“I did my exchange semester at Metropolia in the field of culture, in media design. I had heard lots of things about Finnish education and that it’s a good place for studying and doing your exchange. I’m half Finnish from my mom’s side and because of my background I was interested in learning more about the country and it’s culture. I also wanted to experience the Finnish winter and learn more about cultures and meet different people.
Studying at Metropolia has been very nice and pretty chill. The orientation days in the beginning of the exchange were very nice, it was nice to learn a little bit about the campus and get to know other students. Way of teaching has been different than I’m used to. In my home university teachers are more critical and here they will help you if you ask for it. You need take more initiative here to get feedback as well. I think it’s very nice you can plan things yourself for your studies here, so it’s pretty flexible. My favorite course, Media and Culture, contained a lot of visits to different places in the city that were related to our studies, such as the news and radio stations. It’s cool that the teachers brought us there and showed how a Finnish news station does their job. One teacher also brought us to a forest close by, we were walking around and had a potluck lunch. My studies took place on Arabia campus and I met there also often with my project groups and had lunch together. It took time to get used to a different way of teaching at Metropolia. I realized after finishing my courses that it feels like I have learned a lot but it happened differently than it would in my home country.
During my free time I have visited a lot of museums and discovered parks – it’s nice to be outside now in the spring when the weather is better. I went to the city for shopping and visiting cafés. I visited also some cities in Finland, went to Tallinn and went to some parties. In the beginning of my exchange it was a bit hard for me to fit to the group. Everyone was really nice and after a while I found some friends that are also living close to me. I did not have a culture shock but I found out some things about the culture, such as that people bring their dogs everywhere and people really like coffee. I have also been learning to appreciate coffee more. I really enjoyed thrift shopping here and the overall way of thinking about sustainability which is seen in daily life in different ways. There are for example lots of vegan and vegetarian options which is great! During the dark winter I learned to appreciate the sun, I was so happy to see some sun during those dark months. Another thing that I loved are those big city rabbits that are just chilling in front of places where people live.
It has been really nice to meet new people and I have a lot of new experiences. By being on your own in a new place you discover so much of yourself, what you like, what you don’t like and what you want to do in your life and how to develop in that direction. After this experience I might want to continue living on my own, I’m now so used to it and having so much freedom. Big part of the Finnish culture is being relaxed and chill, in the Netherlands life is pretty rushed and crowded. I learned to appreciate little things, being on your own, nature and developing yourself.”