Rafał Bartosiak participated in an exchange semester during academic year 2021-2022. He was studying Electronics in the Field of Technology. Doing an exchange semester abroad was an obligatory part of Rafał’s degree program in his home university Lodz University of Technology in Poland. The exchange process started with an internal application period and Rafał was chosen to apply to Metropolia. “For a couple of years, I had been interested in how it looks in Northern Europe and I wanted to hear Finnish language myself. I also wanted to experience one of the best education systems in the world as well as be in a country where I can easily manage in English”. Finland turned out to be a great destination for Rafał who prefers cold and wanted to see nature.
Study Experience at Metropolia
Study experience in Metropolia surprised Rafał positively. Metropolia as University of Applied Sciences offered a different kind of perspective to a traditional university: studying is just not about the theory but especially about using it in practice. Learning methods did not differ much to his home country as they included both group and individual work, but lab working was freer in Metropolia. Electronics courses are worth 15 ECTS In Metropolia and exchange students participate on two courses during the exchange semester. Rafał found the big course sizes good: “It was nice to be able to focus only on one subject specifically at once”. Rafał also noticed that students don’t get pressed to study in Finland but they are expected to take responsibility over their own schedules and success.
Rafał got to be a part of the Finnish student union tradition to Metropolia’s student union METKA. He took part into some events organized by METKA but the best thing was to be able to wear the student overalls. In the spring semester the biggest event was the Vappu (May 1st) celebration. METKA also organized tutoring for exchange students and Rafał also had a tutor who was, for example, welcoming him on the airport and brought Rafał to his student dorm in Finland.
Free-time and Finnish Experience
Rafał enjoyed especially the Finnish nature and sauna during his stay: “I fell in love with sauna and in the end went to sauna twice a week!”. Rafał was amazed by the amount of forests in Finland and the good air quality even in Helsinki city. He was also able to travel a lot within Finland: he went to Lapland and saw the northern lights as well as to Turku and Tampere. Helsinki itself offered also a lot of nice destinations, such as Seurasaari, Suomenlinna and Mustikkamaa islands, as well as the important landmarks Helsinki Cathedral and Temppeliaukio church. Besides this Rafał also traveled to the Baltic countries and Lofoten in Norway.
Tips from Rafał:
- Go to sauna a lot – most student houses from HOAS have a common sauna that students can reserve for free!
- Try to travel a lot – go especially to Lapland in the winter!
- Apply for a tutor
- Use the HSL app for public transport