Summer in campus – nothing to do?

Summer is the favourite season for all Finns. It is finally getting warm, you can take off winter jackets, take longer strolls along the seashore… Many students are visiting their home towns/countries, many have summer jobs. The campus is much quieter these days. But it does not mean there is nothing else to do!

cherries blossom all around Helsinki in May

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Student cafeteria on campus

In the main campus of Aalto University, Otaniemi, there are over 20 restaurants. Among them are subway (sub of the day for students – 2.60€, for others – 5-7€), fafa’s (popular chain of Israeli fast food) and a sushi restaurant. But I am going to tell you about the student restaurants. There are around 10 student restaurants on the campus and they are very cheap! Lunch only costs 2.60€ for students. For especially lazy students, it is also possible to have dinners for 2.60€. All-you-can-eat style or more like all-you-can-fit-in-one-plate 😀

I took pictures of my lunches for a week and I am happy to present them to you.

MONDAY.

lunch at restaurant Valimo, 2.60€

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My exchange in Italy

Since my first year of studying in Finland, I wanted to go study abroad for a semester or two. I looked at the big list of Aalto’s partner universities and could not decide where to go. Aalto had partner universities in Japan, Canada, all over Europe, Australia… I started narrowing down.

They need IELTS/TOEFL?

– I have no time to pass those.

Need knowledge of German/French language?

– Germany and France were out.

Do they have courses similar to those in my study plan?

– Almost everything was out.

Do not repeat my mistakes. Leave the elective studies blank. Then it will be easier to find an exchange place for you to go. I was left with two options: KTH in Stockholm and POLIMI in Milan. Going to Sweden did not feel like enough of a change and Milan sounded cool! I applied, got accepted, got a 1500€ grant and was set to go.

San Marino. January but still T-shirt weather! The best thing about Italy.

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How much money do you need to study in Finland?

For many applicants, the financial aspect is the most important. I decided to summarize the living costs of studying in Finland. How much is the rent? Food, transport, visa?

I will not include tuition fees here. Please, check yourself whether you have to pay those. If you do, you might get a grant and end up not paying any.

This is what you get for lunch for 2.60€. A glass of milk, bread with hummus, rice with chicken in curry sauce, salad, beans. You can get more, I just don’t eat so much 🙂

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Does everyone really speak English here?

“Oh I would love to move to Finland but I can’t. I do not know Finnish.”

 

That is a bad excuse! English is more than enough.

If you go to the countryside, things might be a little different, but in the cities, you basically do not need Finnish at all. Nearly 20% of the students at Aalto are not Finnish. Considering only Masters students, the number is much higher. In practice, this means international events and parties almost daily!

-20 degrees outside but so pretty!                         21 Jan 2019, Aalto campus

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Pole dancing at Aalto!

When I was a kid, I did rhythmic gymnastics like any other Russian girl. At some point, I had to quit and go for education rather than full-time sports career. Long story short, I came to Finland and started studying at Aalto.

I was looking for gymnastics-related sports activities on campus and came across the Otanko Pole Dancing Association. The classes are taught in English/Finnish by Aalto students and alumnis and one must only pay 15 eur per year to be a member.

Pole dancing? Should not be too difficult. I gave it a try.

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My Volunteering Experience at Slush 2018

Have you heard of Slush? If no, let me tell you that Slush is one of the biggest conferences in the world for startups and investors in technology field which takes place in Helsinki, Finland. Two days of intense networking with over 10,000 separate meetings are also accompanied by speeches from the most successful world-class entrepreneurs, panel discussions and pitching competitions with hundreds of thousands of euros as prizes.

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Encouraging women to go for tech

Less than one third of scientists and engineers in Finland are women. In the EU Member States, only Luxembourg has less female engineers than Finland does. The number of female doctoral graduates in Finland is growing every year. However, there are still three times less female PhD graduates than male ones. This needs to change. Companies and universities should encourage female high school students to go for a career in technology.

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