Tag Archives: United States of America

Just a kid from Finland exploring America

Hi everyone! So, I’m in the United States of America, in the state called Minnesota, and the city is called Bemidji. It’s pretty up in here in north. I’ve been here since August so, over 4 months already. It’s been amazing at so far. I want to separate this ”postcard” to two different parts. First one is that I’m going to tell you about my campus life, and the second one is about my travelling experiences.

My studies have been really easy, because I took courses which works for me, for example the best ones are Sport Marketing and Sport Management. As a business administration student, I wanted to take courses what we don’t have in TAMK. Mostly, we had presentations and some group projects, but also every week smaller tests about chapters what we went through in that week, so it really keeps you to pay attention where we are at the moment and what is coming. Compared to Finland where we usually have couple of assignments in course and end of it we have huge final exam. I’m not sure which works better, sometimes I like this way that I don’t have to stress in the end of the semester that am I going to pass the course or not. In the beginning, we got the list of everything what we are going to do on this semester, so basically you have chance to do assignments on your own time. Like how I did, I did almost everything in September, so I had chance to travel in October and November.

 

So, campus life in here is something unique compared to Finland. Everything is so near, and we have like our own community. I love that it takes couple of minutes to walk to the classrooms, or to the gym or to restaurants. I realized that I have so much more time for everything when I don’t have to use it for moving from place to another. One senseless thing in here is that we have tunnels underground, so when it gets really cold, people are using those to move around.

 

My normal day includes lectures, sport and chilling with friends. Sport facilities here are so great. I don’t have early classes, like my earliest class starts at 10 am so there are good hours in the morning to use for whatever I want. Also, I had approximately 2 hours classes per day, so yeah, there is lot of free time. We have here some restaurants, the best one is buffet place where is all you can eat all the time. We have own currency here called Beaver bucks, and we had to load those on our student ID, so we can use it here at the campus. So, if it’s just a normal studying day, there is enough time for homework and classes, enough free time to be active and do sports and enough time to chill out, relax and sleep.

 

We have almost every day some events here for example movie nights, live music, free food and chilling, whatever they make up + all the groups like sports. If I would involve in every event here, I would never have problem to think about, what should I do to not get bored. I like mostly to watch college sports like football, hockey and basketball. It’s nice that we have every week games here and our fan culture is so supporting.

Finally, we get to the main topic and it’s travelling. I think I did that in the best way as it was possible. I got to know awesome exchange students from Switzerland and Denmark, and together we have done unforgettable trips. First, we started to explore Minnesota, we wanted to see whole state. Later in October we went to Canada, so that was little bit bigger step to rent a car and cross the board. It took only 4 hours to drive to Canada, so that was one must thing to do here.

After 3 months being here we got so used to this place that we wanted to travel somewhere else and see more states. Two swiss guys and I decided to rent a car for 10 days and drive from here where the Mississippi river starts flow, along it all the way down where it ends in the New Orleans. It took 4 days to drive there, but we stopped in Cedar Rapids, St. Louis and Memphis. We made plan for what we want to do in every place and what we wanted to see. After couple days in New Orleans we decided to ahead to Nashville and after that to Chicago. We saw so many things and places on our journey that is for sure my craziest and also the best memory of all time.

 

So, it took 10 days, we drove over 5000 kilometers, and we sat in the car over 50 hours. It was totally worth it, and idea wasn’t just to get from place to another, we wanted experience the freedom while driving to new states and see roads and nature. We visited 12 states! Sometimes crazy ideas end up being master plans. I’m very thankful that I had this opportunity to do this and also that I found those two as openminded people as me to share this experience with me.

Greetings,

Aukusti

Greetings From the Land of Hurricanes

I’m doing my exchange studies in Raleigh, North Carolina which is in the east coast of the United States. North Carolina is a diverse state: going from east to west, you will travel from beach to mountains and there is everything in between. Raleigh is located inland. Nevertheless, my postcard is about hurricanes and how I experienced them!

You have probably heard news about the two destructive hurricanes that took place this fall. Due the unusually warm summer, America’s east coast has unfortunately faced two disastrous hurricanes that also had an effect to the town where I’m studying. Hurricane Florence struck in the mid-September and hurricane Michael struck in the mid-October. Both left behind aftermath of deaths and destroyed homes and buildings.

September 14, Florence made landfall in the North Carolina, and weakened further as it slowly moved inland. The State was early alarmed, and people started to prepare. Schools were closed, stores ran out of water, people were evacuated. It was forecast to hit the cost on Friday evening. North Carolina State University was closed on Wednesday till Monday. Students went back to their homes, buildings were secured with bags of sand, trees and branches were cut. Rental bikes and all the small loose things were removed from the streets.

When it finally struck after all the preparations, the hurricane had weakened to category 1. We were so far inland and survived from the biggest damage, however we had heavy raining and wind for a few days. Which felt like eternity for someone who was in the dorm the whole time. They threw a hurricane party across the street from my apartment, just that students that didn’t left town, could enjoy the extra vacation together. Basically, the time was spent watching Netflix, going to the gym, hanging out with friends and doing some homework. So we had a lot of fun. Luckily in my area there weren’t power outages and nothing more than a few fallen trees and small flooding on the streets. We got back to school on Tuesday and we needed to catch up the studies.

In the mid-August hurricane Michael did great damage to Florida and Central America. It moved up with heavy rain and wind. When Hurricane Michael struck, I wasn’t even aware of that we would be affected. School wasn’t closed, or classes weren’t cancelled. It was normal Thursday with a cloudy morning. I went to a class and during that, the skies broke. It was a lot of rain and the wind just blew the rain from every possible direction. I was wearing a rain jacket and umbrella which both had no use. It just wettened everything. My shoes were like sponges and my backpack with all my stuff got wet on my 500-meter way from school to library. I had to dry everything and pack my stuff into plastic bags before heading home. It rained the whole day and night, but it went over fast. The next morning was sunny and beautiful. It caused small flooding and few fallen trees and branches. For me hurricane Michael was worse.

People asked me if there were hurricanes in Finland and I always answered that we certainly do not have them. I experienced two Hurricanes in just a small period of time which is rare to even have that many hurricanes. It is a cultural experience that I don’t need to face in Finland. We were lucky to only get heavy wind and rain.

Greetings from St. Paul, Minnesota. United States

I had my exchange studies in Mc.Nally Smith College of Music, I had most of my studies in the Hiphop music production and music business department. McNally Smith College is a leading music college in the country, I had a wonderful experience learning from some of the best teachers in the industry.

 

I live in Minneapolis, which has a beautiful and vibrant night scene. I usually hangout in the downtown area during my free times.

While sightseeing the city of Minneapolis, I found a Finnish Bistro 🙂

Education in McNally is a bit different as to the grading system, but the approach is similar for the most part, just like in Finland at the end of the semester, there is a chance to give feedback for each course.

It has been a great experience thus far 🙂

How y’all doing ?

Hello from NC State Uni !

I have been taking Paper Science and Engineering , Chemical Engineering and Environmental courses while my exchange. School has higher work load and professors are expecting you to handle it. Work hard, play hard

NC State football game

On my spare time I have been traveling some major cities.  I have also seen some smaller places and nature. We have had couple camping trips with the whole dorm. We have had also a lot of other activities as a dorm.

Plantation at Lousiana

With my friend we have seen lots of sports. Carolina Hurricanes games especially, since the arena is only 15 min away by bike. Tickets for students are only 15 dollars. Cheaper than Tappara’s games.

Waterfall at North Carolina
Thanksgiving trip to New York

I really encourage people to go abroad ! It’s fun !

Death Valley
Wild horses, somewhere in the state of Washington.
Grand Canyon
Massive tree for paper industry

Living the camp dream

Hi everyone! I’m studying business administration in TAMK. Currently I’m doing a part of my practical training in the United States in New Hampshire as the business manager for a Girl Scouts camp. I came to Camp Wabasso for the first time last year as a general counselor. I had the best time of my life and really wanted to come back but I also needed to do a practical training over the summer. So being the business manager for camp was the ideal deal for me.

Working at a camp is a lot of fun, and no two days are ever the same. Being the business manager my daily duties might be a bit more boring than the other counselors, as I work in the office for the mostpart and only rarely get to participate the camp activities. But I would not change a thing, I have loved being able to combine camp and my field of study.

My daily jobs include going to the post office to deliver outgoing mail and get mail for the campers and staff. Compared to Finland Americans are very big on sending care packages, some kids get more mail in a week than I do in a month at home. On daily basis I also print out emails from parents to the campers. My other duties vary between days. Some days I have the trading post open, where the kids can buy souvenirs and camp gear, I go to the bank to deposit or withdraw trading post money, I do supply runs and answer the parents’ phone calls in the office. Once a week I have a proper office only day, when I do weekly expense reports for everything we’ve used money for.

It is hard to compare the exact job I have to the way it would be in Finland, because I don’t think it really exists in back home. Summer camp culture is very unique to the States. Work culture itself is different in Finland in the USA. Finnish people are generally really hard working, and a lot is expected from every employee. In Finland, we have less people doing the same amount of jobs especially in the service industry. For me this has meant that I’ve taken more initiative and been more proactive than my employer would have expected of me in the beginning. I feel that hierarchy is more important in the States than in Finland. At camp, it is very clear who your supervisor is, and you should always only report any concerns or questions to your supervisor directly, and not anyone else. The upside of this is, that you get a lot of support from your supervisor, as it very clear for them to know who they are supposed to be supporting.

Because camp life is very different to normal life, I also get to do lots of fun things. I’m lifeguard certified, so sometimes I get to cover someone’s free time at the waterfront. We have lots of campfires and cookouts as well. Camp staff is one big community of forty women living and working together in a small area for the whole summer. While it gets hard sometimes, I have never regretted my decision to come back and am already trying to figure out a plan to come back next year.

 

 

Greetings from MSU, United States

I have been studying in Michigan State University in East-Lansing. This is a great place, you could say that the campus is a town itself. If you compare a regular Finnish campus to the campus in MSU it couldn’t be more different!

Michigan State University Main Campus PDF Graphic

https://maps.msu.edu/

As you can see the campus area is a lot bigger than for example the campus area in TAMK. Since I am writing my thesis, big and important difference for me is the library. It is open basically 24 hours a day and there is a cafeteria.

In addition to doing my thesis I have also visited in different social services provided by the university. First of all in the US there is different education system which, in my case, means that in here I would graduate as a Bachelor of Social Work in stead of Bachelor of Social Services. Since in Finland we make difference between social workers and Bachelors of Social Services and in the US they don’t, it is obvious that there are also differences on job descriptions.

If the education system is different so is the social service system. For example MSU offers a lot of services on it’s own for students but there are also community programs which you can read more about in here: http://socialwork.msu.edu/Programs/Community-Outreach/Community-Programs

As I mentioned, the campus is a town itself and there are different activities like student groups or activities organized by OISS (Office for International Students and Scholars). Since we are in America, you can guess that foot ball is a big deal. “Go green, go white!” echoes in the streets of East-Lansing when Spartans play. Underneath there is a photo of Spartan Statue.

Aiheeseen liittyvä kuva

http://testimages.tourtheten.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/SpartyStatueFront-300×260.jpg

So there is a lot to see in MSU! I am so grateful for this experience and if someone asked, I would definitely recommend MSU for a place to study.

Best,

Sini

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

received_1269184526447088

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.

ncsu

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.

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.

Home Away From Home – Life Back in The U.S.

After living and studying in Finland for 2 years I decided that I would do an internship back home so that I could see my family and friends at the same time! It was exciting to be able to take the knowledge and skills I have learned from studying at TAMK and apply them in real work environments and situations.downtown-madison-wi-arts-entertainment-and-politics-1

Unlike many people who are doing their exchange or practical training  I already knew the culture and exactly what to expect when I got there. This had both positive and negative aspects. For example, it was nice that I could focus on working without having to be nervous about making cultural mistakes or having language barriers, but I also understand that sometimes it is good to be put in difficult situations like that  because it forces us to solve problems and become more comfortable with being in uncomfortable situations. These situations make us grow and better understand ourselves.

Even though I was back in my home country for my internship as a marketing assistant I still had to get used to a different city from where I lived as well as a new work environment, but I quickly discovered how to avoid traffic on the way to work and behave in this new work place. I was working quite a lot so I did not have much free time but when I did I visited with my family, and friends from high school. It was nice to be able to go to my old gym to workout and play basketball with my friends.

Madison, Wisconsin at Sunset
Madison, Wisconsin at Sunset

Overall I enjoyed my practical training back home, but I think doing a practical training in a foreign country would be more exciting next time!