The Name of the Bird 

The first Finnish word that I’ve learned, was the name of a bird. I had just moved to a student apartment in Otaniemi and did my first load of washing in the laundry room. Looking out of the launderette’s rear window I could see nothing but nature: skinny birch trees, pines and sprouts followed by a field of reeds on the shore of the seawater bay. While waiting for the dryer to finish I decided to step outside to enjoy the last rays of sunshine on this late autumn afternoon. Just as I closed the door behind me, I noticed a subtle movement, and there it was, right at my feet: a tiny light brown bird with a string of black feathers and yellow spots on its wings.  

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How to embrace the winter Finnish style and see how we prepare for Chinese New Year

Snow events on a frozen lake

Embrace winter in Finland  

Here in Finland, winter is dark with long nights and scarce daylight. I was born and grew up in a southern city of China, which is heavy of tropical odors with daily temperature ranging from 15 to 28  in Januaryan climate totally different from wintertime here.  

Hence dark days and freezing weather are likely to create a sense of melancholy, especially during the pandemic days that call for social distance. Winter in Finland, however, can also give us a completely different and exotic experience with snow and ice. Winter provides me great opportunities to embrace the unique snowy landscape, enjoy amazing sown events, appreciate the warmth of a campfire or just stroll on a frozen lake.

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Summer job tips for Aalto students

It is very common in Finland to work during your long summer break. Job hunting normally starts in January, sometimes even before that. Like many Aalto students, I have gathered some summer work experience. As a fourth year Industrial Engineering and Management student I would like to share my tips for applying summer jobs and working in Finland as an Aalto student. 

Note: I am not a recruiter, these tips are based on my own experience 😊 

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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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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

What is Excu?

Excu is short for “excursion” and it means a short trip that implies leisure activities. At Aalto University excu is an organized visit to some company or organization by a group of students. Usually guilts and student associations are in touch with the representatives of different companies and organize those visits. The chosen companies of course function in a certain area of business that interests the student group and could become a future workplace for those students.

A couple of weeks ago I participated in one such excus organized by the Real Estate Economics student’s Association – FUNDI. We visited one of the buildings that were developed by HGR Property Partners – Accountor Tower in Keilaniemi district in Espoo. The building is 84 meters high and it is the 9th tallest building in Finland at the moment.

Façade of the Accountor Tower (YIT 2019)

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EntryPoint Mentoring Program for international students

EntryPoint Mentoring Program is organized by the Helsinki Chamber of Commerce once every year. This is a great program for international students or graduates who’d like to stay in Finland to build a career. This program matches mentees and mentors in the same or similar fields.

I joined the program from Jan till late May 2020.  It’s a 5-month journey full of inspiration. I highly recommend international students and new graduates to participate in this program. The new application is open now till Aug 31, 2020. Apply for it quickly.

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