Yannick Levermann did his exchange semester at Metropolia Business School during autumn semester 2022. Yannick does a dual study program in his home university Hamburg School of Business Administration, meaning that half of the semester he is studying and the other half working. Choosing Finland as an exchange destination was rather easy: “I wanted my exchange to see something very new and different and experience a full winter. I also really wanted it to be in the Nordics and I had heard good things about Metropolia as an exchange destination”.
Different ways of learning and supportive teachers
Yannick enjoyed his studies a lot: “At my home university the courses are fixed and have to be done in a certain semester, so it was nice to be able to choose the courses from a pool of courses. I also had to build my schedule and be accepted for the courses I chose, that was new”. Studies were well organized: “This semester I did not have any exams, only presentations and assignment. Like this it was easier to learn instead of binge learning.” Yannick was also happy that sustainability aspect was considered in the studies.
However, biggest thing that made him feel comfortable in his studies w as the interaction with the teachers: “Teachers were very helpful and talking to them on first name basis made it feel more comfortable and approachable. You could always ask them for help if you had any problems”. Teachers were also treating everybody equally. On some courses Yannick was the only exchange student and on some everybody was an exchange student. “Overall compared to the busy study system at my home university, being here was like a holiday with studying”, Yannick concludes.
Road trip through Finland and eye-opening experiences
During his free-time Yannick traveled a lot: “I did a road trip with some other exchange students in Finland. We rented a car and drove to Kuusamo in the North and then came down and visited a lot of cities on the way”. He also traveled to Stockholm and Riga and in the end of his exchange to Lapland. Otherwise Yannick tried to do things that he would otherwise also do: “I was walking around the city, studied at the Oodi library and met with friends for coffee”. He also participated in events organized by the tutors and student union METKA.
Yannick had time to learn things about the Finnish culture: “I really liked the student overalls and I also got to watch the Independence Day handshaking from TV.” Some things were also very different: “I was unfortunately sick a few times during the semester and had to visit a doctor in Finland. Health care system is very different, but it was also a good opportunity to see how I react to being sick in a different place than home”.
All in all, Yannick is very happy with his exchange experience. “I haven’t had time to process everything I experienced yet. I came here to see how it is to live abroad and saw that it is possible and I can do it even though there were challenges”. He found a new way of studying and new friends: “In the beginning I was nervous because I was the only one from my university. But I got along very well with people and was able to make good friends, we are planning to see each other soon again!”. In the future Yannick might do a Master’s degree abroad: “This experience helped me to understand how it is to live abroad and really opened my eyes”.
Tips from Yannick:
- Apply for HOAS apartment as soon as possible
- Don’t be afraid for not having connections and friends, it’s easy to make them. Once you approach Finnish people they are helping and supporting you.
- Studies are doable and teachers are open for changes. If you have any problems you can ask the teachers and other staff members, they are very understanding and helpful.
- Enjoy the time and get to know Finland as a country
- Be quick with the course enrolments