Ahoj a Zdravíme z Česká !

PICTURE 1. City of Brno

My studies in the Czech Republic surprised me mainly in a positive way. The teachers being late from the start of the classes every now and then was a little disturbing but otherwise the quality of the courses I took was satisfactory to say the least. The facilities of my faculty were great and recently renovated so the overall atmosphere of the school was really nice. The quality of the courses themselves was good and due to the expertise in aeronautical engineering probably even better than in Finland in some cases.

PICTURE 2. Wind tunnel testing in the Aerodynamics course

 

When comparing studying in the Czech Republic to studying in Finland, I’d say I was a little surprised about how much effort I had to give to pass the courses in my usual level. My expectations were set to a little lower level than what I faced in the school but after I learned the syllabuses from all the courses I adapted to the new situation. The duration of the weekly classes were a big surprise to me, as more than half of my courses lasted usually 3-4 hours per day. In Finland 3 hours has been the longest duration for one course for one day and even that is a rare case for a course. One particular detail that really pointed out about the courses was one of the courses that always started at 07.00 o’clock on Wednesday mornings. And the biggest parties of the week were always organized on Tuesdays… So, I really don’t understand why would anyone organize a freakishly early morning like that for ERASMUS students, perhaps the guy had some personal friction with the the foreign students I don’t know… All in all, I didn’t run into any problems with the courses I took and even managed to make it to at least half of the 07.00 o’clock classes.

 

What comes to my spare time in the Czech Republic, well, I’d say I did exactly what you’d expect from an ERASMUS student, partied and traveled. The International Student Club (ISC) organized parties for us at least twice a week and during the weekends we held our own. During our travelling we visited a few places in the Czech Republic and all the border neighbor countries, which are Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria. And in addition to those we also visited Slovenia due to one person of our group living there and she asked our group to join her to see her home country.

 

PICTURE 3. Move In Europe -Event                          PICTURE 4. We won the event

 

I was really positively surprised that the ISC organized a lot of different kinds of events (also non-alcoholic ones) for the ERASMUS students. To be honest I would’ve liked to join every one of the events they organized but sadly that wasn’t possibly due to travelling. But the ones I did join were indoor paintball, laser tag, go karts and jump park. One of the events I enjoyed the most was the pub quiz which was organized every other week. Sadly, my team didn’t win even once but we were close many times… All in all, I have nothing but good things to say about the local ISC, they really made a huge effort to ensure a pleasant stay  for us and they sure did in my opinion.

PICTURE 5. ERASMUS Birthday parade                PICTURE 6. The Finnish group of the parade

 

PICTURE 7. Indoor paintball                                     PICTURE 8. Halloween party

Greetings from Cyprus

Jassu!

I have been now over three months in Cyprus. Time flies so fast! I started my studies in October, but i came to here in Septemper to spend some holiday before studies.

Mediterranean climate provide great weather for holidays and it is nice addition when seeking for warm and non-rainy circumstances during studies.

Still in October here is approximately +25 degree so you can guess what i was doing on my weekends here 😉 Yes, i went to the beach! Because my school is in Nicosia where  also my flat is, i have explore other cities whenever i had time. Unfortunately Nicosia is in the middle of island so apparently there is no beaches.

Even Nicosia do not have beaches, here is many other things to see and do. Here is many beautiful churches, shopping street called Lidras, Turkish side and art gallerys etc.

Myschool  is Higher Hotel institute Cyprus (HHIC) so its more like high school than university. I study Travel and tourism Management. I am the only one Erasmus-student here in my school, but luckily i found a Facebook group for erasmus students in Nicosia. In here Nikosia is about 5 different universitys with hundred of exchange students all around world! I ALSO FOUND MY OWN ERASMUS FAMILY <3

I study with the last year students so i have many difficult but interesting courses. My lecture schedule is from monday to friday, so its pretty intensive and demanding combaring  timetable to my studies in TAMK. Technology here is little bit late than TAMK aswell. We have Moodle, but teachers dont use that a lot, but they give us notes.

 

Overal, my experience here have been quite educational, since i have put a lot of effort to my studies. I wanted to improve my english skills and that i did. I also have get to now better this culture which is sincerely different than ours. I have tried many variety of local dishes and good wines which i love!

Life in the Soo

Now that I’m done with my exchange, I can tell a bit of my experiences in Canada.

I was studying in Algoma University which is located in a city called Sault Ste. Marie. It’s a small border city of 75,000 people in Northern Ontario. The university itself is very multicultural and also really small but I liked the fact that you get to know people so easily and make a lot of new friends as well.

Shingwauk Hall

I took four courses during my semester there. Comparing studying in Canada to Finland, I would say that the workload is significantly more than back home – all the assignments, quizzes, midterms, final papers and final exams. However, I didn’t find it harder, it’s just more.

Waterfront Boardwalk
International Bridge to USA

Everyday life is happening mainly at the campus since there is not that much to do in the city. But I think there is pretty much everything you need – gym, friends you can hang out with and different kind of activities to participate, everything from different sports to karaoke nights. I also lived at the campus, in townhouses, where I had four roommates. We all had our own rooms and shared kitchen & bathroom. It was a great experience and I would recommend it if you’re going for an exchange to Algoma U!

Even though the city is quite small, there is something to do, for example going for a Soo Greyhounds hockey game or for a hike to beautiful places nearby. And you can always travel! I did trips to Vancouver, Toronto and New York.

Soo Greyhounds & Hiawatha Highlands

Melwel Lodge & Lake Superior Provincial Park

I met such an amazing people during my exchange semester and I already miss that place! My exchange in the Soo was unforgettable.

¡Viva México!

Nevado de Toluca

Mexico has been something I could never have imagined. Amazing landscapes, cities, beaches and people, without forgetting arguably one of the most delicious cuisines in the world. I have stayed in the city of Toluca for 5 months now, and my cinema studies here in Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México are already done. At first I had some difficulties getting used to the language, since all the classes were in spanish and I didn’t speak it almost at all beforehand. Though after a month or two it got a lot easier and I started to understand the language and the classes more and more.

The school system here is quite different, it’s based on exams and grades in a much larger scale than the cinema side in Finland. But the quality of the teaching is pretty much on the same level, and I learned a lot alongside the spanish language.

This journey hasn’t gone without problems, there’s been a couple damaging earthquakes, I’ve been robbed twice and other such things, but I’m still alive and well, and luckily my insurance has covered the lost items. For people seeking comfort and security Mexico might not be the first choice, but if you’re willing to accept the possible setbacks and use common sense, you will survive and enjoy this country to the fullest.

Sayulita, Jalisco

I’m very delighted that I got the chance to travel and see the country, because there are a bunch of truly beautiful places to visit. The west coast has some incredible beaches, and for a city trip Mexico City is amazing and only about 50 kilometers away from Toluca, so you can easily go on a weekend trip there anytime. Toluca itself is quite a big city, but there’s not a lot going on so travelling is a great choice to spend your free time.

For me this has been an unforgettable experience and Mexico and its people will stay in my heart, as cheesy as it sounds. Now, off to the beach for the holidays so I can prepare myself to survive the winter of Finland once again.

Prettige Kerstdagen en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

Greetings from sunny Ghent!

I’ve been studying international business management here for the fall semester, in a university called Artevelde HS. The courses I opted in have varied all the way from E-marketing and European business to the introduction of digital design. The way of studying is quite similar to Finland, except there are even more group works in addition to the exams. The quality of teaching is pretty much on the same level too, but some of the topics are bit more modern than the ones taught in TAMK.

Campus Kantienberg, the main campus

 

During my spare time I’ve mostly been doing same sort of things as I would back home, like  hanging out with friends, working out at the gym and writing essays. The one thing I’ve gotten a chance to do more, is travelling more frequently. Belgium is not too far away from anywhere in Central Europe, and I’ve been blessed with trips to Berlin, Namur and Amsterdam for couple of times. My foreign friends have been travelling even more, but as an European I’ve been visited most of the places for various times before.

Lovely and captivating city center of Ghent

The best thing about the exchange has been the city of Ghent and i would recommend everyone to spend a day or two here. Only half an hour away from the hectic EU capital Brussels, is this treasure filled with stunning old building and sceneries around water. With approximately 300,000 habitants it’s not much bigger than Tampere, but it’s never-ending heaven of gorgeous architecture accessible by bike. Local selection of beers is excellent and students should be happy to know, that they’re not ruined with high prices either.

Anyhow, now it’s time to get through the last lectures before christmas break and to get some of that fine Belgian chocolate to bring home for the holidays.

Wishing everyone merry christmas and happy holidays,

Jami

Grüß Gott & Tschüss Papa!

 

My name is Ilona, and I’m currently spending my exchange semester of my studies in International Business in Vienna, Austria and more in detail in FHWien der WKW. I chose tourism as my majoring path, but since this University of Applied Sciences is mainly focused on management and communications I took this opportunity to broaden my knowledge and studies towards marketing and other business courses such as Social-Media Marketing and Marketing Strategies & Decision-Making.

During my studies here, I have enjoyed getting to learn from different kinds of teachers. Vienna is a very multi-cultural city, and our partner university has chosen teachers from all over the world such as Canada, Australia and Germany. Especially in the degree of International Business, this aspect is a very interesting and important part of this degree.

The university also offers German language courses for different levels. Surrounded by your Erasmus family, English is pretty much the only language you’ll hear and because of that I personally think it’s good to know at least something also in the language of your destination country. So, I recommend taking advantage of the language courses. Needless to say, I have definitely learned and continue learning lots during all of my seven courses that I have chosen.

The school system is a bit different, and that is why I might have had time to travel so much during one period of time, but the next on the other hand might be a bit busier with group and individual assignments and exams. Luckily, I have found a good balance in this kind of schedule. One difference hasn’t stopped making me laugh a little throughout the semester, and that is how the classes end in Vienna (and also in other sides of the world I hear as well). Once the teacher has said the final words of the class, the students (and sometimes teachers too) knock on their tables instead of clapping or like in Finland, just leaving. I think this is a funny thing to do, and every time a class ends, I’m excited getting to knock, knock, knock on the table haha.

Overall the lifestyle in Austria is a lot like Finland. People like their personal space (except on the metros, they are used to the big crowds) but unlike Finnish people, if they caught you from doing something wrong they will let you know, such as talking on your phone too loud. Austrians might at first seem rude, but once you realize it’s just another different culture and actually get to know them and their ways, you’ll realize they have a great sense of humor and they are very helpful whatever it may concern.

Since back in Finland, I had been doing two things for quite a long time: working and studying at the same time, I feel like I have had plenty of spear time during my semester here (even with 29 ECTS). Vienna is a big and vibrant city full of various activities and interesting places to see and choose from. It is full of beautiful culture and architecture, that I personally can’t seem to get enough even after over three months.

If you find yourself in Middle-Europe, don’t miss the chance of visiting the cities and countries nearby! I have learned that Vienna has the greatest location to travel from in a very affordable way. I myself have visited Bratislava, Budapest and Brno, which are all maximum couple hours away. Not to forget Austria’s own gems such as Salzburg, Graz and last but not least Zell am See, where I got to experience skiing in the Alps (Bucket List!).

Coffee and café culture are a big thing in Vienna. There are numerous cafes and restaurants that me and my friends have explored throughout the semester on our free-time. I have also made sure that in a historical place like Vienna, I needed to catch up with the cultural side. There are many different kinds of museums, theaters and operas to choose from, whether you like it historic, drama or musical kind of way. I would say, anything is possible in Vienna, and there will not be a dull or boring moment in a city like this. I can highly recommend Vienna as a destination and going for an exchange in general, it will give you more than you could even imagine!

 

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!

Soongsil University campus:

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 in Seoul. For a capital, Seoul is relatively cheap, for example, lunch or dinner around the Soongsil University is about 3000-7000 won (3-5-€). People here are very kind and helpful even though there is a bit of a language barrier 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

 

 

Mela, in Malta…

Practical training

I’m doing a three month practical training in Malta. Those three months are divided to three placements, each lasting four weeks. That has given me a nice overview about physiotherapy in Malta.


Maltese fishing boats “Luzzus” in Marsaxlokk.

Spare time

I am working morning shifts from Monday to Friday, as physiotherapists in public hospitals most often do. It gives me the evenings and weekends off.

I came here with my wife and son, so most of my spare time we spend together. Sometimes we go around Malta and see all the interesting and beautiful places but most of the time we do what we would back home, spend time in playgrounds, go around shops and flea markets, eat out, hang around in our home etc. of course now in a totally different environment.

I have made many friends with other Erasmus students and I/we also spend time with them. Fortunately we’ve had many visitors from Finland and it’s been nice to go around Malta with them also.

Blue Lagoon, Comino.

Differences with Finland

Working as a physiotherapist in Malta is mostly the same as doing it in Finland. Techniques are the same and in hospitals physio’s work mainly on morning shift. I think the biggest difference is the paperwork. Because actually there is quite a lot of actual true paperwork. In Finland all the medical files are digital and you add new reports straight to an electronic medical record softwares like Pegasos, but here it is all still done on paper.

View from the hospital office.

Summary

It has been a very interesting, educational and in every way a good experience. My Erasmus experience has most probably been very different from others experiences in Malta, due to that I came here with my family. Malta offers something for everyone and I recommend coming here for Erasmus to anyone who is open to different cultures and experiences. Malta truly is something different, compared to Finland or other northern European countries.

Caw!
-Markus

Ahoj

Merry Christmas from the beautiful city of Prague

Christmas holiday is about to begin, which means it is the end of the autumn semester at FAMU film university, where I’m doing my exchange study.

so far my exchange here has been okay, the school is a bit disappointing but the city is wonderful so I guess that compensates. I live in a nice area in Prague called Zizkov, which is Praha 3. it’s really walking distance to anywhere you wanna go, very central and about 10-20 minutes walk to Praha 1 (center).

if you got a chance, please come and visit Prague.