Sophie Vorgerd did her exchange semester at Metropolia Business School during autumn semester 2022. Back in her home university HWR Berlin, Sophie is doing a dual study: half of the semester she is studying and half working in a company so finding a suitable exchange destination was a bit trickier than normally. “I had to find an exchange destination where the semester times were fitting. The locations I found were either Metropolia or a university in Netherlands. I had always wanted to study in the Nordic countries, that’s why I chose to apply to Metropolia.”
New ways of learning and being creative
Sophie took six courses in Metropolia and was excited about the selection. “I really enjoyed studying at Metropolia! Two courses, Marketing Design and Digital Marketing, were especially interesting. We got to practice using Photoshop and doing a marketing campaign”. Biggest differences to studying at her home university had to do with the course structures. At her home university students take an exam in the end of the course. In Metropolia students are doing several smaller assignments during the semester, and there are usually no exams in the end. “We got to do more creative work and presentations, I could express myself better and actually learn and create”.
Another difference to German culture was the relationship between the students and the teachers. “In Finland everyone uses the first names and the students could speak with the teachers from a friendly starting point”, according to Sophie. In addition to this, most of her classes were starting early but they also ended early and left her time to experience things during her free-time.
Free-time: traveling and students-clubs
Living in Helsinki offered Sophie many opportunities for traveling: “I did a weekend trip to Riga and visited Stockholm. “I also traveled 4-5 times to Tallinn with a ferry because tickets were so cheap and the trip so short”. Sophie had also time to travel within Finland: “I visited Tampere, Turku and Porvoo. I also went to Nuuksio national park and in the end of my exchange I did a trip to Lapland”. There was also a lot of things to do in Helsinki: “I was meeting with locals and other exchange students in karaoke bars, restaurants and for boardgame nights”.
Sophie also participated to some events from student union METKA and participated in METKA’s Dungeons & Dragons club. Sophie also signed up for a tutor from METKA and got a lot of information from her before and during the exchange. A great thing was also to get an apartment from HOAS (foundation for student housing) “Location was great, close to both the campus and the city center. Services were good and rent was about 430€”.
Overall Sophie had a great study experience in Finland. In addition to living in a different country and culture she learned a lot: “It was great to see a different way of studying!”. After living in Finland Sophie would like to come back, maybe to do her Master’s degree.
Tips from Sophie:
1. Apply on the courses as soon as possible – they get full quickly especially in the autumn semester
2. Apply for HOAS also as soon as possible, so you don’t need to find an alternative option