Volmer Axel-Antero

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					                                                                       Volmer Axel-Antero
                                                                       Haravatie 7
                                                                       40950 Muurame


                                                                       Exchange time:

                                                                               1.9.2008 – 28.3.2009, Winter Semester

                                                                               University of Applied Sciences Jyväskylä, Finland
                                                                               Bachelor of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

                                                                               University of Applied Sciences Esslingen, Germany
                                                                               Bachelor of Engineering, Different fields of study

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      My preparations for the stay were relatively easy since my home University
      has Good connections with the Esslingen Host University. I have studied many
      years the language and also the culture is not unknown to me since I have
      spent some holidays in Germany. The Baden-Württemberg region was totally
      new for me so there were some differences to what I had experienced in
      North-Germany. The German bureaucracy is very intense but with the needed
      time everything worked out really good.

Studying at the Host Country:

      The University of Applied Sciences Esslingen is a well respected school with
      many contacts straight to the nearby industry. The variety of courses taught in
      English is in general sufficient but many courses offered in English were
      actually held in German! Also the availability of the Staff and Professors is not
      always guaranteed and can lead to some minor issues and waiting times.

      My courses of choice were (semester level): International Marketing (6th),
      Business- and Human Resources-Management (6th) Intercultural
      communications (3rd), German language level 4

      I was really happy with my choice of courses and I feel that the learned
      knowledge will gain me an advantage for my future career.

      The skill level of the professors is without a doubt very good and study cases
      from various fields of the industry and world are applied at the lectures. The
      University system in general seems too busy compared to Finland, in Finland
      we have the Bachelors degree in 4 years = 8 Semsters, in Germany it is
      achieved in 3y = 6 Semesters. The content of learning is more compressed in
      Germany and it seemed that many students were not able to hold the speed of
      studies and the quality of learning was clearly suffering.

Stay in the host country:

      The accommodation at Student Dorms was good, the housing was just going
      to be renovated (we were the last students) and because of this the noise of
      the construction was disturbing especially in the time of the exam weeks.

      The University held also big sporting areas where you could do anything from
      aerobics to climbing to football and salsa dancing. Everything was free of

      Staying in Germany was really nice and there are many things to discover and
      visit. Doing trips to nearby cities or the neighbour countries is relatively cheap
      with the cheap airlines like Ryanair.
      Food, clothes and electronics can be purchased at very low prices and food is
      cheap too so living expenses were low.

Practical advice

      Make sure you don't take too many courses since then you won't have much
      time to travel around in BW to other cities. Make sure you check the
      compability of the chosen courses in the time schedule or else you will
      probably have courses overlapping each other. Remember to enrol to the
      exams when the time comes!

General appraisal:

      Staying in Baden-Württemberg was a really nice time, the local food (for
      example Spätzle) is very delicious and needs some time to get through all the
      different delicious meals. The Christmas markets are a real attraction too but
      don't forget to visit the world known Oktoberfest in Munich and the "Vasen" in
      Stuttgart Bad Cannstat which was at least as good if not even better as the

      Travelling to the south tip of Baden-Württemberg to the lake of Konstanz is
      special treat and my tip for a nice weekend!

      In my opinion the BW region is the nicest area of all Germany and the location
      to the surrounding area is ideal for further travelling and exploration.

      The University of Applied Sciences Esslingen is a high class educational
      centre and offers a large variety of courses in German and English and has
      some great contacts to the big industries like Daimler, Bosch, Festo…

      The people of BW are really friendly and hard workers, finding help won't be a
      problem. Being open minded is the way to get to know the people and
      eventually you can form friendships beyond the Exchange for the rest of your

                                                                  Axel Volmer

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