“I spent autumn semester 2022 in Metropolia doing my exchange semester. I studied in the field of Culture, in the Degree Programme in Music. I had a couple of friends who had done their exchange earlier at Metropolia. They spoke really highly of the program, country and the city so it was no-brainer for me. My home university MacEwan University has a fantastic team of international coordinators and they gave me a bunch of things to look up for, such as weather, political situation, cultural norms and language. It was very helpful in preparation for coming to Finland.
Studying at Metropolia has been a good experience overall. Teachers have good knowledge to share and the atmosphere is very open. Arabia campus for the field of culture is new and it was nice to study in such a nice facility. There were a lot of rooms for students to work with what they want. Some of the courses at Metropolia were a bit different than what I’m used to. One course focused on clinics and people such as composers were brought from outside to Metropolia and we worked with them. I participated in an ensemble and that was made into a course. The best thing about my studies at Metropolia was for sure the private lessons with my instructor Tommi Rautiainen. He is a great musician a I learned a lot from him. Music students could also apply for access to the campus outside the normal opening hours which was great in order to have time for practicing. In addition, I ate at the student restaurant every day, the food was very good and also cheap.
As I was a music student there were jams pretty much every day, so I was often in jams in the evenings. I was also walking a lot around the city especially before the snow fell. There were lots of events going on. I went camping in Porkkala with another international student in November and also traveled to Tallinn with a ship. Tallinn’s old city was fantastic. I didn’t really have a culture shock but I noticed that people in Finland are generally a bit more reserved than in Canada and I had to get used to that. I got to know Finnish students through jams. Teachers in Metropolia were also pretty relaxed.
During my exchange I learned to live in a different culture as an outsider, that was a very valuable experience. I have to be grateful for people speaking English and dealing with misunderstandings. I would recommend the future exchange students to do as much planning as they can while they’re still at home. Stuff will go wrong and luckily, I had all the necessary information on my phone or on paper. This way you can enjoy your experience and don’t have to worry about things. In the future I would love to do more traveling, in exchange or otherwise. I would also really encourage others to do exchanges like this as it was a life-changing experience.”