Studying in Finland is unlike studying in my home university. The learning is much more independent, there is a lack of guidance and the questions asked are vague in comparison. My home university has me provided with presentations, lectures, and guidelines in which to follow. It is left to us as students to interpret the question ourselves. We are expected to gather information ourselves and the tutors want to hear our views. In my home university, we are taught to put our opinions aside and work on facts and relevant reading. In Finland the situation differs- they want to find out what our thoughts are on certain topics, they prefer to know what is going through our heads rather than what an author has written in a book. I like this idea as it allows me to connect and really relate to a topic. I can explain in my essays what the information means to me and if I agree or disagree. I think that this way of working really allows you to enjoy what your studying as you have a chance to ut you own heart in it.
On the other hand, our course is laidback in terms of deadlines. For example, in our first tutor meeting, we discussed our Special Education module and got to decide our own deadlines and choose one that suited us all best. Back home deadlines are set for us and there are penalties if they are missed!
I personally like the idea of being able to discuss and choose a deadline that suited us best, however I prefer my home university’s way of studying when it comes to lectures. I like to be shown the information I need and be given the opportunity to have it explained to me, it ensures me I am on the right track and that I understand correctly.
Mina Olen… Rebecca
When I first arrived in Finland I had very little Finnish. I come from Northern Ireland and my only language is English. I never had much success at learning languages in my past. However, all of my flatmates speak English as well as most Finnish people. This is helpful when asking for direction or even how much you owe the cashier at K-Mart, however having little Finnish makes for great difficulty when trying to communicate with those without English, especially younger children. Communicating with younger children is something I want to achieve due to being placed in a Finnish speaking, Swedish Immersion School for placement. The older classes can speak fantastic English for their age, however younger classes cannot and I want to be able to communicate with everyone as well as show the same respect back to the older children. If they make the effort to speak English to me, I want to return that favour with Finnish. I am now a couple of weeks into placement and my Finnish has developed due to listening and learning words within classes. I have now begun my Finnish module which has also aided my ability to communicate, however my pronunciation needs a lot of work.
Finnish is one of the hardest languages to learn. This if fact and experience talking. My accent is so strong and I do not possess the ability to roll my tongue to pronounce “R” sounds especially. This makes my Finnish module extremely embarrassing for me, although knowing that everyone in the class is feeling the same, puts me at ease. Our class is laidback and I love that it is. This makes me more calm and enjoy learning the language in my own time. I know it will be difficult and I will not perfect the ability to speak it so soon, however I am motivated and know that learning it will make my stay here more comfortable.
Kiitos, for reading!