“Our similarities bring us to a common ground; our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.”
Preparing for my semester abroad, I was aware that the Finish school system was different and that the partner university might be different than my home university. For me, finish universities were defined like this: strange study periods – one semester separated into two terms – less exams, but way more essays – small groups for studying.
Day 1 in TUAS and my teacher introduced himself with his first name. That was something totally new for me. In Germany nobody would ever dare to name his teacher by his first name. Directly after having introduced himself, I realized that Finish classes would be really different to that one I was used to. They should be way more interactive.
Challenge no 1: spontaneous presentation. Challenge accepted. But after this first presentation, a couple of further presentations should follow each week. In the beginning it was quite strange for me as I was used to teachers standing in front of their power point presentation and talking for 90 minutes, not accepting any interruption of students at all. But after two weeks and several presentations, it is getting quite normal. Our group was about fourteen student, Finns as well as exchange students – a small group, and after several weeks quite familiar.
In addition, at the TUAS it is a way more independent learning than at my home university. Receiving a problem, the names of your group members and the date of the final presentation are a normal way of teaching and developing young professionals at TUAS.
Less exams? Yes! In total, I only had two written exams. But Finns love group works. Every assignment or essay that you might have to write individually can also be a group work!