Exchange student experiences at the University of Helsinki

Exchange student experiences at the University of Helsinki

October 20, 2019 2 By Stanley Isaacs


I specifically chose the
University of Helsinki because basically it was the furthest way that I could get from South Africa as possible I really wanted to experience a culture
that I’ve never experienced before I wanted to get as far out of my comfort zone as
geographically was possible on the map right and I think Helsinki was quite a
an adequate choice for that. I fell love with Finland four
maybe even five years ago while I was studying my bachelor program in
Moscow State University. I needed to choose my
second foreign language and I wanted to be
different from others and choose something unusual. So that’s why I chose Finnish
and it was one of the best choices in my life actually. Because I wanted to know
about teacher education in Finland. When I was in home in university
I learned about PISA results and Finland performed very well. So I wanted to know about teacher education in Finland. I felt kind of lost sometimes but I got
a lot of help from the University staff. Well the first few days were quite
stressful but still not overwhelming because I had contacted my tutor from
the University of Helsinki beforehand and I knew that if I had any questions
or I was lost I had someone I could ask most of the administrative issues were
solved within the Welcome Fair and I felt that afterwards I really had the
time to focus on getting to know my new classmates and my flatmates
and to explore Helsinki. I felt excited and also a bit worried. It would be the people
that I’ve met here. Probably the local Finnish friends that I’ve made as well as the
other international exchange students that I’ve made. You learn about life in a way that
you never learn about anything before. The best thing about
my exchange experience? I coloured my hair blue! I can feel at home in Helsinki. I like the diversity at the University and in the city as well. I feel it doesn’t matter if your hair is pink or blue or what you
wear and what you do. Everyone can find that place here. Somewhere on your exchange you will realise that it is you are not thinking the same that you used to think and you are thinking
in a more open-minded. You are thinking bigger picture than just
thinking about your day to day activities like this so it is absolutely
changing for for the best. Through interaction with a lot of people I can think more about myself because I start to think about job or future career. So it changed. I appreciate more things now because at home I have my family and here I’m on my own I have to do things I don’t like Sometimes it’s difficult, but I think that made me a stronger person. Believe in yourselves. When you’re trying to apply for an exchange programme you start to have doubts about it. Maybe you think you don’t have enough English skills but that’s not true. I would say really use the opportunities available to you because there are so many courses to choose from and there’s so much support. The University of Helsinki
is really student oriented also the Language Center
has a lot of options for you. Really seize those opportunities
and take with you what you can. Also the city has a lot to offer in
cultural activities and you have a lot of student unions to join and that can
also give you an opportunity to meet local students so use all of that to
make your time the best time possible. Not to be afraid because there are a lot
of people which are helping you and there is a nice time ahead, just have fun and enjoy the time.