Vanhan opiskelijablogimme arkisto löytyy alta. Saimaan ammattikorkeakoulun opiskelijoiden uusi blogi löytyy osoitteesta https://www.saimia.fi/blog/fi/

This is an archive of our old Students' blog entries. Check out the new blog here: https://www.saimia.fi/blog/en/

Spectacular view of Singapore

Good day to all!

Chinese New Year celebration in Singapore was quite generous to me. It has brought several surprises and discoveries. Besides free admission to all of its museums during the festive period, discovered a spectacular view of Singapore – a view of its skyline and Marina Bay vicinity. All by chance, as I decided to take an evening walk as the alternative of staying in the dorm did not really appeal to me.

Whereas the majority of observation decks have quite an entrance fee to pay ranging from fifteen to thirty-five euros, the one that I discovered was once again for free, or, better say, for a song, as you still had to make you way there on a public transport. This, I would admit, was just a mere lack – both that I discovered the place and that it was free on that particular day.

I didn’t really feel like staying at home and dying from boredom. Neither did I want to go and see a movie in a movie theatre, as other exchange students did. Why didn’t I join them? Simply because I was sure Singapore has rarer and more stunning sceneries and experiences than any movie would give you, and I can, after all, leave the movies for the latter. It proved to be the right believe.

As I was walking past the National Museum of Singapore, I noticed that there were people on the rooftop. I decided to check it out, as the admission was still free due to the celebrations. The view turned out to be absolutely spectacular.

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No, it is not a UFO landed in Singapore. It is the building of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

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I stayed there until late in the evening, as I simply couldn't get enough of the view.

For all coming to Singapore, I recommend this place. If you can come to see the National Museum of Singapore during weekend or public holiday – do it. It will take quite a period of time – perhaps until early in the evening - to go through all the exhibitions they have on offer. Once you are finished, you can head to the top floor where you can enjoy lovely food or a drink while contemplating the beauty of Singapore during sunset. A great pastime, I would say! Not only would you see the exhibitions, but also enjoy an amazing view.

This is all for today.

Have a great day and see you soon J

An absolute must see in Singapore - the National Museum

Good day from Singapore!

I have been quite busy for the past several days, as many things have been happening on both scholarly and pastime fronts. Whereas scholarly front didn’t bring anything but some routine assignments, pastime one was indeed interesting and very exciting at times. All thanks to Chinese New Year, which turned out to be very generous with presents and surprises in Singapore. The Lunar New Year was just around the corner, and I started to search for festivities and ‘things to do during CNY’ in Singapore. A host of options appeared! First, and most pleasantly for me, all of the Singapore’s museums were operating as open houses during the Chinese New Year holidays, which meant free admission to all of them. What a great coincidence, given that I was just about to start visiting them. Well, museum tickets would not have broken the bank, but saving is always pleasant, isn’t it? It is even more so when I realize that it would have totaled fifty something euros given the number of times I was visiting them. You already know that I visited Asian Civilizations Museums, National Gallery and the Battlebox Museum. As for me, the Battlebox Museum and the ACM were more interesting, as I am more keen on history than art, but the National Gallery also had some worthy collections on the history of Singapore. My all-time favorite here, however, was the National Museum of Singapore.

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You would not believe, but I went to see it three times in two days. It’s collections and exhibits were so interesting and well-arranged, that I simply couldn’t get enough of that place. When I went there the first time, I got lucky and was able to join a free tour on the part covering the history of Singapore. It was so fascinating and enthralling that I was listeningas carefully and attentively as never before.

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I learned more about the WWII in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre. This is what, for instance, besides tanks and armored vehicles, allowed the Japanese to be very mobile and advance quickly towards Singapore.

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Here is an attribute from Singapore’s more remote history. They were first brought here in 1880 and were used for almost as long as 70 years. An extremely physically demanding job.

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This is how they partied in the early times of Singapore.

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You could even try how it is like to watch a movie in a drive-in theater in the old times…

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…and trace the history of Singaporeans’ everyday life to the more modern times by visiting a typical Singapore’s household several decades ago…

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and how it was rapidly transforming into the financial hub if Asia.

What shall I say? Very interesting and educative exhibitions, and one of the best museums I have ever seen. A definite must-see in Singapore.

This is all for today. Have a great day and see you soon J

Chinese New Year Celebration @ The Float

Hello everyone! J

The weather insists that I stay in the dorm, as it is raining cats and dogs outside. They call it monsoon season, but for me it pretty much looks like a natural cataclysm. Our apartment is on the second floor, so I don’t think I should be worrying too much.

School stuff is done, so is the planned gym exercise, and I have now sat down to write another blog entry, as there is quite a lot to share with you. As I promised recently, I was going to write about the Chinese New Year celebration. It seems that the time has come and I have to put my money where my mouth is, and write the blog.

Shortly speaking, it was a very cheerful and colorful celebration.

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The entrance was promising an evening full of colors and new experiences.

Preceding the highlight of the program – the much awaited firework displays – was a concert with traditional songs and dances performed by local artists – a show worth seeing. The Chinese thematic was all novel and unusual to me, but I definitely enjoyed it.

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At the same time the cheerful crowd got to enjoy the tasty treats served by numerous stalls thereat, participate in one of the exciting contests, rides and game stalls, or just contemplate the lively decorations of the so called “Float”, where it all was organized.

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Don’t ask me why there are robots. I have no idea.

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The Lion and the Rooster make much more sense J

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Following and crowning it all were firework displays. Well, they were far from those displayed at midnight of the 31st of January, but still an enjoyable thing to contemplate. Better than staying at a dorm.

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I managed to get higher to capture it. sry for the quality.

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All in all, I would say that it was a very interesting experience, as I haven’t seen any celebration close to this in terms of thematic, decorations and shows. I definitely enjoyed it, and it made my weekend.

This is, however, all for today.

Have a great day and see you soon!

Asian Civilizations Museum

Lovely day to all!

It is Saturday, January 28th – do you know what it means? It means that it is Chinese New Year! How great it is that I can actually have two new year celebrations in one months. This is how advantageous your exchange could be if you study at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. For those of you, my friends and readers, who celebrate Lunar New Year, here’s wishing you and your family happiness, good health and best fortune in the year of the Rooster.

In Asian Culture Lunar New Year is traditionally an occasion for reunion and celebration with families and friends. It is a time when people immerse in the blessings of togetherness, love and harmony. As for me, being far away from home and unable to reunion and celebrate with my family and closest friends, it is an occasion to immerse myself in the Asian Culture and the tradition of this wonderful celebration. What could make a good beginning? I think I managed to come with the best one – I went to see Asian Civilizations Museum.

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I particularly like this contrast of the predominantly colonial style of the museum, the greenery and the skyscrapers. There is a host of such in Singapore.

By this image of contrasts alone you can say that Asian civilization has progressed very significantly. It seems even more unthinkable as you enter the Museum and explore the numerous exhibitions it has on offer. From Ancient Religions traced thousand years back in time and the ideal of scholar in Chinese Culture to the more modern-time Trade exhibitions and, no matter how controversial it would sound, futuristic Contemporary Art.

For me it was particularly interesting to see how Singapore looked more than a century ago, and how it was transforming and developing over the decades.

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It was very interesting indeed to learn more about the Asian Civilizations in the midst of the main celebration breaking out. If you ever happen to come to Singapore, this is a must-see if you want to get to know Asian culture closer. It is a full immersion, as the sound and light effects, as well as furnishing make the exhibition resemble the past times.

I am ending this blog here and now heading to Marina Bay to see the New Year festivities with large scale dazzling lantern displays, fireworks, traditional crafts and many more. They are sure to be spectacular and colorful! Stay tuned and you will find out how it is like to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Singapore.

See you soon!

Visiting the National Gallery of Singapore

Good day from Singapore.

The reason why I have been so eagerly waiting for Lunar New Year and the following holidays is not just the holidays and festivities alone. I knew weeks before that when the holidays will start, almost all of the museums in Singapore will be open for visitors, and the admission to all of them would be absolutely free of charge – not a bad way to spend your holidays while saving around 10-15 euros on each of the museums, and a much more considerable amount in total. Why not use this brilliant opportunity and head to explore them while they are all free?

Having searched the web, I found out that the National Gallery of Singapore has a free admission already today, so why not make it there?

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The National Gallery of Singapore is predominantly located in the left part of this building. On the right side is City Hall – the place where the Japanese officially surrendered in 1945 to end the World War II in Singapore.

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This building in itself is another sight of Singapore.

In the museum there are numerous exhibitions on art in Singapore since the 19th century, colonial past, ceramic works dating back centuries ago, and many more. I most of all enjoyed the exhibition on the highlights of the Singapore’s Constitutional Documents, where I got to see the copy of the Proclamation of Singapore commemorating the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965.

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There it is under the glass.

Know I know that if I had to pay, the gallery would have been worth the money as it was very educative and interesting. With this I am finishing my todays blog. To all those coming to Singapore for a holiday or exchange, my advice would be to check out the coming public holidays and find out whether there are some free admissions to museums or other attractions. Most probably there would be something and you will be able to save some money, which is always a pleasant thing, as I, for instance, went to the Sentosa beach for free before the New Year, and got to visit most of the museums free of charge. As the saying goes, “Penny and penny laid up will be many!”

Have a great day and see you soon!

Meeting four kind enthusiasts from SIngapore

Good day to all reading this blog J

The rule that the best things in life are free has proven itself once again. Saying it I do not mean the more primitive material things like a timepiece or a lottery gift. I am speaking in terms of more important values such as friendship, kindness and sincerity.

As you might remember from one of the previous blogs, I promised to explore Singapore to the fullest in the remaining one and a half months. Feeling that I had to put my money where my mouth is, I decided to go for a city tour. Being honest with you, what lured me in to that activity was that it came for free to anyone who just appeared at an appointed meeting place. The advertisement on the web page looked trustworthy and the tour promised to be interesting, so I joined without much hesitation.

Our tour was organized by a group of four – all students of Nanyang Technological University and members of Tourism and Hospitality Management Club.

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Here we are J The four tour guides or, better say, kind enthusiasts, are taking the front row. I couldn’t help but join them.

What can I say? They must be very good students and exceptionally passionate of what they do, as the tour was amazing. Shortly speaking, it was a very thorough walking tour filled with facts and jokes. What I liked most about the tour itself, is that we got to hear the story behind the main sights of the city in a very interesting manner.

In the early times of Singapore, Raffles Place, for instance, was a place where people would come to find out the latest news. It is now surrounded with three tallest buildings – 280 meters each.

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Here is one of them - the Republic Plaza.

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The name for this sculpture is First Generation. Do you want to know the story behind this? In the early days of Singapore there was only one bridge nearby to get on the other side of the river, and one could only cross it for a fee. Unable to pay, people had to jump into the water and swim to get on the other side.

On the first photo of this blog you can see Marina Bay Sands hotel. There is a casino at the underground levels of the hotel. Our tour guide explained us that the form of the MBS resembles a hieroglyph – three vertical lines with one horizontal crossing them on the top. If I got it right, it is somehow associated with the fact that money will not leave that place – that the money is actually enclosed in the building, which is bad for the gamblers and good for the casino owners. I think it is all a matter of probabilities, but this was a very interesting coincidence indeed J

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I made friends with these nice people and had some fun.

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They invited us for a dinner, and we were very glad to join J

They were so kind that actually tried to treat us a dinner, which was too kind of them already. They made our evening, and that alone was more than enough!

I am so glad I met these wonderful people and got to know Singapore a little bit closer. It was a great evening with in a very nice company. We have agreed to meet with them again, so I think more is yet to come.

This is, however, all for today J

Have a great day and see you soon!

High up in the clouds at ION Orchard observation deck

Good day to all J

The best things in life, as we all know, are often for free. This rule seems hardly credible and slightly ridiculous in Singapore, which is considered one of the most expensive countries in the world. Despite all of these, this rule is legit here too.

Holiday in Singapore would certainly come cheaper to anybody who is determined and patient enough to find bargains, or free excellent opportunities that occur every now and then. You can, for instance, get on the top of Marina Bay Sands and see Marina Bay vicinity from one of the best observation decks, enjoy the beaches of Sentosa island, and experience world-class car stunt performance first-hand – all for free, if you keep an eye out for arising opportunities, of which, trust me, there are plenty.

Even now that I have taken advantage of handful of such, they continue to appear, and I am more than willing to grasp them, as there is just little over a month left before the end of my exchange. I am legally obliged to make the most of the remaining time here in Singapore, and I have started to bring it to life.

One of the many things I cannot get enough here in Singapore is its captivating skyline. It acts as a magnet, and I often find myself dazing at the magnificent skyscrapers. At times, I even get overwhelmed with a sudden desire to see it. This is precisely what happened yesterday, and had no other way but to go there. It luckily coincided with me discovering an interesting place with a view on my precious. It was before long that I headed there.

The place I discovered is called ION Orchard. It is a huge shopping mall with a high-rise 55+ floors residential condominium. It turned out that there is a spectacular observation deck on the 55th floor, and the admission is free of charge. Elevator takes you there so fast you get your ears clogged for a moment!

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55th floor, as you understand is cloud-high. So high you can see neighboring country of Indonesia from there.

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Off in the distance is one of the several Singapore ports – Jurong Port, if I am not mistaken. As you might remember, during our university trip to Jurong Port Academy I got to operate one of those cranes on a simulator.

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To assist you in your exploration of the city there are these state-of-the-art telescopes – the first telescope of its kind in Asia. They guarantee you the best views, rain or shine, in the day or at night.

The view is simply breathtaking, and you can see everything in small details. Even though the weather was a little bit dull on that day, I got to enjoy it pretty much. I think I will make it there once again when the nature will present us with a sunny and clear day.

This is all for today, but more is yet to come as I am going to explore Singapore with an even greater zeal as the exchange timer is running.

Have a great weekend and see you soon J

The Battlebox Museum

Good day to all reading this blog!

After a week of uninterrupted rains, the weather in Singapore has changed for the better, which means that I can now travel around the city freely without the risk of getting soaking wet. I am very glad that rain and gloomy sky have changed for sun and the blue, because Chinese New Year is just around the corner. It first and most importantly, means extended weekend for students and, secondly, and not least significantly, a lot of spectacular festivities which I will be experiencing, capturing and sharing with you later in this blog.

Some of the Singapore’s high-rise views are, undoubtedly, spectacular, captivating and breathtaking but this morning I decided that I will do something new for a change than rising myself above the city. The change I took was radical. I went under the ground – not yet as deep as local underground, but the place itself was much more uncommon than the so often taken subway. As you can see from the title of this blog, I went to the Battlebox Museum. Constructed in the late 1930th, this Battlebox in Fort Canning Hill will become an underground command center during the WWII.

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The main entrance to the bunker. There is, of course, a back door on the other side of it, to which you have to take a cat ladder.

The bunker lies nine meters under the ground, has 29 rooms, and used to accommodate up to 500 hundred people.

Perhaps the most momentous decision taken in this bunker, and actually the reason why it is so valued, is the decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese in 1942. Inside the bunker there is an installation of that historical moment when 11 army people took that critical decision.

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The surrender discussion was held in this room on the morning of Feb 15, 1942. It took 16 minutes for them to decide as they had been cornered by the Japanese across land, air and see.

Besides this, I got to see telephone exchange and fortress commander’s rooms, air filtration facility, and even the center for aircraft defense where the British mapped out the locations of friendly and hostile aircrafts.

All in all, this tour was very interesting and educative – one of the best I have ever taken. You somehow get immersed into the atmosphere of the war time as you go nine meters down under the ground into the bunker, and all the furnishing is as it was 75 years ago. If, following my path, you will come for an exchange to Singapore and get an opportunity to visit the Battlebox, I strongly recommend you take advantage of it.

This is all for today J

Have a great day and see you soon!

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park - discovering the hidden gems

Good day to all!

As the weather has slightly improved here in the afternoon, and it is no longer raining cats and dogs, I eagerly search for another place to explore in Singapore, since there is only one month left until the end of my exchange, and a short while ago I promised myself to escape from the dorm at every earliest opportunity. Now I feel that I am pretty much obliged to put my money where my mouth is, and I should come up with something new and different for every day! It is by no means a problem, as there is still a whole host of places yet to explore in Temasek.

The weather is sunny and rain-free, so I should definitely take advantage of these rare hours and go outdoors, as the forecast says there won’t be much of such pleasant weather in the coming days. In close proximity – about 2km walk – there is a wonderful green Bishan - Ang Mo Kio park. Why not make it there?

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The park, being one of the largest in central Singapore, has spanned over 62 hectares of unique waterways and greenery. Beautiful and clean - it is a true pleasure to explore.

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Towering above the greenery on the side of the park is Tse Tho Aum Temple.

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As you walk further in the park, you run across peaceful waterways

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and more and more jungle-like sceneries

Singapore does not seize to amaze wherever you go. Even this park turned out to be a gem, and a very good exercise, as the walk was about 10 km in total. Tired but with a feeling of fulfillment and happiness I head home.

This is all for today. Have a great day and see you soon J

Seminar from a former Goldman Sachs' trading pro.

Lovely day to all reading this blog, and to all those not reading it too!

The weather is just wonderful here in Singapore – with rare waterfall-like rains. It seems that the period of uninterrupted good weather has finished, and the monsoon season has eventually come into force. Thanks Singaporeans there are covered paths to almost any destination – the most relevant piece of infrastructure to any country lying somewhere near the equator.

Actually, it doesn’t matter for me that it is raining cats and dogs here, because I anyway get to enjoy my exchange. No, it is not because there are covered paths all the way to McDonald’s. This is because my agenda here is like living the dream. The nerd student’s dream – one might say J It was precisely so, before I attended the Singapore Motorshow 2017 and had a different kind of pastime and experience for a change. Singapore does not cease to amaze me with an abundance of exciting events. No day is alike here, nor should it be. When two days in a row I was chosen as a volunteer for the Russ Swift stunt show, I thought that my pot of luck was deemed to have emptied, and the series of unthinkable events should have stopped. Nothing of the kind. It keeps happening to me. Here is a little story to it.

As you might have already noticed, I have been interested in economics and finance lately. Besides this, I have been researching on trading, investment and speculation – spheres contrary to each other. So contrary, that the proponents of both were, at times, about to put up a fight in disputes. To learn more and to somehow satisfy my interest, I have been searching for the information everywhere: I have been reading books, articles, attending seminars at the SGX and watching documentaries. Referring to the last, I have recently watched a British reality television series called “Million Dollar Traders”. Featuring in the series is a famous former Goldman Sachs’ Pan European equities trader Anton Kreil, who was mainly specializing on pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Do I even need to say that he is a real pro? That reality show stirred my interest even more, and I wanted to find out whether he has written any books on trading. It turned out that he hasn’t, but what I found was not less interesting and exciting. It turned out that he moved and is currently residing in Singapore.

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Here he is his office in Singapore.

What a coincidence! How great it would be to meet him in person – I thought. Believe it or not, but I later found out that he has established Institute of Trading and Portfolio Management, and is running seminars and giving speeches every now and then. And where do you think he does that – yes, in Singapore! Next seminar is in few days’ time, and there are only few tickets left. I could not believe my luck and started to question my eyesight. No, everything is correct and I am not day-dreaming. I bought the ticket and started to look forward to the seminar’s date.

The day has come. In a nutshell, it was a great evening. I got to see and listen to an inspirational trading pro with a very extensive experience background. During the seminar he was talking about the worst and best retail traders’ traits, traders’ habits and the institute itself. It was very interesting and educative to learn what habits should be quit and what should be get into. He drew a common thread of behavioral patterns that retail traders display, and supported that with the up-to-date statistics from the institute. All in all, a good session on understanding yourself better and learning your potential weaknesses – an invaluable knowledge for someone seeing his future in trading.

It seems that there are even more seminars coming up, and I very much feel like attending those, as the price/value ratio is ridiculously low. I am also considering the courses they are running at the institute, but there are some obstacles to that. Let’s see what future brings!

This is all for today. I trust that you have days as fulfilling and exciting days as mine.

Have a great day and see you soon J

Sinfonia 2017 Celebration

Good day to all reading this blog J

I trust that you are having days as interesting and rich in events as I do. Even though the weather here in Singapore has been exclusively rainy for the past few days, I was not bored to death – thanks to the Nanyang Polytechnic staff who is always doing its best to entertain OSEP students. This time, for instance, we were invited to NYP symphony concert “Sinfonia 2017” to celebrate the double milestone of Nanyang Polytechnics 25th Anniversary and the NYP Symphony Orchestra’s 15th Anniversary.

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The programme included “A Festive Overture” by Alfred Reed, “Variations on a Kitchen Sink” by Don Gillis performed by NYP Wind Orchestra. It was then followed by “El Camino Real” by Alfred Reed and my absolute favorite of the evening - “Italian Rhapsody” by Julie Giroux. Following it was “Spring Festival Overture” by Li Huan Zhi, “A Whole New World” by Alan Menken, ABBA’s “Thank You for the Music”, and “Classics through the Era” which consisted of the well-known pieces from Pachelbel, Mozart, Grieg and Webber.

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It was a very enjoyable evening. NYP Symphony Orchestra has won numerous awards around the world. It was a great pleasure to listen to it, and I didn’t really feel like leaving the cozy ambiance of the NYP auditorium. Not until it was announced that light refreshments are served in the lobby J

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The evening was finalized with delicious light refreshments (read “proper three course dinner”. Thanks NYP for this wonderful evening. What a great pastime on a rainy day.

This is all for today, but more is yet to come.

Have a great day and see you soon J

GIC Learning Journey

Good day from Singapore!

Another day – another educative and enlightening company visit. This time I was seeing an even more interesting place than the previous ones. Why is it so? Simply because this type of business arrangement was actually first of a kind in the world, and is still not so common in general. The arrangement whereby sovereign wealth is managed by a non-commodity state-owned fund which does not outsource the fund’s function to someone else.

The name for that pioneer in the investment world is Government Investment Corporation. As I said earlier, it pioneered in two ways: first, being the first non-commodity sovereign wealth fund, and secondly, managing the majority of the wealth itself, and not outsourcing the great deal of it to some other financial institutions. Why would you call it a fund otherwise?!

The visit was arranged in a form of a learning journey with three stations:

1) The Introductory lecture at the auditorium familiarizing us with the entire process of what I would call “wealth creation” – from the GIC Board’s/Management’s Mandate outlining asset classes and Investment Process, to Trade Execution, Trade Proceeding and Risk Management. Yes, Risk Management, because you do not put your investment portfolio for long in a drawer once it composed, but have to monitor it and make the necessary amendments.

2) Visit to the trade floor itself, where the trade execution function is performed. The traders were, of course, forewarned, that there will be some curious students coming down to see the floor, so they have protected the sensitive information from the gazers. Therefore, we could not really see anything interesting, but Bloomberg Terminals somehow captivate you no matter what chart there is on the screen.

3) Question and Answer session was a very good supplement to it all, as the journey did stir the interest and raise some questions in our minds. It was very interesting, for example, to learn how GIC protects itself from insider trading, why it still gives some of its funds to external fund managers, and how the investigation goes when there is loss.

Besides knowledge, there was one more and not less generous supplement to the journey. Our group was treated with a delicious dinner and dessert. GIC, by the way, is located in one of the highest Singapore’s skyscrapers. While being there, I managed to capture a few views from the top.

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What a nice view for a coffee pause.

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Tanjong Pagar Terminal. Shall I mention that I operated a similar crane on a simulator? J

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Thanks to GIC and NYP for making this trip a reality!

As for Singapore, not much has changed about the weather, but there are noticeable changes in the city itself, as Chinese New Year is coming and the city gets decorated in traditional ornaments. It is sure to be an interesting and novel festivity for me, so I will definitely make it to China Town and Marina Bay for the main celebrations. Follow the blog to find out more J

This is all for today.

Have a great day and see you soon J

Weekend routine on exchange in Singapore

Good day to all J

Yesterday morning, I wrote a blog “The not so typical day on exchange in Singapore”, in which I shared with you my incredible experience from the Singapore Motorshow. I got to sit in the car with the holder of three Guinness World Records in precision driving, while at the same time he was doing J-turn stunts. Yes, I was in that very car at the time he was doing that. Nothing less than that.

Understandably, you weren’t the only one I shared my experience with. Pretty much everyone I met afterwards got to listen to the unbelievable story. I believe I was so thrilled that my excitement transferred to others and they could settle for no less than joining the ride with Russ Swift too. Very much willing to help them, I told everyone how to maximize chances of sharing the ride with one of the best precision drivers in the world. I myself could not get enough of the Singapore Motorshow on the first day. These brand new luxury cars captivated me and deprived of the sleep on that day.

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They actually tried to sell me this Audi Q7. Was it the stunt ride that wore me out and made look older, or are they seriously lacking professionalism?

I wouldn’t believe one can leave that place indifferent. No man in his right mind can remain calm at the sight of Nissan GT-R.

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Nissan GT-R itself.

His heart rate is sure to increase as naturally as it does upon inhalation. Then why wouldn’t I join my friends for the second time and make sure they do everything right to get in the car. So I did. It pretty much felt like déjà vu all the way, but not a false one. We did all the three queues and made sure that we were the first ones in all of them, but it later turned out that being the first in the queue doesn’t qualify us for stunt volunteers, and that the volunteers will actually be called out randomly from the audience. We had the front seats, so out chances were somewhat higher. You wouldn’t believe, but when the selection of volunteers started, I was chosen again out of 200+ people. I am joining the ride with Russ Swift again, second day in a row! I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. I once again fill in the indemnity form, take a certain seat and wait for my turn. The next moment you see this:

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I sit in this very car with Russ Swift.

Subaru made two of the best days in my life – that’s how you get people dedicated to your make. It all became possible thanks to the exchange I am having as a part of my studies at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. If you still have hesitations regarding your study place or whether you should go for an exchange, this might be somewhat of an incentive for you.

This is all for today and for the Singapore Motorshow. As for now, I don’t have any plans of going there again, but let’s see J

Have a great Sunday and see you soon!

The not so typical day on exchange in Singapore

Lovely Saturday morning to all J

In this blog today I would like to share with you something absolutely incredible that happened to me yesterday. A series of events so unbelievable and exciting I could not calm myself hours after, and could hardly fall asleep last night, as my mind was arousing my body by recalling moments from the ending day and bringing back the thrill. It was definitely my best day in Singapore, and one of the best days in my life.

It should be said that I have been interested in cars for all my life. Now that I am in Singapore contemplating all these luxury cars, this interest has somehow grown into an obsession. It is similar to a drug addiction: the more cars you see, the worse you want to see them again. Being in the grip of this obsession, I would eventually start to search the Web for where I can see more of these captivating vehicles, and I found. There was a Singapore Motorshow coming up, and I simply could not miss it. My lectures were not yet over yesterday when I found out that my friends are going there too. So I decided to skip the lectures and join them. I would have called it truancy, but there was more than a good reason to skip the lectures. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have such great memories and would have missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So yes, skipping lectures can, at times, be the only right decision, and absolutely justified.

Coming to the show, I didn’t expect anything more than dozens of fancy cars put in a row. I would gaze, touch, sit in them, and take some pictures, and would have been pretty much satisfied with that alone. There was also something mentioned on the web site about a stunt show with limited admission. Already at the car show, I found out that the stunts are to be performed by world-famous car stunt-performer and precision driver Russ Swift, who is holder of three Guinness World Records and appeared in Top Gear show several times. The admission to the stunt show was, as I already said, limited, so I could not even be sure I will manage to get in. Nevertheless, I was seriously determined to do that. So seriously, that one hour later I found myself sitting in the car right next to world-famous stunt-performer Russ Swift while he was performing his world-famous J-turn stunt in a brand-new model of Subaru. I simply could not believe it was happening to me.

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This is me sitting in the car on the right. On the left seat is Russ Swift himself.

You might wonder how I managed to get in the car. It might sound very easy if you do not take into account that in every other minute you can be plagued by doubts about the worthiness of even making an effort. This is what actually was happening to me, but I somehow managed to overcome the doubt and to try. All I had to do is to be the first in every of the three consecutive queues leading to the stunt show: stunt ticket queue, stunt show queue, and indemnity form queue. And I did it. It cost me one hour of awkward waiting, but the thing was absolutely worth it. If I knew in advance how spectacular it would be, I would not refuse to wait the whole day.

I just followed the predetermined plan, and here I am – sitting in the specially allocated section for stunt volunteers. My name is called out first and I head to join the ride with Russ Swift for his J-turn. I had a great adrenaline rush, and it felt like a dream. When the ride was over, I joined back the tribune to observe like as a spectator, which was not less exciting, as Russ jammed on the brakes to stop in half meter from the tribune or other brand-new models of Subaru cars. Besides J-turn, there was reverse parking, parallel parking, car dance, car on two wheels, and the well-known doughnuts moves.

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Subaru made my day.

When the car show was over, I was kindly invited to a photo session with Russ Swift, where he signed a brochure for me and we made this nice picture.

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Me with a world-famous precision driver and stunt-performer Russ Swift.

This is what an exchange student from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences might get to experience if s/he dares to go for an exchange. In connection with this, I would like to ask you to dare to decide and act, and it will enlighten and enrich your days, and maybe the whole life, as it yesterday proved so for me. Exchange in general has so far proved to be an absolutely worthy decision.

This is all for today.

Have a great day and see you soon J

Jurong Port Academy

Hello everyone J

I trust that you guys are having days as rich in events and activities, as I do here on exchange in Singapore. Believe it or not, but every other day brings something new into my life and experience. Today, for instance, our class had a company visit to Jurong Port Academy.

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You might wonder what is so special about all these company visits. I can tell you that there is something special about every trip I have so far got to attend. The insights into real companies’ operations, their premises, and the possibilities to learn from the field professionals are simply invaluable.

I shall start my narration from telling you a little bit more of what Jurong Port is, as it, understandably, has direct relation to the company I had the chance to visit today. Jurong Port is one of the leading international multi-purpose ports. It is, however, far from being the biggest port even in Singapore, but it’s importance can hardly be underestimated. The reality is that the substantial part of all bulk, general and containerized cargo meant for consumption in Singapore, actually arrives to Singapore through Jurong Port. It is, therefore, of critical significance to the country’s economic well-being and standard of living.

So what does Jurong Port Academy have to do with it? It basically performs Human Resource Development function for the Jurong Port. Various professional trainings, qualification courses – JPA provides all of these and some other educational products. It might sound insignificant, but don’t be so skeptical about it. Port’s efficiency and competitiveness is its employees’ professionalism and qualification. Our visit was not a two-hour boring lecture. It was instead a two-hour insight you can get from no university – the insight of how HR solves real business issues: bargaining with unions on collective contracts, negotiating with employees, solving out legal issues and many more. Beside this indeed useful insight into HR and its real-life applicability, we got to try crane operator simulator – the only one of its kind in Singapore!

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They told me I should have studied for a crane operator instead, as it seemed I was practicing months before.

After that we ate some snacks kindly served by the Academy, and headed back to the polytechnic campus J It was a great experience indeed, and I hope there will be more of such visits in the future. I will, of course, be sharing them with you in this blog.

This is all for today. Have a great day and see you soon J

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