It seems like yesterday that I was desperately reading and re-reading these posts to try to catch anything between the lines that could give me any pieces of information (and courage!!) to leave my comfort zone in sunny Italy for icy Finland!! I really found this blog useful and for such reason I will try to be more clear and encouraging as possible =)
I guess I should start with some study stuff first =)
The way that the study program is organized is quite different than my previous bachelor degree. I was used to start with all courses right away, and then have 2 months of exam sessions with no sleep and no social life. In this university system there is no such thing: courses are instead well spread in the semester – I finished already 3 courses, and I just started a new one this week. However, this also means that you will have to study for exams, write your assignments/diaries and having lessons at the same time. I have to say it can be little bit overwhelming and confusing (deadlines are not my strongest point), but it will pay off when you’ll enjoy your winter holiday with no exams and stress. Types of examination here in Jyväskylä were also new to me: many courses don’t have a written final exams but they require constant written diaries or assignments that will help you not to fell left behind and to keep track with all your studies.
As for the teaching way, I was shocked that I was supposed to call my teacher by (first!!) name, which was, and still is, very hard. I have been studying in many different places, as Italy, Sūdtirol, Germany and Thailand, and I have never met such helpful and understandable teachers, that are always ready to help you out (with no study-related subject as well) and also learn from you.
But no worries, you will get to know the system while you are here. Now, my main task is to get you here =)
Jyväskylä provides the perfect environment to create new solid friendships and to try out something new every day.
I remember as I came here everybody were suggesting that we should find an hobby to keep us entertained during the long and dark winter season. For this reason I randomly applied to the Gaelic football team (which is a weird but funny team sport, a mix of basketball, soccer, rugby and handball) and that was the best choice I ever made. I got to know students from different departments and to be engaged in many different activities besides training, as saunas or house parties.
As many students have already posted in their blogs, University offers many sport activities for a vey cheap price.
Not to forget the best place to spend active time, the Finnish nature. Sometimes just throwing your study books behind and going for a walk (or a run, in my case) can be the answer to any problems.
But don’t get me wrong; it is not all sunshine and rainbows. With the starts of exams, deadlines and projects (and the winter season coming) it will eventually come the moment in which you ask yourself “what made me do it?”, but with the help of your classmates and teachers, with a little bit of strength problems will be solved. University also helps you coping with your student through the goodies, university staff member that are there for you when you need someone to talk to!!
Here some rare landscape pictures that I took when I was brave enough to take off my gloves =) Stunning Finnish sunset!
The very first snow if the year! The main lake of the city frozen overnight!!
The most important thing i have here in Jyväskylä…my beautiful punainen bike!!
OK this is not really a landscape but i thought you might enjoy some Finnish Champions (my gaelic football team)!! Jyväskylä Abu!!