Page 1

1 Get to know Finland Working it out p.18 • Returning p.14 Vocabulary p.20 • Adjusting p.21

MEET OUR SECTIONS p.4–17 Discover what sixteen local ESN sections offer

Pirates, all aboard! p.12 Join a truly international adventure across the sea

Autumn 2013


Editor: Jenny Sandström Sub-Editor: Veronika Kiseleva Publisher: ESN Finland Writers: Anu Leppänen • Arjun Kamath Arshad Haroon • Bianca Beyer • Clarisse Jay Heidi Haltia • Heini Jyräkoski Henna Peltoniemi • Heta Toivonen Jenny Sandström • Johanna Vekara Juho-Heikki Ollikainen • Mari Haapaniemi Mari Tuokko • Milla Aho-Mantila Monica Sanchez Torres • Rosanne Seppänen Veronika Kiseleva • Ville Waarna

Lapland p.4

Photos: An Nguyen • Anastasija Samsonova Anna Solé Gil • Arjun Kamath Arshad Haroon • Ben Li • Heidi Haltia Heini Jyräkoski • Ilya Kharlamov Jenn Matthews • Jenny Sandström Jonny Smeds • Jose M Sanchez (kinepixel) Jussi Mäkelä • Mari Haapaniemi Matilda Vähäkangas • Miika Tiainen Mikko T. Peura • Teemu Kyllönen Cover Photo: Teemu Kyllönen Design: Ben Li

Vaasa p.4

Printers: SP-Paino Oy, Nurmijärvi Contact ESN Finland Board: Facebook: ESN Finland Twitter: @ESNFinland Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in parts without the written permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible for the views and opinions expressed in this magazine by contributors. The publisher is neither responsible for nor endorses the content of published advertisements, nor can the magazine be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies in the same. © Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

Pirates of the Baltic Sea p.12

Oulu p.11

Joensuu p.9

Kuopio p.16 Jyväskylä p.5 Tampere: Lappeenranta p.7 FINT p.17 INTO p.17


Uni Turku p.10 Åbo Akademi p.9 IAC Turku p.9


Returning p.14 Working p.18 Vocabulary p.20 Adjusting p.21


Aalto p.15 HELGA p.17 HYY p.8 Metropolia p.10

Welcome to Finland I always

struggle when someone asks me to define what it is to be typically Finnish. There are so many views depending on who you are, and how you approach the issue. In this magazine we see the views of the different sections in the ESN Finland network and their approach to Finland and internationality. Finland might be in the upper corner of Europe, but as you can see, even the smaller towns are starting to get international (you yourself are living proof of that). Still, there are some things that remain very traditional. Some of them (like how to behave in the sauna or how to wear a student overall) we try to explain to you here. Others, you’ll find out for yourself during your stay. Going abroad teaches you a lot about the host country, about your own country and about yourself. As a little bonus you also get to know about other countries and cultures entirely, and about the very special culture you get when you mix a whole lot of cultures together. These are valuable experiences that will be useful whatever you decide to do later in life. Perhaps you will decide that once was enough and you want to stay in your home country for the rest of your life. Then you will have a better understanding of yourself and what it feels like to move to another country.


You will also have a lot of friends all around the world, which can be useful for travelling on a budget. Or maybe you’ll like it here so much that you’ll want to come back. Then you should read about Bianca, María, Regina and Asaf who are all studying and/ or working here (p. 15, 18–20). The ESN sections all over Finland are here to help Photo: Jonny Smeds you get the most out of your stay. The ESN boards collectively have decades of experience helping out and hanging out with exchange students and other internationals. Enjoy what we and Finland have to offer, I hope you’ll like it here! Jenny Sandström Editor-in-chief

President’s Welcome Dear international students, It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Finland on behalf of our ESN family. I’m certain you will have the time of your life while doing your international studies here and when the time comes, you will return back home with a backpack full of memories, skills, talents and most importantly friends from everywhere in the world. My advice for you is:

Take time to share your culture and learn from others (also in school!) Take time to see the beautiful places Finland has to offer! Take time to feel the Finnish student culture at its best! Our 16 local sections are here to help you to share-see-feel. There will be Eurodinners, visits to sport games and companies, sitsit-parties, trips in and out of Finland, and so on. Remember to contact your local section to find out all the opportunities there are for you and if there’s something missing, sections always welcome new ideas! Hopefully we’ll meet during our Pirates of the Baltic Sea national cruise to Stockholm, Sweden on 31st October– 2nd November! (p 12). Until then, remember to SHARE-SEE-FEEL! PALLOMERI, Henna Peltoniemi ESN Finland president


Ice Fishing in Lapland ESN Lapland Can’t miss: International dinners, cottage weekends and nature trips like ice fishing Contact:

About 50 international students enjoyed sun shine and ice fishing experience at the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi.


of Lapland is a very popular exchange destination. Lapland attracts students interested in the nature and winter sports possibilities, and we in the ESN Lapland board consider this when planning events for our exchange students. We also co-operate with other associations to create bigger and more varied events. One of the most popular events last spring was an Ice Fishing event, which we organized on the 17th of March together with Rovaniemen Luonto ry. The event was open for everyone but ESN especially invited

exchange students to try out this traditional winter activity in Finland. Unfortunately we didn’t have any luck catching fish but the weather was nice and sunny, and spirits were high. The event also attracted the attention of the local newspapers, and the exchange students were photographed and interviewed for the Lapin Kansa newspaper. We will continue arranging this kind of outdoor events in the future. Text: Anu Leppänen and Milla Aho-Mantila Photo: Jenn Matthews

ESN VYY Vaasa goes to Tallinn


the sunny Finnish spring weather in March, 89 international students from Vaasa travelled to beautiful Tallinn, Estonia. We first travelled with two busses from Vaasa to Helsinki. On the bus, group leaders sang sitsit songs with the students, had a quiz about Tallinn, and shared facts about the city, such as what to do and where to go. After arriving in Helsinki we took VikingXPRS to Tallinn and spent the night on the boat. During the second day all students had an early buffet breakfast in the Kochi Aidad restaurant after which we shopped in SuperAlko. The whole day until 4 p.m. there was time to visit Tallinn, go shopping, eat in restaurants and see the sights. All our exchange students enjoyed themselves a lot and this was the most successful event of ESN VYY Vaasa during spring 2013. We received great feedback and suggestions for the next Tallinn trip, which will take place during fall 2013. The trip was organized through travel agency Matkapojat and since it was such a success we will be going back this fall on 19–20 September. Stay tuned! Text: Johanna Vekara • Photo: Matilda Vähäkangas

ESN VYY Vaasa Can’t Miss: Tallinn trip, International dinners, ESN Archipelago trip (new!) To do in Vaasa: Vaasa is a student city with six universities/universities of applied sciences, watch how other students live and have the best time of your life! Contact: or

HOT&COLD offered by ESN Jyväskylä One

of the most popular events of ESN Jyväskylä is the Ultimate Sauna Xperience at the beginning of each semester. The Ultimate Sauna Xperience is aimed at new incoming exchange and international degree students and is organized in the beautiful surroundings of Jyväskylä, by the lake Päijänne. A trip to a sauna at a lake is the most Finnish experience you can have, according to David from Austria.

Whoever thought that frozen lakes and saunas shouldn’t be combined, might be in the wrong country. As stereotypical as it may sound: There is nothing more Finnish than a sauna visit with a short bath in ice-cold water (except maybe adding a glass of Kossu). You have the heat, you have the cold, and most of all, nothing welds people together better than seeing each other half naked – and half crying when they bathe in a frozen lake!

The event includes other activities besides sauna and swimming. In the fall semester the traditional activities are Finnish outdoor games and in the spring semester ice-fishing and walking with snowshoes. This event is the most popular one of ESN Jyväskylä, because it’s unique and the students get to know Finnish culture right from the beginning of their stay abroad. Stephen from Ireland thought it was very memorable.

The idea of the Ultimate Sauna Xperience is that students get to experience a real good Finnish sauna and swim in a (frozen) lake, enjoy the food, get to know some traditional Finnish activities and enjoy the breath-taking landscape.


The Ultimate Sauna Xperience was a brilliant way to be introduced to Finnish culture. Swimming in the frozen lake is a sensation that I’ll never forget. The event was also a great way to make new friends.

Text: Heini Jyräkoski and Mari Tuokko Photo: Heini Jyräkoski

ESN Jyväskylä Can’t miss: Stammish theme parties, Café Lingua get-togethers and the Ultimate Sauna Xperience. To do in Jyväskylä: Get to know the ESNers and the Finns you study with and you’ll be fine! Everything else comes afterwards. Contact: or Facebook: ESN Jyväskylä

6 JOIN US. Master of science in


Master of science in

Mechanical Engineering


Chemical and Process Engineering (econ. & Bus. admin.) (tech.)

Energy Technology Technomathematics and Technical Physics Information Technology Global Management of Innovation and Technology (GMit)

Strategy Innovation and Sustainability (Msis) Strategic Finance (Msf) International Marketing Management (MiMM) supply Management (MsM)

We at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) invite you to join our high-standard, cross-cultural education and research community. Our task at LUT is to equip our students with strong tools for working in demanding tasks in their future professions. We offer ten international Master’s programmes, which are taught in English. These programmes include a total of 17 major subjects in technology and business.

The NexT applIcaTION perIOd IS 2 december 2013 – 27 February 2014


Skinnarila, ESN

Lappeenranta, hailing from Lappeenranta University of Technology in Southern Karelia, and founded in 2011, is one of the youngest ESN sections in Finland. As a growing section, which provides services for 400–500 international students in one of the most active student environments in Finland, ESN Lappeenranta has a goldmine of potential to offer events and social experiences. ESN Lappeenranta is devoted to sharing the Finnish way of life and Finnish student culture by organizing events and trips, as well as enriching student culture in Lappeenranta by embracing the many cultures of our foreign students. For example ESN Lappeenranta organizes traditional academic student dinner Sitz-parties, which entail lots of singing, food and above all, good company. We also organize a trip to Lapland each winter, visit St. Petersburg in the Autumn, and take part in the ESN Finland National Event, Pirates of the Baltic Sea. Locally, ESN Lappeenranta offers a second-hand bicycle buying and re-selling service. ESN Lappeenranta’s goal is to be present in all major student events hosted on campus, as well as take part in organizing, and to ensure everybody has a chance to enjoy Lappeenranta at its best. Text: Juho-Heikki Ollikainen and Clarisse Jay Photo: Miika Tiainen

ESN Lappeenranta Can’t miss: Trips to Lapland, St. Petersburg. Enjoy a traditional meat pie with a Lappeenranta twist, a “Vety”. To do in Lappeenranta: Enjoy the warmth by visiting the harbour and the restaurant boats. Catch up on local history at the old Fortress. Swim in Lake Saimaa, and take part in Lappeenranta’s many winter activities, and maybe even the best student life in Finland! Contact: or Facebook: ESN Lappeenranta and Barry Beaver


in schools is a nationwide project for all Erasmus students interested in visiting local schools during their stay in Finland. Sign up and read more at:


Reaching for the sky with ESN-HYY Helsinki


April 2013, Juli, an exchange student from Ukraine, is about to try wall climbing for the first time. She and a group of daredevil ESN HYY students are on their way to the climbing centre in Salmisaari, the biggest wall climbing centre in Finland that also has one of the highest climbing walls in the whole world. Luckily for us, the centre also has a variety of beginner-friendly walls on offer. We have an experienced teacher to guide us during our excursion. After a while we are climbing the rainbow-colored walls like spiders and in the end everyone in our group manages to reach the ceiling. “Climbing wasn’t as difficult as I had thought”, says Juli. “It was one of the coolest things I’ve tried out. Climbing will definitely become a new hobby of mine”, she continues. The rest of our group agrees: climbing was both exciting and fun, and we all got to know a lot of new people at the same time. If you want to try out wall climbing in Helsinki, you can attend a wall climbing course at UniSport Kumpula. Text and photo: Heidi Haltia

ESN-HYY Helsinki Can’t miss: Sitsit, Kayaking and Fazer chocolate factory excursions. To do in Helsinki: Have a picnic at Esplanadi or Suomenlinna, swim in the sea (summer or winter) and go to a Sitsit. Contact: and


Flying flags



the 29th of April, two days before Vappu, the Flying Flags event took place, one of the most popular events organized by ESN ISYY Joensuu.. The event was one of the last before students started leaving for their home countries. The international students as well as onlookers and other international people gathered in front of the Carelia building, in the University Campus, to see almost a hundred balloons flying in the sky of Joensuu. Every balloon had a flag attached, representing the nationality of all the students registered for this event. In all, 46 nationalities were represented and you could see the flags rising high over Joensuu. The flags carried various written messages but most of them shared one main topic: peace and respect. This event brought together many different nationalities and made the multicultural atmosphere of Joensuu visible to anyone who happened to pass by. Members of ESN ISYY Joensuu had homemade muffins and sima on sale during and after the event. On Vappu the festivities continued with a huge student picnic in Ilosaari, which is the tradition of students in Joensuu. Text: Monica Sanchez Torres • Photo: Ilya Kharlamov

ESN ISYY Joensuu Can’t miss: Flying Flags, Vappu Picnic. To do in Joensuu: Ilosaarirock Festival, Carelian food. Contact: Email: or

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Turku Sections

• Ciabatta • Panini

• Fresh salads

• Freshly ground coffee • Stuffed Baguettes Two locations to serve you!

ESN IAC: Turku University of Applied Sciences Can’t miss: Lapland trips, Survival weekend Contact: or

Gran Delicato Kalevankatu

ESN Åbo Akademi: Åbo Akademi University Can’t miss: Finlandssvensk Sitz Party, trips Contact:

Gran Delicato Galleria Esplanad

Kalevankatu 34, 00180 Helsinki Mon–Fri 08-20 • Sat 10-18 tel 09 694 0403 • Pohjoisesplanadi 29, 00100 Helsinki Mon–Fri 10-20 • Sat 10-18 tel 09 851 1323 •


Dinner racing in Turku Running

ESN Uni Turku Can’t miss: Running Dinner, karaoke nights, trips. To do in Turku: To learn the history of Turku, visit Turku Castle, and Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum of history and Contemporary art. Also in Luostarinmaki, the Handicrafts Museum offers a good way to see how people used to live in Turku in the past. But the ultimate way to live like the people in Turku is to enjoy the atmosphere near the Aura river, especially during the spring and summer time.   Contact: or

In the woods of Nuuksio


Dinner is all about eating and experiencing Finnish food. In this event, exchange students gather in teams of four and have a chance to visit three different Finnish students’ homes. In the first home, the group members eat a starter, in the second home they have the main course and in the third home they will get to eat the dessert. This means that all of the exchange student groups will stay in each Finnish home for only one hour before going to another one. Running Dinner is one of the oldest and most popular ESN Uni Turku events. One of the things that makes this event so popular is that it’s not only for the exchange students, it’s also for Finnish students who want to get to know local exchange students. One running dinner veteran was happy with how everything went.

Everything went well! This was my third time as a cook and I got to serve the main course. I was a bit late with the food, but the exchange students were late too, so it really didn’t matter.

The joy of the Running Dinner is in the cooperation and in creating nice experiences and memories between Finnish students and the local exchange students.

Text and Photo: Mari Haapaniemi


Metropolia organizes several events during each semester. Some examples are the welcome events (during the orientation week) where you learn a bit more about your host city and get an introduction to Finnish culture, and of course, a Welcome Party! During the semester we plan some trips to Northern Lapland, Russia and the Baltic countries. We also organize one day excursions, evening socials and other fun events for the international students. The last excursion during the spring semester of 2013 was a visit to the National Park of Nuuksio, in Espoo, with around 35 students participating. For the event, ESN Metropolia organized the bus transport to the

national park, barbecue food with different options (considering the different diets, vegans, allergies …) and guided tours around different routes inside the park. The visit started with a small walk to the barbecue spot next to Mustalampi, where you could enjoy a swim in the water (if you wanted). Here we also started the cooking and food and drinks were served to the students. After everyone had enjoyed their meal and had a nice rest to digest the food, students had some free time to enjoy the park by themselves or join the organized guided tours in the park. Text: Tomas Sandberg Photos: Laura Soto



Mökki Weekend in Oulu

for the ultimate Finnish experience? Finns are well-known for their back-tothe-roots attitude, and luckily Finland offers thousands of hectars of untouched nature. In ESN OYY Oulu’s “MökkiWeekend” (Cottage-Weekend), 40 exchange students forget about modern technical dead weight like the internet, phone reception – or running water. For three days the only thing that counts is being together in cozy wooden cottages near a lake, enjoying nature and going to the sauna. Bonfires, hiking, rowing, ice-hole swimming, Kyykkä (this typical Finnish game where you throw a longer stick against some shorter sticks) all included. Some might be scared to leave all modern standards behind, but the experience is really worth it. “It was even more fun than I expected, and I was already looking forward to it a lot”, Sophie from France admits. And did you know that traditionally, Finnish cottages don’t even have electricity? You heat up everything with wood, the water comes from a well, you can shower in the sauna with a bucket and a little help from your friends. There are around 500,000 cottages in Finland’s nature – it’s almost a must to stay in one!

Text: Bianca Beyer • Photo: Teemu Kyllönen

ESN OYY Oulu Can’t miss: Mokki Weekend, Theme-SitSit, Hot B**ch Party, Pulla baking, Valentine’s Day Event, Sledding Contest, Café Lingua To do in Oulu: Evening by the docks, Hailuoto and Nallikari, northern lights, mayo-pizza, Tietomaa, Megazone, Hevimesta, The University of Oulu Botanical Gardens, Air Guitar AND Ice Hole Swimming World Championships, Jalometalli Metal Music Festival, Qstock Rock Festival, Music Video Festival, The Irish festival of Oulu, Maracon, Potnapekka Contact: or

ESN Metropolia Can’t miss: Welcome Events (Helsinki City Race, Finnish Culture Night, Welcome Party), Baltic countries trip, excursions (ski, Nuuksio National Park, nearby cities). To do in Helsinki: The fortress island Suomenlinna, Karaoke singing, City of Porvoo, Nuuksio National Park, Crosscountry sky. Contact: or


12 12 A pirate’s life for

Twice a year, in October and March, busloads of students arrive in Helsinki. Everyone speaks different languages, but you can see that they belong to the same group because they are all dressed as pirates and wearing student overalls. This is the start of the adventure that is the Pirates of the Baltic Sea.


The Pirates of the Baltic Sea cruise is the event of the year for ESN Finland. The first Pirate ship sailed in the fall of 2011 and since then it’s been growing, taking more and more students on to conquer Sweden every year. Organising the event requires a huge effort by a small group of ESN actives who get support from the local sections all around Finland. It takes a lot of coordination and it is an ongoing project, since the planning for the next cruise starts while the previous one is still going on. The adventure starts in different ESN cities, where preparations for the cruise include dressing up as pirates and taking the bus to Helsinki together with the ESN pirate captains. In Helsinki, all the students meet up and board the ship together. The boarding always takes a while since there are more than a thousand students participating.

Speed dating, salsa and karaoke The program onboard starts with an opening show, including welcoming words, performances by students and cheering for the cruise with sparkling wine. There are also pirate t-shirts for sale. After the show, the stage becomes a dance floor, where you can learn the basics of salsa dancing. In one of the conference rooms, people have just finished speed dating. One of the speed daters was Martin from Czech Republic. He thought it was fun, but went a little fast. He would have liked some more time to talk.

“ “

I met some interesting girls that I will try to find later on the dance floor. The best question someone asked me was what I would take with me to a desert island, he tells us. For me, the answer would be my camera.

Paolo from Italy talked mostly about his studies. I just tell them I study architecture. That gets me lots of points. The ladies were lining up for me.

” ”

At the buffet there’s a huge crowd waiting to get in. The food is included in the ticket for the first night of the cruise, and the pirates of the last serving have been waiting for a while to plunder the tables full of fish dishes, salads, meat, cheeses, sushi, tacos and desserts. When the doors open there is some confusion when groups of friends spread out reserving tables and getting food, but after a while


CONTINUES ON PAGE 22 Text: Jenny Sandström Photos: Jose M Sanchez (kinepixel) and Jenny Sandström



Returning to the place to be



Photo: Mikko T. Peura

Photo: Matilda Vähäkangas

to this mystical country up North, where it’s day for half a year and night for the other half, where Santa Claus lives and cross-country ski are a normal means of transportation. There must be something about Finland – when you ask around where the international Master students come from, and why they are here, you will get most likely the answer “It all started with an exchange semester…” The same applies to me: I came here for exchange, to Vaasa, not really knowing what to expect. Sure, you know that Finland exists, but you don’t really hear about them in the media, except during the ice hockey season. To most people, it is the exotic

place of the North. Falling in love with the beautiful country, pure white nature in the winter, and so much greener than in my hometown in the summer, it was totally out of question that I would not come back. I moved even further North, up to Oulu, and I don’t regret it. Although the culture doesn’t seem to be that different from my own, Finns are calm and peaceful and friendly, and it feels like a relaxing holiday every day. Enjoy your stay in Finland, and probably see you soon again! ;) Bianca Beyer is from Germany and is a Master student in Financial and Management Accounting in Oulu. She likes horses and cotton candy.

See Vaasa, Page 4

Students ready for the sauna. No cameras allowed inside!

Socialising in the sauna


are warm-hearted people, but the country is cold! Really cold!!! The locals counter this ingeniously by crowding inside a closed room in their birth suits, sprinkling water over sweltering hot stones and sweating away their miseries, beer in hand of course. Welcome to the sauna! Finland’s greatest contribution to the world after Nokia and Angry Birds. Going to a sauna in winter is a Finn’s favorite way to relax. ESN Aalto organizes a monthly sauna event for our exchange students so that they can experience this fine Finnish custom. It’s more than just a get-together, it’s the ideal place to socialize and make friends among Finns and other exchange students. Though wary at first, most become regular sauna visitors and keep coming for more. Some of the more adventurous roll in the snow after the sauna or even go swimming into the ice-cold lake. Other just use it as an excuse to meet friends and chat idly. Text and photo: Arjun Kamath

15 BACHELOR AND MASTER DEGREES IN AN INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT Career-focused studies with strong business links, applying theory to projects for partner companies. Study in Finland’s leading University of Applied Sciences. Attractive location in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

ESN Aalto Can’t miss: Visit to Fazer chocolate factory, Trips to attractions (Museums, Finnish Parliament etc.), Laser tag. To do in Helsinki: Key places to find the locals are Kaivopuisto (especially on Vappu day on May 1st), Kauppatori (Market square), saunas in winter and seaside in summer. Wear your overalls, cover it with tens of badges, wear your Teekkari cap if you have one, visit the sauna often and dive into the hole in the icy water after sauna. Congratulations, now you’re a local! Contact: or

YOUR DOOR TO EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES Business | Information Technology | Journalism | Sports Hotel and Restaurant Management | Management Assistant Education Tourism | Financial and Business Management | Professional Sales | eMBA Vocational Teacher Education


S Harlem Shake Sha kee Finnish Cup


Harlem Shake party was organised in February 2013 in Kuopio. It was the first event of its kind in our history that included two other sections from other cities invited to our party! The idea for the event was born in the previous semester when board members of ESN KISA wanted to do an ambitious event where the beloved Erasmus students of Kuopio would be accompanied by Erasmus students from at least one or more cities in Finland to enjoy our awesome night club party. KISA ended up co-operating with ESN sections from Joensuu and Jyväskylä to bring their students to Kuopio. The students were very enthusiastic about the party and tickets were soon sold out in all three cities! On the day of the party KISA welcomed the visitors giving maps and information to the arrivals and soon directed the guests to

ESN KISA Onnela night club where there was an exclusive pre‑party only for Kuopio, Jyväskylä and Joensuu ESNers. The night climaxed in the Harlem Shake Finnish Cup dance competition which went to Jyväskylä. The mood of the party was relaxed and people seemed to love the party. Students from different cities started mingling with each other and were later even joined by several Finnish people(!). The event was a huge success with the visitors, leaving a positive image of Kuopio and the organisers were happy to have a unique event that has never been done

Can’t miss: International Food Festival, Halloween costume party, Lake Kallavesi Cruise. To do in Kuopio: Meet weird and interesting people your favorite bar. Contact: or before. There are plans to have another party with visitors from other cities for autum 2013, stay tuned! Text: Ville Waarna and Arshad Haroon Photo: Arshad Haroon


Whereideas, ideas,growth growthand andtalent talent Where Where ideas, growth and talent meetfor forestablishing establishing meet meet for establishing growthcompanies companiesininHelsinki. Helsinki. growth growth companies in Helsinki. Scanususfor forknowing knowingmore more Scan Scan us for knowing more aboutour ouropen openpositions: positions: about about our open positions:

Super Sundays


you want to get more acquainted with Finnish culture such as sauna, Finnish cuisine or Finnish winter sports? Every other Sunday ESN HELGA takes a closer look on some part of the Finnish culture. The idea is to bring together exchange students and local ESN members and do something cheap, informal and non-alcoholic together. Super Sunday is a good way to get more out of living in Helsinki. Kevin from the Netherlands says they are “some of the most enjoyable moments in Finland!” In previous years we have visited places like the Ice Park in Rautatientori and Light Carnival in Linnanmäki as well as spent a day watching Finnish movies. We also give you a chance to try some Finnish recipes twice every semester when Super Sunday goes for Finnish Cuisine Night. Super Sundays are organized by the local members here in Helsinki and we have already planned plenty of great events for upcoming semesters. You can get more info about the Super Sunday program via our Facebook page or from the members of ESN HELGA! Text: Rosanne Seppänen and Heta Toivonen Photo: An Nguyen


One more round A A great great selection selection of of furniture, furniture, dishes, sports equipment, dishes, sports equipment, books, books, clothes, records etc. clothes, records etc.

Helsinki Helsinki Metropolitan Metropolitan Area Area Reuse Reuse Centre Centre Helsinki Helsinki Hietalahti Hietalahti shop shop Lönnrotinkatu Lönnrotinkatu 45 45

Espoo Espoo Matinkylä Matinkylä shop shop Matinpurontie Matinpurontie 33 & & 88

Kyläsaari Kyläsaari shop shop Kyläsaarenkatu Kyläsaarenkatu 88

Vantaa Vantaa Koivukylä Koivukylä shop shop Hosantie 2 Hosantie 2

Shops Shops open open Mon-Fri Mon-Fri 9–20, 9–20, Sat Sat 9–15 9–15 ESN HELGA Can’t miss: Finnish Cuisine Night, Lapland trip and Baltic trip. To do in Helsinki: Meet the locals at street festivals around the city or events organized by other students. Contact: or

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Tampere Sections ESN INTO Tampere: Tampere University of Technology Can’t miss: Xchange party, Laser Tag, Cottage weekend Contact: or ESN FINT: University of Tampere Can’t miss: Xchange party, Tampere Challenge, Cottage weekend Contact: or

Order Order aa free free pick-up pick-up for your items, for your items, tel. tel. 050 050 501 501 4858 4858

18 Working 18

in Finland

as well. My main advantage was my former experience in laboratory work at my home university, and the head of the research group happened to be a pleasant person, who made it easy to find a common language. Luckily, our visions were similar and I was hired for the job.


of the international students coming to Finland would like to stay for work or find something that can be combined with their studies, but it might be hard to know where to start looking. Asaf from Israel wanted a job, because he came to Finland on exchange without any funding at all. He applied for jobs in different areas including dish-washing and snow shoveling, but then got a part time job in his own field as an assistant researcher at the wood development laboratory at the University of Helsinki.

I sent an email to the head of the research group. The group’s research topics were very interesting for me, and the methods of research were familiar

The lab is multinational and multicultural. Asaf recommends looking for a job in multicultural places if you have no or limited Finnish skills.

“ “

It is very interesting to work and learn from so many different people.

The job includes lab work, but also greenhouse tasks, when taking care of the plants. I plant and monitor the further growth of Arabidopsis thaliana plants, modify the genes we are interested in and examine the next generation’s phenotype. The best part of the job is when it’s freezing cold outside, as it can be during the Finnish winter, but I am in the greenhouse sleeveless and enjoying a semi-tropical weather, seriously thinking about which tropical island will be my next destination.

It’s important to use your connections.

María from Spain is doing a four month internship at the Finnish Forestry Research Institute METLA in Läyliäinen. She got the place with the help of her professor at the University of Helsinki, who also works at METLA. The Finnish Forestry Research Institute is very well-known among forestry students. I simply asked the professor and he gave me the contact information of the person responsible for the internships there. The only thing I had to do was to send an e-mail, but I believe that my supervisor cooperated with the institute regarding my placement before I sent the inquiry.

María’s internship is unpaid, but the accommodation is free. She is living in a house with other trainees and workers. The internship is easy to combine with her studies.

I like the place, where I am working and the work environment itself. The primary tasks include measurement of fluorescence from pine and spruce trees, and aspen phenology monitoring. I can work on my thesis at the office, when there are not too many things to do outside.

19 attributes especially in multicultural companies. Liana Technologies Ltd is exporting its services to Russia so it was in need of promotion and PR activities for its Russian market.

Regina has diverse skills for marketing.

When I first came to the company, honestly, I had little idea of how things are really done. It was quite a challenging period for me at the beginning, when I had to build certain skills and learn so much. I am still learning, because it is a process.

Marketing means multitasking.

Maria enjoys working with nature.

Regina from Russia found a permanent position by first doing an internship for Liana Technologies Ltd in Oulu. An internship was an obligatory part of her studies and she sent out around 150 applications for internship placements in Turku and Helsinki and ten to Oulu.

Internships are extremely important for future employment. That is why it is better to spend more time on searching for something relevant rather than just doing something for the sake of getting a degree. It took a lot of time and effort in my case, but I got an internship and after five months of my internship period the company offered me a permanent position. I was very happy to receive a permanent job offer.

Strong English skills, as well as knowledge of other languages, are important

I work with newsletter campaigns, website content and publications, PR, translations and research. I also work in cooperation with our Russian sales team assisting them and getting assistance. My employer is the fastest growing technological company in Oulu with organic growth of approximately 60%. Under its Finnish brand Koodiviidakko it received a national award, Yrittäjäpalkinto, from the president Sauli Niinistö in 2012.

Regina says it’s important to remain positive and not give up, even if finding a job can sometimes be challenging.

I did not expect that it would take me over a hundred applications to get something. “Spamming, spamming, and spamming again” is the right motto here, and whatever the results are remain positive! I believe that staying positive is even more important than everything you can put on your CV, especially when you’re young and don’t have a lot of serious experience.

Text: Veronika Kiseleva Photos: Jussi Mäkelä, Anastasija Samsonova and Anna Solé Gil

JOB SEARCH TIPS 1. Set clear targets and goals. Define your desired positions and expectations. 2. Be proactive! Direct contact with potential employers is important. Only a few job openings are posted online. Take initiative, and get in touch with the HR department of the company you would like to work for. Networking is a useful tool here too. 3. Define your strengths and skills. The employer wants to know what you can do, and why you should be chosen. 4. Do not forget to do some preparations before your interview. 5. Remember, everything depends on you only and motivation is the key!


Student vocabulary

Student overalls

Overalls are a big part of Finnish student life and are worn on all sorts of occasions, including Vappu. The overalls are in different colours and the colour of your overall represents what you are studying. Students decorate their overalls with patches that are bought or handed out by student organizations and at events. Some students take great pride in their sewing skills and the thought of using a sewing machine, glue or having your mother do the sewing for you is unthinkable! No two overalls look the same and there are a lot of traditions associated with the overalls. One of the most important ones is that it’s forbidden to wash it (but swimming while wearing your overall is ok). This and the lower number of patches, makes it pretty easy to tell the first year students (or fuksi) from the rest. Some of the ESN sections in Finland are selling overalls. Ask your local section, or your subject organization for more information. Overalls are often sold at the beginning of the year, but the waiting time might be some months so remember to ask about the delivery time if you are only staying for one semester!


Sitsit or Sits party are a special kind of student party organized in Finland and Sweden. It’s a three course dinner party with drinking, singing and cheering. There are a lot of traditions associated with the sitsit in different universities and student organizations. The most important thing is to behave and listen to the sitsit host who is also the song leader. Follow the lead of more experienced sitsit-goers. The dress code ranges from formal to quite casual, and is usually specified in the invitation. Sometimes the sitsit are theme parties where you dress according to the theme. It can be a good idea to eat something before the sitsit, since the focus is usually more on singing and drinking than eating. Having the time to finish your food before it gets cold, is said to be a sign of a bad sitsit.

Sauna etiquette

Sauna is a big part of the Finnish culture. Everyone has one. Our former president Urho Kekkonen had a weekly sauna with his closest advisors, and a lot of the big decisions affecting

our country were taken in the presidential sauna. In the cities there might be apartments without saunas, but there’s usually a common sauna in the basement of the house. The sauna is a really relaxing place, and supposedly cures just about any illness. It’s also a great way to make friends since spending some time naked with people usually brings you closer together. That said, you don’t have to be naked in the sauna, usually it’s OK to wear a bathing suit or a towel. And remember that even if you are naked in the sauna with someone it doesn’t usually mean anything sexual. Sauna is just the Finnish way of hanging out. Remember to drink water (as well) so you don’t get dehydrated, and don’t stay in too long if you are a sauna beginner. If there’s a lake or sea nearby, nothing is more refreshing than a swim after the sauna. In the winter, you could also try rolling in the snow.


Every city and university has its own traditions for vappu, but one thing is certain; it’s the biggest student event of the year. Vappu is celebrated on May Day (evening April 30th and the whole day on May 1st), but in some cases (at technical universities) Vappu starts at least one week in advance, and it’s not unusual to have events associated with vappu throughout the year called pikkuvappu (little vappu). Vappu is hard to explain and just has to be experienced. This is what to do: dress in your overalls, get some funny sunglasses and sparkling wine and you are good to go!


Laskiainen is the Finnish celebrations on Shrove Tuesday in February. It’s tradition to go sledging and students usually gather somewhere to organize sledging competitions that can get very creative. Or what do you think about going down the hill in a sledge that is also a working sauna? Remember to try laskiaispulla (a pastry which is eaten on this day). There’s an on-going debate among the Finns on how you are supposed to eat this pastry (some dip it in warm milk) and whether to fill it with jam or marzipan. Text: Jenny Sandström . Photos: Arjun Kamath, Teemu Kyllönen, Ben Li .


See OULU, page 11

Vappu parade in Oulu.

How to adjust to Finland Here

See AALTO, page 14

you are now, safe and secure in your exchange environment. Everything is taken care of, you get your courses and your credits, found a place to stay, and ESN will enrich your social life. But don’t make the mistake and just stick to your exchange group, try to adjust to some Finnish oddities! Approach a Finn: Finns are naturally very shy people. If you roam around in large groups only, you might never get to see one in their natural environment. Be brave and explore something all by yourself! Join a club (there are a lot for any kind of interest at Finnish universities), or a sports course, or engage in the “Kummi” (Godparents) program. Talk to a Finn: They probably won’t start talking to you first, but if you ask for help, and you are friendly, no one will let you down. Humble Finns might think they don’t know English well enough to have a conversation with you, but surprisingly (mostly for themselves) their standard is way above the average. No matter if you talk to a shop assistant or ask someone on the street for the way, they will try everything to help you. If not in English, then with hands and feet. ;-) Get a bike: Any kind of outdoor activity is actually good to meet Finns. Whether it is biking, or hiking, or cross-country skiing, playing Kyykkä in the hardest weather conditions, going fishing/ ice hole fishing – in Finland you will get attached to nature more than ever before probably. And that’s where you’ll also find the Finnish population. Get them when they are tipsy: Finns may not be talkative, but when they go out, they might even tell you their whole life story without being asked. And the friendships that start over a beer are mostly the best ones, right? Good luck! Text: Bianca Beyer


Pirates, from page 13

A boatload of international talent. everyone finds a place to sit and they can start eating their dinner. The mood is on top and a couple of tables are arranging a sitsit (a kind of Finnish student party in dinner form), singing drinking songs and saying cheers in all sorts of languages when raising their wine glasses to drink. At the club on the upper deck, there’s a karaoke night and a costume competition, and when the winner has been announced the music starts and people rush to the dance floor. The night goes on at the club and in the Atlantis bar where there’s a midnight show dance performance. When the club closes, people stumble into their beds for a couple of well earned hours of sleep before arriving in Stockholm.

Stockholm – pirates go Ikea

Martin be speed datin’.

In the morning the ship arrives in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. There’s a lot to do in the city, and it might be good to do some planning in advance. The old town (Gamla Stan) is popular, as well as the main shopping street Drottninggatan. But there’s also the trendier Södermalm where you can go to a café and watch all the hipsters and the stay-at-home dads having coffee, or you can visit the biggest Ikea in the world just outside the city. If you want, you can make the visit a competition with your friends (the prize could be a bottle of rum). Here’s how you play: 1 point for each pair of white Converse shoes you see 2 points for every dad with a baby 5 points for people standing in a queue waiting for the bus 10 points for eating meatballs -5 points if you see anyone crossing the street with the red light on The second night on the boat, the cruise continues with new editions of salsa, karaoke and speed dating. And on this second night there’s no need to save your strength for sight-seeing! In the morning the ship arrives in Helsinki and students are packed into the buses. On the way back home the only sound you hear is people snoring loudly.

The ESN Finland national Pirates of the Baltic Sea cruise sends more than a thousand international students on a two day cruise to Stockholm twice a year. Onboard there are pirate activities, a tax-free shop, restaurants, bars and a club. The next pirate cruise is this fall (31.10–2.11)! Check for more information.





Visa-free trips 4 nights

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