“I spent one whole academic year at Metropolia doing a double degree exchange. Metropolia and my home university Rennes School of Business have an agreement for this kind of exchange. One of the reasons I chose my home university was because I saw that there is a possibility to go to Finland. In France everybody says that the studies are very good and that life is better in the Nordic countries. I though I will just go to Finland myself and see if it’s true or not. I did a bit of basic research on Finland before my arrival and I found out things like there’s a lot of forest in Finland, it’s the happiest country and that people drink a lot of coffee. One reason to choose Metropolia was also the international dimension of the studies.
Studying at Metropolia has been really nice and I’m really happy with my studies. The courses are very interactive and teachers are friendly so it has been easy to learn. Project group works and simulations are different than what I’m used to but at the same time perfect ways to learn. The best thing about my studies have been the people, teachers and students. I could always ask the teachers if I had any questions and they were very supportive. I met a lot of students from different countries and enjoyed how international it was. All of my studies took place on the Myyrmäki campus. I was really happy with the student restaurant: warm meals were really good, healthy and cheap. Also, the campus library is really nice, there are lots of books and also silent rooms which I used for writing my bachelor thesis.
In my free-time I did some traveling in Finland and abroad. I went couple of times to Estonia and in Finland I visited some bigger cities. I was going often outside to walk and see the architecture of the city but also the nature and the forest. I went a lot to the forest and I feel like in Finland I reached a better connection with the environment and I felt always safe. I lived in an Airbnb apartment and was able to walk to school. We were also able to barbecue in the forest barbecue place, that was very fun even though the fire was hard to start. The weather in the winter was a bit hard but if you have good clothes, it’s fine. It was not hard to adapt to the culture but it’s a bit different and you have to understand that some things are done differently.
I was surprised in a good way about the Finnish people. On the Internet it says that Finnish people are cold and reserved. In fact, when I came here, I found them really open and people were willing to help in English. Everyone is living their own life: you won’t be disturbed but if you need, you’re supported. During my exchange something changed in my mind and I would like to live in the future somewhere else than in France. During the exchange you learn to see the world from a different angle.”
Tips from Marie:
- Buy winter clothes second-hand in Finland. There are a lot of second-hand stores in Finland and you can buy warm enough winter clothes from them without having to spend a lot of money.
- Get to know what kind of things are around you and ask people what they like to do and where they like to go.
- Don’t be afraid of talking to people. Helsinki is a really international city and you will find help everywhere.