Masood Khan’s experience as an exchange student in Finland
When I first arrived on the 24th of August 2009, the weather was quite nice in Helsinki. I was picked up by a student tutor from Metropolia University, who gave me all the necessary information regarding my study and stay in Finland. As my Hoas apartment would become available from the 1st of September, I had to pay 35 Euros per day for a hostel in Kamppi.
Although it was quite an expensive stay for me, it also gave me the possibility to look and experience the Finnish culture in shopping and night clubbing. I experienced that Finnish people are quite modest and are not very talkative, because I tried to go and talk with several Finnish people during the night clubbing. However when the first semester started at Metropolia University and my apartment was organised in Pasila, things became more positive. During this semester I met students from Finland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Africa and other countries as well. It was a great multicultural experience for me in Finland, especially because this country was quite closed until the 1980s. Next, I learned a lot from Mr. Michael Keaney, who is in my eyes a very experienced and talented teacher. Also the other teachers I had were very experienced and dedicated to their work. The excellent support from every Metropolian staff member helped me to have a wonderful time in Finland without problems.
Overall, I am feeling quite emotional because I am leaving Finland, and will miss the people who I met here. This is a golden memory, which I will take back to The Netherlands. I just want to thank Metropolia University and its staff for their outstanding support towards the exchange students, in making it possible for the exchange students to have a pleasant and a high quality international learning environment.
The Finnish way of living by Marc Bergers
It was early Friday morning on a late August day when I first set foot on Finnish soil. Although the sun was just rising, my tutor was already waiting for the keys to my apartment and gave a warm welcome to my new home until December.
What followed was a journey of fun, amazement, culture shocks, meeting new people, gratitude and mainly not understanding Finnish. Suomeksi tai englanniksi? I do not only think not many international students who have been living in Finland know what this means but also the answer will be in English, as not only my knowledge of the language is next to none but to be honest not many people will be reading this otherwise.
Do not be worried about how difficult Finnish is because wherever you go from Helsinki to Lapland, all over the country people not only know Swedish (second language) but also are very helpful in English. The helpful character of the Finns is not the only thing to be admired. They are also well-organized and this is also noticeable at Metropolia Business School. From the first day you felt welcome and could be assured that everything was arranged. The school is also very international with lecturers and students from countries all over the world. Getting used to the early warm lunch at 11 o’clock in the morning was not easy but the classes were well organized and if you wanted to look something up there were always the Tuubi or Moodle pages, which provided plenty of course information and slides from lectures.
After school there was no time to get bored or miss your friends and family back home because not only in downtown Helsinki was there always something to do but there was also always somebody organizing a party, poker night or trip to Tallinn.
I would like to thank the people of Metropolia Business School, Helsinki and Finland for this great opportunity and would definitely like to do it again!
If other exchange students would like to tell us their views please comment on this post and or send us a short paragraph with with your views and experiences.