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by Jason Frizzell

Welcome Finnish Exchange Students

After several years without exchange students in the department, the PSE department has the pleasure of having six Finnish student studying with us during the 2015 fall semester.  This comes as an exciting occurrence on the coattails of the summer 2015 PIE trip to Finland.  We were able to contact two of the Finnish students and ask them about their experiences so far with the PSE department, NC State, and being in the United States.

Finland vs United States

Jan-Mikael Sirvio said, “Teaching methods are quite different compared to Finnish education. There is more homework to perform and the classes are not so that the teacher just talks and we listen. Students have to answer questions that the teacher gives to us and that generates a lot of different conversations. Paper science program in the States is more based on the paper chemistry and then related to paper making process. In Finland (especially in Jyväskylä), we are focusing more in the Paper machine technology.  One huge difference between our schools is 8,000 students at JAMK verses 35,000 students at NC State. Campus is like a little city with all needed services.  The American culture has been great. People are more friendly and more social so it is easy to get along with other students.”

finnish students for news webpageWhile Atte Sirkkola said, “All courses seem good, but challenging. There have been a lot of new things for me and I can honestly say that studying with another, and very different, language than your own has been harder that I thought before I came here. Because of these reasons, the studying has taken very much time from me.  One big difference between my school in Finland and NC State is that we have only one building and here there are lots of them.  Also, we don’t live on Campus in Finland.  People here in Raleigh have been very friendly and nice to me and always when I had need help, I have been able to get it.”

Successful Exchange Program for All

It is great to hear that these students are having a positive experience so far with NC State. It is our campus’s and program’s pleasure to have them along side us every day.  We will be hosting the department heads from JAMK and TAMK in mid-October and are preparing to send some of our own students to Finland for their own study abroad experience.