When you study at the University of Applied Sciences, you have an opportunity to spend one or two semesters abroad. My first year of bachelor’s studies was coming to its end, when I made a decision to go on exchange in the spring 2013. By May 2012, I was supposed to make up my mind, fill in the application form and write a letter of motivation.
So, I started checking out our partner universities in Europe. Of course, you can go to the United States or Asia as well, but my parents made it clear to me – please, do not go too away from us. I just turned 19 at this time, and their statement seemed to be quite rational.
Our programme makes it obligatory for students to study foreign languages: all the courses are held in English, Finnish is the second language, and the third one you can choose yourself. From the global business perspective German language seemed to be the most helpful one, so I decided to start learning it in September 2011.
Munich University of Applied Sciences
According to this language preference, I could easily narrow down all the options to two: Germany and Austria. By this time a couple of my friends had been on exchange at Munich University of Applied Sciences, and they gave some positive feedback about the studying process, courses, student life and the town itself. I was digging for more information and realized, that this is a truly good choice to go with. So, Munich became my priority choice.
Campus 02 University of Applied Sciences
When you apply for exchange, you can choose from 3 to 4 universities in any part of the world according to your personal preferences. I don’t know why, but the only university located in Germany I was interested in was Munich UAS. I believed that with my high academic scores and a well-written motivational letter I’d be easily accepted. Just to be secure, I also applied for a study place at Fachhochschule Campus 02. And oh my, who could think that things would turn out this way.
In September 2012, I got a letter from the International office that all the available places had been taken by students this semester. Although I had excellent grades and an impressive motivation letter, I couldn’tt make this exchange happen next spring. However, in the same letter there was another piece of news as – Campus 02 is more than willing to accept me…
Final decision to be made
After talking to parents and friends, searching for some additional information about the university and checking out the pictures of Graz, I got a feeling that this was a right thing to do. I wasn’t getting what I thought I wanted, but as a result, I got something bigger and better. Graz is the second-largest city in Austria after Vienna and the capital of the federal state of Styria. What is more, it has a long tradition as a student and international city. And this is how in February 2013 I found my ‘third’ home.
In the next blog entry I will tell more about my semester in Austria. I know that there are students who want to go on exchange to Graz, so this information could be helpful to them. Last September a young lady from Häme University of Applied Sciences found me on the Internet and asked for help. She desperately wanted to go to Austria, and she had no one to tell her how to do that step-by-step. Right now Sofia is on exchange there, and I am so happy that I could help her make this dream come true! Besides that, in May 2016, I went to Graz again and met this girl there for the first time! Isn’t is incredible?!