for students to go watch the football games. Also what I personally liked a lot it the tailgating before the games. People arrive to the parking lots few hours before the game and have a barbeque, play corn hole, throw football and play many other games and socialize.

Close to the campus there is also the PNC arena where the NHL ice hockey team Carolina Hurricanes play.

arena

As a Finnish person I was very happy to see few NHL games and that the arena was so close to the campus.

LIVING ON CAMPUS

Most students here live on campus which is good idea if you ask me. You are close to your classes and don’t have to commute too much (well depends where you live on campus). Since the campus is quite big, there is a free bus lines going around the campus all day and most of the night too.

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Since NC State is a public state school the classrooms can (especially in the freshman level) get quite crowded (about 300 people max). But on junior and senior level classes the size drops to a reasonable level (about 20 – 30 people in a classroom).

To sum it up, I really enjoyed the time I have spent here in NC State, especially the student life and all the trips we did with other exchange students and Americans.

Ahoj! Greetings from Zlín

Hello!

My studies here in Zlín, Czech Republic, are leaning towards the end. It’s going to be also the end of amazing semester with many great new people I have met here.

When we arrived, we had Welcome Week before official starting of studies. During the week there was lots of events like bowling, pub tour, trips, etc to get familiar with each other. This week was really amazing and got to know so much about many different cultures.

First weeks of studying was basically introduction of teachers and studying environment. University has mostly really modern equipment, laboratories and measurement facilities. Each faculty have different buildings, below is a map of University buildings in Zlín.

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Main building, and library is situated in U13. I have been studying in Faculty of Applied Informatics in a building called U5, below is a picture of my faculty.

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Studying here is not really much different than it is in Finland, teaching methods are mostly same. Only thing is different is that teachers are not really strict and don’t really require anything else that you will do the tasks they give at some point. I find it not too good, because you will really lose your motivation to study. Still after all in general I’ve enjoyed my studies here.

Living in Zlín is really cheap, sometimes food costs like half of the equivalent in Finland. Local people don’t really speak English here so sometimes it can be difficult to deal with them. Usually using universal sign language does the trick or then other helpful local who can speak English will help.

People here are really socially active and they tend to sit on pub with lot of friends or family. Pub is the soul of Czech peoples lives, and usually there is really amazing atmosphere.  Service in pub is also mostly really good, serving is always done to table and you don’t need to get up to bar counter for orders, so the service will come to you

Possibilities to travel here are astonishing, and I have visited Italy, Austria, Poland. Alone inside Czech Republic there is so much to see for example capital city Prague, Český Krumlov and many more. Below are only few pictures of all my trips here.

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View in Prague

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Main square in Krakow, Poland

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Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

After all these trips I have always left astonished by all the things I’ve seen, and I really want to visit most of them again! Before I go back to Finland I will also visit Budapest in Hungary.

I can really recommend visiting Czech Republic the people and places are so great!

With kind wishes,

-Tero

 

 

 

 

Greetings from the US

Hello, how is everyone doing?

My studies are going great. It is a lot different from Finland, but actually in a way that I like. What I have noticed about the US education system in the Universities at least is that in a lot of the courses you actually have to read books and write a lot of essays (not so common in project management studies in Finland). I actually enjoy it quite a bit since you are forced to know stuff or just be simply left behind. Even if there is a lot work, I still feel that I have more free time here than I have ever had in Finland.

Football is fun to watch on spare time, especially the home team's matches, Bemidji Beavers
Football is fun to watch on spare time, especially the home team’s matches, Bemidji Beavers

I have taken courses like Leadership studies, bowling, engineer problem solving and I have loved them all. The teachers are nice, the teachings and even the homework is quite interesting. Even studying feels like free time most of the time.

About the spare time, I’ve had it plenty. I have had the time to travel to Chicago and Miami (I am studying in Minnesota Bemidji, very up in the North). It was good taking a break from the snowy look of  Minnesota to the sunny beaches of Miami

Miami beach, one of my favorite places that I have been to
Miami beach, one of my favorite places that I have been to

But thats about my short update, I have had some very interesting experiences here and I can say that I do not regret any of my time spent here.

Greetings from Porto

I have been studying in Porto for almost three months and I have at least two months ahead of me and I can’t wait to get more and more experiences from Portugal. Why do I love Porto? It has a lot of universities and a huge group of Erasmus students are coming here every semester. Local people are friendly, living is cheap and the public transportation (metro) is awesome! The coastline is beautiful and the weather.. well, it’s mostly amazing!

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I am studying mechanical engineering at ISEP. My courses are from the Master Degree of Industrial Management / Process Engineering. I have been struggling sometimes with the classes but I still feel optimistic and I’m always up for new challenges. Our class size is fairly small – we have more or less ten students attending the classes and all of my teachers remembers my name and they are really interested to know more about Finland. I am studying mostly with Portuguese people, which has been really cool!IMG_20170310_181520

I am living with 8 people around the world from Italy, Mexico, Angola, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Brazil and I love it! I am spending my spare time like any other Erasmus student (should) – meeting friends and new people, joining the ESN Events (parties) and travelling. I have been travelling around Portugal (Lisbon, Albufeira, Braga, Guimaraes, Esposende) and in Morocco. I am planning to keep on collecting experiences!

Below are some pictures from  Braga, Morocco and Albufeira.

BragaIMG_20170412_182429 Albufeira

 

 

 

 

 

In Portugal, dinner time is the most important time of the day. I have learned to eat a lot in the evening with friends and I am familiar with referring to meeting times such as “before the dinner” and “after the dinner”. Dinner is a social event with awesome food – every night!

It is okay to be late in Portugal and sometimes you need to wait a long time to see your local friends – obviously as a Finnish person I am arriving too early. I have learned to love the Portuguese lifestyle. People are laid back and they are not always in a rush and they don’t mind being late. I have learned how to live more stress-less life here in Portugal – sometimes you can be late and for the most times it is okay. I warmly recommend you to visit Porto and figure that out yourself…

Porto has been chosen to be the Best European Destination 2017 – and I do agree!

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