My University vs TUAS

Well let me just start by saying my university is Oklahoma State, we wear the USA’s BRIGHT ORANGE, we have a horse named Bullet, an awesome mascot named Pistol Pete, we have the worlds largest student union, we drink 1% of the nations beer and have one of the top 5 tailgates in the nation. With that said there are a lot of differences and I haven’t even got into courses or how lectures are done.

At TUAS as a Hospitality Management major, my courses are laid out for me, there is a program and I have to stick to it. But at OSU, sure that’s my major, and yes there are required courses, but then I get about 10 classes in which I pick the subjects that I want or need to make my future successful. My university has a student run hotel and 2 student run restaurants on campus that act as learning labs, we also hold very large fundraising events in which we get celebrities to come and attend, not to mention give the program money. TUAS on the other hand, is a pretty small campus and doesn’t have a lot of hands on in the industry stuff; they base a lot of course work off of project work in which students solve issues for real companies.

While I do love the time I am spending here at TUAS, I must admit, I miss camping out for a good seat at big football games, I miss homecoming, we have the largest in the nation, and I miss our strip of bars that every Alumni and Student alike share their fondest memories at. Being an exchange student has opened my eyes to how other universities work, after spending a year in Scotland and now a semester in Finland I must say I appreciate being able to pick my classes, go to crazy celebrations, wear bright orange and yell ORANGE POWER and not have people look at me funny. But, I will always remember my time here at TUAS, the hard work I am putting in to my project, my struggle to learn Finnish and the lectures on things in the EU that I would have never gotten in the states.

And with all this said..there’s only one thing left to say..


Text and photo: Nicole Keesee

What to do outside of school

Since I have been in Finland I have found out how much stuff there is to do in town, from sporting events to seeing old Turku historic sites. I must admit when I chose to come to Turku, I had no idea how much there would be to see and do so close to me. I personally loved going to the Turku Castle, the old church and all the neat little fairs and events they have had since I have been here.


But I must admit, my favorite things so far were going to see Tuto and TPS both play with my friends. The match’s were brilliant, some games really close for awhile and sometimes we got the win, but sometimes we didn’t and that was okay because it was so much fun! Ice Hockey being Finland’s national sport and Turku having one of the best leagues in Europe meant the games were going to be a nice high caliber game, which I loved!

After the game one week my friends and I went to Harald’s for our dinner. Let me just tell you this place may be very expensive, but where else can you have your dinner served on a shield or sword? Personally I don’t know many places, in fact I don’t think I knew of one till I went to Harald’s. This was one of those times I decided to eat a lot of noodles for the week just to have my dinner on a sword and I think it was one of my best decisions so far in life. If you ever get the chance, go to Harald’s for a meal, you wont regret it!

Oh and yes there are really great parties and clubs but try not to make your whole time about them. There is lots of time for both, spread it out, enjoy local things like hockey and the old history of Turku but then make sure you get your party on too. Finnish clubs can be pretty awesome if you go on the right day with a good group of friends!

Text and photo: Nicola Keesee

An average student day in Finland

Being a student means your days never seem to go as planed. This is part of the “student experience”, being able to adapt to anything. An average day for me is usually about 3 hours in lectures and then about 5 hours reading or doing work for my courses, now this is only about 3 days a week. So I will try my best to give you my normal day.

It all starts around 7:30am when my alarm goes off and I hit snooze about 3 times before I realize I have to get up or I will miss the bus, which means I will miss a good part of my first class. So I roll out of bed, put my slippers on and start getting ready for class. I do all the normal girlie things, hair, make-up and change my outfit a couple times till I am happy, then its run out the door to catch the bus. Yes, sometimes I really have to run or I will miss the bus, but hey its pretty normal for me.

Once Im on the bus, I head in to town where I catch the next bus to my campus. Once on campus, I tend to forget where my class is, since it changes weekly, so I have to look it up and then off to class I go. Some times I get a tea or juice box first because it can just be one of those days.


At about 2pm I am out of class if not sooner, meaning I have all afternoon to do the outside coursework or required readings. Which I have realized after being a student for a while you should really do these things promptly, otherwise you forget or remember when you want to go out with your friends to an awesome party or event. But, once the coursework is done its time for some fun. I do lots of things when Im not in class, like spend time with friends, sauna, cook big meals or sometimes party, I mean you are only young once.

After I’ve had my fun, done my work and been a young 20 something American in Finland, I realize that its time to rest and recover and get ready for the next day. After all this is Finland and you never know what to expect.

Text and photo: Nicola Keesee