Student's Diary

Blog of International Students of JAMK

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Wake me up when it´s all over …………….. end of Erasmus

One year  seems to be sooooooooo long, but in fact: It´s not. Now it´s over and I still don´t know where the time is. It passed by so fast. End of the exams, end of studies, end of Erasmus. Sounds sad? Well, in fact it is a bit sad but there is also the good site: I will see my friends at home soon. And there are so many positive memories. But from the beginning:

I still remember how excited I was to come to Finland, I received the letter of confirmation, booked the flight and got a message from my tutor. Wow, it´s going to start soon, that´s been my first thought. And then the 22nd of August was there and my adventure started. And in fact this is what Erasmus stands for: A big adventure. The first week was the orientation week, you met all the new people around you and got a first feeling for your new life.  The most exciting part during the first week? I don´t know I would say everything.

Also an exciting experience: Getting roommates. During my studies in Germany I had my own flat, so I was absolutely not used to live together with others and so I was really excited: who will they be, HOW will they be??? Am I able to live with them???? Yes, I was, although there were some arguments and periods of total silence, but we managed somehow. The course election was exciting as well. I chose some courses in advance but I took some others as well because they just sounded interesting. If you have the choice choose whatever course you like because it´s definetly worth it.

Then there was the period of travelling. And here we were, Lapland. The best experience ever. Snow, artic ocean, the pure Finland. In my opinion a must have on the schedule. And even without the northern lights soooooooo amazing. Sledging on Europes longest sledging slope, skiing, building snowmen, sauna and after a jump into the snow. Extremly short days and Santa Claus. A perfect Finnish mixture.

The courses at JAMK: They are definitely different. The lecturers are kind, they are interested in the student´s opinion and they are not far far away but always there to help the students. Their “revenge”: Assignments and group works. I´m happy I don´t have to hear those words not any more for a long period. It´s hard to coordinate 6 group works and ten assignments and to find always a solution. But some Finns told me as well as the exchange students that if it´s too much they don´t like it. So don´t worry if you have a feeling of ……….. whatever, it´s normal and it´s getting over.

And then there´s the first goodbye. It´s christmas, people are going home and are not coming back. It´s weird to go home and know that some people are not coming back and that you have to start with new friends. But some people came back, to study the second semester or to visit their friends and that´s really the best thing ever. And where will you spend your leisure time? There are enough lakes. So you will spend your days in, on or around the lakes, having picnics and lots of fun. If you dare you swim in the lake, no matter if it´s August or March. And if the lake is frozen try ice skating. And no worries: -27 degrees is not that hard as it sounds to be ;-)

And then there is Vappu and the May starts and people are leaving again and this time I have to leave as well. That´s a really weird feeling. And having snow in May is weird. In the end of April we had 20 degrees, sun shine and such a great weather and only one week later it snowed and we had -3 degrees again. It´s good when you have to prepare the last exams and assignments and you can stay at home.

Did I mention the parties? No? Ok let me say few words about parties: Party them and have fun. YOLO!!! No matter if go to the M-Building party with all the great themes, if you go to the IC after hour, if you go to Bra or Escape, if you enjoy the overall Parties or the spring break, the Pool Party or the numerous private birthday parties: Every one will find a fiting party. And if you have an overall: Buy patches and go to Parties to show people how hard you party.

Where to travel? I´ve been to Helsinki (and I guess everybody will do), Tampere (especially because they have an IKEA), Nokia (I don´t have to tell you why) and of course Lapland. But also Stockholm was really interesting and totally different from Helsinki. There are organized trips to Lapland, Stockholm and Russia, you can organize trips on your own to discover the country you are living in.

That´s been my last post, I definitely had the time of my life and will always remember that, so come here to experience it.



You can leave your hat on ………………. or how to party Vappu

The most important date in the student´s calendar is the 30th of April. Why? Because they celebrate theirselves and have a great day. Students wear their overall and have a good time. Finnish students here in Jyväskylä already start a week before Vappu to party. They go into different bars and clubs and have a good time. They maybe even forget about their tasks for a moment.

ESN and JAMKO are organizing some events around Vappu and exchange students can feel it too. But what exactly is Vappu? In its origin students and workers used this day to fight for their values. Nowadays its a students fest where they sit together in the Kirkkopuisto and drink. And they are waiting until 18 o´clock until Minna Canth gets her Ylippilaslakki. Her WHAT?????? Her own student´s hat. It´s a white hat similar to the sailor´s hat and it shows that the student graduated from a Finnish high school. There they get the hat so it is quite hard to find one to buy. When you go to the stores in the city centre and ask the cashier their answer is: No we don´t have it and I don´t know where you can buy it.

But with a bit of good luck I found one. Where? In a second hand store from the red cross. And then you have one but how to behave? Just wear it? This feels a bit stupid because almost nobody wears it before 6. I was explained that they wait until 6 o´clock when the statue of Minna Canth gets hers and then everybody wears it. And indeed, at 6 o´clock you just see white hats in the park and so it didn´t felt stupid to wear the hat. But what to do before?

Students go to the Harju to meet and sit together, eat and drink something and go together to the Kirkkopuisto to celebrate Vappu. And then you easily can say who are the Finnish students and who are the exchange students. After 6 they start a programme, there are some speeches and people stand or sit together and talk and drink together.

during the day there are sales booths where you can buy food, funny stuff, clothes and bags. And at the Kompaasi there is somebody standing selling baloons. And not just kids have the baloons but the students as well.

But of course it is not everything about drinking the entire day. There is a city race and you can see students during the day following some tasks and running through the city to fulfill them. The winning team is honored after the race and is the one putting the hat on Minna Canths head. People are also coming from other cities to party together.

In front of the bars and clubs there are huge lines and people wait to enter them. Some wait for 2 hhours and more. So you pass a lot of people when going through the city and moving from one place to another. And even around 4 in the morning the city is full of students going their way. I never saw so many people in the city centre during my stay here than I saw on Vappu. It´s really a good feeling being part of it.

The first of may is something special, too. On the Harju you have a picknick and students are coming together. That´s the more trditional part of the Vappu. Finnish families usually sit together this day and eat together. So do Finnish students, too and spend the day together. And even the weather can be surprising these days. So we had snow on the 1st of may. Really a shocking fact when you´re not used to it ;-).

But in the end I can say this was really a wonderful day and something special, even though it reminded me on my last day in high school but I like to say: I´m coming back to party Vappu ;-)  Hauskaa Vappua!!!!!


So read you in the next post

Having Dinner with the mayor

Last wednesday I had a dinner with the mayor of Jyväskylä. Ok not only me but around 100 international students got the chance to meet local companies in the city hall and having a dinner with them after to get in contact with them. But as we met in the city hall of course the mayor was there as well and introduced us the city, showed us pictures and told us that he is so proud that Finland won the icehockey match this evening in the Olympic Games. This was absolutely a good mood to spend some time in the city hall. You can find this building in the city centerand actually cannot miss it. The city hall was recently renovated and looks really great. You feel the spirit of early days and the modern elements as well. We sat in the room where all decisions are made and where usually important people meet to talk about the future of Jyväskylä. Being there really felt special and was good as well. In front of the room I met the other students and could talk to them. Mainly they represented the international students of the University of Jyväskylä. But I also met people I knew from JAMK. After the mayor and the heads of JAMK and the Univerity of Jyväskylä welcomed us former students told us something about their work in local companies. There were former international students talking about what they are doing now.

After the presentations of former students we got some life music by a local singer and a piano player. Soooooooooooooooooo great, I really liked it soooooooooo much. This is amazing, you´re sitting in the city hall and then you got live music and a singer, what can be better??? Well, of course, the dinner with the mayor. After the programme ended we went downstairs, could see the entire city hall and be astonished by the great architecture of the city hall.

In the big cellar we were eating and had the choice what to eat. For the entry we had salad, and as the main dish you could choose between salmon, which is typical for Finland, and curry chicken. Additionally they served bread and baguette. As I really don´t like fish I chose the curry chicken with rice and took some bread. Additionally they offered wine for us, red wine and white wine. I took white wine and really enjoyed it. And then the mayor walked around and talked to the students. And he was asked to take some pictures and he did. Every body was asking for pictures and he had fun to spend some time with us. And that was something really great.

After the “meet and greet” they served coffee and tea and my favorite ………………………. cake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With cream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! really really great. I took a cup of coffee and a plate with cake and cream and was sooooo happy. And we sat together and talking and having fun together. I really can say: Thank you Jyväskylä for this unique opportunity and the inventation.

What I got from this evening? New friends, a great dinner and a really unique opportunity to get to know more then I had expected. The international office was sending the invitations for the evening: The annual international get together. And honestly, they should do it every semester to offer every student the opportunity to have one of the best evenings during your stay.

I hope to get the opportunity to tell you more about events like that so see you next time.

Continuation of IB at JAMK story

Hello :)

I hope that you are still interested in reading about International Business programme at JAMK. Today I’m going to tell you more about practical issues – how the studies look like from student’s perspective.

First of all, everyone starting her/his IB studies at JAMK has a peer tutor. Peer tutor is a person, most likely 2nd or 3rd year student of IB, designated to help a newcomer in first steps in Finland. Peer tutor contacts his/her wards well before they come to Finland, so if there are any questions, it is easy to get an answer. Peer tutor picks up her/his tutorees from Jyväskylä airport/bus or railway station and brings them to their apartments. She/he also helps in getting to school for a very first time, guides around the city and is of any assistance if needed.

There is also a teacher tutor designated for each student. He monitors study progress and helps in sorting out any problem issues. Each student has annually at least one discussion with her/his teacher tutor so to make sure that everything is going well and according to a plan.

First year studies begin with an orientation week. During this time students get to know each other, their teachers, and Heads of JAMK. Ideally there is 50-50 division of students in every IB class: half of the students are Finns and another half foreigners. Besides more formal presentations of school, programme and staff, there are also other activities helping in familiarising with others and creating group spirit. I would say that participating in first week events really helps in finding good friends ;)

Nice information for people who already studied something before IB at JAMK: there is a chance that some credits for IB studies will be granted based on your knowledge and skills acquired at previous university. For more information visit this site.

Now something more about regular studies. At the beginning of first year whole class is divided into smaller groups (in my class there were 6 of them). Teachers try to do it in this way that in one group there are people from different continents, countries, cultural background. There is plenty of group-works during studies, so each student will experience working with various people in various teams. However for at least first semester groups are assigned – just to make sure that everyone works with different people, not only closest friends, and that studies are really going to be international ;)

I’m not sure how it works in different countries, but for me way of working at JAMK was a bit surprising at the beginning. What I mean is that during my studies in Poland I of course had classes, sometimes small homework, announced tests during semester and one 2-3 weeks long exam session for all the subjects at the end of the semester (and that was the only time when everyone was actually learning). At JAMK it looks different. Students work during the whole semester. There are many assignments, projects, presentations, group-works, so besides classes everyone spends quite a lot of time on school stuff. But it really works! I feel that I learn a lot by doing, by listening, by presenting and it is not this kind of knowledge I’ll forget two weeks after exam session – because it’s practical knowledge. In different courses there are different assessment criteria, but one I can assure – grade from exam (if any) is just a part of final grade. The overall performance counts. Earlier shocking for me, but really nice and fair! :)Classroom

Another great “feature” of JAMK is Optima – web-based learning platform. Teachers publish there materials, schedules, links. Students may find there also descriptions of assignments and return boxes for tasks done. Everything is in one place – easily accessible from wherever you are. Additionally JAMK uses internal school email system. It makes communicating with teachers and fellow students easier and faster.

Well, that’s all for today. I wish you happy weekend :)

Greetings from cold and snowy Jyväskylä ;)


International Business at JAMK

Hello again :)

Today I’m going to tell you something more about studying International Business at JAMK.

Generally speaking, studies last 3.5 years. During this time every student is required to collect at least 210 ECTS credits for specific activities.
Obligatory courses from 1st  year cover 65 and from 2nd year 50 ECTS credits. Those courses are focused on business in general – marketing, management, finances, research, communication, etc. Additionally every foreign student gets familiar with basics of Finnish language during obligatory course (Finns have to participate in Swedish for Working Life). In turn, during the third year, there is a time for enhancing specific business skills, which accounts for 25 ECTS credits. There are several options to choose from, depending on person’s interest, e.g. Global Business Operations or High-Tech Management specialisations. This is more or less how the schedule for three years looks like ;)
Good news – we are asked to make more decisions (not only about the specialisation) on our own ;) 15 credits is scheduled for elective studies. This means we can choose courses we are interested in, not only from our degree programme :) Moreover, each person is required to gain 10 ECTS credits for language courses – two levels of the same language (of course besides mother tongue and English ;) ).  Offer is quite wide: Russian, German, French, Chinese, Spanish, etc. Good to know that JAMK has a special agreement with the University of Jyväskylä. If you can’t find desired language course here and University has it in its offer – you can take it and JAMK will accept credits for this. As I wrote last time – they care about students! :)

Let’s talk now about part of IB studies focused most on practicality – projects and practical training. Every IB student is required to collect 30 ECTS credits altogether in these two parts, but number of project credits cannot be lower than 10. One ECTS credit is given for about 27.5 documented hours of working. That means that usual practical training lasts at least 3.5 months (if speaking about 40 hours in every working week). I would say that this is pretty well-planned amount of time – one can really observe how the business life looks like and definitely learn a lot. There are many possibilities: students can do practical training in Finland or abroad (even in home country), depending on their interest, will and of course acceptance from the companies. Projects are usually done for local businesses. They are focused mostly on doing research. Very nice thing is that, besides searching on their own, students receive information about possible projects or practical training from the teachers. In this practical part of studies, the most important thing is not what you have done, but what you have learned. Studying – it is pretty much about learning, isn’t it? :)

Remaining 15 credits is accounted for Bachelor’s thesis. It is important to choose a topic one is really interested in (and which of course is related to business). This makes research and writing easier and nicer ;)

Now, as I described you how 210 ECTS credits are distributed, I would like to mention about one additional possibility: exchange :D For Finnish students of IB it is required to spend at least one semester of studies abroad – just to gain international experience and perspective. Other students, as they are already in foreign country, are not forced to go anywhere…but they can ;) There are so many options, so many countries and cities in an offer and only three steps between: apply, wait for acceptance, buy a ticket ;)

So, with this optimistic accent, I’m finishing my post today.

Have a nice weekend and “see you” soon! :)


Why Finland? Why JAMK? Polish IB student’s perspective

Hello, hello! :)

My name is Monika. I come from Poland and I’m a second year student of IB. FMe and winter in Jyväskyläor the next couple of weeks I’ll be your guide in the world of JAMK ;) I have in mind several topics I want to tell you about, but I’m willing to hear what kind of information you are interested in and write about it. So, feel free to comment whenever something comes to your mind! :)

Today I would like to tell you what is so special about JAMK and why I decided to study here.

Let’s start from a big picture. What makes Finland outstanding?
In my opinion, first of all, nature. One of a kind. All the lakes, forests, reindeer, squirrels and other animals, bright nights during summer and even snow and coolness during winter – it’s simply beautiful! Secondly, Finland is rather quiet country, very peaceful. I feel safe in here and I really appreciate this state.
Last but not least – Finland is a country you can trust. Everything is transparent. People obey rules. If they say something, they do so. Finns are very helpful. Additionally, their English skills (not only among youngest ones) are impressive.

Now, as you know what I consider as biggest advantages of Finland, it’s time to speak about JAMK itself. What attracted me most?

 1) Practicality

In my entire previous education there has been always focus put on theory. Practice, if any, was applied in a very small extent. Then, in 2008, I came to Finland for exchange and I realised that other approach is possible. OK, in Poland I studied Mathematics, so it’s slightly different story, but still ;) I saw so many advantages of Finnish education system….and here I am again ;)

At JAMK theory is just an addition to practice. Teachers know that we learn best by applying concepts to real-life situations. There are numerous assignments, case studies, projects during the courses. We do many class exercises, analyse tons of data, write reports, give dozens of presentations…and still are ready for more ;) Visitors, business people give us lectures. By frequent teamwork we are being prepared for working life. We cooperate with companies by projects, researches. There is always practical training involved in our study time.

Now I see how much I’ve learned so far even if often I didn’t feel it was learning. But, as you know, if you do something, it stays in you.

2) Internationality

For me, student of International Business, this is rather vital part of studies. At JAMK you can meet people from literally all over the world (OK, I haven’t met anyone from Australia yet, but I still have time ;) ).

At JAMK you have a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with many different cultures. Through teamwork you learn what are and how to handle differences in viewpoints. It really prepares not only for working but also for living in today’s global world.

3) English

Without any doubt, studies at JAMK help in developing English skills. Everyday students have to communicate with each other. There are discussions, group-works, presentations; all the lectures are in English. There is also a need to write assignments, reports, etc. English becomes so natural :)
JAMK’s virtue is also a presence of native English speakers – from USA, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland – not only students, but also lecturers.

4) Attitude

Being JAMK’s student makes you special. After my previous educational experience, it was quite big shock here. You are not another name on the list – you are a person! If you have any question, problem, there is number of people willing to help you.
Teachers are approachable. Students call them by first name, without using all this degrees or titles (like master, doctor, etc.). Questions are welcome – “The only stupid question is a question you haven’t asked” as one of my lecturers says. Teachers know their students, not only by name but also personality, capabilities, etc. Atmosphere is definitely more informal than in Poland and I love it here! It’s like everyone is a part of JAMK’s community. Simple and great! :)

Well, that’s all for today. I hope that I intrigued you a bit with my JAMK stories ;) More is coming next week. As I already mentioned, if you have any question or comment, I’m eager to read it and answer.



Business opportunities in Finland, in Jyväskylä and at JAMK

Finland is an entrepreneur friendly country. To raise the level of entrepreneurship is a target stated by the government. And Finns are doing it thoroughly as they do everything else. There is even competition between noncommercial organizations and programs which are targeted to help entrepreneurs to startup or develop their business at the early stages. I will specify some interesting opportunities for entry-level entrepreneurs and you are surely free to choose what you like.

For those students who are interested in entrepreneurship JAMK Generator works. In practice it means that a student can take classes related to business and entrepreneurship, those students who do not have a business idea yet are encouraged to develop their skills and create ideas. Those students who already have an idea for business are getting a personal coach and support at every stage of setting up a business.  The link to JAMK Generator description:

There are several organizations and programs that work in Finland and in Jyväskylä in particular to support entrepreneurs.

Jyväskylä Regional Development Company Jykes Ltd., established in 1996, is a business promotion and development company owned by the four municipalities (City of Jyväskylä, Laukaa, Muurame and Uurainen) of the Jyväskylä Region. The aim of Jykes is to create a favourable business environment and to improve the co-operation between companies and the public sector. By offering expertise, support and various networks for companies, Jykes creates opportunities and conditions for profitable business operations.

Jyväskylä Innovation Ltd is linking research and business. It is a development company that aims to make the Jyväskylä region an internationally thriving, technological growth centre for benefiting its diversified branches. The organization is supporting with its activities growth, development and competitiveness of technological enterprises in Jyväskylä Region and Central Finland.

Technopolis Jyväskylä offers a service package in Jyväskylä, which seamlessly combines premises and related services in a user-friendly solution. The idea is to provide the optimal operating environment for technology companies. The centralized acquisition of services produces significant economies of scale that, combined with efficient use of space, ensure an economically favorable premises solution for the customer.

Luotsi is an organization targeted to develop entrepreneurship in Jyväskylä, they have services in English but you cannot guess that visiting their webpage ;) The most persistent non-speakers of Finnish can always try on-line translator:

Protomo is a multidisciplinary and social innovation and entrepreneur environment which works in several Finnish including Jyväskylä. It’s basic idea is to provide facilities, support of the community and sparring from the experts, free of charge, to help develop new services and products for the market.

Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. Works all around Finland. Every year, Tekes finances some 1,500 business research and development projects, and almost 600 public research projects at universities, research institutes and polytechnics.

Vigo is a new type of acceleration program which bridges the gap between the early stage technology companies and international venture funding.

Finnvera is a specialized financing company owned by the State of Finland. It provides its clients with loans, guarantees, venture capital investments and export credit guarantees. Finnvera is the official Export Credit Agency (ECA) of Finland.

Some other useful links:

Human technology Central Finland

The Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (manage the regional implementation and development tasks of the state administration).

Jyväskylä city website about business opportunities:

The leading startup conference in Northern Europe Slush (Helsinki)

Startup Sauna is a program that pushes the selected startups develop to a stage where they’re ready to take over the international markets. Startup Sauna takes two batches annually in the spring and fall (Helsinki).

So those who are interested in entrepreneurship you are warmly welcomed to Jyväskylä and JAMK! There are plenty opportunities for you here!!! And good luck in the entrance exams!

I will be happy to answer all the questions about my experience of living in Jyväskylä and studying at JAMK, and if you want to ask something privetly you can write to my email:

See you in Jyväskylä ;)


International Business Students

We are different. We can speak different languages, we are of different age, different culture, and different experience. We contribute

to each other and learn from each other.

We are good communicators: we communicate to about 45 other students from our group every day. We are good speakers and performers: we make presentations in front of half hundred people at least every second week. We are good sellers: three students sold more than 60 brochures at KiVi event.

We are proactive. Some of us run their business while studying at JAMK, some do international working projects, many are participating in different students’ organizations, and we also have our classmate elected for JAMKO board.

We are curious: more than a half of International Business students have an exchange period abroad during their studies at JAMK.

Active students always have more fun. I can just shortly list the activities in which my friends and me took part during this autumn:

  • IDIS-competition /  Competitions among students teams about creating new ideas, which took 3 days, during which we were living in nice cottages in golf resort not far from Jyvaskyla, and had all meals and sauna included.  The tasks were set by the City of Jyvaskyla and Luotsi, non commercial organization supporting entrepreneurship in Central Finland. The award for a winner team was 800 EUR.
  • AIESEC / the world biggest students run organization which is targeted to make this planet more open-minded
  • JAMK Ambassadors / the program of promoting JAMK abroad
  • Lingua Café / the traditional Erasmus event, where you can speak different languages over a cup of tea
  • Feel Finnish habits evenings / every second week meetings, where you can find out and experience Finnish culture
  • Family Friend program / program of JAMK for foreign students to let them feel Finnish way of living inside a family
  • KiVi event
  • Protomo Open Doors Day / Protomo works like business incubator for startups, provides help, place and a fund for developing startups
  • Business Incubator Wednesdays / consultations and help for students of JAMK interested in entrepreneurship

I will not list all the parties and entertainments we are having here, it will take too much place, just believe me: that there are plenty of them.

See you next time, it will be post devoted to entrepreneurship in Finland and in Jyväskylä and at JAMK in particular.


IB #5: I heart IB.

Hei you again! So far we have gone through different elements of the big HOW question about the pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business at JAMK. During the week I have got to know more wonderings from some people reading this blog. Now probably is the time for us to tackle them together.

1.     What is the entrance exam like?

© A. Selezneva

© A. Selezneva

You can find the general information about entrance exam (countries where the exam is gonna be hold in, the date, etc) at and . There are three parts out of the exam:

–        Mathematics/Logic with multiple-choice questions at high school level

–        Pre-reading Materials part: You need to read carefully the materials (e-books, articles, journals) JAMK publishes in the official webpage before the exam. Topics of these materials are varied during the course of time. There are multiple-choice and essay questions asking about the knowledge provided by these.

–        Interview: It depends on the countries and the years that the interview part is different. You may have written or face-to-face interviews to perform your general understanding about business/ enterprises/ management as well as your motivation and interest in getting the degree in Jyväskylä. In-face interviews may be conducted individually or in group.

Do not be overly alarmed by the statistical fact “First-choice applicants / Annual intake 2010: 526/50” stated at JAMK’s website. IB entrance exam will be a piece of cake once you have spent enough time and efforts to study pre-reading materials + get to know Mathematics questions thoroughly, and equipped yourself with sound goals for your future study at JAMK. Questions of previous JAMK’s entrance exams are available from various student forum sites in the Internet if you want to practice more.

2.     How are the school facilities?

© S. Wu

© S. Wu

The facilities of Finnish universities are just awesome. Classrooms, computers, cafeteria and all others are in very good conditions. If you have any problem, the staff is always available for help. You can also borrow books from the school library instead of buying your own books. By the way, library services in Finland can be of a definite pleasant for you if you are a passionate reader. Due to the profound reading tradition of Finnish, there are mountains of good books can be found in the libraries (of JAMK University of Applied Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, the City of Jyväskylä) and you do not need to pay anything for membership. Just come registering and read as much as you want.

3.     How varied is the range of age of IB-ers?

© S. Wu

© S. Wu

16 – 32.

4.     How many credits I can get beside 210 required credits of the degree?

There is no limit for your study at JAMK. As stated before, once being JAMK’s student, you can pick up as many courses as you wish with no additional fees at all. Your course choices can be from different faculties, not only IB.

5.     How is the life in Jyväskylä?

© A. Le

© A. Le

Jyväskylä is a worth living place. The city is pretty small with approximately 130 000 people, but all necessary facilities are in reach. Located in the Central Finland, you travel conveniently to anywhere of the country. Besides, Jyväskylä is regarded as a dynamic city in which more than half of the population is young students from different parts of Finland, down to the reason that the schools in Jyväskylä are known to be at the highest standard of Finnish education.

6.     Winter in Finland is crazy, isn’t it?

Winter here goes disastrous only when you do not dress properly and do not have anything to do. You can always warm up your winter with a bunch of activities: go skiing/ skating, watch ice-hockey games, visit Finnish host families, enjoy parties, go reading in high-quality libraries and so on. My first winter holiday was spent on the visit to several European nations because it is not that often for me as a non-European citizen to travel in Europe without any additional paper work;

then I spent my second winter vacation with some Finnish families in Jyväskylä which was such an unforgettably warm time.

7.     Are you satisfied with your study at JAMK IB?

I found this question from my e-mail box this morning, and it took no second for me to have one and only answer: Yes, I am. I heart IB, I heart JAMK and I heart Finland.One of the most meaningful times of my life has been spent here at JAMK when both professional and personal life of mine has been enriched lots. Honestly I was not really convinced by the former slogan of JAMK saying that the time being a JAMK-er is “The best time of your life”, because I believe that studying at JAMK IB is only the beginning and concrete foundation for the best time of my life later when I can fulfill all of my dreams; or to say like this year: “Your future starts here”. ;)

© T. Surugiu

© T. Surugiu

Okay.. thank you guys (and girls) for following my IB stories! I do not want to say “goodbye” to you, not because I am afraid of saying it in 30 languages =P but we do hope to see you again next fall and contribute more cool IB tales with us!

~ Kathy

IB #3: Practicality calling!

I had International Business Law today. You may assume having Law classes in morning is one of the sleepiest things you have to stand; but the reality, or should I say the JAMK-reality is much brighter. :D Our Law teacher only introduced and explained main ideas in the first half of the class, and then we started to go through and discuss different case studies together.  This way of learning turns the hard-to-remember-all nature of Law into a long and vivid memory for key issues.  Here comes the first piece of practical studies at JAMK IB: case studies and open forums for discussions (and sometimes arguments due to a bunch of concrete opinions from IB-ers).

© O. Glukhovskaya

© O. Glukhovskaya

Teamwork, presentations, reports… there is a sea of those waiting for IB-ers to swim in. One of the very first lessons for JAMK IB-ers is to practice giving presentations and write reports in a truly professional way. Besides, groupwork may drive us happy or crazy, but for sure we will learn tons from it. One of my group work last fall was to write about several Human Resources Management (HRM) subjects in a modern corporation. Having been impressed by a lecture about Microsoft Finland which has been continuously highly ranked in HR field around the world, we decided to contact and ask Microsoft if we could have a face-to-face interview with their HR Manager. The interview then went soundly and my group really got to know the way Microsoft has developed and consolidated their HR system to get continuing successes. In a sense, that HR group work meant much more to us than just an excellent grade at the end of the course.

We also play games in courses, yes, we play games. It can be the one-week Global Mergers & Acquisitions game in which we play as different companies to negotiate with each other in the stock market with the support from some specialized computer software, or the Global Supply Chain game when we try to calculate and make purchase decisions to gain values for our imaginary organizations. We also play “language cards” in silence during one Cross-cultural Management lecture to get the idea how hard it is when we do not understand each other but keep on playing our own social rules. Actually my class has just started a new game called the Stock Market Game since today and the game is gonna take place until April (gotta be fun!!). Well, the list cannot be ended here and I promise you will play a lot more cool games at JAMK. ;)

Company projects is another method to get relevant hands-on experiences. Projects are introduced by real companies in and outside Finland, often included in courses and make up for 50% of your total grade.

© K. Nguyen

© K. Nguyen

One example is our project for KONE in Marketing Communications last spring. The biggest elevator producer in Finland at that time was facing a profound challenge to reach a new customer segment. With knowledge gained through lectures, our IB group was working pretty hard with the company to come up with a sound plan and ready-to-be-used solutions.

More than that, IB-ers need to get at least 10 ETCS for projects outside courses which are also from various organizations within the industry and international network of JAMK. Last year I worked for one marketing project of Silenta, a Finnish hearing protection equipment producer. Our goal was to do researches about large airports all over the world as potential customers to purchase Silenta’s products for their airport working staff. Based on that data collection, we made suggestions to Silenta on which airports they should reach first, which ones they should not and etc. This kind of project-based learning puts IB-ers in a professional working environment and so explores possibilities for practical lessons.

Conferences, seminars and other study activities are often organized by JAMK generally and the Business Faculty particularly. How about internships? As an IB-er, you will get many internship placements announced by the school (i bet you still remember that JAMK has such a strong network with companies and institutions in Finland, Europe and other parts of the world) or you can acquire training places by yourselves. The training has to last at least 3.5 months (full-time working) and there will be financial supports from the school if  the work places  are not located in your home country (400€ per month). I am working now for JAMK Research and Development Department as a researcher, and I have to say I have been learning a lot there. :)

Oppsss we should call it a day shouldn’t we? See you tomorrow with the 4th story about IB-ers going internationalization!

~ Kathy