17 February 2020, by Anastasiya Mun and Victoriya Ignatova

Anastasiya Mun and Victoriya Ignatova, students of the Institute of Foreign Languages of PetrSU, spent the spring term of 2019 at the University of Turku as exchange students. Read their stories if you are curious to find out more what the life of international students in Turku is like – scroll down for information in Russian. 🇷🇺

Anastasiya and Victoriya, students of the Institute of Foreign Languages of PetrSU, share their experiences and pieces of advice to students who would like to participate in exchange programs at the University of Turku. Anastasiya and Victoriya studied at the Faculty of Education.

Vappu celebration in Turku. Vappu is celebrated annually on May 1st as International Labour Day and is one of the biggest festivals of the year in Finland alongside Midsummer’s Day and Christmas.

A student can choose courses as the curriculum is individualized. Many academic hours are dedicated to self-directed learning. During this time we have written lots and lots of essays, read a plethora of foreign articles, worked on several projects. Each and every textbook, class schedule, course material is available on the Moodle system which is very convenient. Usually exams were taken remotely. It is not hard to prepare and successfully pass the exams if you have worked diligently throughout the course. By the way, courses last for a month or a month and a half, instead of the whole semester as it is Russia.

The University of Turku, just as PetrSU, has adapters (tutors), who help students to orient in the new place. The new students were met by tutor Sinni who helped them get settled, get transport passes and arrange other daily matters. If you are interested in knowing more about the tutors at the University of Turku, read these blog posts.

Anastasiya and Victoriya overcame their language barrier approximately two weeks into their studies. They made new friends from all corners of the world with whom they still keep in touch.

If you want to learn something new; get an unforgettable experience, broaden your horizons, practice language, immerse in the culture of another country, make new friends from other countries – then a term abroad is exactly what you need!

ANASTASIYA MUN AND VICTORIYA IGNATOVA

We ask Anastasiya and Victoriya to elaborate on their time spent at the University of Turku.

What did you like best about living and studying in Turku?

Turku is a very quiet, safe, nice and cosy town, that has everything you need to offer. People are friendly and open. Students have many benefits, such as discounts on public transport, lunch at the student canteens and tickets to museums. Lectures and practical classes are organized in various ways. We did listen to information prepared by teachers, but moreover performed various activities, shared our experiences, and even had tea parties. A teacher act as a mentor who only guides students. You must be a person of a high self-discipline in order to successfully pass the exam and get the most out of the course.

What we liked the most were the many different student unions for any interest, that organize various events literally every day. In addition, the developed facilities of the university: free Internet connection, a hospital, a library, excercise opportunities (CampusSport), canteens – all done for comfortable learning.

In Russian: Турку очень спокойный, умиротворенный, красивый, уютный город, в котором есть все необходимое для жизни. В повседневном общении люди приветливые и открытые. Для студентов предоставляется много скидок, например, на проезд в общественном транспорте, обеды в студенческой столовой, входные билеты в музеи. 

Лекции и практические занятия организованы в разных форматах. Зачастую, мы не просто слушали информацию, подготовленную преподавателями, а выполняли различные activities, делились опытом и даже организовывали чаепития. Преподаватели выступают в роли наставника, который лишь направляет студентов. Необходимо обладать высокой самодисциплиной при прохождении курса, чтобы успешно сдать экзамен и получить наибольшую пользу для своих знаний. Больше всего понравилось, что существует студенческие союзы по интересам, которые организуют различные мероприятия буквально каждый день. Также, развитая инфраструктура университета: бесплатный и открытый интернет, больница, спорткампус, библиотеки, столовые – все сделано для комфортного обучения.

What was most surprising when arriving in Turku? Did you experience any culture shocks?

There was no strong cultural shock, we quickly managed to adapt. However, the difference between life in Russia and Finland is big. No doubt, the standard of living in Finland is much higher: comfort, cleanliness, beauty everywhere, safety, calm life – it is a pleasure both for the soul and for the eyes. In Russia, there are more opportunities for self-development, more deeds, responsibilities, high pace of life, competition. All these motivates you to move towards new achievements. After the winter holidays spent in Russia, I wanted to come back to Finland. And in May, upon completing a semester, I was looking to return to Russia. Each country has its pros and cons, so it seems to me that it is important to try what is like to live abroad.

In Russian: Сильного культурного шока не было, нам быстро удалось адаптироваться. Конечно, разница проживания в России и Финляндии колоссальная – это как два разных мира. Бесспорно, уровень жизни в Финляндии намного выше: комфорт, чистота, повсюду красота, безопасность, размеренная жизнь – это приятно, для души и для глаз. В России больше возможностей для развития себя как личности, больше задач, дел, обязанностей, высокий темп жизни, конкуренция. Все это мотивирует тебя на новые свершения и достижения. После зимних каникул, проведенных в России, тянуло обратно в Финляндию. А в мае, по завершению обучения, хотелось обратно домой, в Россию. В каждой стране есть свои плюсы и минусы, поэтому нам кажется это очень важно, прочувствовать и испытать на себе, что такое самостоятельная жизнь в новой стране.


What are you missing most from Finland, now that you are back in Russia?

I miss calm life rhythm, mentality, new impressions and Finnish food!

In Russian: По спокойному ритму жизни, менталитету, новым впечатлениям и финской еде!  


Would you recommend the University of Turku to your friends?

Yes! University of Turku is a great choice! And all mentioned above proves this.

In Russian: Да! Университет Турку является прекрасным выбором! Все вышеперечисленное свидетельствует об этом.


You can read more about exchange studies at the University of Turku here. Each faculty offers a range of courses in English and students are often able to combine studies from different faculties. Each exchange student will have a personal tutor, who helps with practical matters and introduces the Finnish way of life and academic culture to their tutees.

Do you have questions about exchange studies at the University of Turku? Contact our incoming team at incoming@utu.fi