It was the beginning of June 2020 when I returned back to Cyprus and was very lucky because at the last minute I found a practical training place that could offer me some experience and get more familiar with my field of study. I started working for a nonprofit organization as a content writer making research and publishing articles on different topics that are related to sustainability on the organization’s website. I was disappointed that I had to work only online but that was my only option due to Coronavirus. I wrote several articles at the beginning and after some time, my supervisor asked me if I could help the organization to become more popular and try to spread our ideology of sustainability and using sustainable products. From that point, I found out my love for business and marketing that are extremely important in modern life, and since then they have been my main interests in addition to my studies.
Despite the fact that my practical training was not as I expected, life, in general, was really nice. Warm temperatures allowed me to do so many outdoor activities. Rackets on the beach was every day in our schedule with my friends, chilling in the lovely beaches of Ayia Napa and at night for a beer at some really nice bars in Protaras. Snorkeling and exploring the wildness of the Mediterranean sea was an unforgettable experience and also day trips to mountains and to the small waterfalls that are only one and half hour from the coast are extremely nice. Because I come from Cyprus and have lived there for several years, I was familiar with the Country and culture, nonetheless, every time I go I get myself doing different activities and never getting bored. It’s a great destination for exchange students that love sun, beaches, adventures and definitely I recommend it!
I went on exchange to Cyprus and studied the field of business administration in University of Nicosia. The experience was very pleasant overall. Teachers were mostly very expressive and passionate about their own subjects. The atmosphere was quite chill but students were expected to actively take part in the lectures. I studied two language courses and two management courses and I found that in Cyprus solo work is more common than group projects. In one of the management courses we had to do two case studies and presentations in small groups while in the other one all the work was done solo apart from some in-class discussions.
Pic#1: Nicosia. Pic#2: Nicosia at sunrise.
University of Nicosia was in general way easier than Tampere University of Applied Sciences is. I and another Finnish student scored straight A’s with ease while in Finland neither of us does. However for local students and some exchange students from other countries the exams didn’t seem to be that easy. Often the exam questions would have answers straight from the study material written in the same exact words and we didn’t need to apply the information into practice in any way.
Pic#3: Buffavento Castle, North Cyprus. Pic#4: Golden Beach, North Cyprus.
I mostly spent my spare time with other exchange students. There was an organization called Erasmus Society Nicosia (not to be confused with the official ESN) which arranged lots of events for Erasmus students every week, so many of us got together in the evenings, usually multiple times a week. We travelled around both Greek and Turkish Cyprus and the adjacent countries such as Jordan, Israel and Greece. We visited all the cities in Cyprus such as Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos multiple times. We also spent a lot of time sunbathing on the beautiful beaches of Ayia Napa.
Pic#5: Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa. Pic#6: Ayia Napa Sea Caves.
Going on exchange to Cyprus was the best decision I have ever made and I strongly recommend choosing Nicosia as one’s exchange destination.
I have been now over three months in Cyprus. Time flies so fast! I started my studies in October, but i came to here in Septemper to spend some holiday before studies.
Mediterranean climate provide great weather for holidays and it is nice addition when seeking for warm and non-rainy circumstances during studies.
Still in October here is approximately +25 degree so you can guess what i was doing on my weekends here 😉 Yes, i went to the beach! Because my school is in Nicosia where also my flat is, i have explore other cities whenever i had time. Unfortunately Nicosia is in the middle of island so apparently there is no beaches.
Even Nicosia do not have beaches, here is many other things to see and do. Here is many beautiful churches, shopping street called Lidras, Turkish side and art gallerys etc.
Myschool is Higher Hotel institute Cyprus (HHIC) so its more like high school than university. I study Travel and tourism Management. I am the only one Erasmus-student here in my school, but luckily i found a Facebook group for erasmus students in Nicosia. In here Nikosia is about 5 different universitys with hundred of exchange students all around world! I ALSO FOUND MY OWN ERASMUS FAMILY <3
I study with the last year students so i have many difficult but interesting courses. My lecture schedule is from monday to friday, so its pretty intensive and demanding combaring timetable to my studies in TAMK. Technology here is little bit late than TAMK aswell. We have Moodle, but teachers dont use that a lot, but they give us notes.
Overal, my experience here have been quite educational, since i have put a lot of effort to my studies. I wanted to improve my english skills and that i did. I also have get to now better this culture which is sincerely different than ours. I have tried many variety of local dishes and good wines which i love!
I spent my spring in the Cypriot capital Nicosia, studying Hospitality Management. I stayed at the halls of residence there on the spot, upstairs of the school. For me that worked perfectly, since I am not a morning person I could just wake up and be in class in one minute. I shared a room with one girl and I was lucky enough to have someone so great as a roommate. Others shared their rooms with two or three people, ours wasn’t that crowded. I enjoyed the dorm-life very much.
Studying in HHIC was sort of different from studying in TAMK. I had seven “subjects” in total, two lessons a week each and a final exam on each as well. So at the end it was quite hectic to try and memorize all that information from four months time. If I were more clever, I would’ve studied during the period, not only the last two weeks!
Nicosia in itself is quite boring. Luckily, Cyprus is a small island so I could easily travel around by cheap buses and it would take only max two hours to get to places. I visited Limassol many times with my roommate, it was nice of her to take me with her on weekends. Otherwise I would’ve had to stay in Nicosia all by myself since everyone left home for weekends and I was the only exchange student there. I also traveled to Larnaca and Paphos as my family, my boyfriend and my friends came to visit me. Those were the times when I got to see the proper Cyprus outside Nicosia.
Food was amazing, weather excellent, studies quite easy and doable, people were nice although they tended to speak only Greek if I didn’t remind them to use English. I would say 3,5/5.
My exchange is coming on the end but it has been full of experiences. Cyprus is a sunny island where people love food and resting. I came in the beginning of October and during the whole month the temperature was still almost 30 degrees and I loved it! After October it has been getting lower but still in January during the daytime it can be very warm when the Sun is shining.
I have been studying Hospitality Tourism Management in a school named Higher Hotel Institute Cyprus which is located in the capital of Cyprus: Nicosia. The school is a very small, only 270 students and I have been living in a residence of the school.
In the beginning of my exchange the school and studying was difficult for me because of the language. My English wasn’t so good but it has definitely got better and that’s one thing i’m very happy for. I have lessons from Monday to Friday, some days only two hours and some days five hours. The lessons are in normal class rooms with chairs and tables (not in auditoriums like we mostly have in TAMK).
I have nine courses and specially the ones about traveling and tourism had been very interesting because we don’t have that kind of lessons in TAMK. During the autumn we had tests, projects and mid-term exams. Now in January we are doing our final examinations. So right now i’m studying and reading a lot…
The studies are different here than in Finland because the number of people in one class is smaller and the teaching is more like ”old-style”. But mostly I have liked it and I have learnt many new things.
When thinking about the size of the school, there are advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are for example that the teachers know all the students and the relationships between them are close and friendly. The disadvantages are related mostly to being as an exchange student here. Here is only one another exchange student with me and the school doesn’t offer any activities for us and they didn’t tell anything about the events that Erasmus is organizing here.
In the beginning of my exchange I used lot of my free time to go to the beaches and traveling around. I visited all the ”main cities” and went also to the mountains. I also used my time (and money) to get familiar with the local foods and drinks. People here really love to eat and I can say the same of myself. I had tried all the traditional dishes and of course beers, wines, spirits…
Cyprus is a dry but beautiful island in the middle of Mediterranean Sea and people are open-minded and helpful. The culture is totally different than in Finland which has been hard for me sometimes but it had also taught me a lot. I have learnt new things of myself and met so many new people.
So, I already wrote three final exams and six are still coming… Hope I will pass all the courses!
I can honestly say I am living a dream right now. In Cyprus you can educate yourself in a modern university but at the same time enjoy beach life, sun and explore all the magical places of the island. Cyprus is the island where sun shines almost trough the year and you never have to suffer from cold.
When I left Finland in January, it was dark night with -25 degrees. My first morning in Cyprus started with a breakfast by the sea. Our first time at the beach was already in February, when my Finnish friends were still freezing in the Finland’s winter frosts. I have to say that I was not jealous to them.
My everyday life here is pretty relaxed. I have lectures just couple of hours a day and every week from Friday to Sunday are free. Weekends me and my friends usually head to the coast from Nicosia, where the university and our flats are located. The nearest cost is only about 50 km away from Nicosia and bus tickets are remarkable cheap here. We either travel to beach in the morning and back in the evening or book an affordable hotel for the weekend. So weekends are used mostly for sunbathing, swimming and little partying, can I even ask for more? 🙂
The days go through here so fast that before I know it is time to go home. Now it is important to enjoy all the moments, have fun and especially appreciate this opportunity to live in such a beautiful country. I already know that Cyprus will be part of my heart the rest of my life.
I have been in Cyprus for almost three months now and I still have more than one before heading back home. I can honestly say that life is treating me well in here. Luckily I have better part of my exchange still left. The weather is getting better and warmer day by day and now it has been +30 degrees almost every day. Today started three weeks Easter holiday and after that I have only Final Exams before homecoming.
I live in Nicosia, which is the capital of Cyprus. Nicosia is a bit bigger city than Tampere and really pleasant city. For a Finn it is really weird that there are not rivers or lakes near and ocean is 50km away. Public transportation is really undeveloped here, buses go only once in an hour and sometimes they just don’t appear even though you are waiting for it.
Nicosia is quite cheap place to live. I pay under 300€ rent monthly and eating in restaurants is cheap. Travelling by bus or taxi is affordable too; bus ticket is only 75 cents for student. However, food at grocery stores is even more expensive than in Finland. Especially yoghourt, cheese and cold cuts cost a lot.
My school, University of Nicosia is the biggest university in Cyprus and overall it is really nice. Lectures weren’t as difficult as I expected after I got used to professors’ accents. There are over 100 exchange students in our school and I didn’t have any course where wasn’t other exchange students.
I will travel to Crete for nine days during spring break. My other plans for the rest of my time in Cyprus is lay in the beach, tan as much as I can and enjoy the heat and the weather. Time has flied here so I suppose that this last month is over before I even notice…
The title is one of the things I learned in Greek while I was here in Cyprus. It means “How are you?” or “How do you do?”. If asked from me I would answer: “The same as back home.” Because my experience here was pretty much normal life in different environment. I’m not big party person nor am I the most sociable person on planet. I’m the Lone Wolf character when there are not people I really connect with around. Luckily I had my good “friend” Seppo (in the picture below) with me, who was given to me along for the ride by my girlfriend.
My normal life consisted of computer, school and wandering around. In that order. I was able to deepen my friendship with one of my already best friends, which was kinda funny considering where I was. School was nothing special, I just went through it with the same attitude as back in Finland. Sometimes I really thank my ability to learn easily by listening.
Cyprus is a really laid back country and you never really feel threatened, except I did once. I had promised my father and brother to go and watch a football match so I did(after many hardships mind you). Firstly I made the mistake of wearing green shirt, the one time I could have wore orange I decided to wear green. Orange is the color of APOEL Nicosia and green is the color of the local competitor. I was sold a ticket to APOEL fan stand basically, and heck was that scary for a Finnish guy with wrong colored shirt. Cypriot football culture is miles ahead of ours. In good and bad.
My exhange has already reached its end, last week I spent with my mother, brother and girlfriend in Larnaca. Now I’m at the same time excited and afraid of the return to Finland tomorrow (this will be posted when I’m already there though).
Oh, and if I would give a proper “Very good” answer to the title in Greek it would be: “πολύ καλά“