Greetings from the promised land of beer and humourless people! Except the people actually have a pretty good sense of humour, but at least the beer stereotype is still accurate.
Even though my studies have been mostly online, I’ve met a lot of interesting new people to hang out with. The more friends I’ve gathered, the less I’ve been studying, however. Studying in German and online is also pretty much a living hell for me. I can’t think of a more harder combination off the top off my head.
The German studying is also a bit different than the studies in Finland. Most courses are given as lectures, instead of courses where you do things while also listening to lectures. Everything is way more theory based here. But I think that has something to do with the fact that here are so many engineering students, compared to Finland.
Free time has been very nice though. As mentioned, I’ve got a lot of new friends and we’ve been sitting around parks, going swimming and in general, enjoyed the summer to the fullest. I was lucky that the German summer was not as hot as it is normally though, since I was already dying of heatstroke during some months this year. The nature is also quite beautiful at times, even though you have to go out of your way to find a place not disturbed by people.
Because of Covid, I almost passed on the whole Erasmus experience. I’m so glad I took the leap of faith and went anyway! Back in March when I came to Stuttgart, the whole city was closed. I became friends with some people from my apartment building and together we took this time to explore the city and surrounding areas outside. Some weeks later everything started opening and we could finally visit the museums, restaurants and shops with a negative Covid-test result.
I have been one of the fortunate ones who still get to go to campus (or has to go – it depends). Here I study print media technologies in Hochschule der Medien, and could not really do much from home. I have classes about campaign management, bookbinding, preparing files for printing, and different printing methods. These courses have been fun and useful, as they are sort of a natural continuation to my studies at TAMK (Interactive Media). The campus, teachers and classmates are all very nice, but I’m sure open cafeterias and events could have made the school experience even better.
What I could not do at the campus, I made up for outside of it. In addition to hanging out at the dorms, my friends and I have made countless trips inside and outside of the city. Southern Germany has so many beautiful towns, natural parks and mountains! You can see some of them in the picture collage below. These trips are definitely one the most cherished memories I will keep from the Erasmus exchange.
I have learned a lot during my time in Germany – professionally and culturally. The German students in my classes seem to be prepared to compete for jobs. They are generally driven, precice and demanding. They will suggest a group zoom meeting even on a Sunday morning, which is unheard of in Finland. I got used to their habits as we were only two Finns and one Turkish girl among 50 Germans. Sometimes I had to remind my group that I was just being polite, not uninterested, by not pushing my opinions all the time. Despite the cultural differences, everything went well in the end and I enjoyed the classes.
I have been here as an exchange student since March, studying Film and Motion Design at the University of Europe for Applied Sciences. My studies have been almost entirely distance learning due to the pandemic, but even so, I consider the experience to have been quite unique. The courses are focused on different aspects of the filmmaking and the modules were structured in a way that the courses support each other which I thought was a very good thing. An example I can give is that one course was focused on technique, one on storytelling, one on sound design and one on editing. This way we were well prepared for the final project, which was the final project for two courses at the same time – so we had to put all our effort into it.
For the final project (for the main courses) we made a documentary film, for which our group chose a farmer as a protagonist. She was living outside Berlin. We spent two days shooting in the countryside near the small town called Rathenow. I think this project was a very unique experience in the sense that we finally got to work as a team and at the same time I got to see life outside Berlin. This is what I had been waiting for during all that distance learning. My team was great and I made some really good friends – and also some potential contacts in my field. I think this was the most important and significant project of my whole academic year.
When it comes to studies, the thing that I found important was how professors was able to give me new perspectives for the things that I already knew. I got a new angle from which to look at things and I think this is learning at it’s best!In my spare time, I wanted to find out what Berlin is all about. Towards the end of the exchange – when restrictions were lifted and I had a bit more time – I visited pretty much in every place that I could in Berlin. It’s much to say but I did a lot! With friends we visited the TV Tower, the observation deck of the French Church, the Berliner Dom, the Sony Center media museum and of course the East Side Gallery and Checkpoint Charlie – only to name few. I think we covered almost all the sights – and there are plenty!On top of that, we took a two-day trip to the nearby city of Potsdam with my Bavarian friend and I fell in love with this small city. While being there, we had a quick visit to the world famous Babelsberg Studios and its adjoining film park. It was an amazing experience – and particularly inspiring in my own field! We also visited the old film museum in the city.
In general, I didn’t notice much differences in the study culture between Finland and Germany – just as I didn’t really see any cultural differences between Finns and Germans. The only thing that I noticed was the higher appreciation and respect towards teachers and the fact that studying in Germany is perhaps a bit more demanding than in Finland – more is required of students. But I think the teachers were very professional and supportive of the students – I actually liked the fact that the students were expected to produce a bit more. The experience during this exchange has been rich and definitely worth it to go here!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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).