Tag Archives: Netherlands

Greetings from Holland


Here I am enjoying my time in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. Time has gone so fast and I absolutely love my time here! Even there is many good things here, definately the best thing is the people.

IMG_8976My studies are going well, doing lots of group work here, just like in TAMK too. In my class there is nine other exchange students around the world.

We’ve been doing lots of courses of amrketing and journalism, so it is very different from what I have learned. But it’s been fun!

Here’s a picture of us suring the coffee break.



Definately the best thing happened here are my flatmates, two irish girls. They really are like family for me and couldn’t be happpier that I found them. Life in leeuarden is really good!

In the picture we are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!


Greetings from the land of the children with clogs

I have spent now 1,5 months in Groningen, Netherlands and I can say that I am starting to get used to this city. Things and people are not so different comparing to Finland so the culture shock hasn´t been too big. I have been quite busy with my studies. A couple of days ago we had a third year student exhibition in our university. I made a new videowork for the exhibition. There is some stills from the video at the end of this message. I had to also make my webpage for this exhibition, which was very good thing to get over with. I have also thought a lot of my artist statement and I think I have made some progress with that subject.

I have used most of my freetime in exploring the  city. Thing that got much easier after I got myself a bike couple of weeks ago. I have also seen some good exhibitions and gigs and meet some interesting people.

songs_still_4 Songs_still songs_still_2

Floating in Friesland.

In middle of August 2015 I arrived to the country of windmills, bikes and the home of Heineken. During the very first train ride from Amsterdam Schiphol to Leeuwarden I saw more sheep and cows than possible to imagine, as well as bikes and bikeways. Now afterwards thinking of the whole exchange period, it went by extremely fast and was definitely an experience worth having.

Leeuwarden skyline.
Leeuwarden skyline.

In TAMK I study film and television and in the Netherlands I went to an internationally orientated school called Stenden University of Applied Sciences, taking courses from business school, and media and entertainment management. About Stenden I have very mixed feelings. I learned so much about branding, marketing and management, and developed my own professional identity. In the same time, however, I never got quite used to their educational system, which was highly focused on group discussions and group assignments. During my stay there I learned that sometimes instead of studying and knowledge you have, it is more important to be social and talkative, and choose your group assignment members carefully. Nevertheless, going on exchange and selecting Stenden and these particular courses has been one of the best decisions I have ever made career wise.

An ICT company KESH, for which we designed a marketing communications plan.
An ICT company KESH, for which we designed a marketing communications plan.

What comes to Leeuwarden and the Netherlands, I immediately fell in love with them. Settling down in the Netherlands was not hard. Quite opposite, it was actually very easy. Everything was organized rather well, even though there were some difficulties, such as being unable to pay with any of my bankcards (even MasterCard) in stores. Therefore, opening a local bank account was more or less a necessity in the beginning.

The city center in August.
The city center in August.
Leeuwarden in August.
Canals in August.
Canals in Leeuwarden.
Beautiful canals.
Getting to know Leeuwarden in a boat tour.
Getting to know the city in a boat tour.
Canals in Leeuwarden.
View in the canals.
De Oldehove.
De Oldehove.
Autumn in Leeuwarden.
Autumn in Leeuwarden.
Canal in January.
In January.

Comparing the Netherlands and Finland, they are actually very much the same. They are both very egalitarian in nature, strive for consensus in decision-making and do not show off too much to mention some similar characteristics. On the other hand, some things are very different in Netherlands. Most notably people, oh my gosh, they were so tall compared to everybody I know back in Finland. Even the exchange coordinator in Stenden was nearly two meters tall. Obviously, as time went by I got to know many Dutch who were not that tall. Even though most of them were.

Oldehove during Leip! Festival.
Oldehove during Leip! Festival.
Halloween Night.
Halloween Night.
Gym building with Stenden and NHL in the background.
Gym building with Stenden and NHL in the background.
Student dorms next to Stenden.
Student dorms next to Stenden.
My room in a shared flat.
My room in a shared flat.
The view from my room.
The view from my room.

About Heineken… I knew it was Dutch, but I had no clue how big it was over there! Heineken Experience in Amsterdam was definitely worth visiting and it blew my mind. I have never been into beer, but I have to admit Heineken got into me eventually. Of course, amongst students it was considered rather ‘posh beer’, since it costs almost one euro a bottle…

Heineken Experience.
Heineken Experience.
The best sushi in the world.
The best sushi in the world.

The best part of the whole experience was, however, travelling and all the people I met. I could not be more happy and grateful for making friends with such amazing people from all over the world, as well as meeting and catching up with dear, old friends who I had not seen in years. I travelled inside the Netherlands, enjoying Amsterdam and Maastricht the most. In addition I got to spend an amazing weekend full of sports in Hamburg, Germany with athletics junior athletes of Tampereen Pyrintö that I used to coach; I travelled to Glasgow in Scotland to visit my friends and (ex) fellow students from University of Glasgow; and we took part in an exchange student trip taking a night bus to Prague in Czech Republic and drank cheap beer till the dawn.

In Amsterdam with exchange students.
In Amsterdam with exchange students.
Found another Finnish.
Found another Finn.
Sports weekend in Hamburg.
Sports weekend in Hamburg.
Prague trip.
Prague trip.

What more can I say? Take a leap of faith and go on foreign exchange!

It won’t let you down!

met vriendelijke groeten from the Netherlands

Well.. where would I start? My exchange has had more events that could have ever imagined, both good and not so good.

The action started on the day I got to the Netherlands. I found out that the dorm is under renovation and there’s no certainty on when we would be able to go back. So I spent the first weekend in a hotel. Then we moved to a small cruise ship! It wa
s kind of old, the rooms were really small and we didn’t have wifi. That was actually pretty great because everybody got to know each other very well because there was nothing else to do than IMG_0001hang out the a bigger common room. We lived on the first boat for a month and then moved to another, bigger and newer boat. It was the same thing there. When we finally got to move back to the dorm in lateOctober, we looked back at the time spent on the boats and realized that even though it was challenging and out of the comfort zone, it was great because by then we all knew each others and has become really good friends.

IMG_0705Rotterdam as a city is about the size of Helsinki. It is a bit different from other Dutch cities because it was basically bombed down during the WW2 so they’ve had to build it all over since then. This has made this city to be sort of an architectural melting pot because the city is full of relatively new buildings, some being more weird than others.

School here in the Netherlands in very competitive, everybody wants to get good grades. We have had a lot of group work which has been somewhat challenging because even though the Dutch are very social, they are also very independent and like to most of the school work alone. So most of the times, we would just divide work and do it at home. Nice things about the school here are that we don’t have a lot of lectures but we’re doing most of the work on our spare time and that we are working for a real company which makes it more challenging and requires more logical thinking.

I have travelled to sevIMG_0003eral countries during the exchange. It is really easy to go to places by a train and it is not even very expensive. For example a train to Paris took only two hours. Seeing other countries has been one of the best things during the exchange. I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London and the European Parliament in Brussels.

Goedemorgen uit Nederland!

So what’s all happened to me since I arrived here in the Netherlands..?20150825_155256

I’ve had a near nervous breakdown at Amsterdam Schiphol for not figuring out how to buy train tickets and how to use the machines there…However, buying the OV-chipkaart (the national public transport card) has made life a lot easier since, so not to worry!

I’ve met my new school mates who are all wonderful and come from places like Canada, Russia, Spain, Germany, Latvia, Hungary, Mexico, France, Brazil, Korea, Japan and the UK (to name a few!).
With them I’ve attended a BBQ and games organised by my school – Fontys International Business School – in a lovely place by a big field on a beautiful summer’s day in August.

received_1040690092616548I’ve also had some fun out by the river Maas in Venlo with my new friends from school (again, on a beautiful hot summer’s day), I’ve ridden a tandem bike (and not crashed), I’ve taken a bus (tha20150902_085520t was going in the wrong direction) and ridden on it for nearly an hour when the journey SHOULD have taken 10 mins, I’ve gotten lost (oh so many times!) on the little streets around Venlo where I live…The nature over here is breathtaking though, so you really don’t mind getting a little lost!


Some things that I love over here in the Netherlands: the kindness and helpfulness of people, random conversations with strangers, the Sunday ”buzz” (Sunday seems to be one the liveliest days of the week with lots of things, like concerts, fairs and such happening), cheap prices (drinking, eating out, grocery shopping and some clothes shops) AND the way every Dutch person modestly answers: ”Yes, a little bit”, when asked if they speak English. They always end up speaking it fluently!20151023_223800

School-wise, the learning and teaching methods used here at Fontys International Business School are close to those at TAMK: there are a lot of group tasks, projects and cases to be done, but with the exemption that all the projects are theoretical as there is no contact with actual companies. I have liked it a lot though – the teachers are great and the subjects in my International Marketing and Management minor really build upon what I have previously learnt at TAMK. The grading system here goes from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best grade you can get so it’s a little different from the system in Finland, but you get used to it quickly!20150826_132359

Some great Dutch experiences thus far:

  1. Trip to Amsterdam on Halloween to meet with some friends – what a beautiful and interesting city it is with lots to see and to do, and some things you would never expect to see.
  2. 20151021_160323City of Fears trip (Weeze, Germany) A terrifyingly exciting trip organised by Fontys; an abandoned industrial park turned into a full-on horror experience with clowns, zombies and the works!
  3. Maastricht Christmas Market, lovely little city with heavenly Christmas lights and a lot of nice things to look at.20151128_180737
  4. ’Kermis’ in Venlo in October; the whole town turned into a bustling fairground for a week!
  5. Gigs, games of pool and general fun times with our new Dutch friends at Kafee de Splinter – our favourite local pub with great music and familiar atmosphere!

All in all, Venlo is an amazing little city, and the Dutch are some of the nicest and most entertaining people you’ll ever meet! I can honestly say that I recommend considering Fontys International Business School as an exchange destination. This place has exceeded my expectations.

Memorable Netherlands.

Hello there!

Quotation by Julian Barnes:

“I know this much: that there is objective time, but also subjective time, the kind you wear on the inside of your wrist, next to where the pulse lies. And this personal time, which is the true time, is measured in your relationship to memory.”

I live in Breda, in the small city of Netherlands. This plausible city has a lot of history, history which reaches far away, even that far that us present-day students, we were not even born.

The weather here stays timeless in winter time, sad and rainy, but beautifully timeless and efforless. The people are open-minded and their way to speak is as vacant as a flower in summer, but the time, the time flies fast, even too fast to catch. That is why we have our memories, the memories which never disappear.


Breda, the place where students love to go, Breda where when the time goes by, you realized that you don’t want to leave, Breda which remainds you of the people who became accidentally your whole life in short period of time, Breda which stays in your mind always.

I studied  International business operations in Breda. Education program was very extensive and instructive. The courses we went through were economy, foreign exchange risks, international law, business English and English communication. All courses deepened my essential knowledge of the overall business economy. The courses were very clear, but challenging of the viewpoint of passing. 
All students of the Avans University of Applied Sciences were very smart and knew how to speak proper business English, some even better than the teachers themselves. Overall feeling of The Neterlands, Breda and Avans was exceptional. The school itself is my point of view very progressive and pragmatic, which is an valuable aspect for students who are searching reliable extension of their business knowledge by using English.

Thank you for showing my personal time, which is measured in my relationship to memory.


Back in Netherlands

It’s been 12 years since my first visit to Netherlands and since then i have been travelling just about every corner of the country during my trips around Western Europe, since my travels usually are more focused on far east and Asia, it was a good idea to choose Netherlands as exchange country since i already knew that i would like it in here.

Zwolle is a relatively small city, but i really don’t like big cities anyway so it’s pretty much perfect in size. After seeing and travelling the major big cities around the world you really come to appreciate smaller places and the access to nature.

Studying here is just about what i expected and it’s been good experience so far. Since i don’t have that much of course going on currently in the uni, i started my training to graduate as a scuba diving instructor in a local dive center and career development school. It’s going well so far and i expect to graduate in december.



Day for fundives at Wythmenerplas, Zwolle

Here in the pic above me and my Finnish friend were doing some fundives in a local lake Withmenerplas, just outside Zwolle

Greetings from the Netherlands!

Greetings from the Netherlands!

In the beginning, I have to tell that time flies here! I have lived here for more than 2 months already! But as has been said; time flies when you are having a good time 🙂

I live in Nijmegen, in the oldest city in the Netherlands. This city is beautiful with lots of students. Nijmegen feels like a small idyll city with lots of old buildings. I feel very comfortable living here. There are not huge differences in the culture and the life style between Finland and the Netherlands. That is one of the reasons why it has been very easy to settle down here. People here are very friendly and open. Almost everyone is able to speak English.


I live about 5 km away from school and the city centre. It means lots of cycling: I rarely use any other transportation in Nijmegen. This country is famous for the bikes; people actually bike here a lot! Sometimes it feels like there are more bikes than even cars in the traffic. There are own lanes for the cyclists on the roads.

I live next to this beautiful river
We ride bikes everyday

Life is treating me very well here! It feels like a home here. My everyday life consists of school, hanging out with the friends, sports, travelling etc., just as my life in Finland also. I live with 8 other students and there are plenty of students in the area I am living. It is very easy to make friends here and have company here.


It’s been beautiful autumn with awesome colors

Weather is pretty nice to Finnish people also. It is raining every now and then and it is getting darker all the time. At the same time it is still warmer than in Finland J Now at this time (November) it has been up to 15 degrees during the days; it feels actually very warm weather for the November J So basically while the people from the southern Europe feel the freezing, rainy and windy weather I cannot complain. There are always an option to go and dance under the rain in any way!



I have done some small trips in the weekends and looking forward to do more. It is very easy to travel; it is easy to just take a train and travel to new cities in a cheap way.

Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, Czech Republic
2015-11-15 12.35.18
Amsterdam is a nice city! It didn’t feel like a typical dutch city though


Maastricht, the Netherlands

I have about 2,5 months left here and I want to fully enjoy my rest of the time here and keep learning new things. Adioooos!


Hallo Utrecht!

Greetings from the Netherlands!

It’s been almost exactly two months since I arrived to this flat country and a beautiful city called Utrecht. First few weeks I was completely lost here and felt like an outsider with no bicycle. Cycling is a very typical Dutch thing to do and even though I had read about the amounts of bikes in cities, the reality was “worse” than I’d imagined. In Finland I used to hate cycling but after getting my own bike here and exploring the city with it I’m now convinced that it’s the best way to travel short distances. So it seems I’ve taken my first step in turning into Dutch…

Leiden and windmills


I came here for my exchange to study Minor Music Marketing in the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (Hogeschool Utrecht). Courses have been interesting but not as challenging as I was hoping for when reading reports about studying in this particular school. All the teachers in this minor are real professionals in the music industry and their English is very good, which has made learning in a new environment pretty easy. Also the way of teaching is quite similar with TAMK so I haven’t had any difficulties with courses and the amount of work is very reasonable. That’s nice since it guarantees that I have a lot of spare time here. Despite not being forced to study really hard, I feel that I’ve learned much and also passed all the courses this far with good grades. IMG_1542

The biggest culture shock here has been a positive one: people in the Netherlands (at least in Utrecht, I’m not so convinced about the Amsterdam) are very helpful and friendly. If you’re wondering in the streets and look like you’re lost, there’s always someone coming to offer their help. People are smiling and more talkative to strangers than in Finland but also here the personal distance exists, so you’re not going to feel intimidated by strangers. Living in the Netherlands is easy also because nearly everyone here speaks good English and knowing basics of German also helps quite much with understanding Dutch, at least in written form..

View from my balcony

In my free-time I have travelled inside the Netherlands with my flatmates. We have visited Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Leiden. Travelling inside the country is easy and cheap, because with the OV-chipkaart you can use all the domestic trains in the Netherlands as well as the public transport. I’ve also visited Italy for a weekend trip and I’m planning to visit also Paris.

Como, Italy
Milan Duomo
Milan, Italy

Besides travelling I’ve attended many cool international house parties and also seen the nightlife of Utrecht, which I don’t really enjoy because of the music they are playing: electronic dance music and techno are very popular here and almost nobody listens to rock or heavy music… One of the things I miss from Finland!


I could write for hours about the beauty of the canals, interesting changes in weather, all the amazing new people I’ve met and so many other things. But since I’m trying very hard to keep this short, I guess I’ve already written enough.

Hardly working in the land of windmills

Hoi allemaal!

I’m now around the halfway of my 3 month long stay in the Netherlands. The country has been treating me well so far; the weather has been warmer and more sunny than usually around this time of the year.

IMG_9157     IMG_9155

I live in a small town of Berlicum and cycle 15 minutes to work in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, or Den Bosch for short. I work as a marketing assistant for a local company. Working in the area of marketing has been challenging and a lot of fun. I have plenty of responsibility and freedom with what I do here.

Berlicum isn’t the most astonishing place on earth but it does serve it’s purpose as a calm living environment with loads of nature to explore. About once a week we even have a chill cat coming in through the back door to nap on our sofa. Den Bosch on the other hand is already a bit more of a pleasure to your eye if you are a friend of creepy art by mister Jheronimus Bosch.

IMG_8986 20150911_153621 20150918_121658

After seeing all the goats, camels and kangaroos that Berlicum has to offer, it’s nice to hop in a train and visit slightly bigger places like Tilburg and Amsterdam. The great thing about this country is that everything is closeby. I have done most of the sightseeing during my previous visits to the Netherlands so this time it’s all about hanging out with friends and enjoying life!

IMG_9116    IMG_8955