The Interns (part 2)


For the past couple of months, four interns have been working in different units of the University of Helsinki’s Education Services. For Minna, Lyra, Risto and Emmy (all university students themselves), the internship was not only an opportunity to gain relevant work experience, but it also offered a rare look into the infrastructure of the University’s academic administration and the many services it provides to students, teachers and other staff members. In this two-part series, the interns reveal some of the things they’ve learned along the way, the must-dos in Helsinki for locals and exchange students alike and more. Read on to find out what Risto and Emmy have to say about their internship so far.

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A Smooth Start to My Studies at UH

Happy days in Finland

Happy days in Finland

Last year, when I was preparing and packing for my studies in Helsinki, I received an email from the University saying that I could join the Intensive Finnish language course at the Helsinki Summer School in August. The international Master’s students are a priority for the University since they are going to stay in Helsinki much longer, and it is always helpful to learn some basic communication in a foreign language, so I accepted. What a considerate arrangement!

It was later proved just how fun, productive and useful it was. The Finnish course at the Summer School was really intensive. The teaching methods and learning experience were great, although Finnish is not that easy. But there was a sense of satisfaction when I was later able to read the street signs and make simple conversations with locals while exploring the city.

More importantly, the time spent at the Summer School was a lot of fun and I was also able to make many good friends, with whom I have kept in touch afterwards. August is one of the best seasons in Finland and the activities and organized tours suggested by the Summer School covered so many aspects of the Finnish culture. In addition to traditional Finnish customs, there was also the Baltic Sea trip to Tallinn, sauna and swimming at a summer cottage, a city tour and so on. They were all great.

I have worked, studied and travelled in several different countries, and the Finnish people are one of the friendliest people in the world. The quality of the courses the Summer School offers is very high, just like their high reputation in education in general.

In short, courses at the Summer School in Helsinki will reward you in many ways. It gives you a great warm-up and acts as a safeguard when you are adapting to new environments. You will get to know the Finnish teaching style, become familiar with the city and the university campus, and settle down in a nice apartment. Then when the new term begins, you can focus solely on your studies.

Tong Xin
Master’s student in Public International Law

Getting things Finnished!

There are many reasons why people decide to study the Finnish language. It might be the language of their favourite musicians, the almost mythical status that Finnish holds in the domain of the complicated languages or the fact that they are living\intend to live in Finland – for me, it was a mixture of all those.

At first, the language can impresses by its uniqueness: as you might have heard, Finnish bears little resemblance with other European languages and its grammar and vocabulary surely demand a certain stretch of mind from most people. But don’t let that discourage you; the Finnish language can be like that untouched thick book in your last shelf, that just enchants you when you decide to read the first pages!

Veruscka with some other Intensive Finnish Course Students.

A great step to help you getting started in the enterprise of cracking the Finnish Language can be the Intensive Finnish Course, offered by the Helsinki Summer School. If you are accepted to Master’s degree programme, you can apply to this course. I have taken the course in 2013 and it was an invaluable experience; here’s why:
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The world will come to us in August

Last year, approximately 400 students from over 60 countries took part in the courses organised by the Helsinki Summer School.

HSS Katajanokka-14_isoThis August, the Helsinki Summer School will again provide international students with the opportunity to try out Finnish university studies with its three-week summer courses. University of Helsinki students can also apply.

This year marks the 15th annual Helsinki Summer School. The courses cover several disciplines and are offered by different universities. The participating universities for the second year in a row will be the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and the Hanken School of Economics. Continue reading

Top-level summer course on ecosystem services

The European Campus of Excellence gathers top teachers to Helsinki next summer. The three-week course will admit 25 students.

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The University of Helsinki has been given the responsibility to organise the European Campus of Excellence (ECE) course this summer. The three-week course, Measuring and Valuing Ecosystem Services, uses methods from agricultural and forest sciences as well as social sciences to focus on ecosystem services from a multidisciplinary perspective. Continue reading

An Academic DJ

Vesa Yli-Pelkonen is a biologist and a course coordinator at the Helsinki Summer School. However, he is also known for other merits. Tonight Vesa will switch on his other role as a popular DJ when he will play records at the Farewell Party of the Helsinki Summer School. We made a short interview of this multi-talent:

Tell us about yourself and your profession. What do you at the University of Helsinki?
My name is Vesa Yli-Pelkonen, I am a biologist and environmental scientist specialized in urban ecosystems, working in the Department of Environmental Sciences. I got my PhD in 2007 and currently I am studying ecosystem services, such as the role urban vegetation in mitigating the impacts of air pollutants. Continue reading

Meet the new Helsinki Summer School Ambassadors

One of the most common reasons why students choose to apply for Helsinki Summer School is that they have heard their student colleagues praising its high-quality courses and warm atmosphere. Helsinki Summer School alumnis have always been an extremely valuable source for us when trying to attract the best and most motivated students to the following year’s summer school. Actually Helsinki Summer School students from previous years have been so excited and satisfied with their experience that without even realizing, they have made an enormous effort on marketing for us! Continue reading

Unexpected cultural treats

I came to Helsinki straight after several weeks spent in London and Paris.  While I had certain pictures in my mind of what those experiences might involve I had very little idea what the Helsinki experience might entail, especially when it came to the arts and culture.

What a wonderful adventure it has been.  The first day we arrived it was the Saturday of the Kallio Block Party and this was going on in the very street of our apartment. There were at least three stages and a great range of music from jazz to what seemed like Scandanavian regae mixed withhip hop!  We also enjoyed checking out the street fashions, lots of cool hair cuts and sun glasses. Continue reading

First time in Helsinki

I am Aadhavan from India. I am going to pursue my masters in the university of Helsinki during this autumn. I just came to Helsinki summer school to attend intensive Finnish course to learn some language. This was first trip to a foreign country and i did not have any exposure towards the foreign culture and their activities. Since it is a new country, i was bit afraid how to ask someone if i need some help and i was having many questions in my mind. Moreover a new person cannot move as their wish in a new place and cannot find anything as soon as they expect. Here I would like to share my experiences, which i had in the Helsinki airport, summer school and in Finland. Continue reading

Spicing up your life with Finnish oddities

Last Sunday, about one hundred Helsinki Summer School students found their way to the Kumpula Botanic Garden, to the Finnish Oddities Event.  Weather was gorgeous with sunshine and perfect little breeze of wind to cool us down. I was happy to see that so many students came to the event and seemed to be fully enjoying the “odd” Finnish activities of Humppa dancing, Nordic Walking and Mölkky outdoor games. Also pea soup and Finnish style donuts i.e. munkkis, were according to the comments, tasty. Continue reading