Optima. Everything starts and ends with Optima.
The main difference between my university (Lodz University of Technology, Poland) and Turku University of Applied Sciences is that somehow nobody in Poland thought of introducing Optima to students. Optima is an internet service that provides the students with all necessary materials. You just need to be enrolled into the course by the teacher of the particular subject and that’s it. Whether you are sick or simply cannot participate in the lecture, you don’t miss much since everything is in Optima.
Every presentation, additional materials, links to some extra pages and much more. Also you can upload your homework there and the teacher may comment it whenever he sees it fit and without you going to office hours every week. Have I mentioned that you can even ask questions and you will get the answer before the next class?
Oh, and I recommend enrolling to Get Finternational course. Even if you don’t want to get more familiar with the Finnish culture (that isn’t very likely), with Optima you will know about every activity for Erasmus students like baking a blueberry pie or language groups. For free. Without following each and every fun-page on Facebook because you may not have an account (yes, those people are real, too).
The drawback is that it looks a little bit like webpages in the 90’ies. Maybe having big fancy ICT-City with many computer science students could be an opportunity to some sort of….change it?
To conclude, I know that many of my folks from the previous years described my university in different ways taking weather, timetables, classrooms and colours of walls into account but for me this is the main difference. Because it says a lot about both universities. One of them is student-friendly, takes care of its students’ comfort of studying, allows them to practice, revise the material and study anytime they need; it emphasizes the atmosphere and the learning environment rather than the sheer knowledge. Guess which one is it?
Text & photo: Kinga Rudnicka