How to deal with Finnish professors?

Professor-student relationships in Finland are not constrained by formal conventions. THERE IS NO HIERARCHY. Well, formally there is. There are titles as usual: MSc (Master of Science), PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), Professor, Head of the Department, etc. But in reality, people are not respected for having any of these titles. They are respected by students for being intelligent, approachable, friendly or even funny.

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Colour outside the Lines. Change the Game.

“Aalto acts as a simulation of work life. No company should be a silo of different departments, why should universities? The primary reason I applied here was because Aalto blends design and business with tech and science.”

– Angela Hernandez, Pattern Painter & 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.

 

Aalto Experience of the exchange student Sebastian Wolf

Sebastian Wolf is a talented photographer and a versatile artist from Germany. He started his one-year exchange in Aalto since last summer and enjoyed Aalto and Finland a lot. I met Sebastian in the ceramics workshop when we both went there for an introduction session conducted by the workshop master Tomi Pelkonen, who kindly showed us the basic throwing skills. Of course, we tried out on the wheels afterwards. I realized how hard it was and couldn’t make out of anything. Then I turned around and saw that Sebastian had already done his first cup. He’s a total natural.

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Why Finland?

The beautiful bay in Lammassaari. The nature in Helsinki is stunning.

During my presentation about Aalto University and my student life in Finland, one participant asked, “Who do you choose Finland instead of the United States?”

Why Finland among other countries? First of all, Finland is the happiest and the most stable country in 2018. Before that, she has been on the top 10 list constantly. Secondly, Finland has the world-known first-class education. Thirdly, I am curious that how a small country can achieve so much.  

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Final Presentation of Design for Government 2018

Gautam Vishwanath, Joel Wolff and I presented our final proposal ‘Eventful Forest’ for 2018
Design for Government. © Heidi Konttinen

Design for Government (DfG) is an advanced studio course in Creative Sustainability Master Programme. It took two periods from February till May 2018. “DfG develops design addressing the complex challenges of the government and public sector. In the course, we apply empathic approaches to identify stakeholder needs, systems approaches to analyse the wider context of policies, and behavioural insight to identify and design relevant solutions.” (Design for Government course description)

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How to settle down for new Aalto students

Share my experience in Aalto and Finland with new students in Taiwan and others who are
interested in applying for future study. © YANG,LI-FANG

First of all, Congratulations! Welcome to Aalto!

I’ve been participating in webinars and chats to answer questions from new students for several times. I’d like to share my experience and some useful information for new students about how to settle down.

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Experiencing Japan as an exchange student (part 1)

When I started my studies in Aalto University, I knew from the beginning that I would like to spend half a year abroad as an exchange student, and Japan always seemed like an intriguing destination. After a long application period and overcoming several challenges, that dream finally came true at the beginning of this April, when I arrived in Tokyo to study in Tokyo Institute of Technology.

View of Tokyo from Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City

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Vappu -Experience Authentic Finnish Culture

Annual bubble shower for the mermaid statue, Havis Amanda.

Everyone was talking about Vappu even weeks before May Day. There were big numbers in Otaniemi campus, counting down to Vappu. In the beginning, I was really confused about why people were so excited about May 1st, International Labour Day. In my home country Taiwan, it’s the day that labor rights are under examination, sometimes there is a labour protest against the government, not a day for cheerful celebration. Also, university students in Taiwan have nothing to do with Labour Day, simply enjoy a day off without special activities.

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Research and adventures in Nepal (part 2)

This is part 2 of a blog post telling about my participation in the course Sustainable Global Technologies (SGT) Studio at Aalto University. To read the first part, scroll down.

The time in Dhungetar was valuable for all of us. It felt like we spent several weeks there and we became familiar with some of the locals. In the evenings after all the official tasks were done, we had long conversations on cultural differences and life with our fellow students from AITM and during the days we all tried to find some own time to reflect on the experiences we were having.

On Saturday we left Dhungetar and we spent a day travelling through Nuwakot, visiting the famous Nuwakot palace of the king Prithvi Narayan Shah who united Nepal some 250 years ago. We also visited a chaotic marketplace and festival in a town close by and had lunch on the way. In the evening we arrived to Kathmandu and on Sunday we had a day of rest and touristing around in Thamel where our apartment was situated.

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