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Hyvää joulua!

Already when being there on exchange 2010, I was quite confident to continue my bachelor’s studies on a master level in the bellybutton of Finland, Jyväskylä. Once I made it back to the city in the beginning of August, I couldn’t wait to get through the orientation program and, finally, start the studies. Now, just after finishing my last exam of this semester, I can’t wait to get some time off.

The studies during this semester were intense, especially since learning Finnish besides the studies seems to be quite a challenging and demanding adventure. However, I liked that I didn’t need to write all my exams in the end of the semester, which I was used to when studying in Germany. That didn’t make studying more relaxing, but somewhat more effective.

As already many times mentioned by my study mates, the international and tight study group is one of the best features of this program. It’s priceless how much more I get out of these studies when being together with the others in class. We’re like a big choir, working harmonically together while singing: “We’re all individual”. Indeed we all have different career aspirations, but we also participate all in the same program that makes us hopefully become what we want. Nevertheless, our paths are not alike since we got the opportunity to choose a variety of optional studies in order to complete our degree. A big difference between each of us is also the respective master’s thesis topic that we are dealing with. We all seem to have totally different topics, fitting our personal interests though. One may argue that it seems strange to already start now writing a master’s thesis, in the beginning of the studies. However, I personally think that it can be just beneficial for all of us to start as early as possible with the research and also writing process. I’m confident that we will be all pleased when approaching the last semester, and half of the work for the thesis is already done.

Besides of all the serious study related issues, I’m glad winter has finally come to Jyväskylä. It’s so much more beautiful here when everything is covered under a big layer of shiny snow that brightens up the whole landscape. I’m also already looking forward to practice some winter sports while being here. Finland is the perfect environment for physical activities such as going to sauna, snowman building, ice swimming, and of course…skiing.

But not just winter sports should be practiced during the winter time in Jyväskylä. The sport faculty building and the local gymnastic hall offer sufficient space and opportunities to pursue the sport one loves. For instance, today we just celebrated the end of this year’s studies with a few energetic badminton games. And last week, I personally got the chance to participate in a floorball event that was organized by some of my fellow students within their studies. I got the chance to learn a sport that I haven’t done more than once before in my life and, moreover, was able to play against some players from the city’s first league floorball team – exciting.

When now looking back at the last three to four month of the semester, I realize that I made the best possible decision when coming back to Finland to study in this master’s program. My fellow students are awesome, the staff and lecturers are always available and supportive, and the frequent guest lecturers from various fields of sport make the scientific program really practical. Consequently and to sum it up, I warmly recommend everyone who got now interested in this program to come to Jyväskylä and get their studies started. The new application round for the fall 2013 is already open.

I’m already now on my way back home to Germany and I’m happy to finally see my friends and family again. However, I feel also sorry for my fellow students who cannot make it home to their beloved ones since they are too far away from them. In this sense, I wish you a well-working skype connection during the holidays and, moreover, some warm and precious moments with the friends who stay with you in Jyväskylä.

Hyvää joulua!

Torsten

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