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Summer School is about to start – But where is the summer?

The regular semester is coming to an end. We are done with the compulsory courses, the last deadlines are approaching, and the last exams are ahead. Some of us are done with the spring semester already, about to start their summer jobs, go home, push the thesis, or enjoy the summer (if it ever gets here). Some classmates and I will participate in some optional courses as part of the JYU International Summer School. Students from partner universities from all over the world will come to Jyväskylä to take courses and get to know the Finnish culture. I am really looking forward to meet everybody and exchange information with different people from different backgrounds.

Let´s hope the weather will get better till then. So far one summer day, when we reached 16 degrees, has held our hopes up high. But many small snow storms and temperatures around 2 degrees brought us back down to earth with a bang. Cross your fingers that soon we´ll be able to enjoy the amazing Finnish nature, swim in the lakes, stay outside on long bright days and recharge our batteries.


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Highlights of the first year

Actually, I don’t have any proper words right now so let me open the secret files of SpoSMaPro 2016-2018. Usually the pictures are worth a thousand words 😉

The first day of our studies


Liikunta ball 


Winter School


Exam parties – Himoshumallus in March


Ps. I’m looking forward to see what kind of pictures will be captured to my camera next year!

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Shifting Seasons

Time passes, and the Finnish summer is already right around the corner; something worth looking forward to! The full darkness wrapping around our winter doesn’t feel nearly as bad when you know the full light (and hopefully warmth) of summer… The hiking and jogging trails are melting by the minute, offering once again great opportunities for outdoor activities.

In case you find yourself accomodated in the student village of Kortepohja, Laajavuori offers awesome nature running- and hiking tracks on different lengths and levels during the summer time. I’m honestly not so keen on the winter sports, so I can’t wait to get to run those tracks again! Anyhow, as discussed, everything is pretty much one cycle away in Jyväskylä, so it doesn’t matter if you live further away.

As for the spring semester, it has been very enjoyable- we have more influence now over the courses and work we do, giving nice freedom to move around the academic world. I could give a tip for focusing the optional courses on the beginning of the semester, since at this time there are plenty of deadlines as it is. However, courses are also available for the summer time, so no need for panic mode, if you can’t complete your entire to-do list. After all, this is a great time to enjoy the shifting seasons and whatever changes they bring along! 🙂



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Remember also…

We are heading towards the end of our first year. Spring time can be pretty hectic with many courses, but the finish line is nearly visible. So, the last sprint of this academic year has started!

This time I decided not to plan my blog post that much – most probably you have seen it already from the first boring and most obvious sentences. But I also decided that I will share something with you that is in my mind in the morning of 2nd of April.

  • Saturday was a fun day with friends
  • Sunday mornings can be nice and relaxed
  • Coffee is good
  • There is not much snow left on the ground
  • Oh, a penguin on TV!
  • Tomorrow I have an exam…

Sorry, need to go!

Ps. eventhough student life can be hectic – remember also to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and socially.  And, sorry for not including a picture in this post.

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Small city with a big feel

Amici amici. This time I will use my blog entry to talk a bit about the life around university and spare you the Master’s Programme, deadlines and stress. So how is life here? What has Jyväskylä to offer?

Housing: Student organisations offer apartments and shared flats all over the city. I live in a single apartment in the student village of Kortepohja. The student village is huge and offers nearly 2000 students a place to live. All services are close: groceries are right around the corner and a great deal of hobby opportunities are right in the neighbourhood. Various common rooms can be booked in one of the approx. 15 buildings for a fair price to organise get-togethers or small parties. Also, saunas are available every day. As a tenant you can use the public sauna turns for free. There is also the possibility to book a sauna to do a “saunailta” with your friends. Last but not least there is also an Academic Sports gym in the O-building that is available all day. As you can see I am really happy with my housing situation in Kortepohja, however some of my fellow students live in other areas of the town and have similar opportunities.

Free time: Finns are really active – they just go out and do sports. Consequently Jyväskylä and the near surrounding provide many opportunities for an active lifestyle. Just grab your skies for alpine or cross-country skiing at Laajavuori (10 minute walk from Kortepohja) or put on your ice skates to skate some rounds on one of the lakes or public ice rinks (almost all schools’ playgrounds turn into ice rinks during winter). Various second hand shops in Jyväskylä offer the chance to purchase good second hand sports ware.

Other than the outdoor life, Jyväskylä has much to offer. Grab food at the Pancake house, a burger at the American Diner or a Pizza at famous Maria. Have a glass of wine in the hip bar of Vakkiopaine, drink a beer at the students famous Sohwi bar and move on to one of the many clubs and discotheques. For a late night snack Grilli 21 is always good. During the week you can go to the movies (in English with Finnish and Swedish subtitles) or other activities such as the impro theatre that once a month takes place in English. Also, every Friday museums in Jyväskylä are for free.

As you see, besides a master’s programme that keeps you quite busy, also the city itself has much to offer. As it is said, Jyväskylä is “A small city with a big feel”.

Ciao a tutti (that’s the influence of having an Italian classmate)


People skating on Tuomiojärvi.


Biking from Kortepohja to university.

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It is barely believable that it has been 6 months (and counting) since we began this journey and we as a group are fast approaching the halfway point of our program. In the weeks and months that have gone by since the turn of the year, a lot of what has been mentioned by my peers in previous posts is most certainly echoed by yours truly in so much as in affirming what each of us has experienced thus far in this beautiful little big city that is Jyväskylä, as well as the activities that we as individuals have had the privilege of being a part of and have participated in, for example, the memorable Winter School program in January.

But of course, it is not all just fun and games and particularly at this stage of the season is when the wheels of our studies are fully in motion. A period best described as – to quote a famous, legendary and undoubtedly the most successful British football manager in history – “squeaky bum time!” Deadlines, exams and submission dates for research papers begin to look like the proverbial runaway steam train ploughing mercilessly on the snow-covered rail tracks and snow bombing the brave souls waiting on the platform.

Inevitably, at the business end of any work project or study program in life the work needed to be done will begin to feel like an uphill battle with seemingly no end in sight, and doubts and thoughts of trepidation of not completing the task at hand begin to creep into the mindset. However, it always seems impossible until it’s done, and though the struggle maybe real at times the beauty of the Jyväskylä student experience is that one is never alone in their quest in achieving their hopes and dreams.

Six months down the line, and you best believe there is surely more to come from this unique group in the weeks and months ahead: more laughs, more tears, more bruises, more unforgettable moments, more reading, more head-scratching, more writing and rewriting, a lot more late/sleepless nights and, in some cases, more nails to be bitten as we approach the finish line this time next year.

We may win little battles here and there in the meantime, but of course the ‘war’ is far from over!

Enjoy the lovely spring sunshine, and a peaceful upcoming Easter holiday to you all 😉


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The spring term at the university

The spring semester has started with winter school in January. Winter school was exciting and fun. During that course, I have met new people from different part of Europe, South America and Australia. We have had memorable time at Laajavuori where we have done skiing, snowboarding and other outdoor activities. The whole course was quite intensive since we have covered 8-9 credits in two weeks. It was an amusing experience to see the ice hockey match at the arena between Jyväskylä and Helsinki team. All in all, the winter school has given a good start to the spring semester.



The month of February has gone very fast. It was packed with lectures, classes and demonstrations. March has begun with the smell of spring. The day is getting longer and the sun has already started to melt the ice. The light and the smile of the people around you make you feel like home. It is the time to get ready for long outdoor trip such as biking, hiking and camping. Even though, there are a lot of deadlines and research seminar in this semester,we should not forget to enjoy the weather and friends company!