In my previous post, I told you guys, that I was in the process of finishing my master’s thesis in the end of March. Shortly after that post was published the pandemic hit and all the world went on lockdown. The process of thesis writing in general is rather independent: after research was done I was just writing thesis at home and I always received comments from professor by email and sometimes I had skype calls with my supervisor from the firm I was writing thesis for. However, I was kind of worried when I finished my thesis and thesis presentation and maturity test were next in line.
Hello, my name is Senciria Chou, and I am a second-year master student in Collaborative and Industrial Design. I would like to introduce my study experience as an international student at Aalto University. Especially the CoID program.
There is a lot of different profession program under ARTS school, like fashion, contemporary, film and photography, also architecture and interior design. You can find more information on the Aalto website to find out more detailed descriptions.
Unlike many master studies in other countries, the study structure in Aalto is very open. It allows students to choose courses they would like to take from other programs. The school also encourages us to have multipipeline collaboration, so there are also quite many courses cooperated with cross-department. Students have various chances to team up with others from different departments, like engineering and business school, …etc.
Anna smiles at all her students through her webcam as if it would be the single greatest event that no one showed up at her classroom in Otakaari 1 this week. Our Spanish teacher seems as surprised as we are that almost the entire class is absent but yet digitally united on one screen.
I didn’t expect anyone to show up to this premier of the zoom class Basic Spanish for Professional Needs 1. Curiosity was my main reason to sign in to this remote lecture, although I was doubting the efficiency of online learning. But then fifteen other students started to tune in and a wave of “HOLA QUÉ TAL” roared through my headphones. After a clumsy beginning of rearranging webcams and crackling microphones the course quickly turned into one of the funniest sessions we had in this period and it ended with a class of Finnish and international students dancing in front of their computers to a Gente De Zona song. We had to raise our hands every time a Latin American country or region was mentioned. It was quite an exercise since the lyrics went something like this for about four minutes: “Uruguay con Paraguay, hermano con Costa Rica – Bolivia viene llegando, Brasil ya esta en camino”
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Here are some frequently asked questions.
Please see all up to date information on admissions and the beginning of your studies on Aalto’s website (aalto.fi) or by contacting Aalto’s Admissions Services (admissions (at) aalto.fi) or your programme’s student services.
♠INFO ABOUT CORONAVIRUS
How is the Corona virus affecting the contact teaching in Aalto University? Will the Fall semester 2020 be delayed? What if I cannot get a residence permit on time?
- Aalto University follows instructions from the government of Finland. At the moment, there is no plan in delaying the coming academic year because of the pandemia. The University will let all accepted students know if anything changes. Here is all the up to date information about the Coronavirus and what happens in Aalo regarding it.
- Please check Migri´s website for the most current updates and contact your program study coordinator at Aalto to make arrangements in case your residence permit is late.
As you may already know, thesis is an obligatory part of your degree and every student has to do it at some point of their studies. I felt intrigued when I got to know that the majority of students in Finland write their theses as a practical case studies for different companies. It means that a company has a problem to solve or theory to be tested and they give this job to a student. In this way, companies get solutions for their problems without need to hire a person specifically for that task and student get to apply their knowledge in real work-life case already before graduation + possibly make some money.
Before I moved to Finland, I had lived in Tamsui for almost 10 years, which’s situated next to an estuary in the northern Taiwan, the most famous sightseeing spot for the sunset. One thing I knew before I left Tamsui for Hesinki was that I would miss a lot taking a walk by the water.
After I settled in Helsinki and soon discovered that I lives in a quiet neighborhood with only a 15-min walking distance to an estuary. Coincidently, that’s exactly the same distance from my house to the estuary in Taipei. The scenery and the sound of running water are the greatest cure to my homesickness.
Örö Island Workshop 2019 (Course: DOM-E3042)
You leave behind Helsinki and the metro stations, the bus stops and highways, the train station in Salo and the harbor in Kasnäs. You try to count the black rocks rising from sea in this maze of islets, while another grey wave mirrors another grey sky. On a Monday in October you arrive on an island called Örö at the edge of the Finnish archipelago where the Baltic Sea swallows the horizon. The equipment in your backpack outweighs your food supplies by far and you carry more films than underpants as you start the walk to your cottage with the other lens based creatures that will be your roommates for the next five days and your partners in crime for the next two years.
This morning, when I resurfaced from the underground metro station, there was snow floating in the air. Finally, a scene I miss so much in the Finnish winter.
With the support from Department of Design Grants, I had the chance to attend the European Blockchain Convention for the first time last week. The grants are offered 4 times every year to “facilitate research, art, creative practice and learning dealing with design. Priority is given to enable participation to peer reviewed research and artistic events and forums for publishing the outcomes.” (Aalto website)
I applied for the Department of Design Grants in mid August to gain new information for my master thesis. One month after my application, I received a notification that I was granted an amount of 700 euros from Department of Design Express Grant. Two weeks later, I receive the full amount to cover the convention registration fee, accommodation, flights and other expenses. The grant eased my financial burden to attend an important convention outside of Finland. Usually, the registration fee of international seminars and conventions cost quite a lot. This one costs 238 euros, which is a big amount for students. I am really grateful to have the grant to advance my research on my master thesis.
They say endings are not a time to grieve, but to be glad that the stories happened. This describes the way I feel as the year and with it, the decade comes to a close. It has been an eventful year which brought many challenges when it started and now that it’s ending, there are new challenges to carry forward into the next year and decade. However, I keep my head up and look forward with renewed hope and energy. Many of the experiences I got to live through in this year resulted as being a part of the Aalto University, which fills me with gratitude for being a student in this university.
When the year started, I was struggling within a global team as part of the course, ME310 – Global Innovation Program at Aalto University, which was also my minor. The struggle was to come up with our proof-of-concept prototype for the water infrastructure optimization project that we had been working on in the course. Since the scope of our project was based in China, and half of our team members were from China, we visited China earlier in the year to validate some of our concepts with the users and gather insights to incorporate them further into our concept. The interviews and user testing we conducted in China was vital for the development of our final concept.