Design Your Life – interview with Frank Martela

Frank Martela started to teach a new course ‘Designing Life’ this spring for the first time in Aalto University. Aalto conducts annual AllWell? questionnaire and works on how to improve the well-beings of all the students. The course is one of the outcomes. Designing Life is one of the most unique courses I’ve ever taken, which addressed the life issues and challenges we face when we are 20 somethings. These issues usually bring stress and anxiety to the young people when they are trying to figure out about their own life and future.

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Civil engineering Day Speech

(This article mainly reviews the studies in Aalto and work after graduation)

Civil engineering day is annual alumni gathering to know what is happening in the program. An opportunity to discuss master’s programmes in Building Technology and in Geoengineering, their present and future, and to meet the students and colleagues. The target group of the event is partners of the Department of Civil Engineering and the Bachelor’s students at the School of Engineering.

I know today’s program should be in Finnish, but I can only give this speech in English, I still haven’t given up on Finnish language, but it seems that Finnish language almost gave up on me.

First of all, thanks to the invitation from Prof Puttonen and Prof Hostikka, I am really humble, honored and happy today to share my story, my thoughts and my journey in the program.

In the beginning of this speech, allow me to shortly introduce myself. I am Yiwei, graduated from the building technology program last year. During my years in the industry, my main focus is the structural calculation and structural analysis. I have the luck to be involved in the structural design of very well-known Finnish projects like Keskustakirjasto Oodi, Tripla as well as many large international projects.

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Motivation brings you the wanted results

The importance of the Finnish matriculation examination has increased, because of the quota for first-time applicants. For many, entrance exams are another option to get a degree place in a university. Still, there are a limited number of places available and competition is hard when trying to get into the best universities.

Motivation is in a key role when you are trying to succeed in exams. You can find plenty of information about how to prepare for the matriculation examinations or entrance exams from the internet, but those things come as second on the list. I think nothing is more important than inner motivation, which gives you the energy to work hard and achieve your dream degree place.

Here are three points, which I thought were the best to find my motivation when applying to Aalto University. Disclaimer; These may not work for everyone, but at least I hope it will give you some ideas on how to find your own motivation.

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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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Fight climate change in Aalto – Climate-Kic summer journey

Aalto organized team-building activities in Nuuksio National Park. Journey 10 participants and coaches enjoyed a nice vegetarian dinner and the beautiful view.

This summer was filled with joys, excitements and inspirations because of the five-week summer journey organized by EIT Climate-Kic. I met students and experts who share the same passion to mitigate climate change, the biggest challenge we face nowadays. 

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Make Friends for Life. Change the Game.

“I was warned that Finland is cold and people hard to make friends with. First one was true, but the second one – not at all. Finns just have their own way to open up. In the end, they will build an authentic relationship with you.”

– Manuel Barrantes, Friend of Finns & Creative Sustainability student

Get more than a degree at Aalto University. Application for Master’s programmes 3 Dec 2018–11 Jan 2019 and for English Bachelor’s programmes 9–23 Jan 2019. Find your own programme and apply.

 

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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Master’s studies as the bridge to working life

Especially after spending time in the corporate world in between studies, it is easy to start prefering it over academia. Although student life has its advantages, sometimes the corporate world simply seems to provide more challenges to tackle in a concrete way every single day. This is one of the reasons I opted for the dual degree combining the CEMS MIM with another Master’s program from Aalto University School of Business.

In short, the CEMS MIM program builds a bridge between university education and working life. The curriculum offers multiple elements where students are provided with the opportunity to work together with corporate and social partners on real-life business challenges.

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