Monthly Archives: September 2015

Greetings from the UK!

Ay up luv, Leeds here!

It’s funny, coming from Finland you always kinda expect that whatever place you go to abroad is somehow going to be fancier. Let me tell you, that isn’t the case.  England in general seems to be a country of scattered beautiful buildings, framed by blocky gray council estates and teenage mums having a fag (a cigarette, darling) outside Morrison’s (a cheapish supermarket with a lot of people in tracksuits).

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(picture not taken by me, pinched off the web, I am not a photographer)

That isn’t to say that northern people aren’t lovely! They refer to you as my love, darling and other pet names. They are always sure to say excuse me if they bump into you, and try to be as polite as possible. All in all, they are quite wonderful, and a good time. It’s not their fault that all the money in the UK is in the south and they have been left to fend for themselves with limited job opportunities.

The teaching style in Leeds Beckett is quite different. I did make a choice to do the semester with the first years, because the courses seemed more interesting, but the difference in experience is quite harsh. I’m not claiming to be exceptionally talented but man, these kids have got a long way to being animators. Learning to draw would be the first step. Thankfully they have a course in live drawing that should do the trick, and the actual animating is quite fast-paced and forces you to be productive.

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(“Tha looks proper 3D!” – classmate, obviously not noticing the massive feet and hands I gave our model Steve. Poor Steve.)

Animating is going well, although I’m struggling with producing anything remotely pleasing with the time they give me (a week for a animation, kill me), although to be fair I’ll be better because of it. TAMK has never really put such tight deadlines on me and sometimes I find it even harder to practice self discipline to do this stuff alone with no one pushing me.

What is the deal with full-carpet-floors. The standard of flats in Britain is god-awful. It’s always too damp and too cold, the light comes on from a string hanging from the ceiling and the hot and cold taps are separated (if hot water ever comes on, that is).

And what on god’s earth is a crisp sandwhich.

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(being forced to model for class. not happy.)

Emmerdale lied to me about Yorkshire,

Venla

Ahoj from Czech Republic!

Hello from Czech Republic and especially from Brno,

Česká aka Czech Republic is a great country. I really didn´t know lot of things about this place before coming here but this trip has been full of surprises. For example, I was expecting a lot warmer(It´s snowing) weather than it is right now, but I also believe that It´s going to be better.

Studying is in my opinion quite different than in TAMK because this is university, so they have bit more theoretical approach in teaching. But teachers are very understanding about students knowing level and adjust teaching with that.

At first I thought that Brno isn´t that big city, but now after few weeks I have noticed that you can find pretty much anything around this city. There is lot of great restaurants and bars with wide range of different themes. Of course those traditional ones are the best ones.

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The Strahov Monastic Brewery (Klasterni Pivovar) in Prague
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Dinner in Brno with local beer.

“Local international student club organize lot of ‘almost all-inclusive trips’ around the nearby areas.”

If you like traveling, you should come here. Here is few reasons:

Brno – Bratislava, 130km, 8€ by bus

Brno – Vienna, 133km, 8€ by bus

Brno – Berlin, 554km, 25€ by bus

Brno – Venice, 733km, 50€ by bus

Also there is Poland, Hungary, Croatia and so on….  So now I think there is no question about perfect location in the middle of Europe. If you wanna travel by bus you should definitely check out this company:  Student agency. Also local international student club organize lot of “almost all-inclusive trips” around the nearby areas.

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Prague
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Auschwitz birkenau II
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Cave near Brno
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St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

 

Japan- The Country of Rising Sun

I arrived to Japan in mid of March, when the spring time was calling for the cherry blossom. “Hanami” is the old name of picnicking under a blooming sakura (cherry blossoms). It could be considered as a reunion time, when friends and family members are sitting on the carpet under the cherry trees and enjoying the beautiful scents and color of spring. I lived in a guesthouse for both Japanese and foreigners. It was a very friendly community. I had a chance to experience “Hanami” event organized for the tenants by the guesthouse. It was very enjoyable to see the canopy of blossoms with a picnic and a traditional photo screen.

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As my internship lasted until August, I had more chances to explore the summer season in Japan. About the weather, it was not so nice to go out during the season of both humid and hot. It is also the time of tsunami. Regardless of these factors, it was still worth to staying there for the summer because it is time for “Hanabi” (fireworks) festivals. For me, the Japanese fireworks were bigger, longer lasting, and more colorful than any fireworks that I have seen so far. The special thing going hand-in-hand with hanabi was wearing Yukata. This is traditional clothing in Japan, and also is known as a summer version of kimono. Wearing yukata does not mean only wearing an outfit, but a certain hairstyle and elaborate accessories are the requirements to complete the look. I and my colleagues went to see hanabi in August, it was a great chance for me to wear yukata. One of my colleagues has lent me her yukata, which was made by her mother. I would say, it was not as easy as it looked to wear the yukata by myself. With the help from my colleague, I finally managed to have a perfect look for the firework festivals.

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Mount Fuji is a national icon for Japan, which is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 m. This is one of the most attractive destinations for foreigners, especially for hikers. The best option is to take two days and one night to reach the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, due to a tight schedule, I was not able to complete the trail. However, it was still worth going to the Mt. Fuji for the sunrise as well as for little walks.  One thing to be aware of is weather. As it is a typhoon season during the summer, as well as the weather up to the mountain can be unpredicted- changeable, climbing the mountain with well preparation and experts are recommended.

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Japan is also a famous place of shrines, temples, and souvenirs.

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Getting to know Japanese history, traditional things, and cuisines, Japanese manner and equity, etc. as well as discovering many different perspectives of the country makes me want to stay there longer. It was such amazing journey for me. I hope I would come back to Japan one day soon.

Enjoy your life, alsjeblieft!

Hallo!

Having read about so many international institutions, I had a picture of The Hague being extremely academic, maybe even stiff. I soon realized that yes, while it has its many important operations, it’s very multi-cultural and laid-back, as the Netherlands itself. As a Finn, I was of course amazed by the loose attitude towards living. Many, many things we Finns consider negative or even illegal in our everyday life, is completely fine in the Netherlands. But it’s not bothering, here you can be whatever you like to be.

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Although everyone had warned Dutch weather being horrible, I had some pretty good luck. The autumn was one of the best in decades. I enjoyed drinks in the wonderful Scheveningen beach (a pretty good rival to Riviera beaches!), made some great friends, frequently visited beautiful Amsterdam, did some school as well.. 😀

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And when the rain and that horrible wind and storms finally hit, I was so adjusted to my Dutch life I couldn’t care less. I got so comfortable with everything there: people, places, way of living – that I hope one day I’m able to do it all over again.

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Love,

Essi

Saludos desde Fuengirola!

I did my practical training in Fuengirola 15.5. – 16.8.2015. Summer was the best in my life! I got a lot of new friends and wonderful experiences. I learned a lot about myself and Spanish culture.

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I worked in the company which reserved the hotel rooms and holiday apartments for customers. I took care of e-mails and phone and other office work. I learned a lot of hotel world and i became more confident that the hotel will be my future workplace.

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In free time I traveled around Fuengirola and other cities nearby. And  of course, enjoy the sun and wonderful scenery.

Summer went too fast and I cant’t wait to get back in Spain!

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Hallo aus Esslingen!

Hallo!!

Me and my three classmates are loving this old city of Esslingen! The Erasmus community is taking good care of us shy Finns!

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I have to say the weather this summer is great! Europe was/is definitely the place to be! Luckily we arrived by car thus giving us the chance to move freely during our periods of holiday. I would recommend this to future exchange students!

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This is my friend posing on top of a mountain looking down on lake Königssee right on the border to Austria.

From Germany with love!!

Greetings from London!

Lontoo
I spent in London most of my weekends. I was there always when I had some free time. I visited many places but the most interesting time I had at the Finnish Church (Merimies Kirkko) last Christmas. I remember being there for the first time. So nice it was to be around Finnish people again! I it was a wonderful feeling, best christmas gift I could receive back then. There was a chance to get some traditional finnish food and chocolate too!

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I visited the National Art Gallery which was definitely the biggest art gallery I have ever had pleasure to be.

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I also visited Madame Jojo’s pub one evening where she held burlesque dance shows. I found it very inspiring so I decided to start burlesque lessons later on in Reading.

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I have been in London so many times I can walk the streets without a map. I will definitely visit London again!

 

Joni Ahonen

It’s going MAD-good in Madrid

Hola amigos! Madrid is treating us well. This place has stolen my heart.

Parque San Isidro

Sun is shining almost everyday and our apartment is located very well. Our landlord is one of the nicest people ever and the apartment itself is awesome with its Spanish, bohemian style.

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Our balcony is the one thing I love the most!

The school seems okay and I have met many new awesome people. Spanish culture seems like it’s made for me. So, everything is better than well. This city never sleeps and it has beautiful people living in it. I will definitely come back here many, many times!

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– Anna