Good morning everyone, or whatever part of the day you are reading this!
It is 9 May 2016. The weather is simply wonderful here in Lappeenranta - nothing correlating with what I have heard of Finnish summer! It has been already five days since I finished my examinational half-marathon. When I finally made it to the exit of Saimaa's campus on 4 May after two consecutive exams, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was a real summer outside: clear blue sky, light breeze, summer warmth and no exams left... at least for a week or two... Could you imagine what a relief that was? The weather has been this good for a week, so all your accusations of Finnish summer's insolvency have no evidence base (at least so far). Let's see what future holds.
Now that the weather is sunny and warm, I don't really feel like going away from here. Besides the weather, I got to enjoy the beautiful harbour and fortress a couple of days ago, and it doubled my desire to stay. Unbelievably, but it took me two years!!! to finally make it to the harbour and have a promenade with my friends. Trust me, it is a lovely place, and I strongly recommend you to go there and have a drink on a terrace. Of course, I have been there before, but the weather wasn't that good and the mood wasn't that situating.
The day that I took this picture was the second exploration of Lappeenranta for me. The city appeared from a completely different angle - from an even more enjoyable one.
Anyway, my Russian studies and practical training call. There is nothing to do but hope that the weather there is going to be as good as it is here. I am finishing my todays blog here.
Have a nice summer time. See you soon!
Hello everyone:) Long time no see!
It has been a long time for real, since I haven't dropped a single line for the last four months. It seems that only a couple of months has passed from the time that the studies started, but now I find myself packing my stuff. Time flies!
I have been silent for all this time, but it is not that I have absolutely nothing to tell. It is the other way round. I have got plenty of things to tell you about. Among them are intentionally intensified studies at Saimaa UAS, a practical training during the year, exam session at a Russian university and many other ways of self-torture I have experienced this year...:D
The things I have just mentioned are the things which have actually made me short of time... and sleep... and peacefull existence... :D It is true, but don't get frightened, as to make it this intensified, you should desire it and put an effort. The effort of applying to a distant learning program at a Russian university, taking next year courses, or get into some other trouble. It is totally up to your imagination!
I have planned this post to be an introductory one. The one preceeding a series of others, which will develop separate themes, so more (let's try if it best) is yet to come. I would really love to tell you about this year, as it has been wonderful. It was challenging at times, but it was definitely an interesting one. A great lot of things have happened: not only nice ones, but also failures of some kind.
Let's keep in touch!
Isn't it wonderful what I can observe from my window?
Today I decided to write about the skills that can be very useful for the period of studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. I can say that these skills are not only crucial while studying at the university, but in any everyday or work task. So I strongly hope that my blog entry will be interesting and helpful for those who are yet planning to apply, and those who are already the students of Saimaa UAS.
The significant part of studies at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences is group work, as it is a significant part of any business project or initiative. For the group work to be productive, each member of the team needs to possess certain skills. One principle that I try to always keep in mind is to be open-minded, and not to be opinionated. For some us it is hard to admit to ourselves that we are not the center of the universe, and that the sun is not rotating around us. It is very likely that we are not always right in our thoughts, assumptions and opinions. It is important to leave a room for doubt. It, however, doesn’t mean that you always have to agree with others. In case of disagreement, there are some essential points to remember. When I was involved into the team work, different situations happened and sometimes me and my groupmates couldn’t reach an agreement on some controversial points. It cost a lot of nerves at times. Looking back at that now, I can conclude from my experience that the best decisions were made after long discussions. If conflict is growing and you feel that it won’t get better for the moment, just make a pause, take a breath, and go for a party with your friends:D (unless there are only few hours before the deadline) For real, working in a team, you’ll get new skills of resolving conflicts eventually, but it would be useful to learn about them just in theory.
There are some team player roles such as shaper who drives work forward, implementer who gets things done, coordinator who manages the group’s progress, monitor-evaluator and specialist.
First of all, I would advise you to define your role in a team, so that you knew your duties and in what particular way you will be acting in a grouo. Obviously, your role can be different in different teams, but there will be many teams during your studies in Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, and I think it is a very good idea to practice all the roles – it will give you a more diverse experience! One day I had three different group meeting in a row, and my roles very different in each of them. In one group work I was forwarder, in the second one I was facilitator and in the third group I played a role of «monitor-evaluator».
As for the second, an effective team member should have certain skills, so that he could rightly be called effective. One of these skills is the ability to make decisions and move forward. It is crucial for the effectiveness of team work, and its ability to meet deadliness without a rush. I have already touched on the conflicts so I suppose that this situation can be referred to problem solving skills, which can be acquired over time. I encountered situation when none of the members of our team could reach a consensus. We were under time pressure and decided to vote for the best decision and it was the most adequate solution. It worked out very well, and we went down to work.
As for the third, you have to constantly develop your communication skills. If you are ashamed of speaking with a big number of people and don’t want to do something about it, business field is not for you. You definitely have to overcome your fear, as International business is all about communication with foreign partners and making a wide network of contacts. Work in a team gives you an excellent opportunity to prepare for the future career in multicultural environment. When I just started studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, I was very worried about my English, when speaking with foreigners. It affected my communicative skills in a negative way. Now I realize that it is absolutely normal to make mistakes and only my fear can be the obstacle for communication.
As for the forth, you will definitely need persuasion and influencing skills to lead your team members, if you ever find yourself in a position of a team leader. It is obvious that there are talented people who have an ability but I am sure that anyone can develop this ability, and not only the gifted! As for me, I tried to find out the best ways to convince people during team work and learnt pretty much from it.
I would also like to emphasize on one more skill that is very important in team work, which is facilitation. There are always people who are smarter than you and the ability to unlock potential of every team member is priceless because it will contribute to results of work and prosperity of team in general. I remember that there was a very shy girl in our team who didn’t say a single word when we were discussing ideas. When I asked her to express her opinion on the topic, she figuratively bombarded us with very creative ideas!
I just explained the theoretical part of team work but understanding of required skills doesn’t guarantee success. The best way to learn how to dance is dancing and the best way to learn how to work in team is working in team!
Good luck! See you soon!
Take a tour with me!
I have lived in Lappeenranta for almost all my life and it was quite interesting to go through my photos from few years back. I noticed that I don’t have too many pics from all the tourist destinations like Lappeenranta harbour or the Fortress of Lappeenranta. It’s not because I don’t spend time there but because the scene is so familiar to me. The most important thing for me in Lappeenranta is the compact city centre and the nature nearby.
So, this is how I see the city of Lappeenranta...
Enjoy the spring!
“Into the unknown” – the given article title could not be more accurate and precise in summarizing the adventurous experience I have recently immersed myself into. If you read my previous blog entries, you should have already guessed what I am talking about, as my pathos has spread over everything I have lately touched on J This is because the related emotions are simply stunning, overwhelming, and after reading this blog article you will understand why…
I think it is high-time to get down to the heart of the matter, so to speak. In this blog today I would like share with you the amazing opportunity that I recently got – I set off for a study exchange to Santiago, Chile for almost five months. As you might already know, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences has partner universities all over the world – there are approximately one hundred of them in total. There is an agreement between Saimaa UAS and the partner universities on student exchange taking place every year. Every student from the faculty of International Business (I am talking about International Business faculty, as I am not aware of how matter stand at other faculties) has an opportunity to go for a study exchange for one semester, or even the whole study year to pursue his second bachelor degree, while remaining a full-time student at Saimaa UAS. I think this is simply amazing. At most of the universities in my home country, a student exchange is more of a pipe dream, which only comes true to the cleverest, lucky or well-off few, whereas in Finnish universities exchange is a commonplace. Not only do you have an opportunity to go for an exchange, but you also get a considerable financial support from the universities, which, perhaps, does not cover all your expenses, but very well compensates for the extra costs associated with plane flights, visas and insurances. I cannot, however, say, how it all works for now, as tuition have recently been implemented for NON-EU/EEA students in Finland.
One of the universities in this hundred of partners is Universidad de Chile, which has become the place of my exchange. It is a university with over one hundred fifty years of history, and it is the sixth best university in Latin America according to QS Top Universities ranking!!! You can check it by clicking on the following link: http://www.topuniversities.com/universities/universidad-de-chile
Everything is different here compared to what I have ever been to before.
One of the first differences was that it is a winter season now in the Southern Hemisphere. Although it is cold in Chile, as temperature sometimes falls to +4, the international student atmosphere is very lively and warm: there are many colorful cultural events, global villages, loud parties, live musical evenings, barbeques and friendly get-togethers… While you are reading this, I might be going up the mountain path of some Andes’ small peaks, as a group of students, including me, dared to test themselves. One of the negative things that always makes itself felt, is that environment is very polluted here. It is in the air. In such moments, I pay the great tribute to Finland for its continuous care for the environment.
Secondly, people are very friendly, emotional, communicative and helpful here, so I have already managed to make a lot of friends from all over the world. I have never seen people so open-hearted and outgoing, as they are here in Santiago de Chile.
Thirdly, it is a completely different world: from traditions, customs, communication, and arrangements to natural sceneries, attractions and life patterns. In this regard, my exchange is an eye-opening and mind-broadening experience, which I have gladly dived deep in, and would dive out only four and a half months from now.
All in all, I love it here very much. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to come here.
I would like to finish my blog article now, as my friends are calling.
I am wishing a lovely day to all of you!
See you soon,
Buenas tardes, mis amigos!
Oh, excuse me, I have forgotten for a moment that I am supposed to write this blog in English, so:
Good day to all, dear readers! Although it might be not a day, when you are reading this, as we are separated by the Atlantic Ocean, seven time zones and a distance of over ten thousand kilometers, given that you are somewhere in the Eastern Europe. I have been in Santiago, Chile for almost two weeks now, but I cannot still believe that it is happening to me. This could not seem possible to me just some two-three years ago, when I was applying for a study place at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. I could not even imagine that two years from that moment I would find myself in another part of the world!
Before I tell you about my study exchange, I would like to tell about the language preparation preceding it. I think you might find interesting to hear about the language course you can take here as a student of Saimaa UAS.
I hardly ever speak English here, as Chileans hardly ever speak it in their lives :D There is no other way but to speak Spanish, as the Republic of Chile is an overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking country, with the exceptions of some isolated native and immigrant communities, but I would not challenge myself to learn the language of minorities, right? J I haven’t mastered Spanish language yet, so that I could dream of learning one more… but it is not all that bad and hopeless with my Spanish! I had quite an extensive and intensive Spanish language preparation session before I finally dared to apply for a study exchange at the Universidad de Chile. In this tough endeavor of mine, I was very strongly facilitated with the Spanish language courses and Spanish language teachers. I enrolled to all the imaginable Spanish language courses at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences and Lappeenranta University of Technology, and it was absolutely for free! I was very glad to find out that Saimaa UAS’s students have the permission to enroll to language course at LUT, which opens a lot of opportunities to raise your language proficiency in Spanish, German, French, Chinese, Finnish, Swedish and Russian. Furthermore, with the international and multilingual atmosphere that we have in Lappeenranta, you can find a lot of opportunities to learn the language with the natives. I know from my personal experience, that students here are more than willing to share and exchange knowledge of their native language, as they many times did so to me. I learned Spanish with two different girls in exchange to teaching them some English and Russian. It was mutually beneficial, and a very pleasant time together: we chatted a lot, shared cultures and traditions, and cooked dishes from national cuisines! I absolutely loved it! J
I haven’t been learning Spanish for very long, but I think I have managed to progress considerably, as I can now understand and speak the language. Of course, I face some comprehension difficulties, as they are speaking very-very fast, but in most cases, I catch the main idea and can give a pointful answer J
If talking about my Spanish language courses, I had them during the whole second year at Saimaa UAS. There were about two or three language classes per week. Study group peers had a notably higher language proficiency than I, but it only made me work harder in the pursuit of my goal. Our teacher was a real professional, and a very helpful person. As for the course books, you can take them from the university library, but make sure you do it asap, as there are not so many copies!
All in all, I am very glad and grateful that I had such a great opportunity to learn a second foreign language. Now that I have some language base, I can build upon it, and my study exchange in Chile is a very good place for it. It is also a very good factor that very few students, except the exchange ones, speak English here, or tend to do so. I only hope I would not forgot it here, as I still have to write Thesis on arrival, but it is tomorrow’s care, right ;)
I hope this would be interesting and helpful to you. If I recall something important, I would add it here.
Hello dear readers J
I hope that you summer is as pleasant and adventurous as mineJ Just think how cool and great it is: while being a student of Saimaa UAS in Finland, I am now writing to you from Santiago, Chile, where I have settled for five months for a study exchange! With the exchange and practical training opportunities that students have in our university, the world is as one. You can make friends all over the world and gain fantastic experience! As already promised in one of the previous articles, I will write a separate blog entry having my exchange as its topic, but not today. In today’s blog I will keep the promise of writing a blog on preparing to the entrance exams. More specifically, I will write about language-school-based preparation.
I have been asked several times by some of younger acquaintances: Would you personally advice to enroll in the entrance exam preparation courses (those exams, which are taking place at Finnish Universities) in a language school and use the services of such school in a document collection process, for instance?
I wish I could give a short yes/no answer to this question, but I, unfortunately cannot, as it would most likely be inadequate. What I will try to do today is to go through some of the aspects of studying at such school and give my opinion on them. I personally had two preparation courses with different teachers in such a school, and used its services for document collection. I have also talked to many of those students who studied in such school, so I have some experience and knowledge to base my opinion on.
The entrance exam’s preparation itself
I participated in two different preparation courses, and each of the courses had a different teacher. At some point of my preparation in the first group, I realized that I failed to progress for quite a considerable time. I felt that the workload, pace and the intensity of the preparation were simply not enough for me, and I could do much more. I didn’t want to waste my time and money, so I decided to do something about it. I knew that there was another preparation group, so I asked to transfer me into another group, which later turned out to be a very clever decision. Probably, a decisive event, which predetermined my future. Those groups were two big differences. The one that I switched to was much more suitable for me: as to me, the teacher was more professional, the workload was just right, and the group was somewhat more active, which also encouraged me to study harder. If talking about the preparation generally, I could conclude that it depends on the teacher and the group. It would be good to collect some feedback from previous-year students on each of the teachers and choose the one which fits you best.
As an alternative to enrolling into such courses in a language school, you can prepare on your own or with an individual teacher. If preparing with an individual teacher, make sure that he is a qualified one to prepare for the entrance exams. As far as I am concerned there is no such qualification as “preparing to the entrance exams at Finnish Universities”, so by “qualified” I mean that s/he should have some positive experience of preparing students. One of my groupmates from International Business faculty prepared for the entrance exam with his English teacher. He told me that me he mostly prepared on his own, while the teacher was checking the grammatical and semantic aspects of all his works, and he got into Saimaa!
For those who dare to prepare on their own, I would wish the best of luck. I think that this mean of preparation is only suitable for the most hard-working, disciplined, motivated and informed, because there would not be anyone to guide you through the preparation hurdles. Despite the positive example above (the one about my groupmate), it is very hard to prepare on your own. It is, of course, cheaper, but much riskier.
Besides preparing to the entrance exams, the school provided services of the documentary support. I used such a service, and later regretted of doing so. I do not mean that the service was inadequate or that something was made wrong from the side of the school. It is that I spent a considerable amount of money on a simple task that I could easily do myself. I have already given an example of my groupmate, who mostly prepared on his own. That very guy did all the document work by himself, and it only cost him posting services to send out the applications.
I do not encourage you to do it by yourself, as it still implies risks, and I would not like to be responsible for the problems that may occur. So before you decided to do it by yourself, make sure that you mind the risks of your application being undelivered or rejected.
The atmosphere and environment
I can honestly say that the entrance exam preparation period was one of the most interesting and exciting in my school years. I got to know many new people in the school, as we were all united with the common aim of getting into Finnish Universities. I learned much more of studying in Finland, as the courses was a very good platform for the information exchange.
To choose or not choose – that is the question
My basic assumption would be that it very much depends on you: on the level of your awareness of the entrance exam’s structure, on your ability to prepare on your own and self-discipline, on your willingness to take the known risk, on your willingness to spend money, on the familiarity with the application and document collection process, and many other factors.
I hope that my today’s blog would be of some use to you!
As promised before, I will continue writing, so see you soon!
Based on my modest personal experience, I could say that education in Finland is absolutely different from that of others. I have an opportunity to compare Russian, Chilean, and Finnish study programmes, as I manage to combine full-degree studies at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences with distant learning in Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics.
You might wonder: “It is clear with Finnish and Russian universities, but what do you base on while speaking about studies at a Chilean university?”
“Because I got to go to Chile for an exchange as a part of my studies at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, and I am writing to you from Santiago, Chile.” – My answer would be.
However, I would refrain from drawing a comparison between the Finnish and Chilean education, as I have only been studying at Universidad de Chile for one and a half week now, so it would be incorrect to conclude at this early stage. Anyway, it might happen that I will complete the given entry with such a comparison later on.
In any case, I am sure that the exchange topic deserves a separate blog article, so it is going to be a topic of one of the coming entries in this blog.
From my point of view, all the subjects we study hereare relevant to the field of business, and empower with the knowledge and skills which could be applied on practice in real business cases. You would not find philosophy or history in our studying schedule as separate subjects, but knowledge from these fields of study are present in our courses, as they integral and crucial to business matters. This is true, because the best lessons are those which history is teaching us, and philosophy is simply inseparable, as it teaches to understand people, which is very important during negotiations, for instance.To be honest with you, I consider myself to be a person, who would rather immerse herself into fundamental sciences, so I would appreciate to have philosophy and history as separate subject. Nevertheless, Finnish education at the University of Applied Sciences is more practically-oriented, so gives a necessary set of skillsand background knowledge to apply in reality.
I would like to present some of the courses, which are an obligatory part of studies for the programme of International Business:
International Business Law and Contracts
Global Economics and Finance
Supply Chain Operations and Logistics
Global Sourcing and Purchasing
IT Tools for Business
Principles of Marketing
In addition to compulsory courses, students can take additional ones such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Mobile Marketing, and many others Moreover, Saimaa UAS offers language courses of Finnish, Spanish German, and some other languages, which are free of charge.
Most of the lectures at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences are not compulsory for attendance that means a big amount of free time, however, student has to make all assignments which will be went through and checked later. Studies at Saimaa UAS are supposed to be practically applied. That is why much there is a lot of group work in multicultural teams, which, to my opinion, is very useful experience in a modern world.
Mateials for lectures are mostly presented as presentations, so every student can read information while listening to the lecturer. In most cases, sound knowledge of the material from these presentations ensures the highest grade to a student. Readings for the courses are not so frequent, but very useful as an addition to the presentations. It is very good that Saimaa UAS and LUT have a common library, where you can find a book on almost any field.
Nearly all courses require implementing assignments, which have to be uploaded on Moodle (learning management system). Some assignments involve group work, which is aimed to teach students to work in international collective. During the studies, I wrote a big number of reports about the work implemented and group work, which gave me a higher proficiency in writing structured reports.
Saimaa UAS uses grading scale from 0 to 5 for every course. Student can retake exam two times in case of failure and one time just to improve a grade. Such system makes exams less stressful because students know that they have an additional chance to change a grade.
I would like to end my blog here. I hope it would be useful for youJ
Best wishes and see you soon!
Hello to all reading this blog J
Many believe, and few would argue, that setting goals is a prerequisite for a rich and fulfilling life. Successfully set goals drive us forward, and make us accountable to ourselves, because we are the only ones responsible for our lives, and the only ones to put a blame on. Every day you make a choice, on whether you can remain passive and go with the flow, or you set your personal goals and get the best out of your life – it solely depends on you. There is one proverb that I continuously turn to. It goes as follows:
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”
As to me, it makes a lot of sense. Everyone has a cherished goal , an achievement of which depends majorly on the efforts we put into it. Shall the role of luck be neither neglected. In my honest opinion, and according to my modest experience, any achievement means victory over laziness, diffidence, and self-delusion, as well as training of the power of will. I can illustrate it on my personal example. Getting to Saimaa University of Applied Sciences was my goal, and I would even say a dream. I first learned about the opportunity of studying at Saimaa UAS from one of my acquaintances, who had already been studying there for one year. Her stories about the university, its campus, studies, teaching and fantastic international atmosphere were so amazing, that I started to dream in a literal sense. I wanted to try myself, and I had such a possibility. I had very serious intentions, and I was sure to do my best to get into the university.
To tell you the truth, I was simply overwhelmed with the idea of getting into university. It didn't take me long to realize that I needed to work hard to achieve the aim set. Inspired by my dream, I was not only overwhelmed, but also full of energy. I started my preparation for the exams (IELTS exam and the university entrance exams). Every single day of my high-school’s final year was a preparation day – the preparation for the exams that could give me a ticket to a new life. I had been learning English language all day long from early in the morning till late in the evening - each spare minute that I had was devoted to learning. As usual, my day was beginning with … no, not coffee, but a radio programme of BBC news in English, and ending with a repetition of new words. I was very motivated, and devoted my holidays to learning too. To differ and improve my preparation, I decided to take courses in a language school in Saint Petersburg, which partly specializes on entrance exam preparation to Finnish Universities. I met interesting people there, and some of my future groupmates. One of the positive aspects of studying in such a school, is that I learned more about the structure of the written part of the entrance exam, and the discussion taking place at Saimaa UAS.
Some friends of mine ask me: Would you advice to attend the preparation courses and use the services of such a school? I, unfortunately, do not have a direct answer for this question. In my opinion, it very much depends on you: on the level of your awareness on the entrance exams structure, on your ability to prepare on your own, familiarity with the document collection process, and many other factors. I think that the topic deserves a separate blog article, in which I would express my point of view on the necessity of language school assistance, outsourced document collection and some other issues. It will be a topic of one of the next entries.
Eventually, my efforts were rewarded, and I was finally accepted to study at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. You could imagine how happy I was J It was one of the most significant achievements in my life by that moment.
There is one more thing that I learned during the final, or “the preparation year” - I made sure that, in the pursuit for the big goal, we get more than just «winning the competition», but also a pleasure from the process of striving for it, new things learnt and interesting people met. Even though backs and ups are inevitable, we have to learn how to keep calm and go our way in a pursuit of our personal goals.
I am very sad that I didn’t write here beforeL I have very much to tell, and I promise I will be posting blogs here more often J
I am wishing you a lovely day! Good bye and see you soon!
It’s me, Julianna again :) Well guess what! It is the end of November and it started SNOWING!!! I don’t really know if I feel happy or sad about it..I have great memories about Finnish winters as well as...umm let’s say.. not so great ones.. I remember when on one of our Finnish language classes the teacher made us go outside to play with the snow and make snowmen :D Everyone was a little confused about it, since it’s been a looong time we played in the snow the last time and we felt ‘too old for that stuff’. But, eventually, we had so muuch fun! We built snowmen, had a snowball fight and basically acted like kids :D
Also, another great thing about Finnish winters that they are sooo beautiful. Like seriously, your instagram feed is going to be fulllll of snowy landscapes because nobody can resist taking a picture, sharing it and boasting about it to the people who are not part of this experience!
(These are from my classmates’ or Saimaan AMK's instagram just so you can see that I’m not exaggerating.)
But the best thing about winters is that you can curl up in your blankie with a warm tea or glögi (glögi is the Finnish mulled wine) and focus on your studies :D Yes, I know, I know it doesn’t sound that good, but trust me… It is gonna be so cold soon, that the last thing you want to do is leave the house :D You will have plenty of time to do your assignments, prepare for the exams or tests. Seriously, you will be so proud of yourself for getting good grades simply because it will be your only option to avoid freezing. Of course there are many fun activities to do in winter and there are many occasions for partying haha, but I’m gonna tell you about them in my next post!
Oh and as for the bad part, it all sounds great and it IS very beautiful but…. sometimes it just SUCKS. And please, Finnish people don’t hate me for saying this, but I feel like I have to let people know what it’s really like. And, for the record, I already said and I AM going to say many many great things about Finnish winter. So, as for the bad part... It’s cold. Your feet are frozen. Your nose is frozen. You can say goodbye to your hands. The snowflakes seem cute and beautiful, but in fact, THEY ARE MEAN! They hurt, they cut their way through your face. You fall, oooh you fall a looot, since it’s either very icy and slippery or there is so much snow that you simply can’t walk. Sometimes your eyelashes freeze together. For real.. I'll post it if I find the pic.
(This is my friend curled up in her scarf :D)
So yes, there IS a nasty side of this winter fairytale. But, really apart from that it is magical. Your friends who are not here with you are going to be extremely jealous for missing out on everything you are going through!
Stay with me if you want to know more about the life in Lappeenranta! Next time I’m gonna write about the things you can do during the holidays if you stay in Finland. Also, I think I’m gonna tell you more about the university!
Hi everyone, It’s Julianna! I was born in Hungary and I moved to Lappeenranta around a year and a half ago to study international business. Before moving here I studied in the State University of St.Petersburg, which I didn’t like that much so instead of going to uni I visited my friends, who studied in Saimaa a, looot of times.Oh god, I loved coming here! All the students, the places and parties and everything.. it was AMAZING. Soon , I realized that I spent more time in Simaa AMK than in my uni in Russia :D That was the point when I asked myself: Julianna , do you wanna move here? The answer was: Helllllll yaass! So I checked what I had to do in order to get here, got all my documents ready, took the entrance exam and BAM! Julianna moved to town :D (Here’s some pics of me and my lover, the seal in the city center :D)
To be honest, I should’ve started this blog a while ago, but I had to do a loooot of catching up with my studies. Why? Well... I was so excited that I accidentally partied most of my time away, so the first two months of this academic year I spent studying and taking re-exams. I got my stuff together now because I was able to catch up pretty quick. This is what made me ralize that Saimaa (the uni, not the lake. I’m gonna use it a lot do don’t get confused. :D) is probably the best choice for me, because i can manage my studies in a way I want to. I have compulsory courses that I have to take but, apart from that I can make my own timetable by taking elective courses, courses from the first od third grade, languages and basically whatever that seems interesting. ( This is me and my friendoes in my fun days in one of the uni parties :D )
Soooo let’s see what we have.. I’ve experienced the “fun” side of the uni, then the “study” side of the uni and now I’m gonna try to combine those two. If you are interested in how i'm gonna manage that or you wanna hear my stories from the past year OR wanna be updated on a student’s life in Lpr, keep reading my next entries ;)
I guess im not gonna talk more about myself... you probably wanna hear something more about Lappeenranta and the school ,so I’ll tell you about everything in details the next time!
First of all, I would like to make the following note:
I had my entrance exam in 2014. Its structure and content might have changed or will change. Therefore, do not blindly rely on the information provided by me, as it might be not up-to-date at the time you are reading it. Check the information from official sources of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences.
Haven’t been here for long since the last post. This is mainly because life has gained a faster pace. I have myself made it faster paced and busy with distance learning at a Russian State University UNECON, third year courses and a part time job to crown it all. Why would not you live a peaceful and regular life? – I ask myself. Because this way life seems more interesting and somewhat more challenging. I will tell you about all of these later when the time comes.
As mentioned in the previous post, the coming post will be more precisely on my preparation to the International Business entrance exams. So it is.
Once all the necessary arrangements were made - meaning IELTS test booked and first exam preparation lesson appointed – I went down to work. By the way, the exam preparation lessons that I attended were not something of a school specializing at these kind of exams, as we simple didn’t have anything like that. Those lessons were rather of a teacher that I knew was the best English teacher in our small town. Many thanks to her!
I was well informed of what the structure of an entrance exam is like, as it’s in free access to all. But since I didn’t use services of a specialized classes, the exemplary content of the exam remained unknown for me and I didn’t know what to prepare myself for. Thanks God, we already had Internet and Google in our small town at that times… For those not willing to rely on the Internet in such an important things in life, I would strongly advice to use services of one of those schools explained above.
Having acquainted myself with all the imaginable information sources on the web, I finally got a better idea of what to prepare myself for. The structure of the exam was as follows:
Essay on a topic from the pre-reading material. To prepare myself for this part, I was thinking of various topics which could be given for our pre-reading material, and writing essays on the topics. As simple as this, and it did work out well in my case. I would say that the good knowledge of pre-reading and strong skills of writing essays are the constituting factors of success.
Multiple choice questions based on the pre-reading material. In this part, as I remember, there were approximately 15 or 20 questions. This part turned out to be the most challenging for me at the exam. Even though I was reading pre-reading thoroughly and knew it very well, the multiple choice questions proved the opposite – I was lacking knowledge on small but important details. The key to success in this part is simply to know the pre-reading material from cover to cover.
Logical and mathematical exercises. In this part of exam I was given 20 exercises on mathematics and logic. I am not hopeless at math, so I the exercises didn't present any difficulties to me. To prepare myself for this part, I was solving GMAT test exercises.
Group interview on a general topic. I wouldn’t say that the topic itself was difficult. On the contrary, it was rather common topic with no specialized business vocabulary. The purpose of this part of the exam, as I think, is the capability of an applicant to politely, openly and convincingly discuss various topics in a multicultural group. The keys to success, as I think, is to participate actively in the discussion, listen well and to be polite with others.
This is all by now. Whenever I recall anything regarding the preparation, I would add it to this post, trying to make it more informative.
Next post is soon to come!
Good morning everyone!
My studies at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences started nearly two years ago. It was on the last days of August 2014. This is also the time when I first came to Lappeenranta.
The first acquaintance with the university and the city of Lappeenranta took place at that time. The weather was most situating for the curious ones like me, and I could explore the campus and the city. I started with the university campus: it was the nearest to my apartment and the foreground place to visit. I simply could not wait to see my study place for the next several years in my life.
First photo at Saimaa UAS.
I searched the web heavily, when I was yet at home in Russia. Therefore, I already had some expectations about the place I was heading to. To be honest with you, what I saw was far beyond my expectations. It was very much different from where I came from. Modern architecture of the campus, its technical advancement and the rich material base were simply astonishing to my view.
First of all, bright and spacious classes furnished with all the necessary learning equipment like interactive boards, projectors, and, last but not least, the lovely audio systems (at some of the classes), that I got to enjoy so frequently at night. With the classrooms being so well-equipped, learning process enhances and becomes more productive, as any study material can be visualized and presented in a somewhat more involving way. Besides this, there is an academic library. It has an extensive collection of literature titles and journals, which are available both in print and electronic version. Another advantage is that almost all of the library databases can be accessed remotely, and it makes an occasional distant learning way more convenient, as an extensive collection of academic sources is just few clicks away from Saimaa UAS Official Website – figuratively, at arm’s length. In addition to this, there are about two dozens of computer classes with printing facilities in some of them (printing is free, though there is approximately 200 pages limit per month, but you are not going to set up a backstreet printing house, aren’t you?). Believe it or not, you can use almost all of these whenever you want, if you have a special magnetic key, which you can get over a small deposit of Euro 20. Yes, that’s true: you can come to the uni well after midnight or at an early dawn, as I often do. I couldn’t believe that at first, because it’s barely possible in Russia, but it’s very common here in Finland.
Anyway, life is not only studying, and there should also be some time for sports and social life. Huge sports halls for any kinds of team sports and sports classes, welfare services, and two types of gyms with various equipment - all of this present the most favorable environment for leading a healthy lifestyle. These facilities are united under a joint project called SaLUT (www.salut.fi). By the way, most of the sports facilities can be booked, and you can even use them at night if you feel like doing it.
In other words, the first week, or even two, I was in a continuous state of amazement from what I learned about Saimaa UAS, and I do not cease to amaze even now after two years of studies. For this I would like to thank Finland and Saimaa UAS in particular for the hospitality and the best conditions to live and to study.
Unfortunately, I do not have photos of the library, classes and the sports facilities now, but I will definitely get hold of some by the next time, when I will be telling more detailed about each of them separately.
This is all for today.
Have a nice day and see you soon!
My name is Aleksei. I am second year bachelor’s degree student here at Saimaa UAS with International Business being my major, and literally being my life changer. The reasons why I call the degree of International Business here at Saimaa “a life changer” is yet to be discussed in the next posts, but first I would like to tell just a little bit about myself and the places I come from.
I am originally from Russia, from the Republic of Karelia, the nature of which is, understandably, very much the same to what we have the good fortune to contemplate here in South Karelia of Finland. The crystal clear lakes, the undisturbed peace of wild nature and the very pleasant atmosphere to live in – these are the things that never cease to amaze me for the time I have been living here in Lappeenranta.
With the move from my home town Sortavala to Lappeenranta, the latest being only three times larger in population, I have surprisingly experienced an unmeasured (six-fold I would suggest) but an exceeding change – this is again to tease your cognitive appetite :)
Honestly, I am not really the person to talk about myself all the way, annoying you with needless and unrelated discussions of mine, but rather the one who will try to simply share the information, experience and feelings I have related to studying, free time in Lpr, job search, practical training and other not less useful and interesting topics that I will try to not less interestingly cover. With feelings intentionally listed in the last turn.
Whereas this post is the introduction one, I consider it somewhat necessary to tell you about the person you are reading from. I am an optimist, the one being convinced that everything depends on every each of us. And I guess it is enough of revelation for today :)
The coming posts are to be discussing my life stepwise in the historical and logical sequences right from the beginning of the first study year 2014. Since that time Lappeenranta, I would say, has partly become the second home of mine with Saimaa UAS undoubtedly playing an extremelly important role.
Next post is soon to come.
I do not like to have my life decisions left to chance, nor do I make them spontaneously. Applying to Saimaa University of Applied Sciences was not an exception.
Now, being myself involved into promotion, I can see that the information coverage, the promotional activities aimed at the Russian market are just perfect. I wish I attended just one of the presentations Saimaa UAS is organizing in Saint Petersburg and the tours at the university itself – this would have made my life much easier, as the information given there is simply exhaustive. Definitely do attend one of those.
Although my mind was made up in only one evening, the “research” preceded the final decision. I myself didn’t make my life easier, though. The necessity of collecting all the possible information before making the last decision was clear to me. Everything from the applicant’s requirements and the application process to the entrance examination and the universities themselves – it was all unknown for me. I did research a lot – I will tell you about it more in the posts to come. I wouldn’t argue that it took me some effort, but what I found out was really inspirational and exciting – so exciting that the feeling and the consequential motivation have accompanied me all the way.
What I have discovered about studying in Finland was undreamed-of. None of the universities, which I considered at the times of graduating from secondary school in Russia, promised to give the opportunities that Finland did.
The final decision itself, as I remember now, was made on one of the evenings in an early August. There was no hesitation on whether applying to Saimaa University of Applied Sciences was worth it or not, but rather the hesitation on whether to accept the challenge. At that time it was a challenge for me, and, as you might guess, I did accept it. Looking back, I feel that it was the right decision to take.
The decision was made, the IELTS test booked, my tutor teacher was informed of my plans and the first lesson appointed – all of these in the same evening. I didn’t have misleading illusions, so I knew that there would be some hard work to do.
This is all for now. Next post is soon to come.