Balance is everything!

Hello everyone,

My name is Christian and I am a second year Master degree student at Aalto School of Economics. Like Essi, Miro, Mika, Jin and Vesa I had the extraordinary opportunity to participate as Aalto University’s representative in this year’s Stanford Summer International Honors Program (SSIHP) in the California Bay Area. The program started in the middle of June and will end in the middle of August.

My blog will hopefully not only introduce you to Stanford’s exceptional variety of perks but also explain why I am only contributing to the blog now. As a student that majors in Marketing at Aalto I was particularly interested in the communication courses at Stanford and how to potentially start working in the US after my studies. Hence, the program offered multiple opportunities to align these interests with Stanford’s academic excellence.

Despite slight changes in my academic schedule, I am taking four courses at Stanford. The first two are communication courses by the department of Teaching and Learning. While the first one, ‘Public Speaking’, deals with utilizing anxiety as an advantage while speaking to large crowds of people, the second one, ‘Oral Communications for graduate students’, focuses on the systematic organization of communication verbally as well as non-verbally. Both classes support confidence as well as calmness while speaking in public. My third class is a course that is called ‘Working in the US’ and focuses like the name already reveals on the processes of how Americans tick in business and, therefore, extremely aids application procedures. My fourth course is a golf course in order to get introduced to the essentials of this game.

While the courses are well structured and compliment my studies at Aalto, Stanford has much more to offer than just academics. For instance, the summer session regularly gives us the opportunity to experience the unique California lifestyle with visits to the San Francisco Giants, the LA Galaxy, Muir Woods National Park, Alcatraz, Santa Cruz, Bank of the West Tennis tournament, Golden Gate Park, and many more. It is great to visit these spots together in a large group in order to get to know the very diverse members of our program.

Moreover, all students that participate in the Stanford Summer International Honors Program are accommodated in one common facility, Branner Hall on campus. In addition to the trips and activities that are planned and organized through the entire summer school program, our housing staff organizes faculty dinners, movie nights, tours through research labs, etc. to introduce us to Stanford in more depth and incentivize us to come back to Stanford for a potential grad program. Apart from organized trips, however, Stanford campus offers a great deal of leisure activities as a balance to studying. While the gym offers state of the art facilities with a complimentary rock climbing wall, Stanford’s aquatic center is open every day to enjoy Olympic sized pools to relax and work out. Our campus offers many hang-out spots for fountain hopping and barbeques while Stanford’s own golf course can be played for a very low fee. Hence, even if you are not studying it doesn’t get boring.

Although the eight week summer school program is about to end soon we have met a lot of interesting people, seen a lot of unique places including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Yosemite National Park, and have experienced a summer full of opportunities, eye-opening moments and American dreams.

Therefore, thank you Aalto for giving us this extraordinary chance to experience one of the most renowned universities worldwide and the explore California!

Kiitos paljon.