First German class,…

…first hiking, first visit to gym, first visit to our local “Biergarten” and first trip to Stuttgart. That’s basically everything that this post is about but first a picture with almost the whole bunch:

This is taken in front of our dormitory. Big thanks to Kike! He’s a really nice guy from Mexico and he said that I can use all of the pictures that he has taken/will take and there’s a lot of them:).

 

I’ll start with last weekend. On Friday we went to Stuttgart to visit the local bars, lounges and clubs. We went there by S-bahn which is similar to Finnish metro, and about one hour later we came back :D. We couldn’t get in any of the clubs because we had no girls with us. That’s the way that it’s done in Germany, so if you want to party in some of the clubs than make sure that in your group there is same amount of boys and girls.

The trip to local “biergarten” on Saturday seemed to fail also. Biergarten is a German word for restaurants terrace or “beer garden”. We got in and noticed that it was a mess. The tables were full of glasses and there was this little group of people in the only clean table. They said to us that the owner of that bar had changed and it wont open until the first of october but then they started asking about us and what we do in Esslingen. Then they gave us beer and showed the bar (they were the new owners). One of them, “Holy Roly”, showed the biergarten and played some piano for us. It was really nice and the people there were really friendly. Also the interior was nothing like in a Finnish local drunk house. After that they invited us to the opening and we promised to advertise their bar to other exchange students also.

Here’s a picture of the new owners and employees. Big thanks to Heikki from this one.

 

On Sunday I decided to go for some hiking. I knocked on Toni’s door and asked him to join me. It didn’t take long from him to decide that his in. We went to the nearest hill and started climbing it up. The sun was shining and the route was surrounded by apple and plum trees. I don’t know if it’s forbidden but we ate them every time we had a chance :D.

This is taken from the route. You can see Hilltop campus on the left side of the picture.

 

On Monday we had our first German class. Our teacher is energetic woman. I’m not sure how to speak to her because in Germany you have to call your teacher with his/her last name and with Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. or doctor or professor or etc….. in front and Karla only told us her first name. So I believe that she want’s us to call her by her first name. I have to ask her though cause it felt like she’s really strict about everything and I don’t want to be impolite. But she’s the kind of teacher that I like: strict, knows how to teach and “activates” everyone of us. It’s amazing that she doesn’t speak almost any English and I don’t speak almost any German but still she can teach me…?

Intensive studying. Big thanks goes to Toni this time :).

 

The teaching really started from scratch. We were divided into four groups by our previous knowledge about the language (1 no knowledge – 4 good knowledge) and I’m in group 2. I thought that it would be my level but the teaching is really slow and includes only the basic things. I mentioned this to Karla but she said that the speed will increase and promised that I’ll learn to speak German :).

 

In the evening I finally got to check the hilltop campus’ gym out. I think I’ve never been to a sh*ttier one 😀 but I don’t care. There’s no possibility to do deadlifts and the squatting area sucks big time. Maybe I’ll check some of the Esslingens other gyms.

Here’s the gym. Some athletic dude was in the way. I couldn’t almost take a single picture without him in it because he was so gigantic.

 

Aaand the gym from another angle (again the Hulk is there!?)

 

And finally the squatting area. Notice the “No smoking” sign :D. Too bad. I’m used to smoke while doing squats. “Sporttirööki” as we say in Finland.

 

The gym was divided into two separate rooms. Here’s the other one.

 

I think I’ll start doing my homework now… We learned a lot of new words today and Karla want’s us to know them all tomorrow so I better start memorizing them.

Greetings to Kossu, Maikki, Nadja, Jenny, Niko, Jussi, Tarzan, Senni, Mami, Hannu, Viljami, Josefiina, Vilhelmiina and all the other loved ones! I’m good and life here is good also so nothing to worry about. Miss you <3.

 

-Johannes

 

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First week is over…

…and I’m exhausted in a good way. There was this little party yesterday so I didn’t have the time to write in the evening. Heikki had some “Salmiakki kossu” and Otto had some Lakrisal so the other exchange students get to taste a bit of Finland. Only the Turkish guys liked the Kossu and I think that no one liked Lakrisal.

Here you can see the aftermath or “the dagen efter” of the party .

 

Before the party we went to this old castle up in the hills to have  Flammkuchen which is a German dish. It means Flame cake and is similar to pizza.  The international office offered the food. We also tasted Bananen-Weizen which was not so good :D. It’s a wheat bear with banana juice (surprise). There’s also weizen with sprite but I think that’s a waste of a good wheat beer.

Here is a picture of the route to the castle. The route was surrounded by vineyards.

 

Today we circled around the city because of all the freetime. Heikki bought some cigars and it made him very happy. I wonder why…?

 

One Hungarian student is a lot with us which is really good. Now we speak English all the time even to each other if his near. He’s also really hilarious so we’re getting good laughs.

Tonight we’re going to Stuttgart. We got our student ID-cards today so traveling with public transportation is now free in the Stuttgart area after 6.00 p.m. and on weekends and public holidays.

This first week has really been a lot easier than I thought. There’s lot’s of free time and all the advice that we get from the international coordinators are good. They’ve told  us everything that we need to know about living in Germany. Next week we’ll start studying German four hours a day. I think that’s going to be frustrating every once in a while but I know that it’s all about the attitude. If you think that something is going to suck then it definitely will and vice versa.

Now I’m starting to get ready for the trip to Stuttgart.

 

-Johannes

 

 


Arrived in Esslingen…

…three days ago. Haven’t been able to contact any of my friends or my family properly, because we haven’t had internet connection until this afternoon (I’m really sorry guys!). Now I’m in Starbucks drinking shitty and expensive coffee just to be able to use the internet.

The trip went well. I traveled to Helsinki on Sunday to see my friend Senni before I go to Germany. We walked at Lauttasaari which is an Island really close to city center. Still there’s lots of woods and green areas so I really liked it.

Here’s a picture of me in Lauttasaari on the shore.

 

I didn’t really sleep at all during the night between Sunday and Monday because of the excitement. My alarm clock “woke” me at 3 something and I took a taxi to Main bus station in Helsinki. From there I took a bus to Helsinki-Vantaa airport. I thought that I was going to travel alone but at the airport I suddenly saw a familiar face.  Toni, a student from JAMK also was on the same flight.

Here’s Toni at Stuttgart’s airports railway station.

 

There were some minor accidents on the trip. As soon as I got out of my appartment in Jyväskylä – my bags carrying handle broke up. Luckily there was another one. I also lost my bags closing strap (the one that ensures that the bag won’t open) on the way to the bus station. I also had to take some stuff out of my other bag at Senni’s  apartment because it was too heavy for the hand luggage (big thanks to Senni!).

The instructions from international coordinators of Hochcschule Esslingen were really great. We found all the trains and buses to get to our apartment. There we got our welcome packages (I actually got it on tuesday) which included all kinds of informations to make our lives easier here. Then we got the keys to our rooms and I immidietly checked it out:

It’s kind of small and I share my bathroom with a Ukrainian girl but it’s okay. I also share the kitchen with 5 students but there’s nobody there ever. And I don’t mind even if there is. It’s funnier to cook in group.

After we had settled down we wen’t to a bar which is located in the basement of our dormitory(!) :D. “The hefe” is really cheap (I’m not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing)…

This picture is from the outside of the bar. From the left:Heikki, Toni and Otto. All of them study at JAMK and I was actually their tutor in their first year so I knew all of them before this trip.

 

I think I’m gonna stop writing now… There’s still tons of things to tell but I’ll save them for this evening. I’ve heard a rumor that there’s going to be a big party tonight.

Kisses and hugs to everyone back home. I miss you all so much, but I didn’t come here to do that so I’ll just try to put you out of my mind… That sounds a “bit” self centered but if I’m thinking of you my whole trip will suck.

Over and out,

-Johannes

 

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Four days to go…

This week has been full of excitement. On Monday I was “advertising” international things in JAMK to the new students of technology. On Wednesday I went to have a few beers with my German friend, Toby, who has arrived to Finland last Thursday. He’s doing his exchange period here in Jyväskylä. I also met another exchange students. Today we baked two cakes with Nadja my “littlebrother”. I’ll take them to work tomorrow because it’s my last day there (I work at JAMK). The new students are getting to know our campus and especially the laboratories there, so I was asked to tell them about one testing equipment that I have been working with. I actually have no idea what to tell them but I’ll just go to work a bit earlier and figure it out :D.

 

I think I should start packing already… 😛

 

Nadja and The Cake

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Things that I’ll miss in Finland

Just spend an amazing weekend with loved ones. My parents visited me on Friday. I think my mom a.k.a. “Mami” is getting smaller everyday, and my little brother was grown tremendously. On Saturday we went to the beach with really good friends and we had the chance for some water-skiing thanks to “Tarzan”, a classmate and a very close friend of mine. After that we went back to our place to cook up some fishes that Tarzan had caught.

In the evening we went to visit in different bars and we ended up in an African music show (!?) It was really intensive and endorphin’s rushed to my body every time the drumming got louder. It was just one of those “how the f**k did I end up in here” feelings. In a good way. A cherry on top was this huge thunderstorm in the middle of night (I love them). My room lid up every time a lightning stroke, and the rumbling was deafening.

These kind of days are just too good to be true. I think the best way to not to miss Finland when I’m in Esslingen is to not to think back this kind of moments and peoples.

I love my friends and family from the bottom of my heart and I know that I’m privileged because they’ll love me back no matter what I do.

Thank you Jenny, Annina, Tarzan, Niko, Miika, Senni, Mami, Hannu and Viljami <3.

Me and Tarzan playing the good guys from Miami Vice.

Me and Tarzan doing the “Miami Vice”… Big thanks to Jussi from the picture. It seems that iPhone isn’t so bad after all ;).

 

-Johannes

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Offer of room

Hello everyone. I’m glad that so many of you are reading my blog and thanks for all the comments. I’m trying to answer them as often as possible but I’m busy at the moment so be patient.

But let’s get to the point. I received an offer of room today from “Studentenwerk Stuttgart“. Best surprise about it was that I have to pay 600€ prepayment in less than a month: “The money has to be received until 15th of July“. I wasn’t prepared for this mainly because I haven’t read enough of the information flyers that I have received. Just wrote an e-mail to the contact person where I asked if the date can be changed a week later so that I can get the money and pay it in time. Otherwise I’ll probably lose the appartment.

Good news are that I’m not going to be in the “worst” student accommodation apartments, at least according to some of the information letters. The dormitory is located in Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 15, 73732 Esslingen and I have my own room, shared bathroom with 1 student and shared kitchen with 4 to 8 students. The dormitory is located 2-3 kilometers from the campus so it’s not going to take long to even walk to school.

At the moment I’m getting really excited about my exchange period. I’m of course hoping to meet lot’s of students from other countries and in best situation create life long friendships and probably even work relationships. I’m also afraid. Here in Jyväskylä I live with two of my best friends and I’m never alone. We have a huge flat with sauna and a projector so I’m used to all these “little luxuries” in my life. The things that I’m afraid of during my exchange period is that I’ll miss my friends and won’t have enough things to do. I’m never still so being alone doing nothing is not an option. My plan for this is exercise. I’ve heard that Hochschule Esslingen has a good gym and of course the running possibilities in the vineyards are really good.

Still don’t know how to solve the sauna-in-my-apartment problem 😉 Maybe a tent…?

 

And remember: “Wise sentence full of tips how to improve your life from some dude nobody knows.”

 

-Johannes

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Documents

I dont want to start my blog with cliché like “My first blog post ever! YEAH!” so lets start with something even more dull: Story about filling the necessary documents. I hope that this gives motivation for those who have the same project in front of them.

I’ve been filling all the necessary documents for the past month (when I have time). Feels like there’s lot’s of them and checklists from different sources seems to vary in some ways. But still it’s worth it. My dream is about to come true: Living in germany for almost half year. Studying in Hochschule Esslingen will give me experience from German culture and language and this will be one of my strengths when applying for a job in engineering field. And of course I don’t want to exclude the idea to moving and working in Germany sometimes in the future.

So for all of you thinking about studying/doing practical training abroad: DO IT! This is the only change that you get to do it whit so much support behind you. All the International Coordinators are really helpful so you don’t have to struggle on your own. Follow your dreams and if you don’t have any than follow your intentions and make them your dreams.

 

-Johannes