Campus adventures

Campus life

We lived on the 6th floor and 7th floor. The floors under us were hotel rooms. The area around the hotel and the building was quite big and there were many options for things to do. We could go to the Gym anytime we wanted to and the pool and the sauna were open from Monday to Friday. Downstairs on the 3rd floor we had a pool table and usually once a week there was a karaoke night for all hotel guests. In winter time we went on the lake and did a few activities on the lake, such ice swimming, ice fishing, cross country skiing…

As soon as the ice on the lake began to melt, we went swimming in the lake and took a boat to go around. We all had our rooms on the 6th floor. We were 16 Erasmus students and 3 Finnish students and we all shared a small kitchen together and the living room. It was really crowded from time to time and especially in the beginning, but we worked it out pretty well. We also organized some basic rules for the living together and a cleaning plan, which was necessary!

For class we had to go down to the 2nd floor, it started at 9am, so we didn’t even have to leave the building. Lunch was always at 11 in the cafeteria: we had to get used to this because it is so early. But the lunch was quite good and there was always a fresh salad and also a vegetarian or vegan option. You could also tell them if you have special diets.

We had to get used to the living together but it was really nice that there was always somebody to talk to. If we didn’t want to talk to anybody, we just went to our rooms and closed the doors. We respected our personal space and our belongings. We watched TV Shows together, had meals together, we had parties together and we shared many laughs together.

Outdoor activities

The area around campus offers a variety of possibilities if you are interested in different outdoor activities that are connected to nature. It is possible to borrow the equipment from the school if you don’t have your own.  For example in winter time, when the lake was frozen, we borrowed some ice skates and wild nature skis from school and used them in the weekend to do some winter sports. We had a lot of fun, especially when our families were visiting us, who never tried something like this before.

The school also arranged some activities. For example in the school there was another course for people who were studying to become nature guides. One man had to do his exam and had to lead our international group. This was a good chance for him and us: one Saturday morning we went together with the group, met him and we all did some snowshoeing in the forest. It was a new and really fun experience for most of us. Snowshoes are used to walk on top of the deep snow, without falling in the snow. It looks like a duck’s leg. You can also use them to go down a hill. After that we all went to do some ice fishing together with the tour guide and made a fire outside to barbecue some sausages. It was a really fun day for all of us, filled with lot of new and different activities.

In general there are a lot of cross-country ski roads passing  our campus area and it is very easy to go out of the house and do some winter sports. Nowadays, when the snow has melted, the roads become wonderful walking roads, where you can walk for hours and hours enjoying the wonderful nature during that time. In Finland forests are sometimes so wild that you might not meet anyone for hours when you’re walking. The forests are so beautiful and green and seem almost magical. If you are lucky, you will find another lake inside the forest, because Finland is a country with a lot of lakes. But even if you don`t meet people during your walk in forest you can still see a lot of cottages, because in Finland people like to come and spend their weekends there in the silence and peace.

The lake also gives a lot of sport opportunities in summer. You can have a nice rest in the sand next to the lake, you can go swimming or just enjoy the beautiful view.

Other nice options are disc golf and orienteering roads. For orienteering the main point and start is next to the campus: you can download the map in your mobile phone and after you can go to different points in the forest. You will register all these points with your mobile phone and then you will see where is the next point. You can run and try to do this as fast as possible and afterwards compare your time with others online. It is a really fun and exciting way to get to know the area better and also spend some nice time in this wonderful nature.

Sauna and ice swimming

On the 27th of February, when the local temperature was minus 27 degrees, the Erasmus group had the opportunity to use the sauna by the lake. Put more than ten women, some of which were still not comfortable with the blatant nudity, together in quite a small sauna and you will surely have a good time.

There was a cosy and relaxed atmosphere in the sauna. Whenever someone wanted to leave about 5 people had to move positions, but this added a humorous aspect to the experience.

It turned out that this was not our only challenge of the day: we also had the opportunity to go ice swimming, a very popular sport amongst the Finnish people. In the end to my surprise almost everyone ended up jumping the water.

Most of us only stayed under for a couple of seconds, but one Finnish student even decided to wash himself with some snow.

Reactions from home were mostly along the lines of: “You didn’t stay in there for a very long time, did you?” Next time, folks.

Below you can find a photo of the ice swimming experience.


Besides of sitting in the class rooms, we did also a little excursion in the adventure education. On a nice and sunny day in May we took the canoes and did a paddling trip around the lake Sääksjärvi . First our instructor did an exercise with the group to find out on what kind of stress level we were. After this she explained everything important to us and then we took the canoes and did a practice run to improve our skills and to familiarize us with the group and the methods to turn, to stop and to move forwards and backwards. After the lunchbreak we took the canoes again and we started paddling to the little island. We did a break around the island and then moved on to a little lake next to the big one. We had to paddle through a really small and narrow canal to reach the smaller one.

After all it was a great experience and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. More expressions are in the video below.

We had the most wonderful time on campus! Thank you for the amazing experiences!

Jessica, Svenja, Taisi, Iris


Helsinki city

Hello Helsinki visitor. I would like to invite you to read our blog in which we suggest you some of the most popular tourist attractions in the capital of Finland. We tried to collect some places which could be interesting for you and hope you will spend a nice time in the third largest city in the Nordic countries.

The Design Museum

By many people, Helsinki is known as a City of Design. In 2014 the city received the UNESCO title City of Design. You can’t leave Helsinki without taking a look at the Design District. Many galleries, design shops and museums are located in this area of the city, with the Design Museum as one of the highlights. The museum gives you an introduction in the history of design, even as contemporary design. The focus is on Finnish design, but there is also design from other countries housed in the museum. To check the current exhibitions, check the website: After visiting the museum, take some time to talk about what you just saw, drink a nice cup of coffee and let yourself inspire by each other.

The following website will give you an overview of everything which is worth to visit in the Design District:


The Cable Factory

The Cable Factory is the cultural centre of Helsinki. From 1940 until the ‘80s the building was used by Nokia to make cables. Nowadays it houses three museums: the Hotel and Restaurant Museum, the Finnish Museum of Photography and the Theatre Museum. Besides there is a book store, a restaurant, eleven galleries, art schools, artists bands, dance theatres and companies active in the creative industry. This makes it a perfect place for a relaxing cultural Sunday or just an easy way to see all kind of different cultural places without much travelling time.

More information about The Cable Factory can be found on their website:

  Cable Factory | Helsinki | Pictures | Geography im Austria ...    installation view at the courtyard of Cable Factory, Helsinki

pictures from :

and :

Arkadia bookshop

Close to the Rock Church, a small bookshop is hidden so well that you would almost cross it without giving it any attention. It is the perfect bookshop to visit as an Erasmus group, because you can find books from all over the world. Finnish, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, German, French… The chance is big that every student will find a book in her/his mother tongue. Beside the wide range of international books, the bookshop is already worth it to visit because of the friendly and hospitable owner, the old-fashioned design and the cosy ambiance. Take a book, buy a tea and set yourself in a chair to read in whatever language you want!

Visit the website by this link:


pictures from :

The Winter Garden

No metter in which season you are visiting Helsinki, the Winter Garden is always a good choice. If you are interested in exotic plants and you need a place to relax, inside the garden you can enjoy your coffee or tea on the benches. In case you need guided tours should be negotiated in advance. In summer and autumn time you can also visit the Rose Garden in front of the Winter Garden.

If you need more informations about the opening hours or the guided tours visit the website below:


Helsinki Cathedral

In case if you are interested in ordinary sightseeing and you like churches than you should definitely visit the biggest one in Helsinki. This church is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of Helsinki. It was built from 1830-1852 and before it was known as St Nicholas’ Church until the independence of Finland in 1917. The church is built in neoclassical style with Greek cross plan. It can be easily found, it is only few minutes by walk from the city centre. This is one of the most most popular tourist atteactions in Helsinki, so do not skip it and enjoy the view from the top of the stairs in front of the church. For more informations about opening hours and history of the church use the website as a help:

The Rock Church

When you read its name first time, maybe you think it is the church of rock music and Elvis Presley is the God. But actually it is a beautiful Lutheran church near to the city centre. Its Finnish name is Temppeliaukio Church. The church was designed by architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen and opened in 1969 and it is built directly into solid rock. That’s why it is one of the most interesting church what I have ever seen. You have to pay 3 Euros to enter, but defenetly worth it. The athmospher inside is impressive. The walls are rock, not the usual paintad wall. If you want to visit a special church then you have to go there.

You can read more information about the Rock Church on this website:



If you ask me, this is the most beautiful and pleasureable place in Helsinki. Suomenlinna is a romantic island with a sea forthress. Its construction began in the mid-18th century, when Finland was still part of Sweden. You can reach it easily by public transport ferry from Market Square. It is a whole day programme, and if you listen to me, you have to see the sunset there. You are sitting on one of the rocks and enjoy the impressive view and athmosphere. I recommend you to go there weekday because in weekends it is probably crowded.

How can you reach there and how much is it? What can you see there? You find these infos on this website:


These are only a few interesting places and it is an absolutely subjective recommendation, however we tried to suggest to you the places where everyone might have fun. Of course, there are more popular tourist attractions beside we mentioned abow. All in all, We hope, our short collection was useful for you and we wish you a good time in Helsinki.

Janneke, Manuela, Annamária and Paul


The Finnish nature.

National Parks in Finland

Around 65% of Finland’s total land mass is covered in forest, it’s no surprise the Fins have a strong connection to nature. It’s hardly possible to find a Fin who doesn’t appreciate the beautiful environment. This high percentage of forests means that there is around 4,2 hectares of forest (an estimated 13000) for EVERY Fin!

The forest has something magical. The first day we were here as Erasmus students we could not stop looking out of the window. All this nature! At home we live in the countryside, but we had never seen anything like this! The forest keeps going on and on…

Sunset from our window. Mariona Moranta

To conserve this unique landscape and nature of the country, Metsähallitus (Administration of Forests) established the national parks all over the country.
These parks are large areas of nature
conservation. They ensure that Finnish ecosystems and biotopes are maintained and give people the opportunity to go out and experience nature. They offer marked hiking routes, trails and sites to build campfires. For the longer hikes there are even shelters and huts that nature lovers can use free of charge.

Since the first national park was founded in 1938 (Pyhätunturi) there have been added 39 more. The total combined space of national parks nowadays makes up for 9.892km² or 2.5% of Finland.  An estimate of 1.7 million people visits the national parks annually. Which is not bad for a country that only has 5.5 inhabitants.

Pallas-Yllästunturi. Mariona Moranta

When you take a time to look at every national park in Finland we can observe a real diversity and a big developed biodiversity. By the way, we can separate it in 3 big categories:

·        Little Terrestrials Parks: In major cases locate in the South of the country, these parks have the mission of protecting a wild zone reduced by the urban areas of or cultivated areas. That category regroups a swamp, a geological curiosity or a non-exploited forest. Between 10 and 60 km2, the size still not that big. E.g.: Liesjärvi National Park.

·        Riparian or Sailors parks: These parks are essentially a group of islands without inhabitants, they covered really little surfaces. That’s not officially free national parks, but the inconvenient for visiting it is the needing of have and use a boat –which can be payable-. E.g.: Linnansaari National Park.

·        Lapland Parks or Koillismaa: These are by far the most visited, even if their gigantic surface relativizes attendance. They practically all have an area much larger than 100 km², or even 1000 km² (The aggregate area of ​​only UKK, Pallas-Yllästunturi and Lemmenjoki parks represents 6 420 km², or 79% of the total area of ​​the parks.

Did you know that in Finland there is something called Everyman’s right? Probably a lot of people heard about it, but what is it?

As we already mentioned the core of the Finnish culture is about having a close relationship with nature. The concept of Eveyman’s Rights means that you can walk freely in the forest. But is it just that? No!

You may:

  • Walk, cycle or ski in outside areas, except private gardens and land which is in a certain use, for example fields or other cultivated areas. 
  • Spend a short period in areas where access is allowed, for example to put up a tent. But respect people’s privacy and don’t put it up too close to someone’s home.
  • Collect mushrooms, berries and flowers
  • Catch fishes with a rod and line. In winter you can do it through a hole in the ice à ice fishing
  • Walk on the ice during winter and go boating when the ice is melted.

You may not:

  • Harm the environment or bother other people or animals or birds while breeding season
  • Harm the trees or cut them down
  • Pick up moss, soil, lichen or wood
  • Leave your litter in the nature.
  • Use a motor vehicle off road without the permission of the landowner
  • Go fishing and hunting without appropriate permits
  • Violate the sphere of privacy of people’s homes

The Everymen’s rights give the same possibilities to everyone, it doesn’t matter who you are and where you come from. And it’s great because spending time in the nature contributes to a sense of well-being and it slows down our life which is too often too stressful. And the most important thing! It teaches us to value the small things in life – and that’s something which we forget more and more in our society.

Experiencing the everyman’s right in Nuuksio national park

In 50 minutes by car from our campus, we were in an incredible conserved area away from the city. Nuuksio National Park, a forest and lake paradise just 30 minutes away from the capital of Helsinki.

Bridge and lake. Lukas Eder

We went on a weekday, so no one was there. We hiked trough beautiful paths during 10 kilometers. The time past so fast because we were enjoying the views and the company so much. We had

lunch in a small island in one of the lakes that had a fireplace. We started the fire and grilled our sausages just like Fins do. Have you tried it? They were very tasty!! It was a very good experience, highly recommended!

Fireplace. Lukas Eder

Joren, Löic, Lukas and Mariona.