All posts by Eeva

Dissonant echoes of a former music student

One of our staff members, Markku, has spent the autumn in Taiwan, getting familiar with Taiwanese universities. A while ago he visited a local arts festival and got the chance to interview a Finnish music artist and former music student, Antti Myllyoja, about his experiences as an exchange student, and where his exchange has brought him eventually.

No words are spoken as a pale figure with a grotesque aura, that could well predate literature, stumbles forwards its linear path, in a zombie-like state, toward a disruptive symbolic structure, a chaotically vandalized black and white piano in this case, which it then studies, expressing nearly an animal like behavior all the way to the highest of excitements, only to plummet back in to the depths of despair again. Then, gradually, it starts to make its way towards its complete opposite, a well composed and lively pianist who excels in an aesthetically pleasing state of signified existence. Two of them become one as the climactic dissonant chords are played like vulgar echoes from the left-behind chaos and disruption. 

dissonant echoes of a former music student
Photographer: Te-Fan Wang (汪德範)

Although the main interest of the third Love for Freedom Calligraphy Art festival (愛自由當代書藝) is a Taiwanese dancer, and somewhat a local celebrity in the contemporary art scene, Hu Chia (胡嘉), the object of his performance, Black Meal (黑食), however, is a Finnish composer Antti Myllyoja in piano. Performance that ends in a synthesis of these two artists for the first time now – though who have been friends for a good couple of years – makes intriguing sense in the audience´s perspective since Antti is the only foreign artist who performs in the festival and, as such, is bound to catch the eyes of those who have wondered into an old warehouse building turned gallery within the city of Hsinchu´s railway station complex. But how has Antti himself found his way to Hsinchu and become part of the Taiwanese contemporary art scene?

dissonant echoes of a former music student
Photographer: Te-Fan Wang (汪德範)

It was back in 2010, the exchange, Antti starts his story. That was also the year he graduated from Sibelius Academy (nowadays part of the University of the Arts Helsinki) in Finland. At that time, the soon-to-become master of music had a touch of previous experience in Asia, having spent an exceptional summer in China couple of years earlier, and who thus was keen to browse through the available exchange options with the recently seen movies from an award winning Malaysian-born director – though who has made his career in Taiwan – Tsai Ming-liang in mind. Was it Tsai´s Taiwan inspired movies that had influenced Antti to choose Taiwan over the many other locations which offer interesting scenes for an artist and exchange student? “Tsai´s movies gave me a very creative and experimental picture of Taiwan which was later proven to be correct”, Antti explains. There is no heavy burden of tradition, he then adds. “Tradition can be good, but not the burden”. What kind of burden does he mean?

“It rained heavily that day, and I went to a hostel for the night”, Antti reminiscences his first day in Taipei. And within a week he was already in the studio of Golden Bough Theatre, a peculiar fusion of western theater and Taiwanese folk tradition, or post-modern, as it would be called in the world of arts, through which he became accustomed to the world of Taiwanese theater – “it is in the core of the story”, he reminds. Internship in Golden Bough lasted for three months, after which he started another three-month internship with the contemporary percussionists of Ju Percussion Group. Then it was time for the master´s thesis. “It was a free field of arts, without puritanism”, he sums up the exchange period; “even the studies were free of structure”. Then he starts to talk about a course that consisted of visits to culturally significant buildings. Nonchalance is easily mistaken as discontinuance in Antti´s story.

dissonant echoes of a former music student

“One reason, of course, was a Taiwanese actress Liu Yutsen, and another was a place in the Taiwanese art scene”, why Antti returned to Taiwan after his studies were completed. At the time, in 2012, the two of them established a theater together and Radical Snail Office was born. “The idea was to combine contemporary music with experimental theater”. “Surely, it has worked out well”. When asked about Antti´s future plans, the man replies: “as if I have any – we live in a space between…”. Silence ensues after which a burst of sarcastic laughter soon follows. It was the same laughter that spiced up the story of him seeing the distorted and diabolical face, probably from the performance the night before, in the heat and humidity of Taipei, in which the lizards are free to roam about.

Did you understand what was it about, asked a fair Taipei lady of a high academic standing, referring to the Black Meal performance, not being used to the contemporary arts. Perhaps it was about the thorough disruption in an otherwise so linear evolutionary path that needed to take place in order for the new literate culture to be born. Be as it may, in any case, Antti Myllyoja would not change a thing about his experience in Taiwan.

Disruption echoes in the dissonance, as Antti, Hu Chia and many others continue catering the contemporary art addicts those ink-black meals of enlightened culture near the rigid shores of the Pacific Ocean that make up the island of Taiwan.

dissonant echoes of a former music student
Photographer: Te-Fan Wang (汪德範)

Find more information about Taiwanese universities!

Soochow University and Taipei University of the Arts have received very favourable reviews on Study Advisory, where they were rated both by Taiwanese and international students. The security level and student services are particularly appreciated at Soochow while good value for money stands out from reviews of Taipei University of the Arts.

Student’s experiences: Daniel in Bangkok

Each year, Study Advisory offers scholarships for students from all around the world for BBA and MBA degrees in Panyapiwat Institute of Management (PIM) in Bangkok, Thailand. Daniel from Germany, who spent one year in PIM, was totally amazed by his experience and wanted to share it with you!

Daniel’s experience in Bangkok

One thing was more clear than a blue sky when I started my Master studies in my home university in Germany.

I knew I wanted to spend a year studying at an Asian university. The problem was, that my home university lacked suitable cooperation and networks with Asian counterparts. Thus, I didn’t have much choice but to organize my studies abroad as a free mover. Luckily I could use online platforms in my search of a suitable study place. Some of them offer a large network of Asian universities with academic partnerships in countries like Indonesia, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

Daniel with his friends in Bangkok

Asia Exchange and its sister company Study Advisory finally offered me the unique chance to study at the corporate university Panyapiwat Institute of Management (or PIM). PIM follows the work-based education approach with the slogan “create professionals by professionals”. Therefore, most of the lecturers are experts from various branches of industry. This application-based approach was one of the reasons I decided to study in their iMBA program.

The program includes international students from all parts of Asia with students from China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand.  So far, I’m the one and only European student, which is great!

Meeting the big bosses

PIM is Thailand’s first and biggest corporate university. University is still quite young, but the establishment and organization of the iMBA program seem very ambitious. In each module PIM invites highly skilled guest speakers to talk about their experience and expertise in their respective fields. You can really see, that the university tries to transmit the knowledge of business community to their students.

I have actually had the opportunity to meet the Ambassador and the Trade Commissioner from New Zealand, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of CP ALL (convenient store business in Thailand under the 7-Eleven trademark) and the Director of Economic Stability Analysis Division in the Ministry of Finance, just to name a few. I think the chance to meet and connect with very smart and dedicated decision makers in the economic and political field makes PIM very special.

Daniel's experience in Bangkok

Every second week, we conducted field trips to big companies such as Haier Ltd., Baidu Inc., or the government agency Thailand Board of Investment. These company visits have given me deep insights into the globally operating Thai and Chinese enterprises.

Learning through GO-game

In addition to the application-based study program, another reason in my decision to study at PIM was the unique China-ASEAN module. It’s focused on the ASEAN business, which China supports by guest speakers with a background in business in China and the ASEAN region.

During one of those lectures I had the chance to learn different oriental philosophical approaches that impact the daily and economic life e.g. Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Also a crucial part of lectures was to learn and practice the “GO” game (wéiqi, baduk) in order to understand its concepts and applications to business strategy. To learn the philosophy behind the game that has a strong connection to Sun Tzu’s masterpiece The Art of War, taught me a powerful tool to analyze and understand the Asian way of thinking and to apply it to Asian management methods.

As a German with a Western mindset, the China-ASEAN module provided me with valuable knowledge of the driving economical and cultural forces behind the fast-growing Asian market. As the Asian market is going to be the market of the future, this knowledge cannot be estimated high enough.

The organization of the modules and the supervision by the professors and assistants is brilliant. Each staff member of the iMBA program is available for consultation at any time. Besides academic duties, students get help to find accommodation. PIM provides also visa assistance, as well as job-matching services. Students can make use of PIM’s extensive corporate network in China, Japan and ASEAN region. Thereby it’s possible to work in a firm for a month and to solve real business problems. The iMBA program also offers a so-called corporate mentorship. Within this mentorship, each student will be supervised and gets assistance in their career planning by a senior manager from the CP ALL and PIM environment.

Perfect place for travel and discovery

Lectures take place only on the weekends and the field trips are conducted on Friday’s every second week. During the week there is a lot of time to organize trips in and around Bangkok, to meet with student fellows, to train Muay Thai or to chill out at the nearby pool.

The transportations costs in Thailand are very low, so it’s easy and affordable to travel in the spare time. Bangkok is considered to be a central hub and a perfect starting point for one’s adventures to popular tourist regions in the neighboring countries. Whether it’s Myanmar in the west, China and Laos in the north, Cambodia and Vietnam in the east or Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in the south.

Also Thailand itself has an impressive variety of attractive natural and cultural assets. From jungles to mountains, from national parks to beaches, Thailand offers something for every taste. Besides the popular mass tourism destinations, it is possible to conquer and discover the real Thailand outside the touristic areas.

Daniel with his friends in Bangkok

Those who want to take a break from a populated metropolis like Bangkok, can reach islands like Ko Sichang, Ko Kood, Ko Mak or Krabi within a couple of hours and with a little purse.

And let’s not forget Bangkok, either, which provides an immeasurable treasure of hidden things to discover. Even a year abroad is not enough to see and test all the bars, clubs, restaurants, museums, temples and markets.

I can assure, it will never be boring in Bangkok. I can only recommend Thailand and PIM for anyone interested in the combination of quality studies and unforgettable experiences!

Interested in studying in Bangkok?

Look no further! Study Advisory offers full-degree scholarships for BBA and MBA studies in Panyapiwat Institute of Management (PIM) each year. Find more information at our Scholarships page!

Introducing the new team members

Hello readers and followers!

Our amazing Study Advisory team has recently grown by a few new staff members, and we decided to make a blog post to introduce ourselves and let you know a little something about the people behind the scenes. We will be in charge of Study Advisory networking, marketing and staying in contact with our growing amount of Study Advisory users. Here’s a short introduction of each of us:

“Hello everyone! Melissa here, from the Study Squad based in Tampere. I’m a misplaced Texan who has made Finland my permanent home since 2009, completing a bachelor’s degree in tourism in 2013 and a bachelor’s degree in international business in 2016. You could easily say I have a passion for learning, having studied myself in 4 universities on 3 different continents!

My greatest hobby of all is to travel the world and experience all that life has to offer. My personal goal in life is to visit a new country for every year I have been alive. The current ratio is 22/25!

My journey with the Study Advisory team began in 2015 when I met Harri and Tuomas at the orientation of my study abroad period in Bali with their company Asia Exchange. I told them I was looking for an internship with a global company based in Finland, and they found me a place at Study Advisory right away!

After a 3-month internship for Study Advisory, the atmosphere was so amazing that I just couldn’t leave! So here I am, working as a marketing coordinator for one of the most global and passionate teams I have ever met.”

 

“Hi! I’m Eeva, the new international coordinator at Study Advisory. I started working here a few weeks ago and am really excited about all the new challenges. I studied in the University of Tampere and thus have been living in Tampere already for quite a few years, but I’m originally from Kuopio in Eastern Finland. I have also lived abroad a few times in Italy, France, and Belgium. Those have definitely been some of the most important experiences of my life and have taught me a lot about myself and the world around me.

I am passionate about different cultures, languages and traveling, and I’m always interested in discovering how things are done differently in different countries. In my free time I enjoy long walks outside, yoga, gym, swimming in the lake both winter and summer, knitting, cooking, gardening and reading… just to mention a few!

At Study Advisory my responsibilities include networking with the universities all around the world, administrative tasks at our office in Tampere – and of course constantly developing our services so that we can better answer the needs of both students and universities worldwide. I’m happy to help future and current students, alumni and university staff alike to get the most out of Study Advisory!”

 

“Hello! I’m Sami, one of the new team members who started in April 2016 to work at Study Advisory. Tampere is my home city, a place of birth actually, which means that I haven’t really gotten that far away from home… Although I have to mention that as the years have passed, I have discovered over thirty countries in two continents, either by travelling, studying or working abroad. I’m always listening to good tips for travelling and am willing to answer if you want to ask something, so just give me a shout!

My mind is strongly internationally focused, so if I would be the president of the world, I would make a law that everyone must go abroad either to study or to work for at least a few months during their lives. But since I’m not, I will just work in a determined and passionate way to make it possible for you and help you any way I can. When you are thinking about future study options, don’t hesitate to contact me.

I’m working currently in a double role, for Study Advisory but as well for Asia Exchange, but they belong to the same family anyways. Within both roles the main goal is the same; increase student mobility, just in different ways. With the help of Study Advisory, the goal is to build a worldwide network for universities and students to find each other, and my role is to build partnerships with universities in order to make Study Advisory a bigger, better and stronger service where information about “where to study?” can be easily obtained.

Se on moro! (bye bye in Finnish, in Tampere region dialect)”

“Every day is not necessarily a good day, but there is something good in everyday”

Our new team members

We are very much looking forward to our new challenges here at Study Advisory, and we are really excited to help young people find their dream universities. Spending the summer at the office doesn’t feel bad at all with such an inspiring job and such great colleagues!