Hello to all reading this blog!
Travel broadens our mind and enriches knowledge – and these are not mere words. The more I travel – be it studies at a Finnish University, practical training in Spain, or a summer vacation– the more and more truth I am finding in the words. These words become even more true to life now that I am in Singapore exploring the so unfamiliar Asia. As I already said in one of the previous blog articles, life in Singapore is very rich in events, and some of them are really eye-opening. For this I would like to share the experience from them with you. Some of the blog articles would be, therefore, devoted to those new experiences.
In this particular blog I would like to tell you about one of the events I had a luck to attend. It was a part of my Effective Oral Communication module here at Nanyang Polytechnic. Teacher for the module had told before that there was something interesting coming our way, and it truly was so. It was an event called “Communicate”, consisting of several lectures on different topics. We were to attend one of them. I went for a lecture called “Singlish and Standard English”.
To me, the lecture on Singlish and Standard English was, simply speaking, an eye-opener, an enlightenment. Yes, a second enlightenment in a row – those who read my blog on “Islamic Wealth Management” will understand. I very much expected the lecture to be an analysis of Singlish – not introductive, but an in-depth one. Naturally, I could not expect language basics there, as the event was mainly to be attended by Singaporeans. Ultimately, it turned out to be absolutely different from what I expected.
Honestly speaking, before the seminar I had a firm conviction – a flaw of my superficial analysis and a hastily drawn conclusion - that only two variations of English have the lawful right to exist and be recognized as such. They are British and American English.
Throughout the lecture, Dr. Wong Jock Onn was asking audience different questions, which, I later realized, were to lead it to a certain conclusion. This tactic, I think, was the strongest side of the speaker.
What is language about? – Dr. Wong Jock Onn asked.
Whenever we use language, we express meaning, so language is about conveying meaning. Just as much, language is about culture. The meanings and kinds of meanings we express are often shaped by the culture in which the language is used. Thus, many words are culture-specific and have no semantic equivalents in another language or culture. However, some of these meanings are very important to Singapore ‘folk’ culture.
This question was to lead the audience to the following major conclusion: “Asking Singaporean not to use certain Singaporean words is as good as asking them not to express certain Singaporean meanings, values and cultural features.”
I would say that this one sentence brought a sudden and striking realization, and I switched from the denial to understanding. I understand now, that there can be as many variations of English, as there are cultures in the world.
This is all for today, but more is yet to comeJ
Have a nice day and see you soon!
While living and studying in Chile, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to travel in Latin America. To be honest, I was just afraid of being in Santiago all the time because I didn’t know if I would go back to Chile one day. I believe that our life is too unpredictable and short to live it for future so I took advantage of this exchange and went for sometimes dangerous journeys which I would like to write about. In general my trips in Chile were safer than outside of this country and in this blog entry I would like to tell about the most amazing place which I visited in Chile – Atacama.
If someone asked me why is Chile so special for me, I would say that’s because the nature is very different in every part of the country. In Finland nature is pretty the same and the only difference is the extent of coldness. If we talk about Chile, you will find everything there depending on place: desert, snowy mountains, ocean, and volcanoes. The nature in Chile is not boring but it’s very bright and memorable. Atacama was a place where I had seen the beauty that I will never forget. Despite of the fact that I got sick with sinusitis and had high temperature and some difficulties connected to my state, I was very happy to be there.
I will start the story of this trip from very beginning. One day I had a talk with my Spanish friends and they offered to me to go to San Pedro de Atacama with them. At that time I had free from classes 3 days and accepted this proposal with pleasure. However, I wasn’t very lucky and got sick with sinusitis in a week. That was quite stressful. I was hesitating to take decision to go to Atacama. Actually I was hesitating to take any decision. I realized that I expected help and a piece of advice from someone in stead of fast taking decision and following the plan of actions. I spent too much time on stressing out. On unrelated matter, I learnt much about myself and my mistakes during this exchange. Life is not only studying theory but mostly practice. Getting back to my trip, I finally decided to go to Atacama and stepped on the board half-heartedly. My head was full of unneccessary thoughts if my decision is correct or not. So I was quite tonto (Spanish word for stupid) whatever decision you take, just be confident, otherwise, you will spend too much time on complaining in your head or out of loud.
After arriving to airport, we took a bus to the closest town to Atacama – San Pedro de Atacama. I remember my excitement when I first looked at the sky on our way to San Pedro. I’ve never seen so bright stars. I thought that I would be happy to live my last day somewhere under this amazing sky , looking up and wondering what will happen with me after my death. If beauty has ever brought tears at your eyes, you can understand the feeling. The same emotions I experienced in Atacama but I’ll tell about it later.
We arrived at our hostel very late and I realized that we were going to live in kind of bungalow for 4 days. I was ill and there was no heating, curtains instead of wall and sometimes only cold water. Sometimes it was freezing( around 0 at night). I didn’t have money for something more expensive to live in. Now looking back at that time, I think that it was an experience of my life haha
That’s how our hostel looked like
On the next day bus picked us up at 7 a.m. to take to Atacama Salt Flat and then to Los Flamencos National Resort. In the morning it was pretty cold but the weather in Atacama is changing the whole day. It can be freezing at night and very hot in midday. So we were supposed to go to the best view points in Salt Flat and then to national park by bus. We stopped several times for meal breaks. I’ve met interesting people during these breaks. I talked with one German guy who has gone around Latin America by bike. Can you just imagine it? Later I’ve met French people who traveled around the world for 2 years.
We were going along the desert quite fast passing by very dry soil and amazing animals. First that drawed my attention was so called in Spanish Vicuñas(kind of lama). They were lonely walking around this desolate place. I felt asleep for some time because I felt bad and woke up from excited screaming: Viscachas, viscachas. I looked at the window and saw little hairs which were very cute. These species live only in this part of the world and have their own charmJ
We stopped near the salt lakes to make photos and spent some time admiring these beautiful places. Water in lakes was crystal-clear blue and mountains were in ideal shape and looked quite unreal.
Then we went to the most popular place in Salt Flat - Los Flamencos National Resort. It was already quite late and I was tired and didn’t expect something special. I thought that I had already seen enough amazing places but I was mistaken. In park there is only one and very narrow path. Before this walk our guide instructed us about silence and not stepping behind the path, not to disturb nature. We were slowly walking and staring at wonderful mountains which seemed to be pink because of the sunset. This background was suitable to pink-pink flamingos walking around water. I watched sunset and thought that nothing else than nature can be so beautiful. Everything was amazing but I felt really bad and was about to lose consciousness because of high temperature. Fortunately, I had a Spanish friend who helped me to get to the bus and gave me some water.
Next day I felt better and we went to real desert. My chubby cheeks surrounded by infinite sandJ
My journey was quite hard but it was worthwhile. I’ve seen so many amazing places that now it’s quite difficult to surprise me. I’ve learnt much about nature and myself. I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.
Good day to all!
Ever wondered what my day is like here on exchange in Singapore? How it is different from those of you 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.
Tuesday is a day of the week not all of the students will make to – at least sober - as Monday is rough and does not spare anybody. I am exaggerating, of course, but there is some truth to it, especially for exchange students J It so happened that I have only one two-hour lecture on Tuesday, and the rest of the day is there for me. So let’s make the most out of it then!
I have figured out for myself, that early mornings, though hard in execution, work out way better eventually. You have more hours in the day to get things done, but still do not miss out the fun, as you feel somewhat more energetic in such days. At least it is so for me. Morning routine is the same as any other day. Shower, proper breakfast and a sweet treat J I then head out to my most frequently visited place on campus. No, not a food canteen, but a library J
Whatever homework I have for the this or next day, I get it done.
When I am done with my school routine, I head to the gym, as classes finish there and it opens for everyone.
If you manage to make it there early enough, you have a private gym at your disposal for half an hour or so before students start to pour in. What you see on the picture is half of the equipment the gym has. Besides this, there are rowing machines, treadmills, squat racks, bench press, dumbbells and many more. A real paradise for sport enthusiasts!
Having finished my workout, I have a lunch and go to the lecture. When the lecture ends, I have the whole day ahead. Last Tuesday, for instance, our groupmate from Saimaa UAS paid us a visit, so we were obliged to show him around Singapore. Here is our journey in pictures:
We first headed to China town to check out Chinese New Year preparations, decorations, and to have a few refreshing drinks.
Got astonished from some man-made creations while on our way to Clarke Quay.
Enjoyed the view at Clarke Quay for a while, waiting for the sun to set.
Approached the skyscrapers a little bit closer. What I especially like about this particular place is how these traditional miniature two-storied buildings on the right get along with the magnificent concrete giants in the center.
We eventually found ourselves contemplating the Singapore skyline from the top of the Marina Bay shopping mall.
Understandably, the evening didn’t end there. Later we actually found ourselves at the casino entrance, and my friends were pretty much willing to spend a few hundreds, but some invisible force favored us and it turned out that we needed Singapore-issued ID to get inm which we didn't have with us at that time.
This is how another typical day in Singapore looks like.
Have a great day too and see you soon J
As you may remember I’m doing my exchange in Chile. Today my blog entry is about international fair that took place in Universidad de Chile. Apparently I presented Finland on this event and want to share my experience with youJ
On this international fair many nationalities were present: Germany, Dutch, Mexico, Americans, France, Netherlands, England, Spain, Sweden, Peru, Australia, Ireland, Italy and Holand. I didn’t present Finland myself but with other exchange students from Finland and one Chilean girl who has done her exchange in Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. In my group there were students from Aalto University and Jyväskylä University. So our task was to make an interesting stand about Finland and tell about our life in Finland and universities to Chileans and other foreigners. I think that we did great job with guys because we went to Finnish Embassy in Chile and asked some brochures and flyers as well as maps and books.
I came to international fair earlier to decorate our stand. We had plenty of various material about Finland and education there, so it wasn’t a big deal. Still I had to use some imagination to draw attention to our stand, especially because we had strong American competitors close to our stand. They brought much fat food that is obviously good competitive advantage:D. I hanged a map and pictures of cute Finnish girl (our competitive advantage) and nature on the desk. I also put some finnish books and on a table so I think that it was good enough!
We also brought some Finnish sweets! Guess which ones! To be honest, not all Chileans liked licorice so much but many of them found the taste interesting.
I have warm feelings and good memories of this day. Chileans were very curious about Finland and asked many questions about so mysterious country for them. Unfortunately, not many people could even find it on the map but they have a good excuse - Chile is too far from Finland. Everyone asked how it’s cold in Finland. On my response Chilean compassionately shake their heads and asked more questions. We tried to tell about Finland as much as we could for 5 hours of this international fair. We told about Lapland, the place where Santa lives. People were especially interested in traditions in Finland. Chileans have summer all year around and their Christmas celebration is accompanied with artificial snow and Christmas tree. Chileans were glad to listen to us telling about real winter: much snow, delicious Christmas dishes, glögi, sauna and swimming in cold water.
Look at our smiling team! I hope that we made a good impression about cold but friendly Finland!
On this international fair we had a competition for the best fancy dress and we decided to dress the tallest finnish guy up in costume of Santa. We had so much fun! However, we didn’t win but I think that our participation in this competition definitely lifted the mood to everyoneJ
Lovely day to all
Ever wondered what my day is like here on exchange in Singapore? How it is different from those of you 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.
Monday, as we all know, is a very hard day for students. It is the day when the phrase “Lord, take me now” can most often be heard in the dorms, as the working week has started out of the blue and students have hard times waking up. Few will make it out of the bed, and even fewer will make it to the classroom. Researchers claim that the worst participation is always recorded on Mondays. I am just kidding J Even though there is a deal of truth in it, my Monday is different. It is not that I wait for weekend to pass for the Monday to come, but Monday is an enjoyable day for me, as every other day is. It is a new day and a new start.
I usually wake up at about 7-8 o’clock in the morning, which is not a big deal for me, since I had not sat late the day before. Here in Singapore, it is exactly the time that a complete darkness of night transforms into an early sunny morning in a matter of half an hour. It gives energy boost and some positive emotions, making early morning a not so ambitious and risky enterprise. I then have a proper breakfast consisting of porridge, sandwiches, coffee and some sweet treats.
As soon as I am done with breakfast, I head to the library, which is the most comfortable, cozy, and, what is more importantly, air-conditioned place. My Monday lectures start at 10 o’clock in the morning, so I have two hours to either prepare for the classes or read some book. Shortly before my two-hour class, I go to the nearby canteen to drink coffee with kaya bun with jam and butter – it is so simple, but very delicious.
When the first two-hour class is over, I have a three-hour time gap before the next lecture. If the weather is nice, I grab my towel and head straight to the swimming pool to swim, sunbathe, have some juice by the pool and just chill.
If the weather is not in my favor, I change my plans and go to the gym. Done with my workout, I still have one hour left for a lunch, quick class revision or a short nap. When my afternoon lecture is over, it is already 6 o’clock in the evening, but I can’t yet call it a day. Having finished my dinner, I head back to the library to do some schoolwork for the next day. When I am done in a few hours, I have a whole evening ahead. This is exactly the time student dorms liven up, and I might join the fun. It can be a movie theatre, dining-out, a walk, or a gathering at somebody’s flat.
Last Monday, for instance, we went to see the light show in the Gardens by the Bay.
When it is all over, I am just about to fall asleep, which I more than willingly do. This is what my typical Monday looks like.
Have a great day and see you soon J
Guess what happened today! We had the first snow in Lappeenranta! And already 7 cm high :P
For me, it's quite crazy to realize that today's snow probably was the very first snow in life for someone. For instance, for exchange students from countries with warm climates. Personally, I come from Saint-Petersburg, the nearest big Russian city to the borders of Finland. So, the climate in my hometown is pretty much the same as in Lappeenranta.
I was very happy to suddenly see the snow out of my window today's morning. If you haven’t experienced winter time in Finland yet - get ready, it’s going to be sooo beautiful!
Have a great day,
Lovely day to all!
Remembering myself just a few years ago, when I was yet having my last year in high school, I can very well remember how interesting and exciting it was for me to learn more about studying at Finnish Universities. I think every person feels this way to some extent when s/he gets to touch his dream, because at these moments you are living your dream. I actually read and watched everything my eye could catch and I could put my hands on: from universities’ official web-sites, CIMO newsletters, higher education guides, students’ blogs, Finnish education system descriptions to social media pages, YouTube channels and reviews. Believe it or not, some important aspects were not absolutely clear for me still, as those mentioned above are not all first-hand sources of information, so you can’t blindly rely on them. In a small town where I come from, there was no information at all. Even though I did a good deal of search at different types of sources, I was not 100% sure whether I am doing everything right. I still had some uncertainties on the application process, I was not sure if my document package is full and is in good order, and you know, there are always these little things you stay unsure about.
Only one year later, when I was already a student of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, did I get to know that there is a great opportunity for those willing to receive reliable and first-hand information on entrance examination, document packages, scholarship application, campus facilities, student life as well as get hold of university brochures and talk face-to-face to the students of the university you want to apply to. You can learn and do all of these and much more at the international education fairs. There is one taking place already today on the 22nd of October 2016 in Moscow, and another one tomorrow on the 23rd of October 2016 in Saint Petersburg. If you have just any questions, you would not want to miss them, as it is just a perfect opportunity. By the way, the entrance is absolutely free. For more information, please refer to the official website of Saimaa UAS: http://www.saimia.fi/ru-FI/ .
If I had an opportunity like that, I would have definitely taken advantage of it. You get all the answers to your questions in just a few minutes’ time, and it might also save you a lot of money, as you will be more aware of how the process goes, and you might choose to do the document package preparation on your own, for example.
This is all for today.
Have a nice day and see you soon J
Good day to all reading this blog!
It has been pretty long time since the last time I dropped a line here. Quite a lot of things have been happening to me recently, which I am sure you would like to know more if you are interested in what is student life like at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences.
My recent busyness has been mainly related to professional practical training reporting and Singapore exchange preparation, which I will write more detailed about in the coming posts. Those matters, especially the exchange preparation, had to be very seriously attended to. Failure to do so is very likely to result in a major disappointment, as it almost happened to me. Having the best intentions, I do not want you to end up in a situation where your exchange is under a threat or becoming more complicated and costly, so I would like to share several pieces of advice in one of the next blog entries on exchange preparation.
Fortunately, everything related to exchange preparation has turned out as well as possible, and I am now off for my exchange at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore. I have been in Singapore for almost two weeks now. What I know for sure so far - is that my exchange is going to linger long in memory.
Now that I have more free time, I will do my best to blog here with an unfailing regularity, as I have many things to share with you.
Warmest regards from Singapore,
Good day to all reading this blogJ
At times I amaze at the thought that I am in Singapore now. It is already three weeks since I arrived. Being honest with you, I am enjoying every day of my stay here. It is my first time in Asia, and this country is a real discovery for me. Being abroad and immersed into other culture, you do not only discover the place, but learn something new about yourself.
I start appreciating this experience even more, when I recall the moment when my whole exchange trip, so strongly anticipated and thoroughly planned, could go down the drain in a matter of minutes.
Three weeks ago I was at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Finland. I arrived there early, and there was whole night ahead. I should have slept, but I didn’t. At first I couldn’t. Later I wouldn’t, as I was afraid to miss my flight, as my phone broke down, and I could not set an alarm. It was a very long day. I had been awake for 27 hours in a row by the time of my departure. Drowsy and heavy-headed, I walked to the passport control.
I checked all the documents one more time to make sure they are all there:
and handed them to the customs officer. I already dreamed of boarding the plane and falling asleep, but no
“Where is your visa?” – the customer officer asked
“It is there. Let me show you. Here it is.” - I handed her Student Pass approval letter from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority.
She read through it and concluded – “This document does not grant you a permission to enter Singapore. Therefore, I cannot allow you to embark on the plane.”
“Next, please” – she said politely.
It was a bombshell. Departure is in one hour. My phone is broken and laptop is discharged. Most importantly, I had no idea of what document they needed.
I was no longer drowsy. In my head I am counting all the expenses which this delay will cause.
Just five minutes before that I was sure I had all the necessary documents, and now I doubted myself.
“No. I simply could not miss that” – I assured myself and joined the queue again.
It is my turn again. I pass the documents.
“This is the document you need. Please, ask from your colleagues.”
“Ok. Wait a minute.” – the officer replies
She makes one phone call, second, third. She was speaking Finnish, so I couldn’t understand a word. Her colleague comes – a senior one, I guess. They speak for a minute or so. The senior colleague goes away. I wait five more minutes. People queuing behind me are invited to another passport control desk.
Senior colleague comes back.
“Yes, your documents are fine. Sorry for the inconvenience.” – the customs officer said after a short pause.
What a relieve that was!
If I wasn’t persistent enough, I might have not been in Singapore now. Looking back at that situation, I amaze at how easily everything could go wrong. Anyway, always double-check important documents before setting off for a tripJ
Have a lovely day and see you soon!
Hey everyone! My name is Kate, I'm a third-year student of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, International Business programme.
Also, I'm a YouTuber. Since 2013 I've been filming videos for my Russian channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/Kate97Ivanova.
Nice to meet you all!
I'm very happy to be a part of my university's blog. Starting from now I will be sharing my experience of living and studying in Lappeenranta through blog posts and videos.
First of all, I'd like us to get to know each other and stay in touch on other social media platforms as well, what do you think? Personally I really like Instagram. Let's gather there right now and check the level of activity? In addition, you can meet with my followers :) If you are reading this, go to this post - https://www.instagram.com/p/BLtg6mOBy78/?taken-by=________k8________
And just say hi ;) Let's liven this blog up!
Hello everyone reading this blog! J
Good day from Singapore.
In one of the previous blogs I promised that I would devote several blog posts to the topic of my study exchange in Singapore. So, the time has come and I am fulfilling my promise.
In this blog today I would like to familiarize the readers with the preparation associated with the exchange. As I already said, preparation matters have to be seriously and carefully attended to. Otherwise, you might encounter problems that will put your whole exchange trip underthe threat of cancellation. You don’t want it to happen, right? And I don’t want this happen to you, too, so I would like to share several pieces of advice I have got from my personal experience.
Do you know one of the main principles of financial success? Any guesses? It is “start early” principle. You may wonder why I am asking you this question. It might seem that I am deviating from the topic, but I am actually driving at it. Starting early makes everything way easier, and it allows you to play safe, because you do not want to risk your strongly desired and highly-anticipated exchange. Now that I am in Singapore, I can say with confidence that this principle perfectly applies to exchange preparation too. Why is it so? Just think about the following: Saimaa University of Applied Sciences has approximately one hundred partner universities all over the world. Last-minute choice right before the application deadline might not work out well in this case. I am sure you would like to consider various factors before choosing your place of exchange. Believe me, it will take you some time to identify several preferred options of where you would like to go for an exchange. Not to mention choosing university and exchange timing, calculating overall costs and checking travelling opportunities. Last but not least, you will have some time to familiarize yourself with the upcoming preparation process, which might save you nerves and a considerable amount of money. Start your exchange preparation early, and don’t postpone decision-making until the last minute.
I made my mind on the exchange place pretty fast. As to me, choosing and applying for the exchange place were actually the easiest steps of the exchange preparation. Reserve a month or two before the exchange application deadline, review the list of partner universities, identify several preferences, read exchange reports of students who went there in the previous years, decide on exchange timings, make sure they fit your study plans, calculate costs and inquire on the particularities of exchange preparation process for your preferred exchange destinations. Later on, I will give you a good example on “particularities of exchange preparation process”. As soon as you have identified several exchange options, you are good to go. Fill in the exchange application form, list your choices in the order of preference, and arm yourself with patience, as selection process will take some time. Selection results will be ready in two weeks after the application period ends.
When exchange selection results are announced and you know your place of exchange, I strongly recommend you to write a plan. No matter how far your exchange seems to you, write a plan and keep it in sight. Write down all the main preparation milestones: ordering and submitting travel insurance, filling and submitting exchange documents for the university (application for financial support, obligation, learning agreement etc. – you can request a full list of them on Valtteri page), applying for visa, paying for accommodation and booking flights, choosing study courses, getting all necessary vaccinations, arranging bank and credit card matters.
The process does not seem very stressful and complex, right? And it wouldn’t, if you reserve enough time for preparation by starting early. If you fail to do so, you will find yourself under time pressure. It does not feel good at all, when you have to make an important choice in a few days’ time, and the risk of making a fatal mistake is particularly high in this case.
Let me now tell you about “the particularities of exchange preparation process” that I mentioned two paragraphs above. I do not know very much about other exchange destinations, but there are some peculiarities in the exchange preparation process for Singapore. A very valuable information source of such peculiarities are student exchange reports. From those reports you can find out what difficulties other students faced. As for Singapore, the major inconvenience is that students are advised not to buy flight tickets before you receive your visa approval – quite reasonable advice. The whole thing becomes more complex when you consider that students generally receive their Singapore visa approval one or two weeks before the suggested arrival date. It is not very convenient and economical, given that you are advised not to buy flight tickets before that. Besides buying tickets, you should also pay accommodation rent in full prior to your arrival. It is reasonable, if you have your visa approval, but what if you haven’t received one and the payment deadline is coming. Quite a stressful situation to be in, I would say.
It nearly happened to me. My exchange started on the 17th of October, but suggested arrival date were 13-14th of October – it is associated with the Student Pass issuance. Unwilling to remain in the state of uncertainty and wait until the visa approval, I had my insured flight tickets bought for the 12th of October already in September.
It was already 27th of September, but I hadn’t received any emails regarding visa application by that time. There was not much time left, so I asked other students going for an exchange to Singapore, whether they had received any emails. It was a big surprise for me to find out that they had already received their emails with visa instructions, and had already submitted visa applications! Visa consideration takes a minimum of five and a maximum of ten working days. I counted the days, given that it takes ten days. It was right one the nose. If it took a maximum of ten days, I would have to make accommodation payment without having visa approval, which does not make life easier and less stressful.
I contacted Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) right away, and it turned out that the email had been sent to me four working days ago. It just didn’t arrive to my e-mail for some unknown reasons, and I was not the only one who had this problem. My groupmate didn’t receive the e-mail to his university account too. I asked our exchange coordinator from NYP to resend the instructions to another e-mail. When I opened it, there were quite many things to sort out. In just one day I made a soft copy of passport photo according to the guidelines, filled in visa documents, payed all the fees, and finally submitted the application. I could only hope that it won’t take longer than ten days, and I won’t have to rebook my flight and make rent payment without visa approval. All my expectations were exceeded when I received visa approval just five working days later. It could not turn out better for me. I think it was approved so fast because our NYP coordinator new about the problem and had a direct contact to the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority. Big thanks to her!!! I received my visa approval, made accommodation payment and started to pack my things for the exchange, but my small nuisances did not end there. I will tell you about one more of them in one of the coming blogs. It awaited me on my way to Singapore.
Concluding this blog, I would like to ask you to remember three of the following tips: start early, plan thoroughly and do not leave important things to chance.
This is all for today.
Have a great day and see you soon J
My journey begun early in the morning (2:40am) on 15th September. I am lucky to have Sini with me. We didn't know each other until we got the information about both us going to Edge Hill University.
Liverpool Central Library
Loving my evening walks by the river
Conwy Castle, Wales
Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia
Eating and drinking properly
Chinese State Circus in Liverpool
Southport Musical Fireworks Championships
(The only day I really needed my umbrella and wellies)
Toga party at the Uni
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin
That's it for this time. Feel free to follow @saimaanamk on Instagram to see realtime posts from me.
Challenge yourself and go for andventure,
In this blog today I would like to share with you an experience from attending one of the craziest student events in Lappeenranta. It wasall happening during that time of the year, when freshmen started to appear at the university campus to begin their thorny path in the beginning of September. As another study year was about to kick off, all of the students, both novice and experienced, were trying to make up for the time and freedom they didn’t take advantage during the summer. These early days of September are like grasps of fresh air before university routine makes you short of it. I think I shall further abstain from these pessimistic portrayals, because it is a celebration experience that I am going to share with you, and not a mournful one.
As older students know very well, beginning of autumn and appearance of new students on the campus means an approaching Freshmen Race. Those willing to participate, have to gather their own team of four to six student and dress into some themed costumes. The format of this event is a station game, in which teams have to run a ridiculously amusing and absurdly funny route extending all over the center of Lappeenranta city. And if they haven’t quit along the way, they cross the finish line. The winner is the one who comes in first with the highest score earned at all the stations attended. But really, all of the teams who finish can consider themselves winners. Preferable dress codes for this year were Pokémon and 90’s, but you can wear whatever you think will make the evening even more fun. Here are some of the outfits that teams had this year:
The two teams above should have been given some extra points for following the theme of the event and dressing up properly!
Using a map, you will guide yourself through the hurdles. Be careful, as you might heave with laughter and not make it to the finish line!
On your way to the finish line, you will have to show your excellent dancing skills.
How about playing baseball with a fish?
Participating in some drinking games? For sure it is a “virällinen rasti” (official station) :D
aaand some more dancing :)
Right after the drinking game, you will be asked to demonstrate your golf skills J
Or how about riding a bull? I don’t think anyone made it to the end.
Or singing? and many more...
Sure enough, all of these people had lots of fun, and have stocked up some positive emotions for the school year ahead. When the game was over and the winner was determined, everyone headed to the local club to continue the fun.
If you are crazy enough, you should definitely participate in this event.
This is all for today.
Have a nice weekend and see you soonJ
It's been a while..
There has been a lot of happening since my last post here. I fully enjoyed my summer vacation. Most of the time I spent with my friends and getting ready for the student exchange. I also had time to study and work a little. Two highlights of the summer must be the summer festivals with a good friend of mine and my first hiking experience, which lasted for four days in total.
Enjoying the Finnish nature as its best. This one is from the legendary hiking trail called Karhunkierros in Kuusamo.
The art and the atmosphere in Provinssirock, Seinäjoki.
I had been thinking about going to student exchange since I started studying at Saimia. In February I had confirmed that I was going to Edge Hill University, England, for the autumn semester. There was a lot of paperwork concerning the exchange but after all that I am in Liverpool now. Edge Hill University is located in Ormskirk, which is about 30 minutes from Liverpool by train. Orsmkirk is a small market town but the university brings some life in there. I wanted to live in Liverpool so I could explore the city more and I love it so far. I promise to make a picture post soon!
The beautiful main entrance of Edge Hill University
The first week here was about getting to know the places and other international students from all around the world. I had my firs classes yesterday and I am really excited about the near future. I have met some amazing people and discovered so many interesting places to go to so I’m sure the three months here will be unforgettable.
I will give you a closer look about the Erasmus+ exchange, living abroad, studying in the UK and much more. So stay tuned! You can also follow my trip in Instagram at @saimaanamk, #rinttureissaa and #sossuintheuk
Enjoy all the colours of autumn,
Hello, my dear Friends!:)
I’m writing this blog from the place which is really far from Finland. I would like to remind that now I’m in Chile for my exchange period. In this blog entry I decided to share my experience in foreign country, cultural shock and challenges that I faced. I clearly remember the day when I was flying to Chile. I had a transition flight through Madrid where I waited for 2 hours. What I’ve learnt there is to search for gate needed 2 hours before not to face such a stressful situation as I did. Nobody speaks English in the airtport of Madrid – just take into consideration if you plan to travel there. I spoke Spanish a little bit, so it was ok but still I couldn’t understand everything. So I accidentally got out the airport 30 minutes before the gate is closed haha:D Just imagine how I felt. Fortunately, I was so stressed that I asked to show the way every single person on my way. Finally I got to my plane hopefully.
Actually I already experienced the cultural shock on my plane to Santiago. I guess that everyone has some stereotypes about people from Latin America so I realized that they are partially true. When I stepped on the board of the plane I was literally shocked by chaos that was there. People were walking along the board instead of sitting and let others to take their seats. Stewardess tried to make everyone sit but it was absolutely useless until the last 5 minutes before our plane moved. I also noticed how men were staring at me. I just kept my head down avoiding visual contact and thought to myself: Ok, girl, it’s just for 5 months, it’s just new culture and you will use to it. And I did.
After living in Santiago for 3 months, I can say that I draw so much attention because blonde hairs and light eyes are really rare in this place. The majority of population in Chile derived from Mapuche(Indians who lived in Chile since ). Between 1850 and 1875 big colonization of some places in Chile by germans has taken place, however, they mixed with Chileans, so you won’t meet any indigenous blonde people here. My Chilean friend told me that blonde is a meaning of beauty here. I still don’t understand the reasons. Is it Influence of Europe and America or just individual preference? I would love to know this cultural mystery of love to blonde “gringos” (foreign people)!
Ok, I was saying that I was searching for my place in a plane. I was wondering how to bring up my huge and heavy hand language and I immediately got help that made me feel better after full frustration. Actually Chilean people are very helpful and friendly. I got so much help from people who I knew just couple days here.
On the next day after my flight I was sitting in a very cozy hostel in the Centre of the city and looked in the window. It was very foggy without any hint of a ray of sunshine outside. If you have ever been to Russia, Saint-Petersburg where I’ve been living the most part of my life, you could understand that it’s a natural weather for me. However, I still felt quite weird with this weather because I was on the other edge of the world and the city seemed to be very depressive. This day I met the guys who turned out to be my future groupmates and we decided to go for a walk. I was excited by a huge white mountains around the city, I found it amazing although city seemed to be quite faceless. We were walking along the street and looking at dozens of street vendors and street performers who were juggling or kicking the ball in front of the cars. Everything was so new for me. Sometimes it’s amazing to look back to your perceptions and feelings in the past and compare it with present ones. Now I used to my life in Santiago and passed the point when everything was so strange. I think I used to this place also because I’ve changed inside . I believe that we always change when we travel by absorbing the part of the place to ourselves.