Student reports serve as an important source of information for potential outgoing exchange students in regards to the various exchange programs available to GSOM students. An individual’s study abroad experience is as unique as the exchange programs provided by GSOM. As every report will be available for viewing at the GSOM website, these contributions will aid in the decision-making process for future outgoing exchange students. The topics below are meant as an aid only. Students are encouraged to use their imagination, while remaining as specific and detailed as possible.
The use of pictures, articles from different sources or any other materials that would contribute to the report would be of great use to these reports. Please send your reports and any other supporting materials to GSOM International Office by e-mail [email protected] pu. ru FOR REGISTRATION: Skvorcova Ekaterina Your host university: Aalto University School of Business Your study program at GSOM: Master in Corporate Finance Your level and year (for ex. : bachelor, 3rd yr. ): 2nd year Master The semester and year that you studied abroad: Fall 2012.
BEFORE DEPARTURE WHAT DO YOU WISH THAT YOU HAD KNOWN BEFORE LEAVING FOR YOUR HOST SCHOOL? INVITATION/VISAS Firstly I received a letter from my host university, it offered me to fill an application form with approximate choice of courses. Then I was offered to book an accommodation and only after it Aalto University sent me an invitation for visa. It was worth asking them to scan it, because by post it took 3 months. The cost of visa is 250€, it’s called a permission for living, it was done in 3 weeks.
For this permission one needs valid passport, 4 photos, insurance and an invitation from Aalto University. AFTER ARRIVAL INTERNATIONAL SERVICES Helsinki Assosiation of Business students is known for its reliability. They’re called ‘buddies’. They organize plenty of programs for incoming students – picking-up service, parties, travels and so one. I really liked Walrush Day, Sport Days and some parties orgabized by KYY Assosiation. INTERNATIONAL INTRO WEEK? Unfortunately my permission for living was giving to me from 8th of September, but an Orientation Day was held the day before.
I heard, that Orientation program took a few days or one weekend, where all incoming students had possibility to know the University, city center and each other. CULTURE SHOCK My host University were really helpful, every professor or coordinator were eager to help with every problem. As for culture shock, it was not so severe, because our nordic cultures are similar somehow. CAMPUS FACILITIES Comparable with GSOM facilities, the building is not so pretty, but all the services are the same – Wi-Fi access, computer access, library. It was not necessary to bring your own computer.
COURSES Every semester consists from 2 parts – for example, fall semester, the 1st part – from 10th of September till 22th of October, the 2nd part – till 15th of December. Before the beginning of each part a student have some time to choose courses, definitely, it’s worth not wasting your time and register for them in the very first day of registration. Needles to say, one should read carefully the description of the courses and priority of students, I was rejected to registration of two courses, because one of them was only for CEMS and another for finnish students as priority audience.
Finally I passed 4 courses: New Product Development, Behavioral Finance and Decision Making, Management and Strategy Making, and Spanish Business Communication. In general the workload is not heavier comparable with GSOM, but it depends on the courses and teacher’s methods. TEACHING The style of teaching is not dramatically different from GSOM one, the material is covered sometimes more deeply, speed is lower. Quality of teaching is perfect, class participation is obligatory. Style of teaching is mixed with seminars, lectures, a lot of group projects. EXAMS
I’ve taken 3 common exams and 1 book exam. If you have less time, it’s better to pass a book one, moreover you have 3 chances to pass them. CORPORATE CONTACT AND INTERNSHIPS Was there a strong corporate presence at your host university? Were you able to use the host schools career services and were there any internship opportunities? LANGUAGE COURSES If your exchange period is less than half a year it’s not worth studying Finnish, because it’s quite complicated.
But Aalto University offers a lot of other opportunities for you with foreign languages such as Spanish, German, French mostly with native speakers in a very interactive mode. HOUSING FACILITIES One of the first steps in filling the documents was choosing my accommodation. Aalto is a partner with HOAS which offers different kinds of accommodation for incoming students, you can choose whatever you want.
I’ve chosen a room in 5 km from University, almost in the Center (5 min by train), it costs 390€ per month. COSTS/EXPENSES • accommodation – 390€ per month • textbooks – everything you can find in a library • local transportation (buses, trains) – 22€ per month.
• food/groceries (is this more or less RUR than in St. Petersburg? ) 200€ per month • entertainment – very expensive BANKING If your stay in Helsinki is less than 2 years it’s not worth to open up a bank account, because in this case it would be not free, you can easily use your Russian bank account, everywhere you can pay using it. Finnish people use cash very rarely, so it’s not worth taking a lot of cash, just for the case when something is wrong with your bank account. STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES There is a health care insurance for all students who buy a student card, I’ve never used it.
It costs 50€. SOCIAL EVENTS I’ve noticed that mostly exchangers associate mostly with domestic students rather than with others. It’s good to join KYY Association, they offer a lot of entertainment. SPORTS/RECREATION Unisport (gym + group trainings) is the best way to keep fit here, it’s not so expensive for students (42€ per 3 months) STUDY TOURS/FIELD TRIPS Excursions are not mandatory, their duration depends on the place. It’s good to know that everything is twice more expensive. WHAT TO BRING Laptop, camera, sleeping bag (for trips).
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS The school is really worth visiting with all of their facilities, exchange students are crazy that’s why your stay will be unforgettable, but as for me Finland is not so friendly. REPORT CARD On a scale from 1- 5 (with 5 being best, 3 being acceptable) rate your host university on: 3 Academic value of your stay: 4 The experience in general: 4 Are you willing to give us permission to list your e-mail address at the end of this report so that students can contact you if they have questions? [email protected] ru.