I graduate from Aalto University on New Year’s Eve.

Today, the last day of 2020, is my graduation date! I’ve enjoyed an incredible journey during my study at Aalto University.

Väre, School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Before Christmas, I visited the campus for one last time before graduation. I finished my last three ceramics pieces in the ceramics workshop, which has been my favorite place to ease the stress and cultivate my handcraft skills.

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It’s Christmas!! Reach out to your close ones (even if they are far). Plus, a holiday recipe! 


The darkest day of the year is past and, for those of you that celebrate, Christmas has come! But for those that don’t, there’s also winter break… a time to relax and try to gather energy for the beginning of the new year. 

And, though the holidays are usually represented as wintery, presents under a tree, and a family playing some board games this is not usually the case for many people and definitely not the case for many during the corona times. I find myself missing the warm Christmases with my family on the beach, collecting seashells and then going to the fair. Being stuck half the world away from the ones that are closest to me is not easy and I know I’m not the only one in this situation. But yeah, the holidays mean different things for everyone. Remember to respect that. 

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Master’s thesis: blockchain technology + climate change

Writing my thesis in the Harald Herling Learning Centre.

I study the master’s program of Creative Sustainability in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Also, I took the EIT Climate-KIC program. I started working on my thesis research in 2019.

I preferred to write my thesis in different places to change the scenery from time to time. In the Otaniemi campus, I prefer the places with big windows that bring in sunlight and give me chances to relax my eyes by looking at nature outside. One of my favorite places is the Harald Herling Learning Center, where I could book a quiet room to study alone. My second favorite place is a quiet sitting corner in the Dipoli. Besides, there’s also a Creative Sustainability home base in Väre, which provides a quiet study space for students. These places helped me concentrate on my thesis.  Continue reading

Students of Aalto, Madina from Kazakhstan, English bachelor’s program – Chemical Engineering

Hello everyone! My name is Madina and I’m from Kazakhstan. Currently I’m studying a chemical engineering English bachelor’s program here at Aalto. This is my second year in Finland. Since I’m an international student I have some thoughts that I can share in this blog post about my first experience studying abroad.

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My Year at Campus Section

Campus Section

It all started on a cold dark night at Otaniemi, I was a new student and didn’t have much to do besides studies and I was quite eager to be part of Aalto community. I was already struggling to find my ground because I had arrived late in Finland and lost orientation week where most people find their bearings and find what they can do at Aalto. I was browsing through Aalto webpages and first thing I saw was that Campus section was recruiting for volunteers. I was a bit hazy on what it does but I applied still. Next thing I know I am already recruited and joining up with other volunteers. In start I was still feeling a bit of an outsider because mostly the volunteers were Finnish and I couldn’t relate much because I was already going through a cultural transition. Continue reading

Surviving Helsinki prices as a student 

We all know Helsinki is not a cheap place to live. And for students, especially international ones it might be hard to figure out how to not spend your whole budget before the month is out. Let’s not mention that corona has shaken up most people’s economies. 

But still, there are ways to not spend as much. Though I might not be the most knowledgeable in the matter (I’m sure some finn will have a lot more tips) I think my past year in Helsinki has taught me how to not end up eating macaroni for the last days of the month. So here I am, sharing my knowledge. 

First, I’ll say that to live cheap you must put in a little effort, sacrifice a few things but after a while, it will all come easy to you. 

I really recommend making your monthly budget and estimating how much you can spend each week on different things. Try to stay under your budget and by the end of the month you can get yourself a gift or save up for something bigger. If you exceed your budget, looking into what you can spend less on. 

So, general rules: have a budget, take advantage of discounts and student benefits, cook, learn how to sew and repair, and buy used.  Continue reading