Tag Archives: Germany

Greetings from Stuttgart, Germany

Hallo, wie geht’s?

Greetings from Stuttgart, Southern Germany!

I have been here as an exchange student since March in Hochschule der Medien. I am a student in the Print Media Technologies minor, and I have really enjoyed the studies here. In my studies at TAMK in the interactive media path I have been able to study how to make design with Adobe programs, but here I have been able to widen my knowledge about printing technologies and how to prepare files better for print. I have also participated in a project course, where we made an Image book for das Kaufhaus, a second hand store in Stuttgart. The project has been so cool and I have been able to work with different people and to work on the layout for the Image book. Another course I have really enjoyed is the practical training class, where we have in practice worked and learned about printing techniques. I have been able to work in a book bindery and to try out different printing machines. I have also learned new things about inks, and how many different kinds of inks there are with various abilities. For example some inks glow in the dark after absorbing light and some inks you can make smell like coffee for example. The studies in Germany have been quite similar to the studies in Finland. The differences I think has much to do with resources. Hochschule der Medien has state of the art printing machines for the use of teaching, which the students can use. But a difference I have noticed is that generally I feel that more is required out of students to perform and some teachers are quite demanding. Also more work is required to achieve credits compared to TAMK. But it also depends a lot on the type of course as well. But all in all I have really enjoyed the studies and the study pace and the way of studying has worked well for me. 

The picture shows one of the big printing machines. The other picture shows an ink that glows in the dark after being exposed to light.

In my free time I have tried to do as much as possible taking to account all the Corona restrictions. The first three months of the exchange has had a lot of restrictions and places have been closed for a long time, but in the end of May more shops and restaurants started to open and you could go to most places if you had taken a negative corona test. But now the situation is much better and most places, like bars and restaurants are open longer and you don’t need a negative corona test anymore to most places. During my stay here I have been travelling to other cities, such as Heidelberg, Esslingen and Tübingen. I have done a lot of hiking in the nature with my friends and I have also gone to many museums, such as the Mercedes Benz museum, Porsche museum and the Art museum. I am looking forward to travel more at the end of my studies when the exams are over. I will go to a concert in Dresden next week and later hopefully travel to other cities and maybe neighbouring countries as well. I have been able to get friends from other countries, everyone lives in the same buildings here and my flatmates are very nice. I live with five other people. They come from Colombia, Chile, China, India and Pakistan so we are a vey international bunch of people.

   

City of Heidelberg to the left and Chile and Santiago-de-Chile-Platz at night in Stuttgart city centre and the inside of the Mercedes Benz museum

At the moment the EURO football tournament is going on, and in addition to Finland I have been cheering for Germany as well. We bought Germany hats with my friends that we wear to the games, which is really fun. I am looking forward to the rest of my exchange here in Stuttgart and I really recommend to come here for an exchange in the future.

Grüße,

Annika

 

Munich during Covid-19

After doing an exchange in France the year before, I decided to apply to another exchange program. This time my destination was Munich, Germany. After my arrival to the city we had an introductory week at the school where we would get to know the different classrooms and buildings of the school. We also had an opportunity to get to know the other students during evenings. After the first week the government shut down the school because of the corona pandemic.  The beginning of the semester was moved with a couple of weeks so I spent that time hanging out with the other exchange students.

(Student housing in the Olympic Village.)

After a while we were told that the classes would be held online through Zoom for the time being, and the government implemented stricter rules in Germany. At this point we were only allowed to move around within a 2 kilometer limit from our homes.  I spent that time seeing the sights close to my apartment. Thankfully my apartment was in the Olympic Village of Munich, so I had great places to go biking, right next to my apartment.

(Olympiapark.)

We didn’t do any online classes in my school in Finland so that was a whole new thing for me.  Otherwise the classes would be pretty similar to Finland, except that in Germany we had to do a lot more work. For every course we had a presentation and an essay and some courses had exams on top of that, so I must have written around 150 pages of essays that summer.  A couple months after the lessons started we were told that the rest of the semester would be online so I saw my opportunity and returned home to continue my online classes. This exchange experience was certainly different than the first one, but I’m still glad I went.

Berlin place to be

I spend my summer 2019 in Berlin Germany. My practical training was in youth social work at UFA Fabrik e.V. which is part of worldwide Settlement neighbourhood houses. During four month living in Berlin with local roommate and only speaking German was a great trip.

Free time was mostly hanging around in parks, fleamarkets, seeing great gigs, going theatre and art exhibitions. Also lots of pubs and club life includes naturally when you live in Berlin.

Working life was more communal in Germany than in Finland. At least in the social field. We spend lots of time together also in our free time some afterwork beers and culture happenings.

The best city of Germany

I spent the last 6 months of my life in Munich. Ive visited many cities in Germany and liked this one the most!

We were not able to find that much courses related to our studies back home. Because of this I mainly studied Business which was nice for a change. It felt like the studies were a lot more difficult than in Finland. Could be that the remote studies and different language had something to do with it. I got 26 Credits with a gpa of 1.2 (finish 4.8). This was mainly because of boredom in the lockdown.

Ilmainen kuvapankkikuva tunnisteilla aikuinen, akateeminen, asu, copy space

 

There werent that many parties because of covid but i still miss the beer in germany. The best one has to be Augustiner Weissbier. I guess germany wasnt the main target for my exchange and because of that i travelled for almost 2 months of the exchange. I visited for example: Spain,2x Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland, Czech Republic and (Gibraltar).

 

 

Schöne Grüße aus München

In March 2020 I went to Munich to do my exchange studies and to enjoy my life. Munich was so great! The city has lots of old architecture and more than 20 churches. The price level in Munich is cheaper than in Finland, and at least beer was really cheap and tasty. I’d recommend to just go to a beer garden in Munich and order a Weißbier, after that you can’t drink Finnish beers anymore.

I was there six months and studied in Hochschule München. I didn’t have to spend time there because worldwide known pandemic came, so my courses were held online. I study electrical building services engineering, but I studied mostly business in Munich because I didn’t find any course which would have been related to electric. I chose 10 different courses which was a very bad idea. I had a lot of work and in the end of the semester, the deadlines were almost at the same time. It felt like I didn’t have time to do anything else than school stuff. But I had to get 25 ECTS so I just pushed myself forward and did it. Many of those courses were just 2 ECTS so I recommend choosing courses where you could get more ECTS points.

When borders opened again, I travelled almost 2 months straight around Europe, for example to Austria, Italy and Portugal. The location of Munich is so perfect that you can just rent a car and drive everywhere. I also travelled a lot by bus and plane. Many places were closed in Europe for example bars, clubs and restaurants but I didn’t care because I was abroad and having still good time.

Even though the pandemic was pain in the ass, I enjoyed my time in Munich. I will go back to Munich for sure in the future. I want to go there to see FC Bayern München football match because all the matches were cancelled during corona situation

Greetings from Munich

I spent two semesters abroad in Germany, Munich. I went there in September 2019. The school life in Munich was not that different from what I have used to in Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Some of the courses I had was though by professors who had enormous experience on the topic from corporate world. It was pretty nice to notice that the professors were enthusiastic in teaching and the topics were made to be interesting through a real life stories.

In my spare time I used to go to the gym, nearby my apartment. It was really easy to get the membership at the gym and the atmosphere there was nice. I used to go a lot into the restaurants  and have a some food and beer with friends. I really enjoyed the food culture in Bavaria.  When I had more time I was spending a day visiting the sights. There was so much to see in Munich only, sadly the COVID-19 situation came later and I wasn’t able to visit in every place I wanted to. At least I went skiing on the Alps.

The studying and working culture doesn’t differ that much between Germany and Finland. Only major thing is that the teachers feel to be more respected in Germany than they are in Finland. I think it might be because of the masculinity aspect of the country. In Germany there are more hierarchies than in Finland and people tend to be more masculine, where Finland is feminine country.

München, Olympiastadion, Olympic Park, Stadion

https://pixabay.com/fi/photos/m%C3%BCnchen-olympiastadion-olympic-park-2516492/

Greeting from Munchen

I spent 6 months in Munchen and had a really great time even during the pandemic. I studied at Hoschule Munchen. Its kinda hard to say how the school operates or how is the student life there since there was the pandemic. Nevertheless the school reacted fast and well to the pandemic and the start of the summer semester only got postponed by 4 weeks approx. The lockdown in April-May lasted about 4-5 weeks.

Initially I was going to take courses that were somehow related to my major, but since they did not have much in English but in German I gave up and took any course that sounded interesting. I ended up taking 10 courses for 27 ECTS points, it was a lot of work but I managed. All of the courses were held by Zoom. The teachers spoke good English but sometimes they would throw some German in there to spice things up.

I took some A1 German language classes and learned somewhat okayish German, I intend to continue studying it in TAMK.

Munchen was really fun and amazing city. It has a lot to offer students for ex. Biergartens, clubs, festivals and much more. Sadly because of the pandemic I did not get to experience the city to the fullest.

The city has a lot of great places to watch the sunset.

The architecture in Munchen is also really cool. Just by strolling around the city square or shopping disctrict you can see really old buildings, churches etc.

Even though a lot of students left back to their home countries because of the pandemic I still managed to meet a lot of other exchange students (which was really great). Also the borders around Europe were closed for a few months but immediately they opened we were able to travel. Its crazy how Germany is so center Europe you can just drive 2 hrs to Austria, Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Of course we took advantage of that and traveleng as much as possible inside the country and outside.

I would still stay that Munchens biergartens are the best palce to be. Cheap beer, great atmosphere and mediocre German food (tbh everyone is there for the beer not the food).

 

Hallo! Greetings from Berlin!

I spent six months in Berlin doing my exchange studies and I had a great time! The university was Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW), and very different from TAMK, in my opinion. There was not many spaces to study with friends and their library is pretty different, it was more like Tamk’s silent room. You can not go inside with your bag, jacket, food/drinks, you have to leave everything in a locker outside, and you cannot make any noise. Also, if you want to rent a book you need to ask the librarian. One nice area with sofas to study and meet your friends is, surprisingly, a bar. Yes, there is a bar in the uni.

Facilities aside, I had some nice courses and good teachers. The duration of classes were three hours and fifteen minutes, those fifteen being a break in the middle and the teaching style was similar to Tamk’s.

I lived in a student residence called Victor Jara together with many Erasmus students, which was awesome! Everyone had its own studio but lived in the same building.  There was a big common area outside, felt like a private park, with some chairs, grill and even a beach volleyball court. And there was also a student bar in the building (that is Berlin, my friends) that opened every Tuesday and Friday and had the cheapest drinks possible.

First picture in the area outside the building and second picture is the bar, Bierkeller, when we celebrated its 65 years.

There is loads of things to do in Berlin on your spare time! It is a huge and multicultural city and you can find anything you want. The history and the culture of the city, and the country, is impressive and you can learn about it just walking through Berlin or going in one of the many museums. Museums of history, art, photography, technology, everything.

Berlin is a beautiful city (a bit dirty though) with a lot to offer. There are many touristic places to visit, food from all over the world to eat, a lot of vegan too, and people from everywhere. The thing I loved most about this city was its freedom. People are free, they dress and walk in the way they want and no one is judging or being judged.

Berliner Dom and Brandenburger Tor.

One thing you must, and probably, know is that Germans love sausage and beer! And unlike Finland, a lot of cheap beer and alcohol.  Berlin is also known from its street art, which you can see everywhere, and for its club night life. It is the techno city, and it is crazy. If you are going there, be free and enjoy!

“I love my life” (all photos were taken by me).

 

Trying to go Far, ending up Near

I have less than one month left in my exchange studies to Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in Germany. What has made this exchange very unique is of course the corona situation which for me meant, that I have been doing my exchange studies online from Finland to Germany. As the summer semester in Germany starts quite late in the spring the corona virus affected to the whole semester from the start. At first, they only postponed the start to April and hoped that things would return to normal, but it wasn’t long that they realized they had to implement the whole semester online.

I was lucky to be able to move to Germany in 8th of March to do my exchange. Unfortunately, I only got to live there for 9 days and decided to come home to follow the ongoing situation.

View of Bielefeld.

Bielefeld is a small city in a scale of German cities but compared to Tampere the population is almost the same. We were about 100 exchange students, but I was the only one from anywhere in the Nordic countries. FH Bielefeld has 3 campuses which include 5 faculties.  They have yearly about 11 000 students studying in those campuses.

 

In my time there I was able to get to know the city a bit and study German for a week. We managed to start our German intensive course but even that was cut short. So, in my spare time I did a lot of walking as the weather was great and warm, but not much more can be done in a week. FH Bielefeld offers a lot of choices to do sports and the semester contribution also includes a semester ticket to the public transport for the whole NRW (North-Rhine Westphalia) which would’ve been great for exploring Germany.

 

School lunch experience

My student housing was amazing. For the price of 320€/month I got a studio apartment which was build in 2019 and had everything you needed. The school offers everyone a spot in student housing, so I didn’t need to stress about my living.

 

FH Bielefeld

All my studies this semester have been implemented online. This situation has been very new to our German professors as well, so the teaching quality has varied a lot between different subjects. Some offer weekly zoom meeting which has been great in my opinion. Some offer lectures that are recorded beforehand and then zoom meetings are just for questions and related info’s. And then there is one who has only given us some pdfs to read and has only contacted us couple times by e-mail. I do prefer the zoom lectures as they keep me motivated and give my weeks a bit of structure. Now they have made the decisions about how to implement exams online as that was a difficult to adapt for Germans as they are very used to the traditional ways of having a paper and pen kind of exams. I will be having exams on most of my courses and they will be subject to 60 minutes written online exam. This will be an interesting experience as even the teachers have never held these kinds of exams, so we have no idea what kind of exams to expect.

Studying to FH Bielefeld, Germany like this has seemed very easy compared to Finland as we have not had any projects, group work or tasks really in any of the courses. I don’t know if that is the norm or is it just because of the online semester. The downside in this is although, that the upcoming exam is going to define the whole grade, which is a bit unnerving. But I hope I will do okay and will accomplish my studies and be credited with a certificate of International Business Manager.

Have a great summer peeps!

Hamburg, meine perle!

I have now spent 6 months in the beautiful city of Hamburg in the north of Germany. And i would not give any single one of them away. My studies are going amazingly even though first half of them were completely in German (which I wasn’t prepared for). but luckily professors and other students are able and willing to cooperate with me! Most fun so far in a class I’ve had with Fahrzeug design course where we got to design our own car. There are some pictures below!

My free time i have been spending with friends and sports. There is so much to do in Hamburg that even if you tried you could not get everything done in a year! I also joined a local ice hockey club which has now taken a lot of my time. We are playing on the third highest level in Germany and the atmosphere is unbelievable in the games!

The working culture here in Germany is a bit more demanding than the one I’m used to in Finland. So it took a bit time to get used to it, but now I’m fully integrated and enjoying myself!