Tag Archives: Czech Republic

Dobrý den!

The FAMU main building by the Vltava river. Image from FAMU website.
When lazyness kicks in or I just want to avoid the tourist-filled narrow cobblestone streets on my 20-minute walking route to FAMU I’ll take a metro to Národní třída.

My studies in Prague in FAMU have kept me quite busy. They have consisted mostly of either more academic and analytical courses on film theory and history, or intense shooting periods doing various student films. Many of the more academic courses have focused on the New Wave of Czechoslovak cinema in the 1960-1970, taking also into account the turbulent political situation of the times.

I feel that diving into this period in Central Europe through these films has really helped me understand and grasp what it means, and what it has meant, to be European. Prague is literally in the heart of Europe, while even in these days Finland can feel almost like an island. To anyone doubting this I suggest first traveling without flying from Finland to anywhere in Central Europe and then from Prague, for example, to any of the neighboring countries. The world seems a bit smaller here.

The shooting periods, on the other hand have been a great way to meet people, local and foreign, and also to see places that a regular tourist or maybe even a exchange student wouldn’t necessarily end up seeing. I’ve had the chance to shoot projects with very different kinds of people, from legendary underground rock heroes of the 60’s to modern day Czech drag queens and everything in between. I’ve also had the chance to shoot the projects in all kinds of places imaginable, from the centre of Prague to remote nudist beaches and weird underground clubs, from elementary schools to traditional pubs in the tiniest of villages. Below is one of my favorite shooting locations from this semester, a remote cabin a few hours south from Prague. Finnish people might guess why I found this scenery soothing. (Lakes in the Czech Republic are not that easy to find.)

Prague itself is beautiful but quite crowded and touristic. I live in the heart of Old Town, Prague 1, in an old building that has a nice vintage feeling to it. Though I appreciate the views, I tend to spend my free time somewhere a bit further away from the hectic Prague 1. Free time, though, for a film student can be a quite ambiguous concept.

A view from the window of a film student. At the intersection of the busy Dlouhá and Rybná, where one’s faith in humanity is truly tested by the nightly orchestras of drunken tourists.

Of all the choices I’ve made in life so far, coming to FAMU for my exchange was definitely one of the good ones. Working with, and more importantly befriending people from all over the world has made me richer, and I think that is what I’ll take with me from here when in few weeks I pack my backbag and hop on the train.

Wonderful life in Prague

Living and studying in Prague has been great. I fell in love with the city at first sight. Even though it’s the capital of Czech Republic it feels relaxed and very easy to get to know. The buildings and nature are gorgeous and that alone makes it great to live in Prague. The city is full of culture, one of my favourite things here has been going to a jazz club to listen good music in cosy atmosphere. I’ve seen a lot of stand up (in English), almost every evening there is stand up at some club for only 4 euros. Prague is full of cheap restaurants with great vegetarian and vegan options, which was a nice surprise. One of the best things is that here are a lot of dogs without a leash. They put a smile on my face every time.

The studies here have been great. I study film in FAMU (Academy of Performing Arts in Prague) which is located right next to Vltava. From the classrooms I can see the Prague Castle. I have a lot of classes which remind me of my years in university. The teachers are very enthusiastic and they really know what they are talking about. We have discussions in class and we watch a lot of films. Studying here have been a very inspiring experience. Comparing the courses to TAMK, it’s more theoretical here. In TAMK we do a lot of projects. It is possible to join the other students’ projects here, too, but I’ve really enjoyed the university-styled studies.

All in all I feel really good living here and hopefully I can return here after the exchange, too.

Life in Brno

So far so good.

I’ve been doing my exchange in Brno. Brno is located in South-East part of Czech Republic, and Czech Republic is located in the heart of Europe.

Brno is student city, as roughly 20% of population are students. And there are around 400 000 people living in city of Brno. Wherever you’re walking, you always meet up with students. This makes the city to increase the amount of services offered especially for students. For example traveling is really cheap – train ticket to Prague can be under 1 euro.

When traveling outside of the capital Prague, be prepared to use hand gestures for communicating or learn at least a little bit of Czech. People over age 40 do not speak English at all in general. And most of the people working in customer service don’t either speak English usually.

Living in general is really cheap compared to Finland, and I haven’t really needed to think how I’m spending my money on everyday purchases. I’m afraid to return to Finland and feel Finland’s prices again 🙂

Studying is based more on individual doing than in Finland. You are given lectures, and then you have laboratories where you have to do certain task in given time. I have most courses from faculty of Information Technology, where level of teaching is pretty high in my opinion. Difficulty of subject varies a lot depending on course, but mainly the courses are easier than same courses given for local students. That is good in my opinion, so Erasmus students don’t have to spend all time studying in the library. Difficulty isn’t really be comparable to Finland, as I’m not studying same subjects, although work amount is roughly the same.

Faculty of Information Technology is combination of old and new. It used to be an old monastery, and it is well renovated.

The best part is definitely getting know to new people, and amount of traveling that is possible to do here with small amount of money.  Also the amount of nice castles and churches is surprising. You don’t necessarily have to go to search for them – you will find them when you are doing road trip in Czech Republic. For example here’s a nice backyard of a castle in a small city where we just went to take some gasoline.

Also don’t be surprised if you get a beer like this. This is the normal Czech way of pouring beer. Foam is there to protect the flavors from running out.

I have enjoyed my time in Erasmus, and I will most definitely enjoy it until the very end. If you’re thinking whether to go to exchange or not – do it. I have not found anyone who hasn’t liked his stay here, or who hasn’t found a group of friends to share the experience.

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


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.


Ahoj! Greetings from Zlín


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.



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.


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.


View in Prague


Main square in Krakow, Poland


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,






Pozdravy ze Zlína! Greetings from Zlin


My internship and intercultural experience was not easy. Already during the application period I had some organisational problems: the target country I wanted to go declined my participation and I had to choose another country from “leftovers”

I chose Czech Republic. Bureaucracy process between TAMK and Tomas Bata University was surprisingly complicated. I arrived to Czech Republic 1.10.16, but I was not even registered as a student and had to wait three weeks before all papers were signed up.

During my internship I worked in  Krajská nemocnice Tomáš Bati  in  four different departments : department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation,  ICU,  Maternity Ward,  Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. I also had short-term practice at Emergency Department at regional hospital in Nové Město na Moravě.


KNTB Zlin (http://www.kntb.cz/kontakt). Hospital is huge, it has more then 10 buildings and about 25 departments including laboratories


Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.


Department of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation and ICU45


Nemocnice Nové Město na Moravě (http://www.nnm.cz/2011/?rezim=pacient&id=uvod). 7 buildings, 20 departments, also has a dormitory for employers6


Nurses in Czech Republic  work  12 hours shifts, max three shifts per week (for ex.: day – day – night)Due to language barrier I did not have supervisor neither  proper time table. I had to negotiate (mostly in Czech) with had nurse and try to make my schedule look good, so i could get at least some hours done and reach my internship goals.

Although I had discussed my goals and working hours with international coordinator (he was responsible for all organization)  we had some kind of misunderstanding till the end of my practicing. As a result  my practicing period was more like  tour around the hospitals. The longest time  I spent at the department was 3 weeks, and after i had to move to another one. To the other hand I had seen more different working fields then i could do in Finland, and it is awesome.


There is no need to tell about  differences between ergonomic and aseptic rules, stuff in hospitals I used to practice just simply do not pay any attention for that  Also the doctors/ nurses anchorite is so high that patients/ customers just listen to them mouth open and do not participate in treatments/ healthcare planning.

Anyhow, I got priceless working and intercultural experience.  I improved my professional skills, learned how  to speak Czech and became confidence as a nurse.


Na zdraví from Brno!

What can I say, I’ve lost my heart to Czech republic. I’ve had the time of my life here, meeting new people, studying in a well-respected university and every day experiencing something new. The life here has opened my eyes in a whole new way – the way I see the world.

Studying here has been fascinating and I have to say I honestly didn’t lose my interest in studying at any point. The faculty of mechanical engineering – and particularly the institute of aerospace engineering – is awesome. They offer a lot of interesting courses and the professors know what they’re talking about. They have many labs where they do tests and in one course the teacher even took students to fly whenever they wanted to. I’d highly recommend this university for aeronautical engineering students!

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

My exchange was a bit different than usually, since I have a boyfriend here. So, I wasn’t living in the dorms but I still made a lot of new friends and got countless of new experiences. On my spare time I was hanging out with my friends, going out to pubs or visiting my boyfriend’s parents in the countryside on the mountains.

WhatsApp Image 2016-12-30 at 18.05.06
Countryside on the mountains in northeast of Czech republic

You can’t really describe everything about an exchange with words. It’s something one should just see. It will change the way you look at certain things. And like they say – once Erasmus, always Erasmus.

Greetings from magical Prague

This is one of the most beautiful cities i have ever been in. All the great arcitecture and buildings that have been here so many centuries give some perspective what´s old and what´s new. When we are speaking about old building or town in Finland we usually mean that they have been built century or two ago. Here even the new town has been founded early 1300´s. This city has interesting combination old and new architecture which i find really interesting since I am studying construction architecture.


The feeling that you have in this city is something magical. It´s the weird combination of old structure and modern life and yet they are still working together seamless. Well almost most of the time since the culture is little bit more easygoing with schedules. It feels like here people don´t have the same rush to places like us finns usually have.

My studies have been everything i dared to hope yet sometimes i think we have too much free time and too little actual teaching but it´s only natural because the school is university so they except that you´ll survive by studying yourself. All the teachers are good with english which is really good thing. It´s so much more pleasant to learn when you understand well. Ofcourse we have some courses that have plenty of new words. For example in economics course there are a lot of words from the bussiness world so the dictionary has been my best friend during that course. I still have the exam to do for that course so wish me luck!


Prague is that kind of city that you never feel bored. There´s so much to see and experience that it´s impossible for even one semester. I have spent most of my free time with my roommates thought. I have been so lucky to have them because living with them has been really great. We have so much to talk about and we usually go for the parties together. We are really not party people but we like to go to inteGreat parties that are held by ISIC club which is club for exchange students and the parties are about all the countrys. There´s always three countrys that are presenting their culture by food and a show that can be presentation, games, plays or whaterver comes to their minds.

I have also has a lot of friends wisiting me so we have been exploring the city. Mostly we have tried new palces to go for food and see all the tourist attractions but also tried to explore more and we have found a lot of cool places to go. For example there´s a lot nice quarters in the city.


Studying in Prague have been like studying blinfolded because it´s so different. You don´t really get anything from the teachers at first. In Finland they usually tell you during the first classes what are they excepting you to do so it´s easier to plan your future. You know how much you have to work for the studies but in Prague the informations come little by little so it´s more surprising yet it´s not too bad. And you can always ask and they reveal more when asking. Yet there has been course or couple that have been little different than we thought. After all i have enjoyed the courses because otherwise they are so cool. The topics are exciting.



Dobrý den from Czech Republic

I could not have been more satisfied with my choice to come to Prague. The city is so beautiful, there´s so much to do and the school´s excellent also.


I´ve been pleasantly surprised with the courses here, all of them, even economics, are interesting for an architecture student. Education here has a lot of similarities to Finland, but you can definitely see that here our education has been going on for many many years, and the courses are stable if you could say so. Architecture faculty back home is so brand new that it´s still finding it´s way. This town is made for architecture history lessons, we never stay in lecture halls, we get up and actually see the places and buildings in question, it is so much more interesting this way!

Dorm life is something that needed a little getting used to, but now that I´ve settled in it´s good too. I can see the school from my window so it´s all about the location.

I´ve explored the city and gone to trips too, seen some art and a lot of sceneries. There´s always something going on in the city, we even had a film shoot in the lobby of our dormitory.












We also hosted a Finnish party here and served karelian pasties, turkish pepper candies and of course, we made salty liquorice vodka. Pasties were a hit, vodka ran out mostly because there was vodka in it, and we had a lot of left over candy. Even the Mexicans complained about them being so spicy.



All and all, adjustment has been easy for me, even thought that if I didn´t have a firm back home that needed attending I´d probably stay a full year.

P.S. Oh yeah, I´m also included here in a project in which we will be designing for Skoda and Mladá Boleslav (the city Skodas main factory is in) a lot of new buildings and areas, such as a new headquarters and a culture centre. How cool is that?