It is no doubt that the summer holiday is fast approaching. For some students in the School of Engineering, theirs have started already because some of them have already finished their yearly exams and project works, while others will be starting theirs at the end of this month-May, 2013. Summer Holiday is one of the major holidays that students, most of the time, are always looking forward to each year. It is the longest holiday for students and also a period that students can do some other activities of their interest. Below are some of the activities that students like to engage in during summer.
Summer Jobs/Internships: This period of summer is a very good time for students to do some part-time or full-time jobs or Internships. Although finding some of these jobs or placements can be sometimes quite challenging but for some who have been able to find some jobs or internships, were able to achieve that as a result of how persistent they were in searching for such opportunities. Another good idea for finding this kind of jobs or placements was by asking some of their friends, loved ones or classmates who have already found one to recommend them to their boss. This could also be a very helpful guide for those who have not be able to find any summer jobs/Internship yet
Summer Courses: For some students, summer holiday is a very good opportunity for them to take some extra courses of their choices. It could also be some certification courses, tutorials on some special courses of interest. During normal school periods, doing most of these extra courses can be very demanding, if not impossible, and that is why most students prefer to take these extra courses during summer. Another reason why students take this kind of summer courses is if they are not able to find any summer job or internships. So they will prefer to still keep themselves productively busy by taking some these extra courses.
Extra Activities: Some students would like to take full advantage of these summer holiday by going to driving school to learn how to drive. Other would prefer to travel to their home country to spend quality time with their families and loved ones or travel other countries to visit their friends as well. In all, the above listed summer activities are not limited to all the activities that students can embark on during summer. These are just some of the most common activities that students can do during summer holidays. During summer holidays,students are usually at liberty to embark on whatever productive activities that are of personal interest to them.
Studying at Oulu University of Applied Sciences is a 22-year old student who hails from Vietnam. He arrived Finland on the 27th of August 2012 and was very excited because it was his first time of travelling abroad for studies. His first experience reminded me of exactly how I felt when I arrived Finland the first time. What an exciting moment!
Sharing more about his study experience, he was quite happy to say this and I quote: “I haven’t had any difficult since I came to Oulu, while my friends were having allergic to the weather, home-sick, bed bugs…One factor is that I was too lucky compare to the others. One other is that I got the information from friends when they faced problems so it helps me to get pass the problem smoothly.”
Talking about the weather in Finland, especially in Oulu, Dang Chau said he likes the cold weather but for the dark weather here , he feels much uncomfortable with it. Also, he was quite happy when he told me that he had his first snow experience here in Oulu and that because there was no snow from where he was coming from, he felt quite excited to touch snow for the first time in Oulu.
Talking about his general opinion about Finnish people, this is what he has to say: “The Finnish people are very nice and friendly, and they tend to help people. Actually, I really have not many opportunities to work or contact usually with Finnish but throughout my school and events of city I have general opinions about them. I think that Finnish are very friendly and jolly, some of them always keep smile in their mouths even give a handshake when I say hello with them.”
Speaking about his fun experience and what he does at his leisure, he confirmed that he likes to play games and chat with his friends but does not go out for parties. For Dang Chau’s general opinion about his school, this was what he has to say: “Yes, the school is so beautiful and the facilities are very high tech. Most of the technology in school and lectures are up to date and that’s very great thing in Oulu University of Applied Sciences. I agreed with most of the teachers about their teaching method. They did a very professional job, providing many materials, new technologies, appropriate skill for the assignment, and so on… Just only some of the teachers are likely to be outdated, but most of the cases, everything is good and I’m satisfied with that.”
This week was a very busy one indeed as there were so many events that happened during the same week especially yesterday (30th of April 2013). At the streets of the city of Oulu were people celebrating with their friends especially the students who were colorfully dressed in their various overalls (which also represents their various departments in school). The interesting thing is these events that happened yesterday were just the eve of the main event which is the May Day (May 1st). It is one of the biggest (if not the biggest)student events here in Finland and that day is usually observed as a national holiday also.
Vappu, as it is commonly called is the 1st of May each year, which is the day that workers and students are mostly celebrated in Finland. According to one of the articles published in OSAKO’S blog, it clearly explains the idea behind this memorable event and it is quoted thus: “On Vappu we celebrate the workers and students. For many it also means the beginning of summer season; some visit their summer cottage for the first time after the winter and some throw their first barbeque party. You will be seeing balloons and paper streamers, kids (and maybe grown-ups, too) dressed in funny costumes, parades, live music, and probably some political speeches. People will be having picnics in the parks wearing their student caps, eating doughnuts and drinking sima. But as are located 65 degrees north, a wise Vappu-person prepares a plan B in case of rain and sleet.”
In conclusion, a day (April 30th) before the May Day (May 1st) is usually more memorable than the actual day as many student parties are usually organized on this day. This provides a very good opportunity for students to spend some nice moments with their friends and their loved ones as well. Below is one of the Vappu pictures I extracted from one of my friend’s Facebook pictures. What an interesting event!
Coming to Oulu University of Applied Sciences as a degree student, is a 19-year-old Doan Thi Cam Nhung, who hails from a beautiful country called Vietnam. She and her friend arrived Finland on the 19th of August 2012 and were received here in Oulu by one of their Vietnamese friend-Phong. According to her, the weather was quite cold when she arrived because the temperature in her country is quite warm when compared to what she experienced on arrival.
Sharing about her first experience here in Oulu, she said and I quote: “When I first came to Oulu, the first days I ate only instant noodles I brought from Vietnam. The prize range in the market was so high compare to Vietnam and I didn’t know which brand was which and which one is good or bad,so I chose to not buying anything. Things were so different and strange on the first days. However, things started to change after I went to school. I met new friends, new people from other countries, I started to get used to the prize and the currency and things started to get back on track. You just need to open yourself up to new things and you’ll get used to it and surprise at the result.”
Knowing quite well that the weather in Oulu can very cold sometimes, I wanted to know how she feels about the cold weather and she said that she likes it when it is not so cold that temperatures from -5 to 15degrees suits her most. Nhung also likes it when it snows here in Oulu but for the dark weather in Oulu, here was what she said: “The dark is nice when I have time to sleep, otherwise it’s horrible. It makes the day feel tired, I’m sleepy all the time and every hour without light feels like I have to spend extra hours after school to have more school.”
Having fun here in Oulu was not a bad option for Nhung as she and her friends usually go to the riverside during autumn where they had nice time enjoying some ice cream, having some chats and playing as well. During winter, she enjoys cooking, doing some school stuffs and having dinner with her friends. At her spare times, she likes testing some new recipes when cooking and preparing some Vietnamese food as well.
Trying to find out what Nhung thinks about Finnish people since she came to Oulu, this is her opinion about them: “In my opinion, Finns are quite shy. They barely start the conversation with you (of course, there are still exceptions), but once you pass the barrier, you can talk for hours with them without even notice about time. They are really nice people and they are willing to help when you need help. I am not sure about all the Finns, but for what I’ve experience or at least in my own view, they are great people.”
Finally, when I asked about how she feels about Oulu University of Applied Science and the teaching method, she said she likes the teaching environment especially the nice PCs in the lab, the good library with useful books and also the friendly teachers as well. She concluded with these few words: “I still haven’t got used to the teaching method here. The main method here is that you have to spend time studying on your own and if you can’t understand something you can ask the teacher. Self study is highly evaluated. It is an excellent method, but when I was in Vietnam, everything was “served”. I just need to learn things by heart so I need time to get along with this self study method.”
Roxan Damaschin is an exchange student who hails from the Republic of Moldova but is currently studying in Timisoara, Romania. The 22-year Roxana came to Oulu University of Applied as an exchange student in September, 2012. According to her, when she arrived Oulu Airport, she was warmly received by her student tutor (which the school has arranged for her before she arrives) who gave her a free SIM card for calls and also took her to her student dormitory where she will be staying throughout her exchange period here in Oulu UAS.
Although, during her first week on Oulu, she felt a little bit feverish because of the new environment but she was cool after some days, according to her. As time went on, she visited the Oulu city and had the opportunity of making new friends as well. According to Roxana, she said and I quote: “I think the most beautiful experience which I had here, in Oulu, was Finnish Survival Course. We had a very good teacher. We learn words in Finnish language through different games. I thank Mrs. LeiberInkeri for her big heart. My first word that I learned in the first day was ‘kiitos’ that means ‘thank you’. At the end of the course, our teacher organized a trip to the island Hailuoto. It was the first time for me to go on an island.”
Roxana has experienced real winter with wonderful aurora borealis/Northern lights since came to Oulu and also had the privilege of learning a lot about Circumpolar World making via an online lesson called ‘Introduction to the Circumpolar World‘ from Canada. For the dark weather here in Oulu, here was Roxana’s words: “It was very strange the first few days for me when I woke up at 7 and had to go through the darkness to the university. In the weekend I could sleep until the light came out. :D” She also likes snow and had her first Skiing experience here in Oulu. Roxana has actually had lot of fun since she came here. She has visited other cities like Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Oulu, Kemi, Ranua, Ruka and Rovaniemi, here in Finland. She also had the opportunity of visiting Stockholm and Riga. What a nice exchange experience for her!
Trying to know Roxana’s opinion about Finnish people? Here is what she has to say about Finnish people: “Finnish people are very peaceful and always with open hands to help if you have problems or questions. I was surprised that even older people know English. Once I wandered through town and asked an old woman how to find my way and she explained me very easily in English.” During her spare times here in Oulu, she took some hip-hop classes and she extends her appreciation to her dance teacher-Manu Uimi, for his method of teaching and good humor.
In conclusion, she gave her final opinion about Oulu UAS (where she had exchange studies) and she said the university gave her good impressions and offered her all possibilities to enhance her desire to learn. She sends her thank-you message to Bastian Fähnrich (International Coordinator in School of Engineering, Oulu UAS) for the good support given her during her exchange period. She likes the school’s teaching environments and felt very free to learn at her own pace, without any pressure. She concluded with these words below:
“Teachers are very responsive and know their profession. Courses are carried with the projector to allow everyone to see the content. Also we have all the materials available on the website of teachers. Laboratory classes are in computer classrooms. Every student has a username and password to login. All students have received free server space where we could put all our projects. Something special for me is that there are so many presentations. Each project or homework must include a power point presentation which is presented to all colleagues and teachers. I want to thank all the teachers who taught me new things here in Oulu: Väisänen Veijo Toivo, Holappa Terhi, Haverinen Lasse, Leiber Inkeri, Tapan Timo Heikkinen, Kari Laitinen Seppo, Korhonen Veijo Sakar, Alaluukas Kari Pekka, Heikkilä Pertti Tapi, Pia Eriksson, Teemu Juhani Korpela.”