First name and Surname: Elodie Zufferey Host University: University of Jyväskylä, Finland Period of study: autumn semester 2012

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1 First name and Surname: Elodie Zufferey Host University: University of Jyväskylä, Finland Period of study: autumn semester ACADEMIC INFORMATION General information about the host university The University of Jyväskylä is one of the largest and most popular multidisciplinary universities in Finland. It combines top-quality education and research. It offers the students a wide range of sports, cultural events, and activities in a unique Nordic nature and atmosphere. The University counts students and the following seven faculties: Faculty of Education, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Information Technology, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences and the School of Business and Economics. The Bachelor programmes are offered in finish but some of the courses are also taught in English and can be taken by the exchange students. Master s degree programmes are international, as there are entirely taught in English. Furthermore, all study programmes in Jyväskylä are tuition free for both finish and foreign students. Teaching situation In the communication faculty, the Bachelor courses are mostly taught in Finnish. However, some of them are proposed in English, which enables foreign students to study in Jyväskylä. I would say that one of the problems of this teaching situation in the Bachelor programmes is that not all the teachers are native English speakers and some of them do not speak a good English. The level of study at the University of Jyväskylä is lower than the level at USI, because the study structure and methods are really different. In fact, most of the courses only go on for 8-10 classes/meetings, which means about one month and a half. For this reason, most of the courses are taught at a general level and students have to read and study a lot of material by themselves. Furthermore, it is really common that teachers ask students to write assignments and learning diary about the classes. Like in Lugano, students can also be asked to work in groups on a project or assignment. So, I would say that the courses are easier at the University of Jyväskylä compared to the one at USI, but the amount of work beside the courses is bigger. The methods of teaching are really different at the University of Jyväskylä. Indeed, as said above teachers plan a lot of personal work for their students, because they do not have enough time to explain all the theory mentioned. In the courses I followed, different teaching methods were used; theoretical courses and one practical courses using games to understand the theory. During the classes there is a lot of interaction between professors and students, and also 1

2 between students, thanks to the small number of students per classes. In most of the classes I took part, we were around 20 to 30 students. I also took part in an online course, in which I had to read online material and write assignments. Another teaching method used a lot for exchange students is the book exam; students have to read and study books, and then take the exam. There is no real interaction with the teacher. However, teachers are willing to help students and to answer to their questions by . Courses description Title of the course Type of exam ECT Comments Basics of research methodology in social sciences* Information and communication technology for development* Written exam 5 I had already studied most of the theory of the course, so it was not interesting for me. The exam was really easy. The teachers don t speak English very well. Online course graded on the base of assignments, comments on forums and virtual group project (paper) 5 Really interesting course, as it was new for me to participate to an online course, but difficult. A lot of assignments to write. The group project was really hard because I didn t know people I had to work with, as they were in different places of Finland and I had to interact with them by and Skype. Introduction to research methods Reputation, Image and Crisis Book exam and proposal prospectus Group (paper) project 2 The teacher arranged this course exceptionally for me, as it was not in the autumn programme anymore. It was hard to contact the teacher, so difficult to know how to do the prospectus. 5 I loved this class about the reputation of organisations. The group project was really interesting and practical, because we investigated on the image and crisis of Greenpeace. I recommend this course to everyone who is interested in corporate communication. 2

3 Introduction to Management and Leadership* Written exam 6 The course was boring, as the teacher only read the slides without explaining anything. Survival Finnish 1 Exam divided into two parts: written and listening Intercultural Communication Skills Group project (paper) and personal learning diary 2 Only for exchange students. I enjoyed the course, which was really interactive; games, discussions It s nice to know some Finnish words! 4 The course was uncommon, as the entire course was only games. The teacher used games to understand intercultural theories. *It is possible to follow courses from other faculties. Other The library is big and provides a lot of services: bar, access to computers and printers, course books. For all courses, students take the books at the library, which almost provides books for everyone. To use the computers, most of the people I known went to the library. The university of Jyväskylä proposes several cafeterias, in which you can eat for a very low price (2.70 for students). 2. PRACTICAL INFORMATION Information before leaving I have chosen this university because I known some students who had already study there and who gave me a positive feedback of their exchange. I had also chosen Finland to live the Nordic experience and discover a country that I would probably never have visited. I collected the information concerning the University of Jyväskylä through some friends and the university website. After USI has nominated you to study at the University of Jyväskylä as an exchange student, the relevant application form is an online application form that you can find on the website. On the online form you can also applied for an accommodation, which is really easy. The application deadlines are the followings: 15 may for the autumn semester/academic year and 1 November for the spring semester. 3

4 Travel To travel from Switzerland to Jyväskylä I took the plane at the airport of Milan. The airport of Milan proposes lower prices to travel to Finland than Swiss airports. You can choose either to fly to Helsinki and then take the train for four hours to Jyväskylä, or to fly to Tempere (which is nearer Jyväskylä than Helsinki) and then take a train for around 2 hours. If you show a certificate of study you can buy the ticket at half-price (student price). In Finland with the Finnish student card you can travel by train everywhere at half-price. Arrival I arrived in Jyväskylä on Monday 3 rd of September It is advisable not to arrive before the first working day of the month during which you plan to arrive, because if you arrive earlier, you have to stay at a hotel or hostel until you can move in the student apartment (the first working day of the month). When I arrived by train in Jyväskylä my tutor (a student who had already contact me to give me useful information) came to pick me up at the train station at 10pm. Then she took the bus with me, gave me the keys of the apartment and showed it to me. The day after was my first day at the university and an introduction week was organised for exchange students. The reception at the university was really good and well organised. I went to the university with my tutor group, and during the whole week I ate and also went to the conferences with them. The concept of tutor group is really nice because students can already meet other friends during the first day. Furthermore they are helped a lot by their tutor and can ask him/her whatever they want. I was very lucky with my tutor group, as we became very good friends and spend together the whole semester. Housing I found the student apartment applying online (see above: Information before leaving). I lived in a student village named Kortepohja. I really liked living there, as most of my friends lived in the same buildings or really close to my place. Kortepohja is close to the University (15-20 minutes by bike) and not so far away from the city centre (20 minutes by bike). Note that it is really important and useful to buy a bike as soon as you can, because public transports are expensive. Furthermore, everybody goes to school by bike, it s faster! A bad point concerning the apartments in Kortepohja is that they are really small, indeed in most of the apartments there are no tables and students have to eat in their room. So I would advice to ask to be placed in an apartment in Roninmäki, it is also a student village and apartments are bigger (ask for: KOAS). 4

5 Costs My most important expenses in Finland were for travelling. In fact, the food at the university and the rent are less expensive than in Lugano. At the beginning of the semester you will also spend some money (around 60 ) to buy a bike. International relations office The international relations office can help you to resolve every kind of problems. The person responsible for incoming students is Ms Laura Laamanen; Social activities It is really easy to meet other students, thanks ESN that organises many events and parties for exchange students. On facebook there is an ESN group for Erasmus students, where you will see all the organised events: Language The language spoken in Jyväskylä is Suomi (Finnish). I did not have any problems to communicate with people, because everyone speak a pretty good English. To study at the university of Jyväskylä you do not need any language certificate. However, it is recommended to have a proof of good language skills. Other I would definitely recommend this experience because you will meet a lot of people, learn new languages and learn a lot about yourself. However, I would say that if you are looking for a beautiful and big city, Jyväskylä is not the place to go, as it is really small and there is not a lot to do. If you want to know more about Jyväskylä or have some practical questions, I will be happy to answer. You can contact me by Useful links and references: https://www.jyu.fi/en/studywithus 5

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