Pitch your way to the peak and ski down with the money!

Last week I had the pleasure to travel to the beautiful city of Tahko where I attended the Tahko Ski Lift Pitch  in order to support my colleague Anna in representing UEF (one of the event’s main sponsors). Organized for the second time this year, the event brought together young and promising entrepreneurs and their start-up businesses with  investors and business coaches. The excellent idea behind this unique event which distinguishes it from other start-up events like the famous Slush? The most important things are happening in a ski lift! Continue reading Pitch your way to the peak and ski down with the money!

Vappu on tulossa: Portraits from the Breathless Zoo of the Nature

Although photos are meant to be understood around the world without the need for words, please allow me to cover up a bit the title of this post.

I have always desired to live somewhere with four actual distinct seasons and although at this high-latitudes the longest and several months long is the winter, Savo is a cool place to live. Moreover Finland’s residents may not think as much of the country’s weather like we do, but this harsh and cold season is sometimes really hard to cope with for a Mid European immigrant, when the sun is occasionally and only shortly flooding into the space.

However, winter seems to be finally over these days. Now “Vappu” is upon us, soft weather on its way and everything is changing in our mind as well. Therefore, I thought it might be fun to share pictures of “pulseless animals”. Do not be in panic. I am far from finding it funny to take  photos of dead, breathless animals or samples made via taxidermy (preserving animals in lively postures). For me, photography is not only related to my job (as a scientist/morphologist). It is sometimes more than a passion, it is the frame in which I can relax. How do I achieve that?  Continue reading Vappu on tulossa: Portraits from the Breathless Zoo of the Nature

Bikes, Dogs and Sauna

Bicycles were first introduced in Germany during wood and iron age, when “dandy horse” has been introduced in 1817, as a two wheels, with no pedal, however it required accurate balancing by the rider. Since then it have been versatile functions: recreation, work, military, show, sport, tourism, etc. and now we are in „hybrid bike” age.

In Finland there are about 3 million bikes compared to Beijing for example, where there are 9 million (Katie Melua tells us so). However over 60% of Finns are biking regularly and it is gaining and increasing momentum, as more and more people without reference to the age or social status choose to leave their cars behind and hop onto their bikes. As a result, 9% of all trips are made by bike. Biking is healthy, ecological  and fun.

 

For a Mid-European the cycling season in this country would be really short from somewhere plus 10 and above, however here riders are not afraid of neither the rain, nor slush, nor event winter climate, when we are below zero Celsius.

Continue reading Bikes, Dogs and Sauna

The happiest country on Earth

Finland, a young but strong country, is a land with vast distances and with a population of around only 5 million. It is not so rich in natural resources, however after the 70’s the country has seen a very impressive growth in various sectors including economy, culture and education, as well. As a results of all of these changes in 2018 it has been selected to be the “happiest country on Earth”. So, I have to admit that it is an unforgettable experience that I can live here and work at UEF since fall 2016.

For many foreigners the natural beauty of Finland, from hundred thousands of lakes to forests, from sea and archipelago to Lapland, is truly breathtaking. Its attractive and spectacular landscapes and natural scenery attracts people and photographers so you can easily find eye-catching images all around the web. However, I would like to share with you my own experiences obtained during past years. Hope you will like some of these pictures.

Listen to Sibelius’s Finlandia and enjoy my pictures in the video below:

Continue reading The happiest country on Earth

Hyvää, Kaisa!

If you happen to be in Joensuu during the spring term, and if it happens to be a year in which the IBU Worldcup takes place in Finland, experiencing the cheerful atmosphere of a Biathlon race in Kontiolahti is an entry on everyone’s bucket list you cannot miss. Even if you are not a big fan of sports, the happy atmosphere is a great event to attend and watching the race in the snowy, Finnish forest against the backdrop of beautiful Lake Höytiäinen is surely something I will not forget.

If you are familiar with the gripping sport you will know where this blog entry is heading. If not, let me back up.

Biathlon is a combination of fast-paced cross-country skiing and precise shooting. Depending on the discipline the athletes are racing along the 2-4km long rounds 3 or 5 times and in between stop to aim their small-bore rifles at targets with a diameter as small as 115-45 millimeters (standing or lying down while shooting) and in a distance of 50 meters. Being able to hold your hand as steady as it is necessary to successfully do this after the challenging tracks (including steep climbs like the famous Kontiolahti ‘wall climb’) is a true mystery to me and fuels the fascination for this extravagant sport. Continue reading Hyvää, Kaisa!

Where did the time go?

When I started my trainee position at UEF’s Development Services, I was asked to write some texts for this blog, too, and share my experiences. Happily, I agreed. “Yes,” I though, “this will be a great thing. I will write something soon, for sure!” Here I am, five weeks later, finally writing these lines and wondering: Where did the time go?!

It went to meeting many new people every day during the first weeks, to getting to know the work and tasks, to learning the Finish language, and to experiencing (and falling in love with) the beautiful Finnish nature and culture. I don’t mean to be repetitive, but the Finnish friendliness and the beauty of Finland’s nature really cannot be stressed enough.

My days at work at the office are filled with laughter and friendly faces in the corridors – and, of course, the very enjoyable, regular coffee breaks. I am given both: guidance with what I have to do and responsibility to do things by myself which makes me feel very welcome, valued, and supported at all times. Another thing I strongly feel is gratitude for this opportunity to spend the next four months here in this new and exciting working environment.

Well, only 3 more left.

Continue reading Where did the time go?

Sadan päivän tutkimusmatka

Hyvä lukija, kerron tässä blogissa Yhdysvaltojen Pensylvaniaan sijoittuvasta tutkimusvaihdosta tammi-maaliskuun aikana. Suomi 100 -teeman sopien matkan kesto on; mitä muutakaan kuin sata päivää! Toivon blogista apua erityisesti sellaiselle henkilölle, joka pohtii ulkomaan tutkijavaihtoa, mutta ei oikein tiedä mistä aloittaisi valmistelut. Tervetuloa mukaan seuraamaan matkaani!

Kuka?

Nimi: Saara Sillanmäki
Koulutus: LL, tohtorikoulutettava ja kliiniseen fysiologiaan ja isotooppilääketieteeseen erikoistuva lääkäri
Kotipaikka: Kuopio
Perhe: Puoliso Tero ja Ninja koira

Continue reading Sadan päivän tutkimusmatka

From somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Ecuador to somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Finland

Almost 2pm, I am writing this entry just in front of a window with a magnificent view of a snowy day. Magnificent for me since I am not used to this type of event. My name is José and I come from Tena, Ecuador, a place in the middle of nowhere in the Amazon Region and this is my experience with Erasmus+ Mobility and Training Program.

My time of the mobility has ended, I applied for an Erasmus+ Mobility and Training funding in order to visit UEF, Joensuu Campus, to learn from the best. I am currently working as a lecturer at a 3 ½ years old University located in the “middle of nowhere”, 8 km away from Tena City in Ecuador, Ikiam Regional Amazonic University (www.ikiam.edu.ec). Ikiam University fosters delivering top-quality free education to Ecuadorian students (why not, international student in the future) in natural sciences. At the moment, Ikiam University is putting a lot of effort into creating co-operation networks at both, national and international level.

Even though my visit was short (12 days) I have learned a lot from Finland, how it is like to live here, a bit of its culture, its values and its educational system.

Continue reading From somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Ecuador to somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Finland

Colorful South Korea

Before

The things I had to take care of before exchange were applying to the university on the website of KNU, flying tickets, travel insurance, choosing courses and registering on time on the website. Everything was quite easy as I had support from University of Eastern Finland as well and I got good advices from the both sides, my home university and KNU.

I started searching every possible information about the country and its culture. Even there is a lot of videos and blogs about South Korea and about living there, I felt like this country is still quite unknown for us. I was very curious and excited about going there for 4 months as the experience is always different if you live in the country than only staying there as a tourist.

Campus, dormitory and studying

My university was Kyungpook National University in Daegu. Daegu is only one hour drive away from Busan. I liked Daegu since the beginning as it is interesting, more local than for example Seoul and it had all the facilities I needed.

From the very first day I was amazed by KNU campus. Continue reading Colorful South Korea

Mon échange Erasmus+ au Maroc

Fin 2015, quand on m’a sollicité pour demander si un séjour au Maroc pourrait m’intéresser, je me suis dit : « Pourquoi pas ? » L’année universitaire de 2015–2016 étant très chargée, il fallait seulement fixer, puis aménager un créneau un peu plus avancé dans le temps. Une autre chose à prendre en considération était l’emplacement du Ramadan, les activités dans une société musulmane telle que l’est celle du Maroc se transformant et se ralentissant lors de ce mois de jeûne. Le déplacement a finalement eu lieu du 15 au 22 mai 2017.

Continue reading Mon échange Erasmus+ au Maroc