Category Archives: Fun and laughter

Happy Penkkarit!

Today, being on my way to work by bus, I wondered if seeing the girl dressed in a pink elephant costume in front of me, meant that I didn’t have enough coffee in the morning or if I am slowly going crazy. However, thanks to my Finnish colleagues at the office, I found out that today is a very important day in the life of Finnish High School graduating students – Penkinpainajaiset (shortly, Penkkarit and directly translating, pushing benches).

On this day, students dress up in wild costumes (finally, everyone gets a chance to demonstrate their inner self), get a ride in a truck around the city center, throw candies to the crowd and get more than a little tipsy.

Penkkarit truck drive
Penkkarit truck drive

Some schools have a tradition of creating teams and getting dressed in the same way (would you want to be a part of a bunch of ballerinas?) and some schools prefer being dressed uniquely. Also, coming up with a creative and funny poster to win a competition is a must!

Penkkarit truck with a poster
Penkkarit truck with a poster

While we are enjoying our candies picked up on the streets after Penkkarit, we hope you will enjoy these pictures taken from Tampere.

Happy Penkkarit everyone!

 

Hitchhiking tips: thumb up and get a ride!

Passionate about travelling? Not scared going out of your comfort zone? Want to bring some excitement into your life? Then you are in a right place!

Travelling is the most popular trend nowadays, especially among youngsters. However, not every person is able to do travelling, because of the financial side of it. It surely requires some amount of money to cover transport expenses, living costs, food etc. However, there are some things you can save money on.

hitchhiking

You have probably heard about auto-stop? The more advanced travelers nowadays use the word “hitchhiking”. Hitchhiking is getting more and more common way to travel these days. Not only because it’s basically free, but also because it’s unusual, brings you lots of new emotions as well as new acquaintances and even friends!

Last year my friend and I made a 12 days non-stop hitchhike across Europe. We started from Italy, went to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Germany, Sweden and finished our journey in Finland. On our way we met bunch of amazing people and got a ride from 17 drivers: some German and Italian students, DJ and wine bottle designer, pretty old couple that drove us way further than they needed to, policeman, volleyball coach, oil and cacao company worker, 86 years old sailor going to a party, French couple going for vacation, lady who works with mentally ill people, a lawyer & doctor couple who walked back to us because they wanted to help, two Finnish guys, airport push/pull plane driver, the girl from movie-making industry, oil distributor, top manager of IKEA warehouse and a chef cook of 3 top restaurants around Helsinki.

hitchhiking

However, if you are up for trying this way of travelling, you need to plan things well and some things even beforehand. So, here I am to give you some hints and to share my personal experience.

1. Choose a good location

Location is the most important thing in getting a ride. You need to find a good spot where you can be easily seen and where cars can stop safely. Therefore, it is essential to have a map. For a hitchhiking spot I recommend a public highway – it is absolutely the best spot to catch a ride. Going downtown is a bad idea since it´s gonna be hard to find a long-distance ride from there; also downtown there is usually no space for a car to stop, because of the heavy traffic in the center.

Also,  a good idea is to join different hitchhiking clubs and to check out the world HitchWiki map where travelers mark the best hitchhiking spots to get a ride from. If you can’t get a ride on the road, try petrol stations. Just walk around, ask people to give you a lift. This will be helpful!

2. Take some comfortable and bright clothes with you

It is really important to dress up properly. You will walk a lot, so make yourself ready for it. Think about comfortable clothes and shoes. Fill your backpack only with necessary things! Check out few tips for How to Pack a Backpack. Personally I suggest taking few T-shirts, extra pair of socks, rain cover, deodorant and camera. Color is important! Wear bright clothes, so that drivers can easily see you from a distance. Such items like a flashlight, a pocketknife, black marker for writing on a cardboard, sunscreen, etc. would become useful and they don’t weight much.

hitchhiking
On our way to Amsterdam.

3. Don´t hitchhike alone

If you use this way of travelling – always take a friend with you. However, it’s good to know, that you cannot take all of your friends either! Two people is usually the best option, since cars don’t have space for more. Also for safety reasons, it is always fun to travel with somebody you know. Stay positive, talk, laugh – this experience will stay with you forever!

4. Stay awake!

If there are two of you travelling, one person should always be awake! If it’s been really hard day and you need some sleep, you can do rotation with your friend. One person sleeps, another follows the road and vice versa. It is also a good idea, to keep some conversation going with the driver. Usually the people who give you a ride are open-minded and very interesting people (they probably pick you up to have a talk and not to get bored), so grab the opportunity! Make friends, build connections!

hitc
The road from Milan to Paris.

5. Stay safe

Hitchhiking might seem risky, but that should not stop you from trying it. Just always keep an eye out! If the driver looks suspicious to you, do not accept a ride! It is good to remember the car number and even take a picture of a car if possible, and send it to your friend or family before leaving.

To sum up, I just want to say: never be afraid of trying something new and as my teacher once said “Live fast, love hard and die laughing”!
-Daria Tcvetkova

4 Points business students should pay attention to

“Business” is one of the most common and popular study fields, but nevertheless, for some students it may be difficult to understand what they can achieve with their business degree. In this post, I am going to give four key points to help business students get the most out of their degree. These goals are achievable and measurable, and will help you pursue your studies further. You can try to change them into practical tasks and add them to your to-do list.

I am sure that by reading this, the business degree will become a bit more meaningful to all of you!

1. Pay attention to classes

Business students may want to achieve different goals in universities. Some may want to get a good grade so that they can be promoted to a better job. Some may want to receive tertiary education so they can be improved spiritually and knowledgeably. Some may want to try every new thing so they can develop their potential. Going to class, especially for the business students, would be the easiest way to accomplish the above-mentioned goals. Apart from learning hard facts from the books and PowerPoints, in class you will also get the chance to discuss with your fellow students. You can learn from other business students and review your own ideas. It is also a golden opportunity to develop your own network!

business students having lessons

2. Take part in different activities

If you are planning to achieve a business-related career, I would recommend you to join some business-related societies or consulting clubs. You can meet more students and professionals in different fields and you may also sniff some career information. If you dream of getting a work related to technology, it might be a wise idea to join some seminars about new technologies. This is an excellent way to learn more about the current trends. It’s good to always bear in mind that your current friends may become your colleagues one day.

business students having discussion

3. Don’t bound yourself

As a university student, you should keep an open mind to every new people, environment or study field. By going to different lectures, you can learn something completely new that you can possibly apply in your future projects. For example, marketing skills are essential to all the disciplines. I recommend all of you, no matter what is your major, should go to have some marketing lessons.

Furthermore, you can also join some sports club to keep yourself always energetic and your body in a good condition to accept different challenges. It would also be a great occasion for you to widen the social cycle. While exercising, you can share your innovative ideas to other outstanding students. A tip for you: Mark Zuckerberg loves playing tennis !


3rd point

4. Join more discussions

You can meet so many professors, staff members and experts in business when you have lectures or seminars. Grab the chance and rdon’t hesitate to ask any questions you have! I am sure that they would be pleased to share their knowledge, experiences and personal connections with you. These can certainly bring new insights to your academic research and future career path.
business students sharing ideas

I know all of you must share the same question right now. “How can we have so much time to achieve all four goals? I wish I could have 48 hours a day!” There is no doubt that we only have limited time while we have plenty of tasks needs to be done! However, as mature students, we should have the ability to prioritize the tasks according to their importance and emergency. It is reasonable that you focus on the tasks that you consider the key to your success! You may also check out our other blog posts about time management to utilize your time!

Written by Ching Fung Nicholas, Li

Pokemon Go: Catch ’em all, and a degree!

With Pokémon Go already available in some parts of the world, and opening soon in other parts, it is already taking the world by storm! There have already been millions of downloads, and students who are starting school this year or returning to their university this autumn will be happy to find that most universities have quite a few Pokestops and even an occasional gym on campus! In fact, our friends over at Tampere University boasts around 7 Pokestops!

So if you are one of the few who haven’t started playing yet, it’s pretty much a fact that this will be the next big trend of your Autumn semester, and maybe even for the entire time of your studies! So what are you waiting for?

Here’s how we suggest you become the Pokémon Go master of your university!

Everyone wants to be the very best like no one ever was, right?

First things first, how to play the game:

Download the game app with your iOS or Android device and log in with your Google account or with your Pokémon Trainer Club account. Customise your avatar and select a starter Pokémon.

Pro tip: If Squirtle, Charmander or Bulbasaur are not really for you, simply run away from these starter Pokémon about four times until a Pikachu appears!

Now that you are ready to go, there are three very important features of the game you should know about. Firstly, you can catch Pokémon by simply walking around campus until they appear. Tap on the Pokémon to initiate a battle, and fling Pokeballs at it until you catch it!

Keep your eye on the colourful circle around the Pokémon. When the circle is the biggest, it is easier to catch the Pokémon, so press and hold the Pokeball until the circle grows as big as it can, then toss the ball at the target.

Pokemon Go
Catch ’em all!

Green circles mean the Pokémon will be easier to catch, yellow circles may be more challenging, and red circles even more difficult still. The Pokémon might spring out of the Pokeball after you catch it, but there are certain items that you can use such as higher level Pokeballs (that start to show up around level 12) and treats to distract the Pokémon with.

Secondly, visiting the local Pokestops is a major part of the game, as light blue colored Pokestops will drop items for you to use in the game, such as Pokeballs, treats, potions, and Pokémon eggs!

Pro tip: Eggs can be placed in an incubator which is powered by walking. Eggs will then hatch after walking 2 KM, 5 KM or 10 KM.

Pokemon Go
Hatch your Pokémon eggs as you walk!

When you grab the loot from a Pokestop, it will turn purple and it wont drop loot again for another 5 minutes. Pokestops are also the place to use a Lure Module, which attracts a multitude of Pokémon to that Pokestop for 30 minutes. If you see a Pokestop near by and it’s surrounded with little hearts, head on over to grab some loot and catch some Pokémon!

Pokemon Go
Pokestops with Lures have lots of loot and Pokémon!

Pro tip: It has been said that the more people who come to a Pokestop with an active Lure, the rarer the Pokémon will be! Grab your mates and head to a Pokestop between classes and wait and see what shows up!

Lastly, gyms are a pretty big deal in Pokémon Go. You can use gyms to earn gold coins that can be used in the Pokeshop after successfully taking over the gym. In order to battle a gym, you first need to be a level 5 and select a team from either Valor (red), Mystic (blue) or Instinct (yellow).

Once you have a team, you can find other members by hanging around Pokestops or in a local Facebook group. Together, you will be a force to be reckoned with as you take over all the gyms you can find! Once you and your team take a gym, leave a Pokémon there to defend it and level up the gym by training your Pokémon. There higher the gym level, the more Pokémon can be left there to defend the gym against rival teams!

Pokemon Go
Grab a team and take over gyms between classes.

Battle Pokémon at gyms by tapping on the enemy Pokémon, press and hold the enemy Pokémon to unleash special attacks, and dodge attacks by swiping left or right.

Pro tip: Do some research on what types of Pokémon are strong or weak against other types of Pokémon, such as Water > Fire, Fire > Leaf, etc.

Put those legs to good use! Explore the landmarks of your university city as you play, and use the app to not only get some exercise between studies, but also to make new friends and find the hidden gems (and gyms) of your city. Host events with fellow students like a Pokémon pub-crawl, or a Pokémon walkathon, and seek out the local hotspots which double up as a Pokestop!

Already a Pokémon master? Leave us some tips in the comment box below!

Remember to stay alert and play responsibly, keep up with your studies and pay attention to your lecturers. Who knows, maybe they will drop a lure on your university campus as a reward for your hard work and dedication!

Student life with Kanye West

Look, whether you are in high school or already working on your higher education degree, we’ve all been there. It’s a rollercoaster of great achievements and even bigger failures, especially if you happen to be Kanye West. Let’s look at the best quotes and pieces of wisdom from Yeezy himself, and imagine for a while:

How is the student life working out for you, Kanye?

Learn some serious study tips from the great Kanye.

First of all, you kinda have to change your attitude right there.

“I am not a fan of books.”

Since, you said it better yourself:

“Our work is never over.”

It’s not going to be a piece of cake after high school or your Bachelor’s degree…

“Second degrees, man, they’re even scarier than the first ones.”

(Or in fact, instead of degrees he might have mentioned “albums”, but true either way.)

But once you get the flow, things become truly inspiring.

“Visiting my mind is like visiting the Hermés factory. **it is REAL.”

“I’m doing pretty good as far as geniuses go… I’m like a machine. I’m a robot.”

University is also about friends. Like when you open a pack of gum and share it with your classmates.

“I’m like a tree. I feed the branches of the people.”

Friends equal competitors? Like when you get the only A in your study group.

“When you’re the absolute best, you get hated on the most.”

Essays got you all thinking and stuff.

“Would you believe in what you believe… If you were the only one who believed it?”

But then you remember you studied ZERO.

“You should only believe about 90 percent of what I say. As a matter of fact, don’t even believe anything that I’m saying at all.”

Don’t become too “extremist” when it comes to your grades:

“What’s a B+? I’m an extremist, its either pass or fail! A+ or F-!”

And when the year finally comes to its end, stay positive about the future!

“So if you learn from your mistakes, then I’m a *freaking* genius.”

Jokes aside, it’s good to wrap this up with some actual study inspiration from the great Yeezy.

“I have millions of ideas and I represent a new generation just trying to express themselves in a broken world. I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade. I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things.”

“There’s nothing I really wanted to do in life that I wasn’t able to get good at. That’s my skill. I’m not really specifically talented at anything except for the ability to learn. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m here for.”

Hope you had a productive semester and remember: stay humble with a little bit of Kanye.

Follow your passion – 10 degrees you probably didn’t know exist!

Does your degree feel like a waste of time? Do you get the feeling that sitting in the Quantum physics 101 is not your thing?

So do others. But the range of classes today is immersive – you can honestly study something that you like, unlike in the first ever universities almost 900 years ago, when you could choose from basically four subjects (in Latin).

So worries be gone, ditch the boring physics! Here are some degrees that might bring back your passion for studying!

1.Harry Potter and The Age of Illusion

They see me rowling - they hatin' my Harry Potter degree
They see me rolling – they hatin’ my Harry Potter degree

Is Harry Potter a favorite of yours? If so, the Durham University in the United Kingdom offers a fantastic opportunity to deepen your understanding on this cultural phenomenon as part of your Educational studies. You will learn (almost) everything about the World of Quidditch in its social, cultural and educational context. Could it be time to forget the boring English Lit classes, and study potions instead?

2. Ethical Hacking

Who doesn’t like stalking, even just a tiny bit! We all do it and whether or not we admit it, some people even do it professionally (and legally) and get paid for it. In the University of Abertay Dundee, you can study how to hack and prevent someone from hacking you, ethically. It is a guaranteed employment if you decide to go down the path to learn how to hack – for good purposes of course.

Ethical Hacking degree
Bad example of ethical hacking.

3. Baking Technology Management

Cookies degree
True story. Every time.

Apart from Harry Potter, baking is close to coming in my personal second place on things that I want to learn everything about. The London Southbank University has “The Worshipful Company of Bakers” – an endorsed degree in baking, and it probably does not even sound as sweet as studying it would be! Being a baking technologist – that’s impressive if something.

4. The Joy of Garbage

Joy of Garbage degree
Garbage is coming

If hacking and baking are too much of neat indoor jobs, garbage digging gets your hands dirty. It’s not a whole degree you can study, but Santa Clara University offers a course in, directly quoted from their website, “Mold, methane, and enteric fermentation. Rates of decomposition. And a lot of pictures of dead things. It’s not “CSI.” It’s the Joy of Garbage.” In this course, students get to experience the joy of landfills, sewage treatment plants and waste recycling facilities. Something for everyone, right?

5. Artist Blacksmithing

Thor degree
If so, he’s still hot.

Today it is important to be hip (yet not to be called hipster) and do something a bit outside the box. Game of Thrones is cool, The Vikings as well. And what do they have in common (apart from a lot of nudity and blood): muscular, topless men. I mean, blacksmiths! In Hereford College of Arts one can learn how to combine traditional blacksmithing skills in order to produce contemporary art. Probably with a shirt on. And of course girls can be blacksmiths as well.

6. Viking and Old Norse Studies

Vikings degree
Aye.

For those admiring the history of the Nords, University College London offers a great opportunity to get some insight into the culture of the Viking Age. During the 4-year long studies, you will master not only one Nordic language but also spend your third year abroad in Scandinavia. And if you still have a burning passion to learn more, University of Iceland offers a 2-year masters class in the same subject!

7. Beer studies (Brewing & distilling)

Beer brewing degree
Learn to ye own beer!

Alcohol consumption is something that students have been criticised for since the early days of universities, so what would be better than turning this passion for the malt drink into a profession? In the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, you can educate yourself to be a manager of the malting, brewing and distilling industries and get a full understanding of the science and technology of the processes involved from cereal farming to bottling and packaging.

8. Surf Science and Technology

Surf studies degree
Learn how to be cool – study surfing

Do you feel more stable on a surf board rocking the waves than on solid ground? Cornwall College could be your dream uni in that case! And even if you are a complete newbie to surfing, they’ll teach you everything from the basics to Sociological and Psychological Perspectives of Surfing.

9. Viticulture and Oenelogy

Viticulture studies degree
When you study viticulture, you’ll know.

Your first question is probably: what is this?! It is of course a course in wine culture and wine science. Charles Sturt University in Australia offers this opportunity to gain skills or maybe even maintaining a wine yard after graduation! And as a cherry on top, you will be eligible for student membership to the Australian Society for Viticulture and Oenology.

10. International Spa Management

Spa Studies degree
Spa studies might be your path to your dream job

Last but not least – some relaxing studies in the spa industry. This University of Derby’s bachelor’s degree is “one of the most employable” and after your graduation you can open your own spa, with full training in massaging and other spa-treatments, as well as the spa business in general.

Written by Suvi Loponen

Study Hacks from a Global Citizen

study hacks
Follow these hacks from a global citizen to fast-track your studies to success!

A successful university or college student is a multi-tasker who needs to absorb useful study hacks in order to achieve their grades and minimise their stress. And let’s face it, whether you like it or not, the modern globalised world requires global citizens who understand cultural differences, and most importantly, have the ability to work with an international team. Ask any current or previous exchange student: interacting with a very different culture can give you some extremely valuable skills to exploit in the future!

Feel free to put on your cultural stereotype goggles and learn these study hacks from different angles of the world and boost your study routines. You may even get a hint for your next study exchange destination!

Check out a few other useful things you can learn while studying abroad: 7 Things I Learned While Studying Abroad

Manage your study group meetings like the Spanish

The first thing that may pop up into one’s mind when thinking about the Spanish studying or working culture might be the siesta: the culmination of their relaxed attitude when tackling daily routines. However, considering their bubbling speech and passionate way of communicating, I have noticed that Spanish people are extremely efficient in their study group meetings. The thing is, it’s perfectly normal for multiple persons to talk at once!

To some foreigners this may seem exactly as chaotic as it sounds (in written and in practice) and one could wonder how to divide attention to multiple sources at the same time. What I’ve learnt is that Spanish people are masters of listening and able to paint the big picture of different subjects handled simultaneously – you can always concentrate on the missed details afterwards. Once you learn their trick, you are able to handle enormous masses of information in shorter periods of time.

Interested in gaining a better understanding of those highly structured meetings? Fun fact: among the Spanish universities, University of Alicante has the highest Study Advisory Rating!

Speak up like an American

I really admire the way Americans are able to speak their mind. It’s not just their linguistic advantage when speaking English; they are verbally very quick-witted and confident. One way they are able to make a study group meeting flow effortlessly is that they speak their mind, not only about their ideas, but they are also comfortable with expressing open criticism. One could say they respond quickly with their honest feelings.

Don’t get insulted or shut completely down when facing their comments: it can be educating to hear constructive criticism. For you it is also a perfect opportunity to work on your negotiation skills.

See a list of universities, academies and colleges in United States here.

Beast-mode on like a Hong Kong native

One might think they are fully capable of handling study-stress and upcoming finals like a boss, but then there are always the students from Hong Kong. Emerging from one of the world’s top economic hot spots in Southern China, Hong Kong natives have learned to work hard towards excellence in order to stand out from the crowd.

The local studying culture is extremely competitive, and the amount of effort they put forth during their studies is something one can see only in top universities of the Western world. Student hostels can be noisy long after midnight, and 24/7 learning spaces full until 4am. All-nighters are common before big presentations or finals.

Therefore, when you really need to meet all those deadlines, Hong Kong natives prove it: you can pull it off a whole lot in a very short period of time. Watching them work this hard tells that you can do it too, especially when you are young, confident and capable!

Feeling competitive yet? Hong Kong has nine universities to choose from, the Chinese University of Hong Kong having the largest number of student ratings on Study Advisory.

Learn to be as efficient as a Finn

Once you engage in a study group with a Finn, you can always count on them to deliver. They are humble, conscientious and respect efficiency. As a legacy of former Nokia engineer inspired work culture, what they don’t appreciate is meaningless dabbling that brings on little results. In general that keeps meetings with Finns short and productive. Killing the brainstorming and free-flow of ideas? Maybe. However, every once in a while keeping it short and simple is what guides you and your study mates through a fully booked week.

The best thing about working with Finns is that the next time you meet with your Finnish group, everyone has done exactly what they promised to do in the last meeting– and they expect you to do the same. Engage in a group work with a Finn if you need good results efficiently. Maybe even bring along those Spanish classmates as well in order to mix things up a little!

Study Advisory has a great deal of highly rated places of learning in Finland. Go and check them out.

Handle pressure like a Colombian

One of my friends did a volunteering job in Colombia, South America. While she had some difficulties with local habits, (such as the more relaxed perception of time and scheduling) she noticed that they were able to handle stress and pressure extremely well.

They can manage to keep it together even in situations where they are expected to perform and they have nothing ready to be presented. Panicking is unnecessary and it usually just stops development short. The key is to always be able to act, and finally, to be happy with the final result. Trust yourself: you did the best you could in the given situation.

Do you have great experiences from a Colombian university and local student life? Be the first one and rate your university on Study Advisory, and be sure to share your own study hacks.

Ready to make your own experiences?

Take the biggest leap forward in educating yourself and start building your own future abroad. Keep these study hacks handy to help you maximise your studies! Use Study Advisory’s search tool and find the best choice for you among nearly 12,000 universities in our database!

Written by Nelli Koutaniemi

How to be the best at studying

You may have made it here because you’re not sure what you’re in for this Autumn, or you’re here because you’re looking for some last minute wisdom to get you past graduation. No matter what brought you here today, you will find that studying can be easy when you follow these simple steps:

First of all, let’s take a look at exactly what “study” means:

Student life
Source: 9gag

Oftentimes, studying can be a little bit confusing to the average student …

Student Life
Source: 9gag

… but don’t worry! With a little motivation, you will start to study efficiently in no time!

Student life
Source: 9gag

(That is if you can find a cure for laziness!)

Student life
Source: 9gag

The key to study success is having access to the right materials …

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Source: 9gag

… having a group of mates to compare your answers with …

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Source: 9gag

… keeping yourself well rested …

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Source: 9gag

… and keeping yourself well fed.

Student life
Source: 9gag

We know, we’ve been there too. But when you finish that degree, you will be eating steak in no time!

Student life
Source: 9gag

So forget wasting your time on washing the dishes …

Student Life
Source: 9gag

… you have some serious studying to do to tonight!

Student life
Source: 9gag

Because the last thing you want to do is cram on the way to school …

Student Life
Source: 9gag

… or answer your exam questions like this:

Student life
Source: 9gag

And just remember that when studying seems to be simply impossible …

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Source: 9gag

 … the next study break is just around the corner!

Student life
Source: 9gag

Good luck and Happy Studies! :)