Good day to all J
It is a wonderful early morning of Saturday. The sun is shining, birds are singing, and the unfolding day promises to bring some new experiences and enrich my exchange time in Singapore, as the NYP has an Open House, which means that the campus has transformed in an amusement park with dozens of food stalls, interactive booths and a range of cheerful activities. Could there ever be anything more suitable to mark the ending of holidays?!
In this blog today, however, I would like to tell not about the Open House, which would be the topic of one of the next blog entries, but about the place in Singapore I admire most. As I carry on with my narration, I think you will understand why it is this very place. I also a spectacular shot to complement this blog.
As Leo Tolstoy’s quote goes: “If so many men, so many minds, certainly so many hearts, so many kinds of love.” In these words of wisdom lies the reason why people have absolutely different sources of admiration. It is simply because we are so different from each other. Some people can be fascinated by the view of a pristine nature, whereas others get overwhelmed while discovering other cultures. As for me, I am absolutely obsessed with man-made creations – creations so astonishing and magnificent they are sometimes attributed to aliens.
One of such creations, not yet attributed to aliens, but not less spectacular, is Marina Bay vicinity. Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay, Singapore Flyer – one of the world’s largest observation wheels, ArtScience Museum with its lotus flower design, Marina Bay Sands Hotel with its infinity pool, Gardens by the Bay, and my favorite – the skyline of Singapore – which is absolutely incredible.
Seems unreal, right? J
The last time I got to contemplate this view, it captivated me and I spend several hours gazing at this beauty. I think I am heading there today as well, as I simply can’t get enough of this view. I am so glad I chose Singapore as a place for my exchange. It worked out best for me.
This is all for now.
Have a nice day and see you soon J
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! J
Have a wonderful Christmas and may you share joyful memories, laughter and good cheer with your loved ones on this day!
This time of the year is truly wonderful and magical one, with a beautiful spirit and traditions. As for me personally, it is actually the first time in my life I am going to spend Christmas and New Year abroad. There is even more to it than that, since it is the first time I spend the whole winter in a warm country, conveniently located slightly above the equator. How wonderful it is that one can escape the cold by setting off for an exchange for several months J
While there are some drawbacks of spending Christmas Holidays in a warm country – the major one being the absence of snow – I would honestly say Singapore is definitely not the last place to spend your Christmas. This becomes even more obvious to me, as the lineup of joyful festive activities rolls out and the city is decked out in tinsel and other beautiful decorations. Check it out!
These Christmas trees are very positively contributing to the festive mood J
The streets’ decorations are absolutely spectacular
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! :)
Good day to all reading this blog!
In this entry today I would like to share with you an unforgettable experience I got to have recently in Singapore. I went to a Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo!
It was the middle of the exam period, when I found out that some of OSEP students are going to the safari. Several stiff exams were coming later that week, and was all into the preparation. Tickets to the safari were insanely cheap due to some discount, so I asked myself: “Why would I miss such a bargain? Why would I miss such an opportunity, in the first place?” I have seen for myself that exam preparation is almost never a good excuse for skipping training or any other exciting activity, as one cannot mentally and physically stay focused long hours, and does indeed need some kind of escape from hard studying. With this firm conviction in my head, I joined the night safari trip!
What awaited us there is something definitely worth to see! It is a large green park divided into six geographical zones of the world, which you can go through with an hour-long guided tram expedition. With this tram you will travel deep into the domain of the world’s most fascinating animals!
This tram would take you deep in the domain of wildlife
If you don’t feel that would be enough of an interaction with the wild-life, you can take one or all four walking trails which definitely won’t leave you indifferent and unimpressed. This way you will have an even closer encounter with truly captivating animals in their life habitat. With the constantly changing landscapes and vegetation, you really feel like you are changing geographical zones. But you do not only see the change, you pretty much hear it, as the forest if full of sounds – late night birds, sounds of falling water, and insects. I was most impressed by the proximity at which the tram and various trails were approaching predators. Not at an arm’s length, of course, but just a few jumps’ distance for a fast predator like a Malaysian tiger. I was also fascinated by laughing hyenas, feeding session of lions and very huge elephants. I would have been glad to attach some photos from the trail and expedition, but it was difficult to capture the animals with camera in an almost complete darkness. Instead, I urge you to come for an exchange to Singapore and experience it all first-hand.
At the end of it all, you can attend a spectacular show displaying creatures of the night. Those are indeed lifelong memories, as you get to interact firsthand with cute raccoons and huge pythons J
This is all for today.
Have a great week and see you soon! J
Good day to all reading this blog J
Doing my best to stand by my promise, I try to find some time in my tight holiday schedule to periodically turn to this blog to share my recent experiences and updates. As I have mentioned in the previous blog, intermediate exams have passed successfully, and almost three-week holiday kicked off! It all couldn’t have been so perfect, and I got down with fever right in the beginning of my holiday… I very much attribute it to the large temperature change you are exposed here in Singapore, since it is quite hot outdoor, but insanely air-conditioned indoor. Such a temperature change makes you easily prone to flu. Fortunately, it took me just two days to recover – enriched smoothies from local stores played their big role in helping to do so, and I am now back on my feet.
When the contagious period was over, I could not help attending FinTech seminar organized by a local Investment Club, I have recently become a part of! The event was extremely interesting and educative. I think you have already heard of the hype about Financial Technology. The aim of the event was to illuminate the realities in the future of finance industry, and I think the event pretty much lived up to the goals it set. Two prominent speakers – one from FinTech startup Kapital Boost and another from FinTech innovation lab manager for OCBC bank gave a very useful insight into how the finance industry is changing and leveraging technology to meet consumer needs. I very much enjoy and value such seminars, as they are very interesting and beneficial in their content to those studying International Business.
But don’t get me wrong. Even though I am a very devoted and frequent visitor of local seminars related to investment and finance, and even a member of such clubs here, exchange in Singapore is not only about studying, but of many other exciting and fun events, pastimes and co-curricular activities. I will talk more about them in the coming blog articles.
For instance, inspired by a Kickboxaholic session held recently in the NYP gym, I enrolled to a local kickboxing club, which turned out to be hell of a lot of fun, learning, and, of course, sweat.
a snapshot from the training
Besides this kickboxing training, I often go to the gym, swimming pool and track-and-field stadium, all of which are located on the campus! I think I will write a separate blog on that later on.
I would like to finish my today’s blog here, but more is yet to come.
Have a nice day and see you soon J
Great day from Singapore! It is a great day indeed, as the weather here is just perfect – moderate humidity and heat with plenty of sunshine, giving you energy for a fulfilling day. The playful sun is flooding my flat with a warm light, inviting out for some new discoveries and adventures.
What is more important is that all favors such an adventure, as I have just finished all the intermediate examinations, and I no longer have to sacrifice such lovely days for studying. Just one more day of comparably relaxed lectures, and I am officially off for a three-week holiday rich in various kinds of events. Making this holiday more enjoyable is the feeling of content and knowing that I have given all of me for these exams.
Unlike the majority of OSEP (Overseas Student Exchange Program) students, I have decided to postpone travelling to a latter part of my exchange period, and instead stay in Singapore during the Christmas holidays, as the city and its festive agenda promise to be grandiose and memorable.
My stay here, therefore, will not be less exciting, as the ornaments of Christmas decorations start to unfold, adding up considerably to the cheerful mood. At a later part of my exchange, I will, of course, take the opportunity to travel the exotic neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan.
For now, I feel very much satisfied with my exchange in Singapore. It has been extremely fulfilling in all terms. In the coming weeks, I think it will become even more so, as I will be attending spectacular celebrations, tasting different cuisines, and getting to know the city even closer. Besides this, I have several educational events, which are of particular interest to me: half a dozen seminars at the Singapore Exchange, Singapore Customs Certification program, and several sports events.
Photo from one of the SGX events.
Referring to the sports events: I got to attend a kickboxing seminar organized at NYP gym the other day. It was a useful experience indeed. I have refreshed striking techniques and learned some basics of front/low/medium kicks, as my leg doesn’t go higher than medium :D
Here is the photo from the kickboxing seminar.
I am looking forward to more of such experiences.
This is all for today. Have a nice day and see you soon:)
To learn more of what’s on during the exchange in Singapore, follow the blog J
Well, I decided to switch the language so everybody can read my posts from now on.
Happy Independence Day of Finland !
P.S I've been lazy so I haven't bought a memory card to my camera. Maybe I will get one as a christmas present :)
Are you always interested to see what's for lunch today at the canteens? There are a few very helpful web pages for you.
1. Skinfo. Here you can check the menu for the whole week at each of the canteens. Also, here you can see bus timetable as well as the weather. Neat!
2. Here you can find menu at Technopolis canteen - http://aalef.fi/laseri
3. Canteen at the Student Union House - http://aalef.fi/ylioppilastalo
4. Skinnarila canteen at Saimaa UAS - http://www.saimia.fi/ravintolaskinnarila/en/menus
C u soon,
Good day to all!
Prior to deciding to come here, I was doubting a bit whether overseas studies in general would be more beneficial than an alternative of having a practical placement in a company. These doubts occupied my thoughts not that the benefits of the former are questionable, but because I am a pragmatic person, and this hesitation was just another of an endless series of weighting of pros and cons of the two alternatives. I had the luxury of being able to think for myself, so I have decided that, while working life is inevitable to come sooner or later, study exchange opportunity is one of its kind, and can never come up again. Given those considerations, I took heart and decided to go. If you ever ask me how my exchange is going, I would say that I don’t regret for a single moment having come here to Singapore.
I refrain from saying more on how I enjoy it here, and will now proceed to the blog topic, in which I would like to share why my stay here is made so enjoyable.
Shortly after study term commencement, OSEP students were invited for Director’s Tea Session.
There was plenty of yummy food there…
…and a very nice company to share it with!
Shortly after that, our friend from the United States invited us for a Thanksgiving celebration.
and once again plenty of yummy food J
and a great company to share it with!
Later on the exchange, OSEP students were invited for a trip to Marina Bay Sands hotel.
Views from the top are spectacular!
Besides this, we had several visit to companies such as Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which gave a great insight into the companies’ operations. All in all, there are numerous events, celebrations and visits, which make exchange very interesting and exciting.
I am missing Russia and Finland quite a bit, but I derive much solace from the fact that I am very soon to come there, while Singapore is a place where I might never turn up again.
This is all for today :)
Have a nice day and see you soon!
Good day to all reading this blog!
I have already mentioned once in one of the previous blogs, that my exchange in Singapore is rich in various kind of interesting events and cheerful celebrations. I never thought I would say this, but it has proved even more so recently, as there is something on the agenda every other day: career fairs, company open houses, corporate visits, city tours, tea ceremonies, International fairs and many more. All of them are interesting and in an own way engaging, so I will be telling about them in the coming blog articles, but there is one event that I absolutely can’t wait to share with you.
For you to understand why I am so excited, it is worth mentioning that have become interested in investment and finance shortly before my exchange commenced. Being slightly obsessed with it, I have taken several modules from this field for my exchange studies. Coming here to Singapore, I was dreaming of how awesome it would be to actually get to see the indoors of financial companies/institutions and to learn more about their operations from those occupied therein. Before long, I am receiving a newsletter from our local exchange coordinator with an invitation to the SGX (Singapore Exchange), I could hardly believe my eyes. My joy knew no bounds, and started to believe in miracles ever since. And it was not just a visit. It was a visit plus a step-by-step portfolio construction exercise by a field specialist, teaching how one can utilize the free SGX Stock Facts interface to make his/her stock selection. I simply could not desire more. I was looking forward to that visit, and it lived up to my highest expectations.
The SGX building stretches high up to the blue sky in the Central Business District of Singapore.
Minor part of our OSEP (Overseas Student Exchange Program) squad.
In the SGX building, it is not SGX alone, but CNBC news agency as well – how convenient it must be for stock traders! It was so cool to see the news studio in real life after you have been watching it on a TV for several weeks.
On the seminar, we were first briefly familiarized to the SGX operations and departments, which I found very interesting. The body of the lecture consisted of four parts. The speaker introduced an outline of Fundamental Analysis (FA) process for stock selection, giving later a more detailed differentiation for the Income and Growth stocks. It was then followed with indicators on when to buy/sell stocks.
Besides all of this, the lecturer shared his experience of the insider at the SGX, which is truly exciting, as the SGX ground has a lot of action involved. I also got to know that on the part of SGX, there is an Academy, which is a provider of investor education and professional training. I have already enrolled for several courses, and just can’t wait to attend them.
This visit to SGX was just an amazing experience: a perfect blend of exciting discoveries and educational benefit.
This is all for now.
I will be back shortly J
I've been living in Lappeenranta for almost 3 years now. During this time I lived in a number of different apartments. But this autumn I've got a new place! It's a LOAS studio apartment right next to the university. And I wanted to share a video tour with you :)
Check it out - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMVfln__kuU
Even though it's in Russian, you are still able to see how students' accommodation looks like in Lappeenranta.
And hey, share pictures of your dorm! Use #SpecialForSaimaaUAS on Instagram or Facebook
Here you go: something about my weekly routines studying abroad.
I wake up around 7am and usually run (2 minutes) to get the train from Liverpool to Ormskirk. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Ormskirk, and then I have a 15 minute walk to the uni. My What is Social Work lectures start at 9.30 and will end latest at 4pm. After that I usually hang out on campus doing my homework and meeting friends. In the evening I have my fitness class in Orsmkirk and will be back home around 8pm. At this point I am more than ready to sleep.
In the morning I travel half an hour from Ormskirk to Skelmersdale to visit Twinkle House. Twinkle House is a Charity providing free sensory-based 1:1 support for children and young people with disabilities and additional needs. They also hire the sensory facilities for the whole community - all ages and abilities. I have really enjoyed my visits there because I have never seen something like this. The atmosphere in Twinkle House is also one of a kind.
I have my Social Work Theory and Methods lectures at the same time as Mondays. After the lectures I go to have a good run with a group; as a group, we share a common goal and it feels easier to achieve because it is less likely that I will give up when I have someone working toward the same goal.
I don't have any lectures on Thursdays so usually I don't go to campus. Usually I start the day taking a long walk around Liverpool and then make my way to the library with my laptop. This is when I try to complete my homework and keep in touch with my friends back home.
Weekends are for travelling, partying, exercising and wondering around the city.
It has been raining quite a lot and the weather has been realy bad, but for some reason I don't have any pictures from those days..
Friends living on campus..
..and my place in Liverpool. Good options both.
This is it for now. Remember to follow @saimaanamk, #sossuintheuk and #rinttureissaa on Instagram for more!
Keep it going, you're almost gone through the dark autumn!
Lovely day to all J
Ever wondered what my day is like here on exchange in Singapore? How it is different from those of yours in Lappeenranta or maybe some other exchange partner university? I have decided to write a series of blogs to share with you the weekly schedule of mine.
Wednesday is a very important day of the week, as it marks the middle of it, and reminds that there is just two more days before it will again go easy as the weekend will start. Having fully recovered from the previous weekend, exchange students start to appear at the lectures, and also finish appearing the same day. It is because Wednesday, as an unwritten rule says, is a “small Friday”, which means a not so small party.
As for me, I only have one lecture on Wednesday, which means that I have the whole day at my disposal. So let’s make the most out of it! It all starts with the same morning routine: shower, proper breakfast, and a sweet treat J I then head to the library, which, I think, will soon also become a part of my daily morning routine. But I don’t really mind! If you could only try the coffee and chocolate muffins they have at the library café, you would have understood why I am spending so much time in the library. Just kidding J I first get the next day’s things done and then, maybe, treat myself.
As soon as I am done with school stuff and lectures, I will head over to the university pool – to swim, sunbathe and chill. I will then have some juice or ice-tea. How do you like it? J It is my private pool, by the way, as there is absolutely nobody there. Why on the world would people give up this opportunity?!
After the pool, I will have a proper lunch – it is either a home-made one, or a menu from one of the numerous food stalls at the campus. It is about 6-7 p.m. when the sun sets and darkness falls. Darkness, as a saying goes, is youths’ best friends, because this is the time the fun part starts. Exchange students start to gather in someone’s flat for a so-called “pre-drink”, which, as I later understood, is a strategical cost-saving measure students introduce to their budgets. It is usually introduced when the budget period is nearly over - so is the money. When everyone is pre-drunk, we head to the city center to have a walk and eat out at some nice place. Last Wednesday we were dining at the Clarke Quay, which is a very enjoyable place with good music and joyful ambiance.
Not a bad place to spend a Wednesday evening.
This is what I had, and it was delicious. I loved it so much I forgot to take a picture of the main course.
Here we are J An enjoyable food with an even more enjoyable company.
If we feel like, we canlater join one of the parties nearby, but I think that time we actually went home. Well, we can now call it a day.
Being honest with you, when I was graduating from high school, I didn’t really think my university studies will be even close to resembling the exciting, interesting and so enjoyable lifestyle I have now. I could not even imagine. You can travel the world while on the exchange or doing practical training, provided with all imaginable study and recreational facilities, and even be financially supported – could a student desire more? Free food and drinks? No, this is too much. Your meals are already subsidized – both in Finland and Singapore. Here at Nanyang Polytechnic they come as cheaply as 2-4 euros. Are the food stalls even hitting the breakeven?
This is all for today J
Have a great day and see you soon!
Good day to all reading this blog J
I can hardly believe it is already one month now that I am Singapore. Time flies! It has been a lovely experience so far, I would say, - unique, enriching, and versatile.
As it turned out, student life agenda at Nanyang Polytechnic is extremely rich in various events, seminars, sports competitions, companies’ open houses, and many more. There is always something interesting happening on the campus, and it is buzzing with activity until late evenings.
It is no secret that one of the best ways to experience foreign culture, is to immerse yourself into it. Very much willing to do so, I take advantage of every personally interesting opportunity. So far I have had a chance to attend three events, but there is even more to come! I would not be exaggerating to say that they were, by their content, eye-opening and even enlightening. If that was not the case, I would not bother you with a narrative of what I have learned there.
In this blog today I would like to tell you about one of those events that I got to attend - a seminar on Islamic Wealth Management. It was truly a chance, as I learned about it the day prior the event day shortly before the registration deadline.
The event brought two speakers to the audience - Mr. Sani Hamid, a go to person when it comes to Islamic Finance, and a high flying wealth manager Mr. Benjamin Ng, who deals with high net worth clients locally and abroad. While the topic of conventional wealth management alone is very engaging and interesting me, the Islamic angle on it was simply a discovery. Honestly speaking, by the day that I attended the event, my knowledge on Islam in general was limited to some well-known facts about Islamic dietary laws – particularly those concerning prohibition of pork and alcohol. Speaking of a narrower aspect of Islam - Islamic Wealth Management, my knowledge was even poorer. I didn’t know and could not even imagine there exists such a branch of science!
Almost all of us know that, according to the Quran, pork and alcohol are explicitly forbidden for Muslims. However, a person would not be guilty of sin in a situation where the lack of any alternative creates an undesired necessity to consume pork, which is otherwise unlawful. Much to my surprise, consuming either of them is not a major sin, as, for example, opposed to riba – commonly referred to as interest that occurs in borrowing and lending activities, which is a major sin. Simply speaking, it is a major sin to be involved into any activities which deal with interest rates. How then - you would ask - they deal with saving accounts and get a mortgage? I will not go into details, and will leave it all for you to explore yourself!
I will, however, stir you into exploring it by giving some more food for thought. As you might know, halal is used to describe anything permissible under Islamic law, in contrast to “haram”. This covers aspects such as behavior, speech, dress, conduct, manner, and, as already mentioned, dietary laws. What then, do you think, makes an investment portfolio, fund, car insurance, and logistics service halal/haram?
I will not go further into details, as the topic is too broad to cover even briefly in just one blog article. You can research more on it on your own, if I stirred your interest.
I hope it was as interesting for you, as it was for me. I personally was excited to learn that there is an individual branch of science I have never heard before! Besides that, some of the common misconceptions were dispelled regarding major sin and dietary laws. All in all, it was once again a discovery for me.
This is all for today. In the coming articles I will share with you more of what was/is on in Nanyang Polytechnic, so follow the updates.
Have a nice week and see you soonJ
This whole trip has reached its midpoint now, and I couldn't be happier even though there have been some difficult times, serious homesickness, and all kinds of struggles. Generally speaking most of the people I've met have been extremely helpful, and there haven't been any barriers that I couldn't cross.
I had a long talk with one of my dearest friends back home in Finland. She was curious about what kind of studying this is because it sounds like I'm travelling around quite a lot. For me travelling and exploring play a major role in this experience, but I do have to study also. I have to put in extra effort to finish my essays and stand in front of the class presenting in a language that is not native to me.
In the end I am glad that I'm pushed out of my comfort zone because that is where the real learning and growth happens.
Even though the sceneries on campus are beautiful it is good to get off there from time to time
I went alone to Manchester to spend a weekend among some shopping and live music. At my hostel I bumped into these guys who had met each other last semester in Finland while doing their Erasmus exchange - what a small world, what good friends!
Sharing a room with 29 other people wasn't bad, but ear plugs were necessary
Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh - Totally worth the hike - Thank you Taylor for the amazing panorama picture
Edinburgh Castle and part of the group
Tourists in Glasgow, Scotland
The beautiful streets of Glasgow
The Necropolis, Glasgow
University of Glasgow and Ashton Lane - Thank you Caelum for the photos
Tourists in York, England
Museum Gardens, York
Clifford's Tower, York
York Minster Cathedral
Two of our teachers from Saimia visited us at Edge Hill - And brought us some sweets and chewing gum!
Good day to all!
That beautiful golden autumn came to the end.. I thought why not to share some aerial photos of autumn Lappeenranta. Hope you’ll like them!
I’m using DJI Phantom 3 Advanced; this drone is my big hobby. Oh, It’s so exciting to fly above Saimaa, all those forests and lakeshores of Lappeenranta. If you are interested, I have a special Instagram account with all drone photos - https://www.instagram.com/k8.pilot/
Don’t forget to share your autumn pictures on social media with #SpecialForSaimaaUASBlog. We are looking forward to seeing your pictures :)