“I’m studying international industrial management as a dual study back at my home university HWR Berlin. I did my exchange semester at Metropolia Business School during autumn 2022. The Finnish education system has a good reputation and I wanted to check it out myself. Also, the courses that Metropolia offered for business students matched quite well with my home university’s requirements and the semester dates were fitting for the schedule of the dual study program.
Studying at Metropolia has been quite different from home. I would say that studying in Finland works better for me than in Germany. I didn’t have any exams in the end of each course, but graded assignments during the semester. Being a University of Applied Sciences, Metropolia brings in the practical connection: We were not just working with the theoretical frameworks, but instead worked on case studies with connections to real companies. For me, the best thing about studying at Metropolia was the atmosphere: It’s quite informal but still respectful. This feels very friendly and open and takes away a bit of the pressure. It was also nice to work together with my classmates in different projects. I had some online classes and the organization was a bit challenging in the beginning. But throughout the semester I learned that everybody at Metropolia is always happy to help you out.
In the beginning, the course enrolments were a bit of a challenge. It was not clear if I would be able to get in all the courses I wanted to. But luckily, it all worked out in the end. The campus is very well designed for the sense of community. I always used the student restaurant and sometimes came to campus just for lunch with friends. Everything is very digital and it’s easy to book rooms in the library, for example. Usually, my classes started around eleven, so I had quite relaxing mornings. Unfortunately, I was not able to take the Finnish course for exchange students, but I did try to learn some Finnish through Duolingo. It was very easy to manage with English in Finland, especially at school it worked very well.
In my free-time I did a lot of different things. In the beginning of the semester the student union METKA organized a lot of events, parties, and trips. This made it easy for me to connect to many other students naturally. I became friends with my neighbors – a lot of other exchange students lived at the same place with me. We also travelled together, for example to Iceland and Lapland. I also went to the sauna in my building very often, which was new to me but I really enjoyed it! Helsinki has a lot to offer – such as the Oodi library, restaurants, and several tourist attractions. I also went to the nearby Nuuksio national park quite often. And I can say, Finland changed me a little: Before coming to Helsinki, I didn’t drink coffee at all. But studying in Finland can really make you a coffee person – The Finns love coffee!
During the exchange I also learned a lot about myself and about what I want to do in life. I was able to take a step back and see which parts of my everyday life in Finland I want to include in my life back in Germany. Talking to other students who were a bit older than me, also showed me new perspectives. Seeing all the different paths that everybody had taken, encouraged me to try something new after finishing my degree and start studying landscape architecture, which has been a big interest of mine. I probably wouldn’t have made this decision without the exchange experience at Metropolia. I also learned a lot about different countries and cultures and made very good friends from all over the world. I am sure, I will take this new network with me into the future.”
Tips from Benedikt:
- Trust your tutors – they are experts in making the most out of studying in Finland!
- Try to get a HOAS apartment. It’s affordable and a nice experience to live with the other exchange students.
- Try to connect with your neighbors – it makes organizing activities and trips so easy!
- Enjoy your time in Finland and don’t worry about uni too much – it will all work out in the end.