Hey, my name is Dang, and I recently went to Finland on the Exchange Program. I studied at TAMK, or the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, for a semester. The reason I took part in this program was to experience a new culture and to challenge myself academically.
Sharing My Experience
Studying in Finland was an incredible experience. In my first few days in Tampere, I was amazed by how beautiful the country is. The nature in Finland is breathtaking, with its wide, blue skies, pristine forests, and clear lakes and rivers. The city of Tampere itself was also amazing, with its elegant architecture, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people.
In terms of my academic experiences, I found the university system in TAMK to be quite different from the system at APU. Since TAMK is a university of applied sciences, students are more independent, with less structured lectures and a deeper focus on self-directed learning and practical training. This can be challenging at first, and, due to the new learning environment, some students may struggle to adapt. However, after you get used to the changes, learning becomes easier and more interesting because, for most classes, you will be assigned to work with real companies to solve real problems.
Also, Tampere holds the most student festivals in all of Finland, so you can participate in these activities all year round. Appro is one of the most famous student festivals in Finland, and it occurs once every two years. During Appro, Tampere fills up with thousands of students from different cities across Finland, all of whom wear their special opiskelijahaalarit or “student overalls”. This is the best opportunity for international students to make new friends and explore the city of Tampere together while enjoying the festival atmosphere.
Of course, Finland is also famous for its winters. The long, harsh winters, freezing temperatures, and snow-covered landscapes are an integral part of Finnish culture and lifestyle. With some parts of the country experiencing as little as two hours of sunlight per day during the darkest months, Finland's winter climate can be challenging for both locals and visitors alike. But worry not! The city centers are always filled with neon lights, the smell of hot chocolate, and winter decorations that you cannot find anywhere else. These decorations give the city the quintessential appearance of a Nordic country in the wintertime. Moreover, the Finns have their own unique ways of embracing and enjoying the winter season, from ice fishing and skiing to cozying up in traditional saunas.
Studying in Finland was an incredible experience that I will always cherish. I would highly recommend that APU students take part in the Exchange Program if they are interested in broadening their horizons and gaining new perspectives on the world.