Differences between TUAS and UPV

Hi! Moi! Hola! I am from Spain and I am studying in the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). There are so many differences between Spanish and Finnish educational system, and also in both universities TUAS and UPV.

At first I have to say that in Spain the education is not free, although there are some scholarships that the students can apply for and although there are public universities (UPV is a public one), students usually have to pay the fees and all the material they need. Moreover there are not special discounts for students usually, so eating in the universities cafes is quite expensive in comparation to TUAS one. TUAS, otherwise, give you most of the material you need, you can print out documents free and there are so many discounts for TUAS students everywhere.

Tuas Sepänkatu Campus

Tuas Sepänkatu Campus

Although in Spain there are universities like TUAS, all the studies of UPV are together in the same campus, and it makes the university very big in comparation to TUAS, whose campuses are separated depending on the studies. My home university, moreover, is a very new university and it is like a small city because of its plenty services: gym, swimming pool, shops, restaurants, banks, hairdresser, health center, etc. In TUAS there are gym, restaurants and cafes also, but if you need to buy some pencils, papers or similar you can’t buy it in the university and there isn’t any hair dresser like in my home university.

About the classes, in TUAS we are doing so many presentations in comparation to UPV, there are less students (smaller classes) and, at least in my career (Industrial Design), there are many independent hours in TUAS that you work or study on your own, and in UPV we have to work and study many independent hours also but there aren’t in the schedules or recognized. About the the teachers, in UPV they don’t help you as much as in TUAS, so you have to carry out your problems on yourself more usually in UPV.

These are some important differences between UPV and TUAS. Although these differences I am happy of having the experiences of both universities, in this way I have found different perspectives and different ways to improve and develop my studies.

Text & photo: Marco Roldan

Lapland

Lapland

Lapland

One of the most famous journeys in Finland is Lapland, and I think it is one of the best trips I have ever done.

I had the chance to go with the ESN-IAC organization, which made my trip better and more enjoyable. At the beginning, we spent the whole night in the bus (I didn’t expect that Finland was as big as I checked with this trip) and, although we spent in the bus so many hours, all of us were very excited and it made the trip shorter.

The first stop was the Snow Castle, which was really good! Tables, chairs, palace, sculptures.. everything made of ice and snow! After that we went to Santa Claus Village, where all of us had the chance to take a photo with the famous Santa Claus and we also could see reindeers (for me, it was the first time of my life).

We continue our trip until we arrive at our destination: Vasatokka (Inari). There were dorms or cottages (it depended on what you chose when you book the journey). It was a really good place to stay in Lapland, the days were very enjoyable there. Around the accommodation there were landscapes really beautiful, everything covered of snow, many trees and hills that were really nice to do sleeding. Moreover, it was a sauna and some of us made ice swimming, one of the most tipical finnish habits.

The trip was very complete, and there were so many activities we could join: visit Husky Safari, do skiing, spend a Sami day and know more about sami people, northern lights haunting at nights.. But many of these activities you can go also on your own!

One of the main points when you go to Lapland is the hope of watching Northern Lights, there were many people that went to Lapland and couldn’t see them, but we were very lucky and we could see them the first night! And yes, it is amazing! But, in my opinion, you can enjoy very much Lapland although you are not able to see them.

I recommend completely to do this journey and know the Northern Finland!

Text & photo: Marco Roldan

Ruissalo Hiking

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Views from the hill

I arrived at this wonderful country and city in mid-January. Maybe for finnish people it was the worst time: everything was really snowed and the temperature was really low (about -20º C). However, for me, it was the best date I could ever chose.

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Tower

I had been only two days in Turku when I joined to the Ruissalo Hiking, organized by the ESN-IAC. All of us met at the center of Turku, in Kauppatori, and took a Fö li bus until the Ruissalo Island (the bus was crowded as you can imagine). There, we started to walk between the small mountains of snow and white trees, enjoying the views of the way, while we were talking and knowing each other more and better.

We arrived at a hill with a small wood tower with stairs. We were able to go to the top and it was quite difficult to stand there because of the cold weather, but the views were undoubtedly worth. Many and many trees covered by the snow, the frozen sea, the sun shining all the snow.

All of my exchange students friends and I were really surprised about everything we were watching, a completely different landscape from our countries (and specially very different from Spain, my country). But not, it wasn’t all!

After that we continued walking and we could appreciate the frozen sea closer. We walked next to the border of the sea, watching all the different islands from Ruissalo, with their beautiful houses and with the ice pieces that were in the sea.

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Frozen sea

Finally, we could go and enjoy the sauna and ice swimming, or have dinner in a barbecue, both options letting us to know and talk with more exchange people. A really good end for a wonderful hiking!

Text & pictures: Marco Roldan