February Fun and Frolicks!

Text and photos: International Student Ambassador Coordinator Sara Haapanen

You may have noticed that the shops are bursting with cakes right now, and unless you’re on a diet it’s a time to indulge a little. And of course, there is a reason behind it all.

You have probably seen some little golden brown almond towers topped with a blob of raspberry jam and a circle of icing, these are called Runeberg cakes. Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804–1877) is the national poet of Finland, the author of a poem which is now proudly the lyrics of the Finnish national anthem. Legend had it that his wife made him these cakes and they are produced every year as a little celebration. He has his own flag day too, 5th February, so eat cake and give a little toast to Finnish history.

There are more cakes to be sampled too and this time it’s the humble pulla. It is an extra special cardamom bun, laced with strawberry jam or marzipan and a big dollop of whipped cream. Ideally they are to use up all the yummy supplies before the start of lent. The best time to enjoy them is after sledging on Shrove Tuesday, which typically involves a warming portion of comforting pea soup too.

This year shrove Sunday is the 11th February and the official shrove day is Tuesday 13th. Sunday is the popular day for families to enjoy some sledding fun together. For students there is the big fun day on the Tuesday, a large organised event which you can check out at https://www.laskiaisrieha.fi/. Teams get together to build something crazy, it’s worth going to enjoy the atmosphere even if you don’t want to participate.

February also brings ski week, a break from education for school kids and reading week for those of us studying hard for exams and completing final pieces of coursework. Hopefully there will be some snow to enjoy, but it’s a good time to try out some winter sports; ice swimming, ice skating or just simple cross country skiing. Can I personally recommend you try ice swimming, take a long hot sauna, throw a towel over your shoulders and get in the water as quickly as you can. I’ll be honest, in those few submerged seconds you are sure you will die of a heart attack or instant hypothermia, but soon you will feel absolutely amazing and be ready to risk it again. Lake Kuusijärvi  can be reached easily by bus from Helsinki centre. They have the most wonderful traditional smoke sauna to complete the experience: it’s mixed gender so take your swim suit and I recommend something like flip flops to walk to the lake. Your friends back home will think you have gone seriously hard core when you relate the experience.

If you are a little more timid, when it’s actually freezing again buy yourself some of those soap bubbles that children love to blow during the summer. The bubbles freeze almost instantly in the air and create the most beautiful frosted domes in front of your eyes. As much as I really love the buzz of ice swimming, there is just something so simplistic in the beauty of a bubble.

Libraries at the University of Helsinki

Text and Photo: International Student Ambassador Esther Veas

Libraries are the cornerstone of any university student’s degree, especially when writing essays or studying independently. The University of Helsinki has four libraries, one in each campus:

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Autumn

Text: International Student Ambassador Min Wang

Hi everybody! This is the best time to experience the autumn of Helsinki. Trees are getting colorful and appealing now. A little bit raining day may let you down but anyway you deserve to hang out for a while and explore some interesting things to do. Here are some suggestions and hope you like them.

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Exams are here!

Text: International Student Ambassador Iftekhar Chowdhury

The Finnish education system is considered to be the best in the world for many reasons. This praise stems from the main aim of the system: bridge the gap between different pupils by making them more responsible for their own education and provide them with the necessary skills to become an upstanding individual of the society. It is a holistic approach towards education and life. It made Finland became a beacon for better education in the world arena. Finnish University education is a reflection of these principles. One important part in any educational experience are exams or tests or Tentti (“test” in Finnish). Unfortunately, one has to take exams at University level to better align ourselves with the world education system.

Exams are stressful at times (Yes, Even in Finland). Examination process is not uniform around the world and can be extra stressful for people who are not familiar with them. Let me be your guide and I will try to explain it as briefly as I can.

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Beyond Helsinki (vol. 1)

There is a joke or even misconception among Helsinki-dwellers that there is not much to see or do beyond Kehä III, the ring road furthest from the city centre. But there is indeed a lot more to Finland than just Helsinki! Here we have listed three urban centres worth paying a visit to. Finnish nature deserves a whole other blog entry, so let’s just focus on some cities this time! In this instance, they are all around one to two hours away from Helsinki, which is ideal for a day trip if you want to also save some money and not have to pay for accommodation.

  • Tampere

Tampere is sometimes given the nickname “Manchester of Finland” due to its industrial heritage. Have a walk around the so-called Finlayson area, where most of the old, red brick factory buildings are located. If you have a bit of time, go into the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas – admission is free! A museum I have found particularly interesting is the Spy Museum, which is as cool as it sounds: there are lots of gadgets and interesting stories to learn about. And while we’re still on the topic of museums, on May 9th 2017, a Moomin Museum will open in Tampere Hall. It will be the only museum of Moomin art in the world, so it will definitely be worth a visit!

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A roof over your head in Finland!

Come spring all the lucky and talented students who had applied at the University of Helsinki will receive their acceptance letters. Congratulations! We will be so glad to have you here with us. Go on, accept your study place and book your tickets for the incredible journey you are about to begin. But remember to apply for housing well ahead in time so that you may have a roof over your head (place to stay?) when you begin your studies in fall.

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Not Getting Lost in Law in Helsinki

Hey! My name is Alexandra, I am a second-year master degree student at International Business Law programme. I run my own Lostinlaw blog (http://blogs.helsinki.fi/lostinlaw/). Today I am going to tell you how not to get “lost in law” actually in Finland. I base my observations on my common sense, a couple of years of experience of working in legal/related field and my experience of being an international student myself.

First, a couple of general advice. You shall remember that it is impossible to know EVERYTHING about the risks you may possibly meet when renting your first apartment in Finland, signing your first work contract in Finland or opening a bank account. But you should always ask yourself following questions:

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Interested in Becoming a Student Ambassador?

Student ambassadors are student volunteers who love to share their experiences and introduce new students to the community. The ambassadors work in co-operation with the Admissions Services to help convince prospective students why the University of Helsinki is the perfect match for them.

Student Ambassadors

  • Write blog posts
  • Answer questions from potential new students (mainly Facebook and e-mail)
  • Post on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat
  • Represent UH at student fairs and other events (Welcome Fair, Coffee with the ambassadors, Q&A etc.)
  • Make videos about student life
  • Take part in student recruitment photo shoots and interviews when needed
  • Give feedback on marketing material (brochures etc.) when needed
  • Generate new ideas for peer-to-peer marketing

This is an exciting opportunity to be an active participant of the university world and a great way to enhance your university experience! You will also get a diploma for being an ambassador.

We kindly ask you to send your free-form application with

– a short info on who you are and what experience you have especially operating in social media
– what you are studying
– why you want to become a student ambassador

to marjo.eskola@helsinki.fi by November 30, 2016. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us.

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Welcome to the Student Union!

You’ve arrived, all the paperwork is done, and you’ve registered for courses. Now you’re all set for your student life, the only thing to do is to wait for the lectures to start? Think again!

The key to an unforgettable time at the University of Helsinki is being active, joining student organisations, and meeting new people! The student union, HYY, offers you a student card with countless student discounts, affordable health care, and discounts on transport. Most importantly, though, the student union is home to a huge network of student organisations, new hobbies and awesome people from different faculties and countries – everything a student will need in Helsinki!

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Meet our Alumna! “I know that any task, any assignment or presentation is possible to do brilliantly – you just need to do your best.”

Anna Yukhtenko
Name:
Anna Yukhtenko
Study field:
Economics
Campus:
City Center Campus
Employer and position:
Danone Finland, Category and Field analyst trainee at Danone

Hi Anna! How are you?

Hi! Fine, thanks. Going back home from the gym 🙂

How did you end up in Finland and studying in the programme?

After finishing the Bachelor’s degree, I figured I wanted to study abroad. I have been to Finland many times before, and really liked the country. Knew my way around Helsinki etc. One of my Finnish friends at the time was actually studying and the UH. Then I checked the webpage of the University, found the programme that I liked and applied for it!:) I was studying in the best University in Moscow, and when it was time to choose the place to continue studies, I would settle for no less than the best University in Finland. Continue reading