My trip to Helsinki

I’m staying in Turku since a few month when I started another Trip to Helsinki. I like this city a lot because even if it is the Capital City of Finland it has a nice size and is very charming. There are a lot of nice places to discover. This time when I went there, I decided to take a day ticket of the Helsinki City Transport. Doing this you can go everywhere by tram, for a fraction of the price for the tourist bus ticket. With this ticket you can discover all the places worth for it. There is for example the Rock Church (Temppeliaukio Church), a fascinating church built directly into a rock and is located in the middle of the city. Other great places to discover are for example the Uspenski- Kathedral, the Helsinki Cathedral or the Katajanokka quarter. But beside this sights there is a lot to discover in this beautiful City.Brand3

Don’t miss to eat a meal on the Kauppattori, there is a market every day of the week, except Sundays, where delicious specialities are sold. There are also booths where vegetable, fruits or finnish handmade goods are sold. Also the Old Market Hall (Kauppahalli) is worth a visit.

But if you want see some beautiful nature just a footstep away from the center of the city, Suomenlinna is the right choice. This beautiful place is just a 15 minute ride with the ferry from the Kauppattori. Suomenlinna, official  district of Helsinki is the fortress of the city and also a UNSCO World Heritage destination. It is beautiful to discover the Island, especially by sunny weather. Just stand there on the cliffs and watch the sea or explore the old bunkers. The fortress is build on several islands which are connected with bridges, so there is a lot to discover.

Text & picture: Judith Brand

Differences between TUAS and my home University

Like at home, I am studying in Turku at a University of Applied Sciences. Even if they wear the same title there are various differences between my home and my exchange University. For example here in Turku we have much smaller classes, we are also at home less students but here at the exchange University we are rarely more than thirty students attending the class.

If you have decided to study at TUAS you really should get used to group work. At my home university we just have lectures where we listen to the teacher but not really cooperate during the lessons. Since I am here I do a lot of this. Group work, Group discussion, Group project. But the advantage of this huge amount of work together is that you have the possibility get to know the other students very fast.

What I like very much about TUAS, in comparison to my home university, is the informal cultural. We are allowed to use the teaches forename and I have the feeling that the teachers are really interested in getting to know the students.

Another difference between the Universities is the way of grading. At home we have only one final exam at the end of the semester. We have one examination period at the end what we have to study for. Here there is a lot more work during the semester. There are projects and assignments to do. And we also get grades on participating the lectures and on taking part actively.

I like this way more than the German. In my opinion there is a greater possibility to be good. There is not only one exam you have to pass, there are more possibilities to do a good work and you are more included in the lecture topics.Brand2

Text & picture: Judith Brand


My everyday life in Turku

Brand1I am staying in Turku since August as I’m an exchange Student and studying at the TUAS. At the beginning it was a little rough to deal with all the new surroundings and the different language even if the Finnish people are quite willing to speak English and give a helping hand. Dealing with so many new things – it is good if you find soon people who are in the same situation and have to look up the same things. What bus ticket is needed? How do you get to university? Or where you can buy food?

As Turku is not such a big city the most things are been looked up very soon. The city has a good bus network so most things are quite easy to reach and a monthly bus ticket is the best way to move. In comparison to my home country, here are just three supermarket chains where you can buy food. The K market, the S market and Lidl, as a German I am really used to the last possibility which turns out also as the cheapest. But just to find a supermarket isn’t the end of the problems, I also had to get used to all this new products. For example I really was astonished how much different milk the finnish supermarkets offer and the problem is, as I am not able to speak finish, how to find the right one?

But after a while I get used to all this things and I get also used to deal with all these difficulties. I don´t even consider them as such, but sometimes if I at least expected them I need something specific and I recognize that I am in an alien country and not able to understand the spoken language. Thanks to god that the Finnish people are always so helpful and nice.

Text & picture: Judith Brand