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					  Erasmus in FINLAND
Vaasa
Before departure: After being selected for the Erasmus project, my suggestion is to contact as soon
as possible someone from the Finnish International Office, as Anne Kauppinen
(anne.kauppinen@uwasa.fi) and Nina Selin (nina.selin@uwasa.fi ), that will send you home the
necessary material as the confirmation letter and useful information on how to find lodging and
how to choose your courses.

Lodging: There is a specific association that takes care of lodging for students in Vaasa: VOAS
(www.voas.fi). On their internet site you can find different lodging solutions with photos, maps and
prices. The best solution, in my opinion, is the one so-called “box”, that is a single room in a
students’ apartment with kitchen and bathroom. Usually to foreign students lodging is proposed in
two structures, "Linna" e "Siksak", that are in the same district so that it is easier to socialize and
have fun since it is very close to Palosaari, an area 5 minutes distance from the University and very
well organized with supermarkets, banks, post office, pizzeria, sauna, gym, pubs etc…To tell the
truth, the area is not very close to the city centre, about 20 minutes distance by foot, 10 by bicycle.
To book your lodging place there is a specific paper that you should fill in on-line on the VOAS
internet site. After a confirmation mail you will get some news about different lodging possibilities,
and to accept it you will have to make a down payment trough your bank account and make a phone
call to confirm the operation. The rent is about 200-250 euros a month, including hot water,
electricity, sauna, and internet connection.

Journey: For the ones
that live in Friuli or
Veneto, the best route is
Venezia-Amsterdam-
Helsinki, with companies
as KLM or Lufthansa;
you can also book a
flight from Helsinki to
Vaasa from Italy, but in
my opinion it is better to
take a train: it will take
about 4 hours and a half,
for about 40 euros, (you
can check out the official
Finnish railway site,
www.vr.fi), or you can
buy at the Helsinki
airport a ticket to Vaasa, called Finnair Standby: you can buy it only at the airport, with cash
money, and it’s reserved for young people under 26 years old for 49.50 euros: the trip is about 45
minutes long and there is a flight every two hours; to be sure to find a place on the flight it is better
to call Finnair at the number 840 054747 a couple of days before departure.
Arrival: Before departure, once you have contacted Vaasa University, you should receive a
welcome email from your tutor, who will be a very important figure for you: these are Finnish
students that help foreigners to get into their new university and social life. It is better to tell your
tutor the exact day and time of your arrival, so he can come and pick you up and bring you to your
lodging place.
University: To decide which lectures are better for you to follow, you should check out the
University internet site, and if you don’t find enough information in English, you can visit the
specific department sites, and find out the contacts of the professors and ask them directly for the
programs and if the courses are in English or Finnish, in which semester, etc. Mostly, the lectures
available for foreign students are the ones dealing with economics, since they are almost all in
English, and some dealing with computer sciences, electronics, physics, etc.

                         Other information: The University is made up of three main buildings on
                         the sea shore, the Main Building, or Tervahovi, seat of Economy,
                         Communication Sciences and Political Sciences, where there is also the
                         office of the Students’ Association (very powerful and useful association),
                         and the canteen Mathilda. There is the library building Tritonia, with four
                         floors, cafeteria, copy machines and many computers available for students,
                         and with a special magnetic card, you can also use the computer at night or
                         during weekends and national holidays. The third main building is
                         Fabriikki, seat of Electronical Engineering, Computer Sciences, Languages,
                         Literature and Law. There are two restaurants, Cotton Club and Buffetti: in
                         the first one you can smoke and eat pretty well, in the second there is a
beautiful view towards the sea and there are many solutions for vegetarians and prices are pretty
cheap, about 2 or 3 euros.
To move in Vaasa I will suggest getting a bike, there is also the possibility of renting one for some
months. It will be very useful to you especially to go out at night, to go to University or to go to do
the groceries. In the cold season, a good solution is also the taxi, for 5 persons or minibus for 10, so
the price for each person becomes very low.
University parties are absolutely great: the welcome party on the sea for the students at their first
year, parties before Christmas, and sauna nights for Erasmus organized by students’ office, so you
really should not worry about staying at home and not knowing anybody, it’s impossible!

Mikael Castelluccio



...another experience
Before Departure: Mikael wrote that the persons to contact are Anne and Nina. Unfortunately,
Anne moved to another university so you better contact Marko Hautala (mhau@uwasa.fi). He is
always available to answer any kind of question.
In the confirmation letter, you will receive much more information that you can find on the internet
site, so don’t worry if you are not able to understand everything immediately.
Send the learning agreement to the International Office also without the signature of your Italian
coordinator in an informal way, so you can get in list for lectures that allow only a certain number
of students. You will give the official confirmation in the moment you send the learning agreement
accepted by your Faculty.
Journey: If you want to save, Ryan Air opened a new route from Frankfurt to Tampere, and you
can reach Frankfurt from Treviso Airport (check out www.ryanair.com). Once you get to Tampere,
you can take a bus to the train station for 3 euros and reach Vaasa by train for about 30 euros. You
can check out the official Finnish railway site for more information (www.vr.fi ).

Other Information: it is very useful to get a local sim card for your cell phone;
with it you can call your new friends met in Finland and also get phone calls
from your family and friends in Italy without being charged for it. I would
suggest the sim card from the DNA Company since you can also pay your
laundry service with it!!!
If you are a great sport fan, in Vaasa you can really find every activity you
wish. I suggest getting information about the activities organized by the
University contacting Henna or Erika (henna.huovinen@uwasa.fi) from the
Student office.
For the rest, follow Mikael’s instructions and have a wonderful Erasmus
experience!

Valentina La vezzo


...another experience
I would like to add something to the very useful information given by
Mikael and Valentina.
Remember that once you get to Finland, you will have to pay about 30
euros to get a student stay permit and other 60 euros to get a students’
card with which you can get about 50% discount on trains and buses and
many other things, so don’t ask many questions and do it!!!
If you are interested in developing your thesis work in Vaasa, the best
thing to do is to contact, with some months of advance, Professor Tauno
Kekale, who speaks a little bit of Italian and excellent English. Keep in
mind that this professor takes care of subjects as TQM or management
matters, so it can be very interesting for students of Management
Engineering.
Have a great time!

Tiziano Tedesco

				
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