School of Business students got an experience of a lifetime when they got the opportunity to spend 3 weeks at a Nordic study camp.
By Cheng Si Fan
School of Business
Diploma in Media and Communication, Year Two
Imagine looking out of your window at 2 am in the morning, only to see a breathtaking sight - warm colours exploding out of the dark sky in abundance - the sun rising in its full glory. Imagine living in a city the size of Singapore with only a population of 84 thousand. Imagine experiencing the pleasure of a slower pace of life.
That was what the 17 of us, who took part in the credit exchange programme between Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and Jyväskylä University of Applied Science, Finland, experienced for 21 days. Students from the Diploma of Business Administration, Tourism & Resort Management, Accountancy, and Media and Communication participated in this ‘Summer Study Camp', taking two business modules out of the five offered to replace our GEMs.
Located in central Finland, Jyväskylä (the city where we stayed) is known as a city of schools, with the University of Jyväskylä as one of the most popular universities in the country. Upon our arrival, our tutors (university students who would be playing host and guide to us) greeted us warmly.
With more than 10 tutors looking after us, we had a lot of fun. Activities organised after school included a BBQ at a rented summer house, Finnish sauna, canoeing, clubbing, shopping and visits to the houses of the tutors' parents.
Surviving the three weeks in the foreign city was a challenge for all of us. We had to adapt to the quietness so typical of small towns but strange for city folks like us. We had to figure out the bus schedule and how to get around Jyväskylä. We did our laundry, cleaned the apartment, and cooked our own food. It tested our independence and team work.
Picking up some Finnish words along the way was inevitable, and we enjoyed learning them from our tutors. The lessons and assignments in the University were manageable, with friendly lecturers and small classes. Guest lecturers from other countries were common, making the lectures more interesting.
Living amidst beautiful scenery and picturesque landscapes, coupled with the nice weather and the slower pace of life, we were at bliss. Time was elastic. No one was rushing anywhere, not even the car drivers. We also had the luxury to visit neighbouring cities such as Tempere and Lapland during the weekends!
All in all, this trip was an enriching experience for all of us. We returned with new friendships, unforgettable memories, and a better understanding of ourselves and others.