Greetings from Nice!

Greetings from sunny Nice! Now that I have completed my autumn semester in Nice, I can share a little about daily life as a student in the South of France.

I studied at IPAG Business School in the heart of Nice, and lived only a 5 minutes walk away from the campus and 15 minutes walk from the beach. I found studying in Nice to be pretty similar to studying at TAMK and it was quite easy to be an exchange student there. All my courses were in English and it was easy to manage without knowing much French.

Nice is a beautiful city with plenty to do and see, especially in the warm months (which last until late October, which is amazing). There are many gorgeous hikes and coast towns just minutes away, and of course the beach is just walking distance away at all times.

At TAMK, I study international business and now that I’m back I am going to begin my thesis process. Now that I’m back in Finland in the cold and the snow, I am definitely missing the warm sun and the cool waves in Nice.

Viele Grüße aus München!

Greetings from Munich, Germany!

I arrived in Munich on 1st of September and now I’m writing this post in December. Time has flown by so fast! I’ve spent almost four months in Munich and gotten to know to many interesting people and places. By far the best part of the exchange has been the people. You get so many new and different perspectives of thinking about the world while abroad. It’s always a bit cliché, but I’d say that exactly this thing has happened to me when staying outside of my home country for so long now. And I would’ve considered myself as an open minded and objective person even before this semester. I strongly recommend to everyone spending some time outside of your comfort zone and exploring the world.

I study civil engineering in TAMK and during the exchange I’ve studied courses from different engineering fields, German language and two cultural courses. I’d say that in most of my courses here the teaching methods are more old-fashioned and somewhat conservative compared to Finland. There are luckily a few exceptions, but in general I feel like Finnish schooling system outperforms German in many aspects. Also, in everyday life one can feel the societal difference here; titles and ranks matter and emails must be written in a very formal way, for example.

In my free time I like to hang out with my new friends that I’ve gotten here. I’ve visited many bars and restaurants, biergartens and famous beerhalls, museums, BMW Welt, Dachau concentration camp and many more.

While staying here I’ve explored Munich and Bavaria, traveled to Austria many times, and traveled to Jordan with three friends. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the natural beauty of the Alp-regions in southern Germany and Austria. and I still have a couple of travel destinations on my bucket list for the rest of the exchange, such as Netherlands and Berlin. Hopefully Covid restrictions won’t mess things up too much in January.

Overall, the exchange semester has been a wonderful opportunity so far and, in the future, I’ll appreciate more the good things in Finland.

                                                                          Innsbruck, Austria

Dobrý den from Prague

Greetings from Czech Republic!

Time has been flying sooo fast. I almost feel that I have been here eternity, but everything has happened in so short time, haha. Lots of new friends, experiences, places and of course new aspects for my studies.

Studies here was pretty simple compared to Finland. Well in home its also pretty simple, but here it was in next level. In here I had 25 points to do, so five in a month. Semester started with a orientation week and after that we had one week with course info. So we choosed courses in the orientation week and after the info week we still had a chance to change courses. I made pretty easy timetable for my self and lectures started always after 10 and fridays I got off. Teaching here was mostly in pretty good level and I actually I was little surprised about that. Most of the teachers spoke good English and they knew what they are talking about. They still didn`t demand lots from us and the exams and projects were super easy.

 

In the spare time I have been hanging out with my friends or wondering the city of the Prague and its best beer spots. Big minus for this city is that the old town is super touristic and that`s why I haven`t been hanging around there too much. Mostly we just choose nice pub and go there to drink few beers and play some games. Sometimes we go to see some hockey or other sports.

 

Afterall studying here feels pretty much easier than in Finland and also everything here is little left behind compared to Finland or other Nordic countries. Of course that not include in every course. Like I had few exceptions with my courses and there is probably not similar ones in whole Finland.

Bye bye and see you soon Finland!

Miska Päivinen

Greetings from Munich!

The exchange semester is coming to an end here in Munich and it has been a great journey. I arrived in September and started my architecture studies at Hochschule München in October. The semester has been full of events and the time has passed quickly.

It has been interesting to see how studying and teaching architecture differs from the Finnish way. Here the studies are much more artistic and not as technical. We have also done multiple physical models of our designs which is very rare in Finland. Luckily, I managed to get into very interesting courses. I also attended to a master’s studio where we design a cultural center in Trieste harbor, in Italy. We took a two-day excursion to Trieste to see the area, and to understand the city better. It was a great experience and something I was not expecting from a normal course.

The best part of the exchange has been the people. I have met a lot of students from all around the world who have also come here to study. At first, the city was new for all of us, so during the ‘get togethers’ we became very close friends. Living in an international environment has opened my mind to understand different cultures and people better. Everyone has their own different life story to tell, and it makes you realize how different life can be in other countries.

The lifestyle here is much more relaxed than in Finland. In our spare time, we often meet in the city, in a park, or at someone’s home. It’s also very common to go to a bier garden and have a couple of drinks outside. There has been a lot of events and trips which has offered opportunities to see interesting places. The train tickets are also very cheap, so we have had many trips to different cities in Germany and Austria.

The exchange experience has been amazing and offered lifelong friends and memories.

Greetings from Lisbon!

Greetings from sunny Lisbon! The autumn semester here is about to come to an end so it’s time to give a short glance of my life here as an exchange student.

ISCTE and olive trees

I did my studies at ISCTE (Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa) and I managed to enroll in two super interesting courses; Anthropology, Citizenship and Human Rights, and Contemporary Social Inequalities. I also participated in a Portuguese Beginner’s level course, which required me to study Portuguese 4 hours a week through the whole semester. I found it really painless to be an exchange student here and all my classes were taught in English.

At TAMK I’m studying my Master’s Degree in Social Services and all my studies have been remote so far. Jumping back into normal class room studying was almost like a culture shock. Also, as far as I know, in all of my classes here I was the oldest student when most of my fellow students were in their 20’s. When comparing Finnish and Portuguese Master’s Degree studies, I felt that in Finland, students are given more independency and they are expected to have already gained a certain amount of knowledge. In Portuguese classes there were also quite a lot of debates happening during classes between students, but also between students and professors, which was new to me.

Street view (and river view too) of my neighborhood Príncipe Real

Lisbon is a vivid city with lots of things to see and do. It’s compact enough to be easily explored by walking around, although its seven hills make it feel like a real exercise at times! But usually, breathtaking views come as a reward for the effort. There’s dozens of interesting sights and restaurants to visit and I feel like I didn’t get a chance to see even half of what Lisbon has to offer. My spare time here was strongly defined by the surf forecast, and every time I had a chance, I headed to the beach of Carcavelos to try to catch some waves. I’m gonna miss that so bad!

Praia de Carcavelos

During my exchange I managed to make quite a few short trips around the country. Visiting the city of Porto and the beautiful Douro Valley, as well as the southern part of the country and Algarve area were the highlights of my time in Portugal, not to forget a little fishing village Nazaré and gazing in awe at the giant waves!

The Douro Valley after the harvest season

 

Greetings from Korea!

안녕하세요!(Hello!) I am writing this post as my 4,5 months exchange period in Seoul, Korea has ended. I was studying Visual Design at Seoul National University of Science and Technology.  Additionally, I learned the basics of Korean language.

I spent most of my time living in Seoul, the capital of Korea and lived in the university’s dorms together with many other exchange students. I knew I was bound for a huge megapolis that Seoul is, but I was nonetheless surprised by the vastness of this city. In Seoul, it feels like there are many smaller cities in a big one, because every district has something unique when you explore it and can be completely different from each other. I had a chance to visit quite many of these districts during my stay, but got a feeling that one can’t fully explore Seoul even after many years of living there.

Myeong-dong district
Insa-dong district
Dongdaemun district
Dongdaemun district

Korea is very rich in its culture, both traditional and modern and in Seoul these two are intertwined – you can find traditional Hanok architecture, but on the next corner you will find bustling, modern city vibes.
I also fell in love with Korean cuisine and was mainly visiting Korean food places.

Gwangjang food market

In the first half of the semester, I got a chance to visit East coast cities (Yangyang, Gangneung and Sokcho) that were quite different from Seoul.

Gangneung coast
Temple visit in Gangneung
Temple visit in Gangneung

 

One of my favourite places in Korea was Jeju island with its exotic vibes and beautiful nature.

Jeju – Korea’s Hawaii

 

Jeju’s waterfalls
Hallasan mountain climb
At the top of Hallasan mountain

At the second half of the semester, I visited Busan that is popular coastal destination in southern Korea and Jeonju city for its rich traditional culture.

Jeonju city’s traditional Hanok village
Busan

Regarding studies in Korea, I can say that the approach in education is quite different from Finland. The evaluation is largely based on midterm and final semester exams. However, in my study path I had also some courses with project-based evaluation, which is quite similar to Applied Sciences education in Finland. All my courses except one were held online, which was quite useful for me during the exchange as I wanted to travel to other parts of Korea. It was however challanging to keep up with both studying and leaving time for exploration.

Going for an exchange to Korea was one of the best decisions I made and I would recommend it to anyone who has a chance to do an exchange or just travel there.

Greetings From The Hague

I spent one semester on The Hague University of Applied Sciences studying The European Studies. I really enjoyed my time at THUAS and I’m really glad I got a chance to go regardless of Covid.

One of the beautiful canals in The Hague

I lived in a student housing with three flatmates all around the world. For me it was a really good choice to get a shared apartment and my flatmates were really nice. I learned a lot about different cultures by living with other international people. Also, the location of our apartment was perfect for students, since it was a five-minute walk away from the campus. I found my accommodation in The Hague trough a student housing company called Duwo. There is a shortage of apartments in The Netherlands, but I didn´t have any problems with finding an accommodation since I started to look for a flat well in advance.

The Peace Palace

The Peace Palace

I think the teaching methods and studying at THUAS didn´t differ much from TAMK. The biggest difference for me was that the semester here lasts until the end of January, so it is a bit longer than in Finland. Because of Covid, we had a lot of online teaching, but I also had some classes at the campus. However, the Covid situation worsened and in the end of December the campus closed and a lot of other restrictions were launched. At first I felt a little upset but afterall, I’m happy that I got to live even few months ”normal” life in The Netherlands. I also travelled outside the Netherlands a couple of times, which was really nice and travelling in the Europe is so easy by train or bus.

With my friends we also explored the country a lot, and there are so much beautiful cities in The Netherlands. We used to take a train to another city and spend a day there walking around and doing sightseeing. I rented a bike from a local company called Swapfiets, which is a company that rents bikes for students for an affordable monthly fee. There are more bikes than inhabitants in The Netherlands and I would strongly recommend getting a bike for everyone who is going to study there. Biking around is a wonderful way to spend a day with friends and get to know the city more.

Sunset at the Scheveningen beach

I think that The Hague is a really nice city to go to do the exchange, there is an active and vivid student life, and the beach is a lovely place to hang out with friends.

Life in Budapest

My studies

I study one semester at Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Commerce, Hospitality and Tourism. I chose four courses which are Event management, Tourism marketing, Establishing a commercial unit and its market launch and Organizational and human resource management. Registering for the courses was a mess but after a rough start everything started to go smoother.

Spare time

On my spare time I hang out with my new friends. We have dinner or go to a café or shopping etc. Also organized student events were especially at the beginning a huge part of my free time. I’ve also visited the most important sights. I tend to get really home sick so it was nice that some people from Finland came to see me.

Studying in Finland vs in Hungary

I feel like in Finland all the necessary information has easier accessibility. I mean that the teachers and the management send emails to students if there is something essential students have to do. I don’t feel like there is any major difference in the teaching between Hungary and Finland. Well maybe here it is more theoretical and in Finland more practical.

Groetjes uit Holland! 

Groetjes uit Holland! 

I am sending you warm, or better said rainy & windy (yes it does rain a lot and it is windy ALL THE TIME) greetings from The Hague. Having said that the next thing to note about the Dutch is their resistance to this weather – 5 degrees, rain and wind? About time to head to the beach or explore close by cities (all of course by bike!). One of the best things in the Netherlands is that everything is close: a trip to Rotterdam takes you 20 min, to Amsterdam 30 or to Utrecht only 40 minutes!

 

 

 

Second best thing? Definitely the food and all the cafes, restaurants…! The Dutch deep fry everything so when there you definitely have to try their bitterballen. But also, for people equipped with a sweet tooth the Netherlands have a lot to offer: my favourite is stroopwaffels. The smell of these freshly baked syrup waffles, sold in the streets, will draw your attention from miles away! Bonus about the Netherlands for our fellow Fins: the Dutch are equally crazy about liquorice. (I will leave this uncommented)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that we know about free time and food, time to talk about serious business: the studies. I study international business at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. In comparison to Finland, I’d say that studies here are more demanding and are quite time-consuming. Despite this, I honestly enjoy studying here, especially as it has been a while since I have been on campus plus teachers are super nice! When talking about my school it is important to note how much they do for their students and exchange students: they provide us with goodie bags, organize many trips to museums, host movie evenings, take us ice skating or plan city trails and most of this for free!

 

 

 

The Dutch in general are very open and welcoming people. I, similar to many other exchange students, have joined a hockey club and can only recommend you to the same as this is an easy way to make new friends abroad (the notorious hockey parties are a plus of course xd)!

 

 

 

 

 

Tot kijk!

 

안녕 여긴한국이야!

Greetings from Korea!

I studied Mechanical Engineering and Production Economics in Korea for about 4 months at Soongsil University. I originally had 6 courses, but two of them were cancelled, so I was left with:

  • Engineering Design (where we got to choose projects using Arduino Uno and self-made phone apps.)
  • Advertising and Promotion
  • International Logistics & Trade
  • International Business

Which is enough for 4 month exchange.

In my free time, I did a lot of things. We made a really good group of friends right from the start and did a lot of things with them example:

  • One week trip to YangYang in the first weeks after quarantine
  • In the third week we went on a week trip to Jeju-do Island.
Jeongbang Waterfall in Jeju-Do
  • Renting a car and buying sleeping bags + hammocks and touring all over Korea and staying out except the first night because we met some really nice people and they asked us to stay with them
Boys and hammocks
  • A week in Busan
  • DMZ
  • Paragliding
  • Joining to a kickboxing gym
  • Hiking & staying out with hammocks
  • Skiing in Youngpyong Resort

    Youngpyong

And the free time in general was really nice with a good group of friends. There were no boring days.

Comparison of education and training in Finland

In Korea, university is very competitive because grades are given cumulatively. School felt like a race sometimes because of this. I had this kind of arrangement in all my other courses, except in Engineering Design. In Finland grading system is points-based and you get your grade based on effort. The exams were usually just memorization, which was sometimes really hard to adjust to.