From clueless to accustomed – how to adapt yourself to Finnish culture

Williane Bernardes

Writer: Williane Bernardes
Master’s Degree Programme: Medical Physics

Greetings, fellow reader! I am Williane and I was born in Brazil about 26 years ago in a family whose background is a mix of European, Brazilian native and African heritage. You may be surprised but such thing is quite common in South America due to the historical context. Due to that fact, I have always been very curious about my ancestors’ origins and since most of them were Europeans, I decided to visit the continent. Doing an exchange would be the easiest way and in the end Finland was my chosen country since I also wanted to see snow for the first time. Fortunately, I could not have made a better choice and soon you will understand why!

My trip to Lapland on November 2017.

The total time I have been in Finland is around 3 years but divided in two periods. The total time I have been in Finland is around 3 years but divided in two periods. The first time was during my exchange in the University of Jyväskylä in 2014-2015 and the second time is still going on since I came back on 2017 with the intention of starting my master’s degree. Fortunately I got accepted in UEF and I have not left so far.
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THE SHIFT TO REMOTE WORK AS UEF HAS BEEN CLOSED DOWN

Writer: Szabolcs Felszeghy, UEF

As the epidemic in Finland has forced most of the UEF employees to work from home, we can stay PRODUCTIVE – and SAFE!

Who Am I?
To preface, who am I and why am I talking about this? I’m Szabi Felszeghy, Anatomist, working at UEF and I’ve only been working remotely in the last years on weekends and holidays…

Remote Work was an end goal after UEF was closed down rapidly.

The infrastructure and policies needed for remote work and online education were already unquestionably in place at UEF even before COVID-19. However, the vast majority of staff members have never been hit with such a long remote work phase before, especially when they’re suddenly left with little to no time to prepare for it. The middle of March has been a very crazy time for everyone at UEF. Organizing blended education, lab work or any other important services, as well as life at UEF in general, has seen a tremendous change. Many of these everyday projects have had to be cut down to minimum or have even been fully scratched. This is indeed a very challenging time. Using education as an example, there are many thousands of students, educators, administrators, and operatives at UEF. None of the blended courses can possibly run without significant student engagement, self-motivation, 24/7 IT service, and the need for teachers to refresh their skills on virtual conferencing, at the very minimum. Luckily, it has turned out to be working well. Slowly, we are back in our best action and have started to adapt well to this current situation and its “online requirements”.

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These strange Finnish habits surprised me – but now I’m in love with Finland

Thao Nguyen Le Phuoc (May)

Writer: Thao Nguyen Le Phuoc (May)
Master’s Degree Programme: Research Chemists

Hello everyone, I’m Thao Nguyen Le Phuoc (May) from Vietnam. I’m studying the first year in the Master’s degree programme for Research Chemists. This is my first time I am far away from home and living in another country. Therefore, it is easily understandable that everything was so interesting and strange to me. Sometimes, I was really shocked at the Finnish habits, which may not be found in my country. Read this blog post to find out what those strange things I noticed are.

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Enjoying unique Joensuu in my free time

Writer: Fernando Esteban
Master’s Degree Programme: European Forestry

Hello everyone, I am Fernando Esteban, an avid biker and an overall adventurous fellow, carrying out my master studies in Joensuu in the Master’s Degree Programme in European Forestry. The desire to spend time in nature led me to study forestry and to choose Joensuu to live, but it was only after arrival I realized the real scale of nature around and within the city.

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Seasonal depression, as BOOTs might come back? – NO way, it`s time to face to Nature!

I posted my last blog, when I took my winter BOOTS of, now I feel we sort of have to take those back, soon as first minuses just behind us….. to discover the beauty of this season we are facing for.

Autumn at Finland is one of my favorite season ever (though to be honest I’ll probably be saying the same about summer as soon as it comes around /if it rolls really with sun and hot…./). Sitting with a steaming cappuccino and a blanket by the beach of Kallavesi I’m just getting excited that we are finally facing to RUSKA, again.

Like, there are so many evoking things to do during autumn and if you are able to do at least some of them it might be be the best season ever. But be prepared, as you just blink and suddenly it’s -10 degrees and half meter high snowpacks arrive outside…..

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Change that I needed

Day by day passed… All of them were the same. My life became like a broken radio where only one song was on repeat. They say when your life becomes a routine you should do something to change it and I did. My change was this Erasmus.

I decided very fast that I would like to go to some new place, where everything was unknown for me – streets, people, weather, culture… When I found out there was an open call for student exchange in Finland I knew it would be just the right choice for me. When I got a letter of  acceptance for UEF I was asking myself if it was a mistake, because I was so happy and it still seemed too good to be real. In a couple of months I was already in airplane for the first time, travelling to Finland. I was not afraid, I felt like I am going home. Actually this was my home, for almost five months. I would say that decision to come here is the best in my life.

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Different weather, new perspective

Finland the winter wonderland and magical sunset. It is really different from my country in weather and nature but actually it’s extremely  beautiful . I’m a 22 years old Egyptian girl from Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt  and I have been in Finland for 4 months as pharmacy exchange student in University of Eastern Finland. It’s my first time to leave my city Alexandria for such a long period and I was so excited to see the snow for the first time.

I arrived to Kuopio in the first days of February, I was very surprised about how wonderful is the snow, it covered nearly everything. Then, I started to register my courses, so I had 4 courses and one lab work in the university . I remember my first day in university eating in Canthia with my helpful Russian tutee .

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An unforgettable experience

This is an unforgettable, incomparable experience.

I heard stories, saw photos and read articles, but I never thought that I could see and feel Finland with my own eyes. I was lucky to get to the very cozy city of Kuopio, which immediately struck me with the abundance and beauty of nature, benevolent people.

Becoming part of the UEF and the whole atmosphere that is being created here is awesome. Here you feel like a part of a huge family, you want to grow and make the world a better place due to your capabilities. And UEF provides such opportunities in the form of knowledge and support. I am grateful for this experience, people and teachers with whom I met here.

Karina Shingareeva,
exchange student from I.K. Akhunbaev Kyrgyz State Medical Academy,
Kyrgyz Republic, at UEF in spring 2019, under Erasmus+ Global Mobility
Programme

 

 

 

From planning to executing – Let’s shape the future… TOGETHER!

First to say, it was not my first time in Egypt; however, it was my first visit to Alexandria. By the time we arrived (me and Szabi) we were welcomed with a clear sky and a warm weather which was a nice change after a very long winter in Finland. We started our day, though exhausted from lack of sleep and travel lag, the energy of people from PUA was contagious and very welcoming.

I was surprised by the size of the facility, and how well equipped it was when taking into consideration the large number of students in there. Staff members and teachers were very helpful throughout the visit, so nice and friendly and made us feel home. They arranged everything for our lectures from timetables to location and made sure that it would proceed as planned. You could feel the strong bond between them and the closeness which could explain how they are able run and maintain such the faculty successfully.

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