First of all, my name is Tatu Sairanen. I’m now a 24-year-old third year European Business Student from South-Eastern Finland and I have been doing my one-year double degree exchange for the last 8 months Studying Business Psychology in HFT Stuttgart. I arrived in Stuttgart in the beginning of October and moved to live in a Student Dormitory called In der Au. In the dormitory I have shared my apartment with two other guys, one from Nepal and the other from India.
My studies have mostly been online since the beginning because of COVID but that hasn’t really been too big of a problem. I have made lifelong friends from my courses by just being active in the Zoom sessions and working on group projects with local students. Of course it needed some extra effort to go out of the comfort zone to ask from someone you have never met to meet at a park for a beer in a Zoom breakout session, but something that I have learned is that Germans are instantly your friends when you meet over a couple of beers. Also, I have found multiple friends from my dormitory, which was super important to have some social contacts when the whole Germany was in lockdown from mid-December till March.
But now as the summer has started and everything has mostly returned to normal, I have been doing lots of different activities, like travelled to Cologne and Nurnberg. Just hanging outside with friends has also been a really good way to spend the days when the temperature has been around 25 degrees for the last weeks. During the year I have done some other travels to Berlin and Heidelberg; even with COVID it has been possible to see Germany, and this country has lots to offer even if some people might not see it.
My studies at HFT were well organised and the quality of teaching was really high in total. Studying Business Psychology was the perfect decision for me to have some variety to the more basic business studies I did in Finland, and to widen my knowledge in the field of HRM in which I want to be working the future.
In total I would say the exchange has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life as it has given me lots of new experiences, opportunities to meet new people from different backgrounds, and the chance to develop myself. I have found myself feeling somewhat at home here in Germany, and therefore I have been applying for internships here and just landed one in a small international recruiting company. Therefore, I will be extending my time here with at least 6 more months and am looking forward to more international encounters and experiences that this internship will be providing me.
If you are still wondering whether you should go for an exchange or not, let me tell you that you totally should! It’s one of the best experiences of your study time as you will be having all these new experiences, friends all around the world, and companies will appreciate the international experience you will gain through exchange when looking for a job after graduation. I have heard from multiple friends that if there is something that they regret about their studies it has been that they didn’t use the possibility to go for exchange, as they have heard all the great experiences from different people who used this unique opportunity. This is also my message to you: take the leap and use this opportunity of a lifetime to go and step out from your comfort zone. You will not regret it!