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/

Top 3 of Linnala campus

Sup,

 

Studying in Linnala campus is quite cool. There are numerous reasons why I like my school so i'll introduce you my favorite things about this place.

1. Food: Restaurant Linnala offers great and tasty food for affordable price. The mealtime is always a pleasant happening and the food tastes like heaven. My absolute favorite is the warm bread straight from the oven. Ravenous students may choose between main dish, soup or vegetarian option. There are also pastries, cakes and fruits sold in cafeteria.

2. People: There are not many students but it is actually a good thing IMO. Many come from abroad so it is handy to make contacts to other countries, I, for example made good friends with an Italian student and visited Trieste, Italy few years ago. It is super easy to make friends and many people wave at each other. 

3. Facilities: School area is cozy and full of lovely places to sit down and relax. My favorite is a little room behind the school library. There you are able to use computer, read books or play mitt favorit, Swedish Trivial Pursuit. Other student-friendly area is naturally Saiko's Office located in "a dark corner" of the school. Music, free coffee and magazines are examples of activities in the office.

Remember people, today is a party day :)

Exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Good day to all J

weather

This precisely what the weather is like in Singapore now – light thunderstorms and rain. Thunderstorms so light your windows start to tremble, and rains so gentle you subconsciously start to look up for some ark to get on. Luckily, Singaporeans are very good architects and city planners, so there are covered areas all along the main walking paths protecting citizens from rain and lightings, and all the city is equipped with drain commissioners so that the city would not be flooded as it sometimes happens in the neighboring countries.

But does one really feel like going out anywhere in a weather like this. Yes! I am that very person. A person who’s exchange semester is coming to an end and s/he is grasping every interesting opportunity desperately, as one is grasping at straws. I am simply obliged to see every remarkable place now that I am in Singapore, as one never knows whether he is going to come here again in his life. So let’s make the most out of it even though the weather is doing its best to convince to stay indoors. No, the weather forecast says that it is going to be raining the whole next week. There is no way I am going to spend 7 days in a dorm. Having said that, I feel that I should now put my money where my mouth is, and actually go and see something!

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Looks more like a park, but it is a city street.

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Singapore, though heavily urbanized and built up, is a very green city. Look, for example, at these sceneries near Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre where the Singapore Motorshow 2017 took place.

As land is scarce in what is one of the most densely populated countries, urban planners aim to maximize use of land. Being very efficient and prudent in it, there is still a place for many parks and natural reserves in Singapore. Remembering my experience at Fort Canning part, which was indeed a very pleasant discovery, I am seriously determinedto explore the major parks and natural reserves.

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To bring it to life, I headed to the Singapore Botanic Gardens - UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its tropical flora set is simply spectacular.

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It was raining all day from 2pm onwards – and, accordingly, it was raining almost uninterruptedly the four hours I was exploring park. What shall I say? It was amazing. I bought a rain poncho and went on to explore.

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I managed to capture half an hour of rainless weather in the very beginning, but as you can see from the clouds, this couldn’t last too long.

It is a perfect place for recreation. You can, for instance, have a picnic here, or a walk with your friends. Alternatively, you could come here to do some sports – there were many people jogging and exercising in the park even though it was raining cats and dogs at times. I felt like joining them, but I don’t think my camera and wallet would have liked that idea.

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Symphony lake.

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The park was full of such nature sceneries.

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The Swan lake.

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It at times felt I was in a jungle.

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First time in my life I saw Bonsai trees.

I went home no sooner than I finished exploring the whole garden. It took me approximately four hours. Soaking wet but delighted by the new discovery I headed home.

I am finishing today’s blog here, and heading to a city tour, which is run for free and organized by local enthusiasts from the Nanyang Technological University.

Have a good day and see you soon!

Discovering Singapore: Orchard Road and Fort Canning Park

Lovely day from Singapore J

Do you know what could be better than a warm rain-free day in Singapore? A warm, rain-free and sunny day with a clear sky. No wonder every day is warm here, and every other day is rain-free, but there are significantly less sunny and cloudless days due to the high humidity. You can usually do with one hand to count such days in a month. It is even more so during the wet phases of monsoon seasons, of which there are two here. The difference between the dull and the bright weather is, however, very noticeable, which makes Singapore a city most admired by night, as it can admittedly be a little bit dull by day if the sky is covered in clouds and there is no way for sunbeams to play with glass of the spectacular local man-made creations.

Notwithstanding this fact, the weather has been exclusively rich in such dayslately, and let us hope it will continue to do so in the future for the joy of us and other tourists in Singapore. Yesterday was one of such days, and we eagerly headed to the city center to make the most out of the day.

Our first destination was Orchard Road, which is a very famous local shopping street. Some of the shopping malls along the street are very lavishly decorated with marble, glass and elegantly furnished. The experience at some of them was like this: you come in; you amaze at how ridiculously high the prices are; you go out. Despite this awkward experience, the Orchard Road was a place to be, as the glazed surfaces shimmered in the sunlight J

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View from one of the shopping malls at Orchard Road.

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The Orchard Road might at some places also look like a bazaar, but trust me, there are very few places with bazaar-like prices there J

When we walked down the end of the street, and there was nothing left to see, we discovered that there is a large park nearby. By the time we made it there, it was about 6pm, and the sun was about to set. Our timing, both in terms of weather and time of the day, was absolutely perfect.

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Surprisingly and fortunately, there were very few people in the park. Setting sun was accompanying us all the way up to the top.

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What a great place for an afternoon walk or run. The place was filled with birds’ chirping and singing.

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No comments needed.

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Having made it to the top, we were rewarded with this wonderful scenery.

What shall I say? This place was a real discovery. I could not image there was such a spectacular “island of pure nature” and a viewing place right next to Clarke Quay, which is another sightseeing place here in Singapore.

This is all for now, but more is yet to come, as I am now as motivated to discover Singapore, as never before. Thanks to the Fort Canning Park.

See you soon J

Torres del Paine

 

Dear friends,

 

I would like to continue my blog entries about my trips in Chile because I have much to share with you. This blog entry will be about my trip to Patagonia. If you have already read any of my blog entries that I have published, you remember that my trips were quite risky. This adventure is not exception.

 

Have you ever experienced the situation when you are in a very challenging situation and you need to make decision very fast. I think that all we do. It was late evening before my trip to Patagonia when I got message from my Belgian friend that she is not going with me to Patagonia and canceled her flight. I was shocked. And I had to do important essay  that night because I didn’t have time to do it before. The most terrible thing was that we didn’t book hostel because I waited for her to return from her trip. Thus I didn’t have accommodation, any person to go with me, however, I had much work with my essay :D I didn’t have too much time to think about it. After 2 hours of hesitating, I finally decided to go because it is time of my life. Fortunately, I found a hostel and have written the essay.

 

When I was coming out my house at 4 a.m, I still thought that if I did not catch a taxi (it was too early) or I was late for my flight, I would stay at home. At that time, I had kind of apathy about what would happen with me next because I didn’t sleep an hour that night. I remember that moment when I waited for any taxi to catch. Santiago was sleeping and I could hear only sounds of cars. I had a shadow of the stress but these feelings were very deep in me and mostly I felt sleepiness. I also thought about risk I take and decided that we take risk every single day even at home and there is nothing to worry about. Probably I even like risk.

 

I caught a taxi and was on time. I took my seat and finally closed eyes. In my sleep, I could hear very scaring sounds. Plane was screeching during the whole flight but I could not open my eyes. I think that even if we fall down, I wouldn’t wake up. Anyway it was a great lesson which says that it’s better not to choose low cost airline because life is more valuable. One of our professors in Universidad de Chile works in a very big international company and flies to different places every 2 weeks. One time he told us that his company prefers not to buy ticket in that low cost airline because the risk is already big as he flies very often so it increased 2 times if he would fly with low cost company.

 

Hopefully, we landed. I went out of airport and took a bus to Puerto Natales which is close to The Strait of Magellan. There you can see real whales, penguins and many other animals. I would love to go there but, unfortunately, I didn’t have enough money and time to take the trip. The idea was to go to Punta Natales, change the bus and go to Punto Arenas.

 

In the bus on the way to Punta Arenas, I met two brothers from Australia who directed to the same place as me. They were very kind and friendly and I was glad to meet them. Even though they had different plan in Patagonia, we spent some time together. So I wasn’t that alone thereJ

 

Punta Arenas is a very small but cozy town which is located very close to Torres del Paine. Torrese del Paine is a national park, which is famous for its pure, amazingly beautiful nature. In this place you do not only admire views but also can meet puma. I’ve seen one and it was a great luck because a small number people have seen it there.

 

 I arrived at Punto Natales in the evening, said bye to my new friends and went to my hostel. That hostel was definitely the best that I have ever seen in Chile because there was heating. I suffered a little bit from the lack of heating in hostels and houses in Chile and when I saw the heater, I got excited.  In the same evening I decided to go around the city and find any excursions.

 

Torres del Paine is ideal place to hike. It has many places you can rent to put your tent . Australian guys wanted to do the most famous destination for trekking – double W trek. They invited me to join them but, unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time for it. So I decided to do my own plan. First, I took an excursion to various highlights of the park. Secondly, I booked trekking to base of Torres del Paine which is the most spectacular view of the park. Thirdly, I planned to go to Argentina for 2 days and go to el Calafate and take an excursion to Perrito Moreno there. I could also reach Perrito Moreno from Punta Arenas but it was very expensive so it would be cheaper to go to el Calafate which was very close to Perrito Moreno.

 

Unfortunately, not all my plans came true. First day I went for trekking to base Torres del Paine. As far as we came out a bus which took us to Torres del Paine, it started rain. Bad luck. We hoped it would stop and went up for long time until a path in mountains became very slippery. Our instructor decided to delay the hike for the day after tomorrow. For me it meant that my trip to Argentina is canceled because 1 day wasn’t enough to get to Calafate and come back without being late for my flight to Santiago. That day I accidentally met Australians in supermarket and we decided to have a lunch together. We walked around the town, talked and had a coffee together. My day wasn’t that bad even though it rained as hell.

 

Next day I had an excursion to the main highlights for Torres del Paine. The views were amazing! The only obstacle to take a good photo was a very strong wind which literally sent me sprawling.

 

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One of our last stops was the Lago Grey where glaciers are. I have never seen them before. I was excited.

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On the end of the tour we went to Milodon Caves. Just imagine that all you see on the picture now was deep in water and then came out. After that stage ancient people lived there. Men hunted huge mammoth and women cooked it. When I’ve seen that huge mammoth, I couldn’t believe that it’s possible to catch and kill  it.

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On the second day I finally went up to base Torres del Paine.  I took 6 hours to go there and back. It was quite exhausting because the path was from stones going up. Some people even quitted to climb up. For me it was very interesting experience because I’ve never hiked through mountainous areas before.  When we were quite high first time, I was about to cry from beauty of pure nature. 

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I would like to return to Punta Arenas for W trekking in Torres del Paine one day and go to Puerto Natales to see whales in the ocean. I have very good memories from this beautiful place and hope that I will have opportunity to visit it again.

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Hell of an Open House

Good Sunday morning to all J

Looking three years back in the past, I remember myself standing at the crossroad of choosing the future course of studies, and, consequently, at the same time taking my first step towards identifying future profession. Luckily, I had a rather developed understanding of where I want to study and the field of work I see myself in the future. My study place aspirations have come true, with which I am more than satisfied. As for the field of work, let’s see what future holds. It is, however, rarely the case that school graduates have a firm conviction of what course of studies they want to pursue. I was exceptionally fortunate in that regard, as I could see my peers hesitating between the two or three exactly opposite fields of study. What is more important, is that I see some of them unsure whether they made the right choice - now that three years have passed, and they are about to graduate.

To avoid such situations, universities organize open houses, at which you, yet a schoolkid, get to learn more about different courses of studies, possible future professions, and, what is more importantly, obtain incredible hands-on experience. A recently ended NYP Open House was a brilliant example of what it should be like. As promised in one of the previous articles, I am going to share with you my experience.

Not considering myself a future applicant, I skipped the less interesting part of various diploma presentations and info stalls. I, however, didn’t fail to participate in each and every activity organized thereafter :D

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I, for instance, had an opportunity to fly Airbus A320 simulator. And, of course, I took that opportunity without hesitation. It was an amazing experience. I made the take-off, and cockpit counterpart made the landing. We then reversed the roles and did it again. Flying simulator gives a surprising adrenaline rush, as you kind of grow into the role of pilot.

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I was rolling in this driverless car! It really does the job, though at a low speed.

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It is a “grab as much as you can with one hand”-type of activity. I grabbed so much they were sad I discovered their booth J

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I tried to help this buddy lying on the ground, but I don’t think I improved his chances of staying alive, but rather lowered them L

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It was all accompanied by energetic and beautiful dancing and singing.

This open house was a great marking of the end of holidays, and a great example of how career orientation should be set up. I am now thinking of becoming a pilot J

This is all for now. Have a great day and see you soon!

Dear Time!

Singapore view

This view captivates me.

Hello everyone J

It is Friday, 6th of January, which means that only one weekend separates students of NYP from the commencement of new year’s studies. What an intrigue! Will students all over the world be able to follow our New Year’s resolution – that part of it relating to studies and assuring that you will from now on be the most diligent student in the universe, or at least not fail to attend the lectures.

The commencement of the next semester also means that there are only two months left to go before going back. The fact with respect to which I would like to say: Time really flies! It is running at a faster speed I get to enjoy it here! I better hurry up, and maybe sleep less or even give up sleeping, so that there would be more hours in the day? I am kidding, of course J But I am sure I will have hard times leaving this place.

Even though this last weekend marks the end of the term break, I feel just a little bit sorrow, as every student should, but only a little, and not at all desperate. It is partly due to the fact that the term break was absolutely fantastic. Yes, I admittedly spent a lot of time in the library, but nevertheless managed to explore Singapore not least thoroughly. I undoubtedly had wonderful times full of discoveries and even moments of astonishment. Several things fascinated me, made sit back and reflect at how interesting and diverse the world is. I am now ready to plunge back into my studies with renewed energy and interest, as the break gave me a great boost of positive emotions and motivation. How great it is that one can go abroad for a semester or two to discover the world, make friends and learn something new.

On the score of all written to this point, my sincere advice to myself and anyone would be to appreciate and live the moment. This is the life itself.

This is all for today J More is yet to come.

P.S. Dear Time! Please stop running so fast!

Yours sincerely,

Aleksei

Singapore Customs certification

Good day to all!

I trust that you enjoy your last days of holidays, as I get to enjoy it here in Singapore. It is warm, sunny, and cheerful here J

But I, of course, I have come here not only because of the year-round warmth, sun and nearby beach. My choice of Singapore as a place of exchange was a well-informed one. I knew that I was heading to a country with a well-established and diversified financial sector, to a country which is often referred to as the “air and sea hub of Asia”, and a place where doing business is admittedly easier than anywhere else in the world. I was coming here with a firm intention to get the most out of it exchange. Learning from the best is best learning, right? With this in mind, I was thinking of ways how to get exposed to these spheres. As for financial sector and business-doing, Singapore exchange together with Bloomberg Terminal and numerous companies’ open houses and visits pretty much gave me that exposure and relevant valuable experience. As for the part of “air and sea hub of Asia”, I had a nerd’s dream to get to know Singapore Customs processes closer, and to find out what makes this country so attractive to shippers and carriers. And I did get the chance to do that!

When choosing study modules for my exchange in Singapore, I took a thought: “Where, if not in Singapore, should one study International Freight Management?” The answer was obvious, and I ticked that course as a preferred selection. Not long ago, when I was already here in Singapore, a teacher for the course announced that there would be some certification programme. I was curious and decided to find out. It turned out to be that much-desired J Certification Programme on Singapore Customs Procedure. I needed no second offer and signed right away.

It turned out to be a very informative programme. We first had a sequence of lectures on the main processes at the Singapore customs, customs tax regimes, national single window TradeNet platform, secure trade partnership programme and many more. It was then followed by a visit to a company where we not only got to know how this particular company interacts with the Singapore Customs, but were admitted to its Zero-GST (Goods and Services Tax) warehouse! It is indeed a very interesting system, which implies that goods are already in Singapore, but wouldn’t be taxed until they are released from the warehouse for sale.

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The warehouse’s Command Center shouldn’t necessarily be huge

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It is one of the many distribution centers in Asia-Pacific, so the stock is not very large, since medical-device do not generally have long shelf-life.

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Should there be an emergency of stock-out in a hospital, medical devices can leave the warehouse in under two-hours’ time.

I hope my exchange will continue to be a sequence of such a nice learning opportunities.

This is all for today J

See you soon.

Vicuña

Dear friends

If you have read my previous blog about my trip to La Serena, you remember that I was planning to go to Vicuña which is relatively close to Serena. We arrived at Vicuña in the early morning and went to close by pharmacy. Why pharmacy? We decided to meet with our host there because he worked as a pharmacist. I’m not a big fun of small tows but I felt in love with that one. It was very well-groomed and pretty. It was full of parks and little squares so I could walk around for a long time.

So we went to the pharmacy and met our new friend. I remember that the first impression from the person was very positive. He had an open look and very kind eyes. I remember that I felt much better when I have seen him because I little bit worried about the new host after our previous experience in Serena.

I think that we were very lucky to find him because he asked his friend to show us Elqui valley for small payment which was actually money for fuel. That guy didn’t speak English at all but we managed to speak in Spanish with him and even became good friends.

Our first stop in Elqui Valle was the Mistral Pisco. There we learnt about the process of making Pisco. Our guide spoke only in Spanish and sometimes it was really hard to understand very technical vocabulary but I caught the main idea. For those who has never heard about Chile, Pisco is the most famous, traditional drink there. Chileans and Peruvians still ague pretending to be the first inventors of it.

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I really liked the pictures on the walls there. They remind how people can look like after drinking too much.

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On our way we stopped several times to admire the beauty. 

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This view reminds me landscape from a cartoon The Lion King.

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In the evening my friend decided to go to Mamalluca (stars observatory). I had an oppotnunity to watch stars in observatory of Atacama and I took a decision to stay with our new friend. He needed to go to La Serena to give something to his brother and offered me to join him. Why not? It was late night when we stopped on the coast to take fresh air on our way back.  At night senses become heightened. These feelings are especially familiar for those who live  through emotions. I felt like the world around me was so amazing and huge and I was somewhere on the edge of the world breathing the sea air. It was happiness for 15 minutes. Then we returned to Vicuña.

Our host and the new friend decided to make so called “asado” that means barbecue in Spanish. We offered them money to buy meat and vegetables but they were adamant and didn’t let us do it. I was just surprised that they were so kind to let strangers live in their house and feed us without expecting anything in return. I found answer on the question why. Our host told us how he traveled around the world and many people hosted him so that he felt gratitude and decided to host by himself. He told us that he returned home with broken shoes and cloth without any cent from that trip and continues to collect money for new adventure. He definitely had passion to travel even if there was nothing in his pocket.

After the barbecue, we went to the bar-club which was very close. It was nice place but I understood that my friends felt kind of shame. They were making excuses for very old music. I wasn’t good at chilean music and in general I liked it.In the end my friends started to sing haha. It was very funny! We danced for some time and went back because I was too tired.

Next day our friends invited us to go to la Serena to buy sea food for take away and have a lunch near the ocean. I wanted to join them so much but, unfortunately, my friend had lecture next day and we couldn’t stay.

That was a great time! I was really glad that I used coachserfing service for this trip. I met very interesting people and spent my holidays in Vicuña perfectly!

Scoring A's has never been so easy

Hello everyone J

Me nerding out or, better say, being admittedly studious has started to pay off, as I start to receive my intermediate exam papers with A’s on them, which, according to Singapore grading scale, is what all nerds aim for.

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I would not say it was difficult to get a good grade here at NYP. It becomes even less so when you have to study for the modules you are really interested in. Could it become any easier? Yes, it could, if stirring you interest for the Corporate Finance subject is a person who was performing real company IPO’s at SGX not so long ago, and is very much willing to share the insights of what it is like.

Luckily, all of the courses I take here fall in the sphere of my interest. I think I will write more about module diversity and my modules in particular in one of the coming blog articles. But I feel I shall not brag too much about not so significant intermediate papers, as I have more than enough opportunities to spoil the whole thing and to lay an egg. Here at NYP, module arrangements are of two types: you either have one exam at the end of the course, or do the not so bulky ICA’s (assignments, group projects, presentations, speeches etc.) throughout the module and free yourself from the exam.

P.S. I at times amaze how ridiculously ingenious English idioms might be to find similarities between a failing person and someone laying an egg.

By the way, there is a lot of interesting events and activities coming up soon, and I will be sharing those with you, so stay tuned and learn how great your exchange might be if you study at a Finnish higher education institution! There will be a visit to Government Investment Corporation (leading global investment firm with well over US$100 billion in assets), Corruption Practices Investigation Bureau, and a Symphonic Concert to crown it all J

This is all for today.

Have a great day and see you soon J

La Serena

Hello, everyone!

In this blog entry I would like to tell about my new adventure to La Serena located in the region of Coquimbo. I went there with my friend from Morocco and we spent 3 days there. This experience was absolutely crazy for me because I lived in the house of absolutely unfamiliar men. I’m sure that you’ve heard about coachserfing service. For those who don’t know, it’s a website where you can find people to provide you place to live in and you share your culture and experience with them in exchange. So I’ve heard about this service several times but never used it. I decided to try it in Latin America and live in house of strangers. Does it sound like a great idea? Maybe not but I don’t regret at all.

We arrived too early at the bus station and had to wait 4 hours there. We didn’t have any suitable cloth and didn’t expect it would be freezing there. We also didn’t have cash to buy any hot drink. So it was terrible but we survived. I was happy when the host called that he arrived to bus station to pick us up to his house. We saw well-dressed and smiling person who offered help with our suitcases.

We went to his house by car and talked a little bit. Then he told that he needs to represent us to his friend and asked to wait us them because he needed to pick him up from somewhere. We drank a tea and waited them for some time discussing what to do in case they are dangerous.

Finally they arrived and we met that guy. He was a co-worker of our host who wanted to go to live in Australia and practice English. We decided to go to the city for sightseeing and that guy promised to show us the most beautiful places. First we walked around the town and went to Japonese park -Jardin del Corazon (Garden of the Heart). This park was a present of Japan to Chile for copper mining. It was the most peaceful place I have ever been to. This park was full of Japanese little alcoves and lakes with swans. What the beautiful views! We were enjoying perfect silence for couple of hours.

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After this pleasant walk, we went to search for a place to grab some food and stopped in a very cozy restaurant. Risotto with vegetables and soup were surpisingly delicious and cheap. In the end we got gelatin dessert which is very common in Chile.

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 We were very tired but really wanted to visit La Cruz. It was built in 2000 as a symbol of 2000th birthday of Christ. La Cruz is huge and really tall.

ser 4The view of La Serena from La Cruz

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Then we went to the coast of ocean! It was amazing. Unfortunately, it was impossible to swim because water was very cold. Anyway view was stunning. Ocean is a huge and powerful force with its faithful waves. I always found the ocean infinite and marvelous enrapturing in happiness from all fears and problems.   I was watching the waves and asked to take all my inner emotion away as I always do. It seemed like water listened to my thoughts and answered with loud sounds of waves.

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Our host promised to meet us near the coast. We went to a supermarket  to buy products for spaghetti.  At home we met one more friend of our host and had the dinner with all them. In general I liked the people but I didn’t feel really comfortable with them because our host made us talk if me and my friend were silent for some time. It seemed like we owed something to him. One the last day of our stay when we returned home at 11 o’clock, he asked us to wait him to go back because he needed to visit someone. It was late night and he wanted us to talk about something. It was a little bit scaring. Hopefully, nothing terrible happened. He just went back and tried to talk with us. As you can understand, we were just tired after such a long day and our answers weren’t very long. Our host just highlighted that we were very silent all the time that was actually annoying. Finally he left us alone and we went to sleep.

I would say that  my first  experience with coachserfing was interesting. Would I recommend the service? Hmm… It depends on your host. I wouldn’t go to the house of  our host in La Serena one more time. It is better to pay money than to feel kind of uncomfortable but as I already mentioned it depends on your host.

Next we went to Vicuña where we also lived in a place through the service and this experience was much better in my point of view. So the story continues …

 

 

Kicking off the New Year in Singapore

Good day to all J

I was so stunned and captivated by the fireworks, that I absolutely forgot to take pictures…

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Photo Credit: @anna_vinterfall

As The New Year 2017 unfolds, here is to wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful year ahead! No one can go back in time to change what has happened, so we have to work on our present to make ourselves bright future. I trust that all of you had an enjoyable New Year celebration, the pleasant memories of which will accompany you throughout the year and give an energy boost for the new accomplishments. If talking about the celebration in Singapore - that I got a chance to behold - it exceeded all my expectations. Contemplating such a spectacular scenery doesn’t leave anyone indifferent, and it indeed energizes you.

The New Year celebration in Singapore is something to experience in your lifetime. Excited by the approaching New Year and being extremely eager to join the city in its commencing festivity, our group of OSEP students headed to the central area quite early, anticipating the grandiose celebrations. After a dinner at a small Indian restaurant in the Little India area, we headed to the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) area of the city to find a spot to watch the upcoming firework displays. To say that it was crowded is to say nothing. It was packed to the rafters, and it very much seemed to me that all the Singaporeans and tourists poured into the streets to see the fireworks and to share the joy of the celebration, and we were far from being the only ones looking for a good viewing point. It was so crowded, that you could move around, but it didn’t in any way affected the joyous mood of the people, and everyone was surprisingly polite and patient. Just imagine – it was so packed in the Marina Bay vicinity, that the auxiliary police fenced the area, and didn’t let anyone in so as to prevent crowd crush, which I think was a necessary measure indeed. Despite this crowdedness, we did find a great spot before midnight, when the show began. The firework displays were absolutely stunning. I have never seen anything that grand before. The manifold of colors and ornaments decorated the sky, leaving no one indifferent to this spectacular scenery. The massive firework displays literally ushered in the New Year, and the peals of laughter and jubilation of the beholders didn’t cease until early in the morning, when the joyful crowd started to head home.

Happy New Year! May all your wishes come true!

Sossu is Back in Finland!

Since I've been back home for over a week now I feel like it's time to sum up something about my experience in Liverpool and Edge Hill University..

 

Something that I learned:

I thought that I wouldn’t be able to connect with people because of the language and culture differences. I was wrong.

I also thought that it's always raining in England. It wasn't.

 

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How the sceneries changed during my time in England

  

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Even though Edge Hill University is located in Ormskirk, I lived in Liverpool during my exchange and for me it worked well. I was able to explore the city and do a lot of things there. Despite this I spent quite a lot of time on campus with other international students. The atmosphere on campus is generally speaking really welcoming and warm. You never need to feel alone there.

 

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I’m not gonna lie – this autumn was a rollercoaster when it comes to feelings. I have had some of the best times of my life but when the homesickness strikes you bad.. It’s bad. I must admit that I was surprised how much I felt that at one point. For me it was important to keep myself active. I joined some societies on campus and did a lot of sports. I also spent a lot of time on campus outside the lectures so that I could meet people and just chill. 

 

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My tip for reducing homesickness: keep yourself active but know your limits. Be open for new experiences – that is what it’s all about.

  

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We had a self-organised dinner with the international students on campus. Everyone prepared a traditional dish of their country. Hanna and I participated with a huge bowl of macaroni casserole! 

 

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Another place by Antony Gormley in Crosby Beach

 

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A dear friend of mine visited me at the end of November

 

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Windermere, Lake District 

 

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I could see the Christmas coming

 

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In my opinion student exchange is a perfect way to learn about different cultures, improve your language skills and make new friends. It’s an experience that grows you in many ways and you will never forget it. For me this experience was more than I would have never even dream of. I love the person this experience has made me. It has constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone. I could write all the syrupy cliches here, but I'll control myself not to do that.

At the moment I am planning to do my last placement in Liverpool in autumn 2017. And this time I might even stay a little bit longer..

 

What does the New Year hold for you? Take a chance! 

-Riina

Hitting the beach on exchange be like

Good day to all J

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Have you ever thought of how it would be to study in a place where you can make it to a beautiful palm-fringed and sun-drenched white beach in a matter of one hour? If you haven’t, I can tell you – it is amazing.

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I get to take this one-hour trip here in Singapore, as the weather favors. In reality it doesn’t even feel like an hour – it is like in no time, I would say, as the public transportation is just as good as it could be, so you can conveniently commute around the city at comparably low cost.

Whilst Singapore is very well-known as a sea hub to Asia-Pacific, which means countless numbers of vessels and tankers arriving to the local port, Temasek (the first recorded name of the site of modern Singapore) managed to retain and preserve some of its coastal areas to serve as recreational zones for the locals and tourists.

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Both a proof of my words on the number of vessels, and a beautiful sunset itself

The coastal area that I am talking about is an island resort called Sentosa. The resort is so huge and so rich in various leisure pastime, that one can hardly see and experience it all at once. There are dozens of activities, several lovely beaches, natural reserves, food stalls with just amazing cuisine, shops and many more. I am not sure even local get to enjoy it all, as there is so much to do! Sentosa, by the way, has its Universal Studios, and I am yet to make it there. By now I have only visited the three beaches, and it was a real discovery. Before I made it there, I was partly misled by the Singapore’s title of sea hub, and wasn’t expecting much from the beaches, as it is very difficult to maintain those when the maritime business is buzzing, and the vessels never cease to cruise around. When I finally made it to Sentosa beach – I was stunned. Lovely, palm-fringed, sun-drenched beach – no, the description is in no way overloaded with adjective – it is just as the view turns out to be. You simply have to see it.

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Not bad at all, right?

I will finish at this point, as the picture speaks for itself J

See you soon!

Inner nerd's dreams come true!

Good day from Singapore!

Do you know what is one of the many things that change about your life when you get to study at a Finnish higher education institution, or at one of their not less admirable partners abroad? Well, I can tell you, as I have been studying at both! It might sound boring, and it might even be so to some of you, but the thing is that your inner nerd’s dreams come true! For the past several months I have been really fond of reading and learning more on corporate finance, macroeconomics and investment. Being really keen on it, I have started dreaming of how great it would be to visit Stock Exchange. If you read my previous blog articles, you know what happened next – I did get to visit SGX, and not just come and see, but attended a seminar on the portfolio construction. I am now a very frequent visitor of the SGX, as they turned out to give educational seminars every other week.

When my first inner nerd’s dream came true, it didn’t stop just there – I started to dream more. As I researched deeper about the sphere of my interest, I got to know about various terminals (simply speaking, computer applications) that allow financial specialists to access various financial markets and get up-to-date information. The most well-know of these terminals is Bloomberg Terminal, which, I thought, I wouldn’t get to experience in the coming years, as I was neither bound to get a position in an investment bank, nor I had spare US$20000 to get a subscription for one. It didn’t prevent me from dreaming though. Just a few weeks later during library tour I found out that Nanyang Polytechnic does have Bloomberg Terminal, and it is free to use for students. I could not believe my ears, before I saw it myself.

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And that wasn’t all the magic for the day. As soon as I got down to the Bloomberg Terminal, it turned out that I can get certified on Bloomberg Market Concept course for free, while the normal price for it is about US$250. Not bad, right? After the course completion, you get a certificate, which will be a nice addition to your resume. Those coming for an exchange to Nanyang Polytechnic, do take chance of this opportunity!

I hope that in future Singapore will continue to anticipate my desires! J

This is all for now. Have a lovely day and see you soon!

Greeting from sunny Singapore

Gardens by the Bay by day

“Gardens by the Bay” by day

Good day to all!

Due to the its geographical location, Singapore’s climate has uniform temperature and pressure. For almost three months that I have been here, temperature was mostly in the range between 24 and 32 degrees Celsius, and the humidity was in the range of 70 to 85%. Despite this consistency in temperature and humidity regimes, Singapore, however, has two monsoon seasons during the year, each of which has two phases – wet and dry. For better or worse, the months of December-March (the time that I am yet to stay here) is considered to be one of the monsoon seasons, with the first two months being the wet ones. December, nevertheless, doesn’t cease to please us with bright sunny days, and short heavy rains rarely occur, allowing to enjoy the Christmas holidays to the full. And there is pretty much to enjoy, as you can see on the picture above.

Besides immersing into the culture of Singapore, one can find a lot of interesting and enjoyable activities within the campus: sport, co-curricular activities, live gigs, international fairs, and many more. It is possible due to the fact that all units of the campus have normal working hours with only two days being exceptions: Christmas Day and the New Year’s Eve. The campus, however, is not so crowded these days, but it has its own advantages.

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When others don’t appreciate the opportunity given to them, I get to enjoy private swimming pool and track and field.

In the gym, however, it is not deserted at all. It is actually full-packed. It has never been so. Partly because of this special time of the year – year end - when the gym exclusively comprises two categories of people: those trying to fulfil old year’s resolution at the last few days, and the ones already working at their new year’s resolution. Despite the density, you still get to enjoy the training, as the polytechnic gym is large, spacious, and has a lot of equipment. To dispel the boredom of your routine workout, gym staff – very nice people indeed, organize small competitions. I got to participate in one of them, and won. It was called “Insane Santa Workout”: shrugs, squats, shrugs, barbell row, shrugs, shoulder press. I got a small gift for it: shaker and a protein bar with some sweets J

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This photo will make great memories J

This is all for now. In one of the coming article I will write about a very interesting and useful service I discovered at the Nanyang Polytechnic.

See you soon! J

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