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Studying with a baby on board – combining studies and a child

Sometimes there are situations in life when you need to — or want to — combine different life phases, that are equally important to you. Combining studies and building a family might sound complex, but it can also give you the most precious memories of your life. Here are three different true stories told by anonymous people, two mothers and a father, who have experience in studying with a baby on their lap.

Studying with a baby
Building a family and finishing your studies are a combination that might sound messy. Read the true stories.

Language student reads epic poetry to the newborn

I am studying Finnish language in a humanistic faculty and am just about to graduate. I started my studies in the autumn 2011 and my daughter was born in December 2012. At the same time, I was still finishing my studies in the University of applied sciences. I didn’t have any maternity leave, but my husband was taking care of the baby, as I was attending to my exams. For a long time, I was not able to stay outside the house, only enough to write the examinations!

The best memories of those times came from the baby, of course! I realized I started to deal with my studies in much more relaxed way, as I noticed there was something even more special and valuable in my life. I was doing my literacy studies while my child was a newborn, so I read out loud some of my exam books, for example the Finnish epic poetry Kalevala. My life in general felt quite laid-back and carefree. I was doing as much studies as I could, and sniffing the baby’s pink smell.

Studying with a baby

The biggest challenge for me was to really get myself to the uni and to find time for the studies, since being a mother is quite holistic and all-encompassing. Usually I was trying to finish my exams before the baby would get hungry again, cause she wouldn’t eat from a bottle. I was always doing my study tasks while she was sleeping. Actually, I have done all my studies in the evenings, after she has fallen asleep — it can get quite tough! What I am looking forward to about my graduation, is that I am finally going to be able to have a moment in the evening when I don’t have to do anything.

Coffee and bun, makes a happy student-mom

My husband’s parents have been priceless help for us. They have been helping me the whole time and supporting me with my studies. It has been so lovely that every time after each of my exams, my husband’s father has served me with coffee and bun! Then we have discussed about the topics of my exam. I was also lucky that during my husband’s parental leave, I was able to attend to a few courses at the uni. There is also a very nice Children’s Stop at my university, where I could leave my baby, before she went to a proper daycare.

Studying with a baby

Journalist mother of two got strength and inspiration from her studies

I studied broadcasting journalism by the time my son was born, and I already had a daughter aged four. I wasn’t planning on having another baby, and the times were extremely hard. I had no maternity leave, I had to both study and work part time at the same time, when taking care of the kids. I was basically always the sole guardian. I don’t really even remember much of the times when my son was a baby; it’s all a blur and too traumatic to remember —  a black hole in my life.

Studying with a baby

The studies were a life-saver — both in a symbolic and practical meaning

I was extremely unhappy, but having a burn out or giving up was not even an option. My social life was somewhat non-existent, I had nothing of my own. I lived only hoping that once I pull through, I can one day build a life I can be happy with.

My studies were a gateway to another kind of life, to independence, to self-value. It was really important to study something I was so keen on, it gave me hope and meaning! Of course I didn’t really excel in my studies because of my situation, and I regret that. But for me, the most important thing was that my studies helped me to get there where I’m today professionally. I think being so young as I was helped me in a way, to manage the physical stress that the situation caused me.

Studying  — “the best possible investment in the future”

The children motivated me into working hard and developing my skills, so I could have a career and a job I actually like, or even love — a thing not many young, teenage and /or single mothers can achieve. At the moment, I enjoy my current professional status and the fact that my children are already in school age, getting more and more independent all the time. Other women of my age are starting to stress about having kids, but I can focus on my career and my own personal happiness.

Studying with a baby

Sometimes I do feel a bit saddened by it though: I never got to experience a maternity leave nor was I able to offer a prosperous start in life for my kids. And who can say where I’d be in my life — both professional and personal ways – without my kids. Then again, had I not had them that time, maybe I never would have experienced motherhood.

Studying was the best possible investment in the future —  both for me and my kids. The cost was my youth, but in situation I was in, it was the best thing to do.

Statistician father — the small things made the days

Studying with a baby and multitasking

When my son was born, I was finishing my university studies majoring in statistics. I was able to stay home for eight months after he was born, because I was writing my Masters’s theses. It was a great thing, that the theses were the last task for my study program, so I was able to study at home before I started to work.

The best memories of that time, were the moments when I got to see how my baby was developing every day and learning new things. The small things made my days — and they still do. For example the moments when I saw how the child was making contact with a lion toy. He was afraid but making contact at the same time! I also got a good buddy to join me with my hobbies.

Studying with a baby

The biggest struggle for me was to realize, how the feelings can change so rapidly. Especially when I was trying to get him to sleep and I was not succeeding — he struggle is real! What helped me the most, was to acknowledge that the baby is not doing things difficult just to piss you off, there is a true matter and need behind the behavior. It was also helpful to know that the baby-times are not going to last forever.

Studying with a babyIf you are planning to combine your studies with a baby, you should know that the graduation might take more time than the usual, but it is still possible to go on one step at a time.

Exchange Students Writing Competition 2016

You felt nervous when you stepped in the new campus? You got amazed when you understood a new culture? You felt reluctant when you left from the host University?  That’s right! Join Study Advisory’s writing competition and  win  $500 HKD/$65 USD/$60 EUR by writing us an article about your life of exchange!

Submit your entries on or before
15th February,2017

Prize:

Cash prize $500 HKD/$65 USD/$60 EUR for the best writer
– The best article will be published on our Facebook and webpage
– The organization the best writer represents can be mentioned
Writing Competition

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Failure in following the below guidelines may lead to disqualification
  2. Entries must be in English
  3. Content should be related to the school life of an exchange student, it can include the school culture, unforgettable experience or any touching stories
  4. Around 400-600 words
  5. The entries should be sent to coordinator@StudyAdvisory.org with a subject  “Exchange Students Writing Competition 2016_Full Name_1st Entry” and  it should be in a .doc or .docx format
    The document must be in the following format:

    Topic:
    Personal Details: (Your full name, name of students’ organization representing (if applicable), pen name (if needed), email address , name of the home university, host university ,year of exchange ,  and how do you know about this contest)
    Brief Introduction: (50-100 words brief introduction of yourself or the place that you have been to exchange)
    Content :

  6. The submission deadline is  15th February 2017. Study Advisory reserves the right to extend the closing date for a reasonable period where an insufficient number of the entries received have satisfied the entry and judging criteria.
  7. Maximum five photos can be included in the article to enrich the content but they will NOT be evaluated
  8. Submitted entries must be original, must be your own work and must not be published on other websites or publications
  9. Open to everyone
  10. Edited to the best of your ability for spelling, grammar and punctuation
  11. Unlimited entries can be submitted per person
  12. If you submit materials to us, you agree:
    (1) to grant us a royalty free, worldwide, perpetual license to use, copy, distribute, publish, republish, store, archive, syndicate, sub-license, transmit, adapt, edit, create derivative works from, perform, exercise publicity and copyright rights in relation to such material (including any ideas, concepts or formats) in any manner and in any format and/or media;
    (2) to any moral rights in the material submitted;
    (3) that we may disclose your identity to any third party making any claim or assertion of any kind in relation to your material; and
    In submitting material to us, you warrant that any material you submit:
    (4) is your own original work and that you own the copyright and any other relevant rights;
    (5) is not obscene, threatening, menacing, offensive, defamatory, abusive, in breach of confidence, in breach of any intellectual property right (including, without limitation, copyright) or otherwise in breach of or violates any applicable law or regulation or code, and you shall indemnify us and keep us fully indemnified against any third party liabilities, claims, costs, loss or damage we incur as a result of publishing material you submit to us, including consequential losses.
    We may choose to publish or not publish any material you submit to us and exercise our rights in relation to that material in our absolute discretion.
    We accept no liability for any content submitted by you or other users and third parties. We do not vet or pre-screen any material that you or other users and third parties have submitted to the Site, however we reserve the right to remove, at any time and without reason or prior notice or any liability any material submitted by you or other users and third parties.

Feel free to contact us via sending email at coordinator@StudyAdvisory.org if you have any enquiries.

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.

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

How about going on an entrepreneurial exchange? Erasmus for young entrepreneurs.

The Erasmus programme has been around for almost thirty years now and it might be a great memory of your (recent) past or something to look forward to if you are younger. I remember getting really excited about Erasmus when seeing the film L’Auberge espagnole (The Spanish apartment) by Cédric Klapisch.

A second international experience after Erasmus: let me think...
A second international experience after Erasmus: let me think…

How about re-writing your own second film by doing another Erasmus, unlike Klapisch’s second film Les Poupées russes (which was all about getting settled in life). What if your own second international experience was neither an academic exchange nor a trip to Russia (picture above), but rather a hands-on entrepreneurship programme in another company?

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs helps EU small and medium enterprises grow and learn from even newer entrepreneurs
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs helps EU small and medium enterprises grow and learn from even newer entrepreneurs

That’s right, the Erasmus programme is not only about university studies. The Erasmus for young entrepreneurs programme connects a new entrepreneur with an experienced one, with the view of providing him/her with practical experience abroad in his or her field.

Wait... ANOTHER Erasmus?
Wait… ANOTHER Erasmus?

Though youth and a university environment might facilitate entrepreneurship, in this case the new (or aspiring) entrepreneur does not actually have to be a student; he or she does not even have to be that young. But, importantly, his or her business should be less than 3 years old. And the principle is similar to Erasmus for students: a few months (one to 6) in another EU country, learning and networking. According to a survey by the programme office, personal skills like determination and confidence, as well as language skills and management skills are most acquired by the majority of participants in the programme, followed by marketing skills (boosted for half of the participants).

Specific objectives of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs include:

  • facilitating business exchanges
  • opening market access internationally
  • for the new entrepreneur: refining a business plan, discovering cultural differences in organisations and business practices and improving chances of success during the start-up phase
  • for the host entrepreneur: improving the growth potential of a potential business partner, possibly, or just getting insights from a motivated third party, and gaining visibility.

Financial support for the new entrepreneur is available in the form of subsistence costs  which vary depending on the host country, and the reimbursement of travel costs. Selection and implementation of the programme are made possible at the local level via so-called IOs, intermediary organisations.

61% of new entrepreneurs increased their turnover after participating in the programme.
61% of new entrepreneurs increased their turnover after participating in the programme.

You can hear some testimonies on the programme’s Youtube channels or this promotional video.

You can also read more about the programme’s official pages (in all EU languages) and apply.  Clearly expressing your motivations and expectations from the programme will make your application stand out, as well as a thought-out business plan with a description of your product or service, a market analysis including the target market and a benchmark analysis, and financial plan for the next two years.  Read this guide if you are a new entrepreneur.

While preferred sectors to start a company are advertising, architecture and engineering, and tourism and wellness, most host entrepreneurs work in advertising and… training services. And you, which sector would you like to explore to refine your start-up idea?

Clearly expressing your motivations and expectations from the programme will make your application stand out. Then you can find yourself moving from dream to mentorship!
You can find yourself moving quickly from dreaming to  being mentored in another country!

New intern joins Study Advisory team in Tampere

Hello everyone! To start with, I just want to say that I am super glad to join this awesome team of young and enthusiastic Study Advisory members! I`ve been here for one week only, but it already feels great! Now, a bit about myself.

Study Advisory

My name is Dasha and I’m coming from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. In Finland, I feel like home. Honestly, nowadays I feel more home here than back to Russia. I think the reason of it might be that my whole independent and grown-up life started here in Finland. I study International Business at HAMK and I’m really grateful for all the opportunities and challenges I had during those two years. Studying and working with people from all over the world opens up your mind and changes the way you think, therefore I definitely recommend everyone (at least once in a lifetime) going somewhere abroad to study, work or just volunteer. It will make you a different person and you will learn lots of new things about yourself!

During my second year in Finland I went for exchange program to Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea. Going somewhere far and not that well-known for me was my main purpose. I’ve been travelling across Europe quite a lot before, therefore I thought why not trying something new and exotic! Those 4 months which I spent there made me a person I am today. I had great days, I had bad days also. That’s totally fine! Living in a completely different environment with completely different people was the best experience I have ever had which brought me a new version of myself.

study in South Korea
My campus at Kyung Hee University

One of the most memorable and really cool things I’ve done after my first year in Finland was hitchhiking trip with a friend of mine during summer holidays. In 12 days of our non-stop hitchhike we’ve  visited 8 countries and covered about 4100km. We started from Italy, went to France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Germany, Sweden and finished our journey in Finland! You can see some of the pics below.

P.S. Stay tuned up on our blog page about hitchhike soon !:P

chocolate and tulips
Delicious Belgium chocolate and nice tulips from Amsterdam

Travelling is my passion and something that I’m always craving to do.In life I always follow “if you fear it, go for it!” motto, that is why I highly recommend everyone to go out of a comfort zone and study abroad! Study Advisory will guide you and I, as a new team member, will also do my best to find your dream university!

-Daria Tcvetkova

Pitching a PhD should not take more time than necessary

180 seconds… does that seem like a short amount of time? Surely, not when you compulsively check your phone for yet another short gratification message, photo, or gif. Or even compared to 3 or 5 years of PhD studies! But even three minutes can be used wisely.

Imagine if a long process of research was to be shortened in such a meaningful way that it would make a very complex topic actually interesting AND, on some level, understandable to non-specialists? Leaving you with a sense of lasting contentment while being also academically significant to specialists?

Three minute PhD or thesis

On September 29 in Rabat, Morocco, the French language version of ‘my PhD (or my thesis) in 180 seconds’ gathered doctoral students from 10 countries… mixing various French accents and communicating a sense of passion on various complex topics. This competition first set up by the Australian University of Queensland in 2008 and developed in French in Québec from 2012,

Should a PhD viva be long? Probably... The three minute PhD does not break the rules of this convention, only adds a cherry on the cake of a long research project !Should a PhD viva be long? Probably… The three minute PhD does not break the rules of this convention, only adds a cherry on the cake of a long research project !

The idea is for a jury of academics and also journalists and businesspeople to assess the conciseness and clarity of a presentation on a whole PhD topic while the participant is only allowed one slide to back his speech up visually. The presentation must be compelling enough to captivate the audience as attendees also get to rate the candidates for the audience prize. An English language version of the competition is also organised in Canada by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies, which is also open to master’s students. In many involved universities, such as the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, a training ahead of the competition is provided, and ECTS credits can even be earned through participation in it. In France, the competitions are supported/organised by the CNRS research agency.

The 2016 winner of the French language 3 minute thesis is from the University of Fribourg. Désirée König studies zebrafish, a species with exceptional regenerative capabilities. Next on the podium were also scientific topics, which all sound and are key to tomorrow’s society, such as Alzheimer disease and agricultural productivity.

zebrafish
Zebrafish properties were presented during the 3 minute PhD in Morocco

For Rachida Brahim from Aix-Marseille University in France who presented her sociological research on racist crime, this is a unique opportunity for young researchers to speak in a full lecture theatre – as intricate topics generally only gather interest from a small group of like-minded specialists. Some participants have also expressed their appreciation of the exchanges that stem from conversation with PhD candidates beyond their field or even subject.

Another example is found from the University of Geneva, in the field of psychology. Ecological behaviour and habits can vary depending on whether they are encouraged by negative or positive comments, with negative comments usually taken as an excuse to give up, whilst those who are encouraged to continue riding their bike are expected to persevere more:

Not only are the topics fascinating, participating in the competition can also be a boost to for doctors to gain access to postdocs… On the audience side, might be slightly easier to follow than attending your best friend’s PhD viva! (though a PhD defence arguably has some aura of its own and might be best suited for those who crave for more detail or to hear how the PhD candidate will answer the jury’s questions).

Study in Turkey
A three minute pitch might take hours of preparation – but it will be worth it!

In the meantime, if you are considering applying for PhDs, you can search Study Advisory’s doctorate degree level search. And if you are in the process of writing your PhD, or have finished it, why not be generous to future scholars and rate the university  where YOU completed your doctoral thesis?

For more information on Ma thèse in 180 seconds, you can like them on FacebookFor examples in English, you can check the University of Bristol’s website, the University of Edinburgh’s tips (and feel free to rate them too here and there) and for a list of participating schools in Asia-Pacific and Oceania, this link might be handy.

Cheer, love and security at Seeds of Hope Children’s home

In today’s post, we are sharing some experiences from Study Advisory’s charity projects. Previously we have told about our regular charity campaign for UNESCO, but occasionally we also participate in other projects. Last week we visited the Balinese Seeds of Hope Children’s home together with our sister organisation Asia Exchange.

Bali, the most popular tourist destination of Indonesia is famous of its beautiful beaches and rich Balinese culture. The tropical and sunny island is a lovely place for a holiday or a study semester! However, among all the beauty of Bali there’s a population living on the island facing different kinds of social problems. At the side of the happy complete families there are also broken families. There are kids having brothers and sisters and kids living without mother or father – or both. Some parents can’t afford a sustainable life for the kids, and the kids end up to be abandoned. Tommy and Sandra at Seeds of Hope are replacing the important parent’s role in many children’s lives. This couple runs a Balinese orphanage and provides love and security for almost 60 children without family.

Seeds of Hope

A large family unit

The Seeds of Hope (SoH) was founded in March 2001 and is located in north-west of Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Kids who are living there are aged from 3 to 21 years old. They are going to school and doing the daily tasks like cooking and cleaning by themselves. They don’t have staff working for the children’s home. Therefore, the place is more like a large family unit and all the daily tasks are done together. Everyone respects each other, which is something you will observe really quickly when visiting the place.

Seeds of Hope 2
Sandra (speaking on the microphone) as the oma (grandmother in Javanese language) and Tommy (on left) as the opa (grandfather in Javanese) for all the kids.

Sandra and Tommy want to teach the children the importance of education and useful skills for independent life for the future.  In July 2016, there were 67 children living in the Seeds of Hope. By September the same year, 12 of them have graduated and found a good job. It means they are able to live an independent life now.  This is something that Sandra and Tommy are extremely proud of!

Study Advisory is supporting the meaningful work of Seeds of Hope

Study Advisory’s sister company Asia Exchange organises student exchanges in Bali at Udayana University. Each semester, Asia Exchange visits the children’s house with the students, and this year Study Advisory had the honour to be represented as well. As the students are enjoying the study semester in the paradise, Asia Exchange is trying to encourage the students to visit the Seeds of Hope and give a while of their time for the kids. This is a great opportunity for the students to give back for all the unforgettable experiences and adventures the island has provided for them. This semester, in total one hundred students visited and played with the kids!  Seeing how many students were interested in visiting the place, meeting the kids and spending time with them warmed our hearts!

Seeds of Hope 4

In the beginning of the visit, the visitors were touched by the kids of the orphanage singing “You raise me up” and another song they had been practising. The beautiful performance was followed by a nice sing-along and the boys were playing guitar.  Afterwards, the little girls liked to play musical chairs while the boys were more excited of basketball and other sports – and by the way, they were super good at sports!  They were also happy to show their rooms and living areas. The kids loved to be in photos and to see the pictures of themselves. The cheerful afternoon at the orphanage was full of love and laugh.

Seeds of Hope 3
This time one hundred Asia Exchange students visited the Seeds of Hope and had a great time with the kids.

The Seeds of Hope doesn’t receive any support from the government. Thus, the possibility to send the kids to school and give them food every day depends fully on donations. Study Advisory and Asia Exchange really appreciate the work that Sandra and Tommy are doing for the kids. As an expression of this, the companies made a donation of a 4 million rupiahs (270 euros) to the Seeds of Hope.

Would you like to visit the kids?

If you are visiting Bali and want to go play with the kids and support the Seeds of Hope, you can read more about them at their website. Everyone is warmly welcome to visit the children’s home. However, we recommend you to contact Sandra in advance (contact details on their website) to make sure the time is suitable for them.

Study Advisory wishes all the best for the Seeds of Hope!

Seeds of Hope 5
Let it rain! It doesn’t bother us, we´re always happy!

Autumn fresh start in Finland in the marketing team

Hi,

I am Pauline and I am just starting at Study Advisory being in charge mostly of marketing tasks. I am also translating SA’s website into my native French. While my background is in politics and international relations, I have been passionate about Finland since the country joined the EU in 1995. Actually, one reason behind my interest was the Finnish reputation for innovative education (maybe more at primary and secondary levels). This is the first time I will stay in Finland for longer than a few weeks and into the winter, too, which is exciting!

Symbols of Finland, home to Study Advisory
Autumn leaves and bikes rank among the best symbols of Finland in my opinion.

I studied in my home country, France, as well as in the UK and I also interned in South India. In 2013 and 2014 while working abroad in Switzerland I enrolled on a Finnish language and culture summer course at the University of Jyväskylä and I loved the teaching methods and the international atmosphere of the course.

I look forward to embarking on the great adventure of connecting students with universities worldwide! In addition to the start-up culture welcoming new ideas I have found at SA’s office, it has already been stimulating for me to speak Finnish with my colleagues alongside our lingua franca – English.

I have been at Study Advisory for a week now and I really value the creative, forward-looking and international spirit! Last but not least, I find it really stimulating to be working in a social enterprise in itself, with also boasts an additional commitment to UNESCO.

I look forward to posting blog posts here and to reading your comments about more thematic topics!