Finadian in Fanshawe

Lets see what these college kids are up to in Canada!

First week with college kids!

In Bomb ass apartment

Now that first week is over, I need to tell you what have happened during the last week. So I came here week ago and it was long weekend here called Labour Day so it means that the following Monday is holiday too.
My flat is on 1130 Farnsborough Crescenat corner of Cheapside St. I share this house with Alex, Ryan(and her girlfriend Bianca), Collin, Andrew, Brad & their entourage. I have biggest room in the house and its in the basement so I have my own space there. I like the house because its just like I was in my twenties doing chef school in Rovaniemi. So I’m living my twenties here again 😀

So I came at last Saturday by bus (Greyhound) from Toronto after spending cool Friday in CNE with Karoline.
Bus takes 2.20h from Toronto and costs like 32$ and the bus station in London is in the centrum so you might take a taxi  if you live near Fanshawe College. My room what I rented from Kijiji.ca is just from 10min walk away from the campus area so Im super happy how close it is.
First thing what blew my head of was the size of the school.

Fanshawe college has
– 15 000 students on campus and about 25 000 are in co-op or something else what does not require you to be in campus.
– Fanshawe has 100 programs

– Campus is built from 18 different buildings so the size is just huge!
– 11 restaurants
– Own pharmacy, fire apartment, bar Out Pack, barbershop.
– 3 gyms and own personal trainers.

Anyway, after 7 days the campus area is quite well understood. At least I know where all my classes are. I took 4 courses here. They are Global Marketing, Consumer Behavior, Trends in Marketing, Ethics, Social. Resp. & Sustainability. They are really nicely implemented to the schedule. So I my first lectures on Monday starts 6pm and ends 8pm, Tuesday is from 4pm to 6pm. Wednesday no classes, Thursday from 2pm to 6pm. Then my weekend starts since Friday is all free for me.  So I have really loose schedule. Its finally nice to study what I really want and have time for it without having anything going on.
We need to buy books for our class and they pay like 80-100$ each. That’s crazy to pay but what you going to do.

First day when I came to school with Heli, who is from Finnish degree program of Business. We both had same problem that we couldn’t see our course schedule. We needed to see Ingrid who works with course selections. She informs us that JAMK has not sent our course selections. So we had do them first thing on the morning. By the midday we had already our course selections enrolled.
Some how this incident did not surprise me at all. JAMK somehow is not the clearest university of applied sciences in a operating level.
Anyway, I got my first lecture in Global Marketing at 4pm at the same day so I can’t care less! J

Lectures seem to be really relaxed and it is built in a way that it involves lot of discussion in the classroom. Then we have quizzes like 10 times and a mid term and exam week. That’s how the semester is build generally here. It seems that its not hard work if you just participate every lecture since everything that is in the exam is discussed in the class.

So now that the first week is done and everything looks little bit clearer its nice to get ready for the second week.

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Things to remember and good to know

Its good to start planning your trip well before the actual statement comes that you have been selected.
Because even it is Canada and it feels like things are almost the same there like they are in Finland. Well I can sure you that it is quite not so.
Here I will list some issues that I noticed and did well in time and not so in time 🙂

First of all, think about how long you will be there. It feels like one semester is a long time but it is actually not. Generally the semester is only 4 months only and to me personally it is too short so that is why I’m applying to extend it. If you want to travel around, I would say come here 1 month before and you’ll see lot of Canada. Just Ontario it self is huge. Its the biggest provence so it has lot of different places to go. Specially if you come here during the summer. At summer there is every weekend something to see, hear, taste you name it. But also if you decide to be here longer than 6 months, you need to get a visa. In this case since you are coming for as a student I recommend to apply the Study Permit from http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp
On that site there is possibility to do this application process by virtually and it is much faster. You need lot of paper documents to attach and all of them need to be in English. So the paper from KELA what states your financial support needs to be translated to English and you are able to get it from KELA and it takes about a week to come your mailbox. Then you need to explain every little detail why you are coming to Canada as a student. It took me about  2 hours to fill it. And last but not least, it costs like everything in Canada. If remember right, it was 125 CAD so 102€. And you need to do this way before your travel because the process time is 8 weeks. When you have go the permission from the Government of Canada that your Study Permit is given to you. Next step is you to get to the airplane and fly over. At the custom you will show this permit that you are granted with the Study Permit and they will give you the Study Permit. I got mine and I can stay here till end of January. If you are going to extend your stay, you need to just apply the same visa and choose the extend my study permit at the website. Altho you need to enter outside of the Canada’s boarder. Good place to do this is in Niagara Falls. You just walk to the USA side and they will guide you what to do. It is really easy and fast. Just bring your papers with you incase they need to see them again. Just like you came to Canada the first time.

Then about the accommodation. You have the possibility to live on the campus area in Fanshawe but it costs like 600$ to 700$ per month and you’ll share the kitchen with 4-5 persons. If you have a guest from lets say from Finland, you need to ask from all your room mates permission and if one sayis that she/he does not want nobody there then you can’t invite your friend. And all the other rules of the Campus are effecting that. Unless of course you want to be there in the Campus have it your way.
Now there is another way to safe money and live little bit differently. What would you say if you can save 300$ per month by living of from the Campus but still have only 5 minutes to walk to school?? Well its possible!
You need to go to the website called http://london.kijiji.ca and there you can click the room rental/room mates. These are big townhouses which someone owns but wants to rent them to College or University students. So you have your own room and you share the rest of the house with your house mates. They can be fully furnished and the rent includes hydro(heating and water), unlimited internet etc etc. Rents are around 300$ to 600$ but the average rent is 400$.
I rented this way room to myself and I’m really happy that I can move just like I want and when I want.
I have fully furnished house and room and it includes hydro and internet and the rent is 400$ per month, no lease or what so ever. Pretty cool huh?! 🙂
My friend Heli is living just 5 min away from my house at the Campus and she pays 700$, I guess I’m buying the beers then, right!

Local phone contract is hard to get here because you need to be Canadian citizen to be able get one so but if you know someone already from Canada, she/he can put it under his/her contract as a second number.

Also when you withdraw money from ATM’s its good to remember that it is better if you withdraw large mounts in one shot because every time you withdraw with your foreign credit card there is a fee of 1,50$ so get more, pay less 🙂

Okey, well there is at least something what came to my mind for ya rookies!! haha….I’m just kidding, go and explore the world kids!

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Where did all this started..

What up people?
Hope you are doing good there in Finland or where ever you are reading this.

I’m going to quickly write down the process how I applied to Fanshawe College and what have been the pros and cons of it.
So I knew that the applying process begins to outside of Europe at beginning of January. Well I was on that time here in Toronto, Canada and I was going to come back to Finland at the middle end part of that month. So I did my application from Canada to Canada…haha funny ey!?
I was nervous because I wanted this placement really bad and I knew that there is only one spot from my degree. Well happily all my class mates knew that I’m going to Canada so they did not even try to take my place. So thank you all from MFA10S1 🙂

I thought this is easy thing that I just apply and everything runs smoothly. Actually the case were little bit different that I thought.
It is lot of paper work and misunderstanding, cheers and doubts. Thats at least the taste that I had after the whole process.
The first issue was that it took really long to hear anything from our international coordinators that have they send them and what now. Because the out side of the Europe were first and then was the application for the European placements, nobody knew that the international staff of JAMK will wait till the European application part is over and then they start to look them up and send them forward. Let me clear that the placement for the European application process took also a full month. So by the time all about 200 students were sent their applications then the real process started and by this point I was already waited for month to hear how is my application going.
Finally at the end of February we I got news that yes my application is been processed by JAMK. Not Fanshawe 🙂

I waited and waited and by the beginning of March I got papers from Fanshawe that I have been selected to a exchange to their school!!!!
Boy was I happy and it felt so surreal. 🙂 Well when that happened, then the real work started. My plans were that I’ll go to Canada already at end of May and I’ll be there full summer first with my partner Karoline who lives in Toronto and yes she is full Canadian. I had to hustle because my plans were that I might not come back in 2 years or more so I had to pack everything and sell lot of stuff and of course finnish my semester in Finland. So that was extremely busy time but in the end was good reward waiting so it really kept me going.
On the other hand for my surprise was that I did not expect that I have to pay any fee’s to Fanshawe College because I thought JAMK deals those issues because this exchange is mandatory for my degree program so I really thought that JAMK pays it. But no, I had to pay it and it was quite big figure, 420 Canadian Dollar so its 345€ and that does not include the visa that I had to pay because Im in Canada longer than 6 months or the plain tickets or the insurance.
So to me it was bit of a step back to find all that money but I’m happy that my family helped me with these issues.
I do understand that plain tickets are my own to pay but the fee, that is something JAMK’s should be paying because not all partner schools of JAMK take these kinda fees.

One thing what bothered me was the lack of information given by both of schools. I had to dig every stone to find out the answers to my questions. Also the point where the International Coordinator Sini Nousiainen has a summer holiday and she is replaced by a person who has not done this for a while since she had her maternity leave. So she unfortunately mix little bit the package. And also the opening hours of the office were interestingly open that some days you were not able to reach anybody.

Then we were putted in Fanshawe to this public mailing list so we got all kinda false information and it mixed us all up! 🙂

So during the application process, be aware that there is twists and turns happening all the time. Be positive and believe that you are getting in.
I do appreciate  all the staff who worked with among all of those papers and applications. Its was not easy for you too I think but it is just that this is something lot of students are waiting for so the excitement takes over and then you guy get like 10000 emails about the same subject 🙂

From my behave its all good now, I’m starting my studies next week and couldn’t be more happier and excited.

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