Christmas is almost here which means that my exchange period is almost over. Before my exchange I was excited, scared and I didn’t know what to expect because this was my first time when I was going abroad alone. Before I came here, five months seems such a long time but I can certainly say that time flies here! Now it’s sad to leave all these nice places and wonderful people and come back to Finland.
I’m living in Zwolle which is quite small (population around 125 800) but very cozy and calm city in the northeaster Netherlands. If you like big and crowded cities, Zwolle isn’t probably right place for you. But it is just perfect for me. The city center is small but there are many nice restaurants, cafés and shops (such as Primark, H&M, Zara). And of course, there are beautiful canals and old buildings.
I’m studying at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Windesheim is quite big school and there are many students. Most of my lessons are in the X building which is the newest building and very modern. My program is called Doing Business in the World and I have chosen courses like sustainability marketing, business ethics and organizational psychology. In addition to these we have one project for a real customer.
Studying here is very similar than in TAMK. We have many groupworks and projects. I think that the biggest difference is that the teachers here are more direct they have higher standards than in TAMK. For example, if they aren’t satisfied with your assignment they might ask you to improve it. Most of the students in my class are exchange students but there are also a few Dutch students.
Dutch people don’t eat lunch at all. At lunchtime, they eat only sandwiches or fries. And they eat fries A LOT! You can find snack bars almost in every corner. I would never have thought to say this but I really miss TAMK school lunches!
The first thing I did after I arrived at Zwolle was to find a bike because bike is the easiest way to move from one place to another. Bikes in here are quite expensive for example I paid 90 euros for my secondhand bike. I live in Leliestraat in a shared room where we have a bunkbed, own kitchen and bathroom. The building is old but the room is nice and my roommate is wonderful.
In my spare time, I have enjoyed walking around the beautiful city center and the park right next to my accommodation. I had quite lot of work in the first period but now I have more free time and I have been travelling around the Netherlands and Germany. Travelling here is easy and the distances are really short compared to Finland.