Jussi vaihtoon

Waffles and fries in Antwerp, Belgium

Category Archives: EILC Language course

Courses in KdG

I decided to write one more post to briefly introduce the courses I attended.

 

1. EILC Dutch language course. I definitely suggest to participate this course in the beginning of semester, since you get very good skills of everyday basics of Dutch language. At least for me it was a good help during my stay in Antwerp. Even though people speak very good English, it is good to know some basics in your everyday life. Takes only one month and is definitely worth it!

2. Maritime transport & ports. We had a visiting lecturer during the whole course and he taught us well to understand differences between types of vessels and their way of operation. Also port logistics and operations were included in this course. I suggest every logistics-related student to attend this course.

3. International trade. Maybe the most difficult course I had. From the beginning we started to make a huge project related to transportation of goods from a country outside EU to some EU country. For 3 credits there was definitely too much work, but as an experience I think it was worh it. Lots of local students in this course, who prefer to communicate in Dutch (presentations, questions etc.)

4. Human Resource Management. Visiting lecturer was sitting in front of the class and talking. Then we write. Repeat. There were problems with examination since the results were not always correct. There is some useful information about basic company structures but the lessons were very oldschool.

5. Brand Management of industrial goods. A teacher from Austria introduced us to some theory about the topic and then gave us a case study. I liked the course very much, since the teacher was motivating and the case study was interesting. Even for logistics student I think this is very good course to have. Totally suggest!

6. Supply Chain Management. Visiting lecturer again, at first telling what SCM is about and then divided different case studies for every group. The course was brief but I think it is good for logistics student to attend.

7. EU Transport policy. Very interesting course, where we get to know detailed information of how EU legislation is based on and how decisions are made. Also lot of information about liabilities and regulations for logistics inside EU. Very high-quality lecturing and also visit to a session of EU Committee of transport and tourism is done to Brussels!

8. Import & Export Management. This course is very interesting and at least for me there was lot of information about importin and exporting goods. The course introduces different participants of transport operations and some liabilities included in importing and exporting of goods. Important course I think..

9. Economic Geography. This course is a bit funny. The teacher introduces different kinds of cases where geographical knowledge is used to solve logistical and economical problems, in the end of course each student is going to prepare own real-life case study from their home country or a region nearby. Interesting but needs a lot of attention if you want to be up-to-date on this course.

 

Overall the courses in KdG are interesting and well-taught. Level of English is always very good and the courses are usually only for Erasmus students. So you meet lot of friends there, but sometimes it is also a bad thing if you want to pay attention to the lesson. Belgian Culture & Economy course is interesting and almost all the time there are visits to different places in Antwerp and Belgium (EU Parliament, Brussels, 1st world war sceneries, Antwerp city hall & museums, Port of Antwerp etc…). I decided to fail this course because after all the visits, we had to write a report of each visit.

Language course finished, ready for IBC

I am proud to announce that I received grade A from Dutch course, which is the best possible. I did not really do so much studying at home, since we already had so much to do at school. In fact, the originally four-week course was made in three weeks this year. In my opinion that was a good way to learn a new language, since the atmosphere was all the time so intense and you were all the time in touch with the words and phrases. To sum up, the course was short, heavy, but teachful enough to give some tools for living in a Dutch-speaking city where everybody speaks English. I totally recommend the course for every exchange student.

In addition to the language course, I also attended the course ”Belgian culture and economy” which turned out to be very interesting, but requires too much work on your freetime. We visited interesting places such as the EU headquarters in Brussels and the Port of Antwerp. The big minus from a student point-of-view is that all the visits need to be reported with a 500-word document. There are now 11 reports that I have to write about things we already know, so with my Finnish studying background and culture this feels very furstrating. It feels more like copying a finished book than writing a new one. Anyway I still have time to write those and I’m really looking forward to the beginning of the real spring semester and our Erasmus-tailored International Business Course!

That’s about school for now, let’s move on to the life itself. At first I have to say I miss home more than I could have ever imagined. My family, my friends, my flat, the winter sun.. This is probably something you always feel when you leave home for a longer period, right? My dad has been telling me not to worry, after all it’s just two-hours away from Helsinki airport 🙂 I’m really waiting to get some of my friends to visit me. I’ve also ran out of money so I cannot even travel anywhere. The good thing is that riding my bike is free, so that’s how I like spending my freetime here. I’d also like to share some photography here, greetings from Bruges and the last Dutch lesson!

Bruges

Bruges

De laatste Nederlandse les!

De laatste Nederlandse les!

First week at school

I was standing in the entrance hall of Karel de Grote-Hogeschool on Tuesday. I saw students entering the building. I looked at them and tried to find people like me. Foreign people. People in the corner, alone, also looking for someone. Some of them looked like they would be in this place for the first time, but after a while their friends stepped in from the street and together they walked away. ’Goeiemorgen’ just polishing my assumptions incorrect. It was 10 AM and I was waiting for someone to break the ice – calling for people like me. The exchange students.

Finnish people often tend to lie foreigners about our ability of being always on time. Well, this time the story was actually proven to be true, since the same time I saw my watch taking the last step towards the H-hour, I heard a Finnish guy asking someone next to him if he was about to attend the Dutch language course today. I turned around and saw a bald guy – very Finnish looking guy actually. He introduced himself using the name Mikko. ’A Finnish name’ I thought and decided to move closer. The icebreaker resulted a chain reaction mobilizing the people to leave the corners behind, and suspiciously approach towards the two talking boys. Unfortunately my camera was out of reach, since the approaching students looked quite similar to zombies. Reaching the target slowly, but conscius of having the right direction. Next thing I actually realized was series of handshakes and names everyone knew they wouldn’t remember. Then a man came and took us into a lounge room with free coffee and more students. The first school day was full of new faces with different nationalities and dialects of English. It was no big deal for me, since I’ve already studied almost three years with people from all over the world. The main point was that with these people we would share a semester of our lives. Something we will never forget.

The word to describe the start of our Dutch course is ’explosive’. The first week has been very busy with studying and arranging things. I am very overreactive when it comes to making sure everything goes well, which has had a negative effect on my sleeping during the week. The positive side of our tight schedule is of course the fact that the more we study the more we learn. I can honestly say that I couldn’t have imagined how much one can learn in four days when it comes to Dutch language. Hard work requires of course some celebration, and I guess the whole Erasmus reputation is more or less dominated by this theme. The first party was on the second day of our studies, and after that some of us has been celebrating every day. Even though the beer is very good in Belgium (even the cheapest ones beat the Finnish reindeer pee), I still try to keep my drinking under control. Training on my bike is so solid part of my rituals that since I’ve put a huge effort on getting my dear peace of aluminium here, I try to go ’fietsen’ every time it’s not raining like Amazon. On thursday I took a ride to the Dutch town of Bergen op Zoom. The idea was to follow the same route home, since I didn’t want to get lost in a new territory. All the way to my destination was very enjoyable and especially DRY. Riding home was quite nice too, even though it started raining right after turning back. Tomorrow will be another day for fresh air and rotating legs. Our Dutch teacher is also a cyclist and she told me where to find nice cycling routes around here. I like these people, I like these students, I like the language, I like the beer, I haven’t had any waffles yet but I know they’re good, I don’t like the instant coffee at school but I like the crema from espresso.

Last but not least a photo from a visit to the city hall. This is hospitality, but something that should not be carried out in the presence of Erasmus students.

Antwerp city hall

Antwerp city hall