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Erasmus in Turku, Finland 2011 (by J. Rubio)

Published by flag-es Erasmus Experience — 3 years ago

0 Tags: flag-fi Erasmus experiences Turku, Turku, Finland

Why did you choose to go to Turku, Finland?

I was attracted by the climate, the extreme winter temperature seemed to me like another world compared to my home city (Madrid). I also heard that it used to be the capital of Finland and that it was considered one of the most important cities there. So it was a good chance to meet a different culture and environment very far away from my home and all that without leaving Europe.


How long is the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?

My scholarship here was from the beginning of January until the end of May. I received nearly 300€ a month.

What is the student lifestyle like in Turku?

First of all i need to emphasise on one thing: there are not enough stars on the chart above to rate accurately the party in Turku.

Turku is a student city. It is full of universities that offer every possible degree. This makes students from different areas around Finland come there to study. Also it offers a lot of places in the different universities for exchange programs, and thus, it is full of international students of every nationality possible. This factors contribute to create a constant party atmosphere. I mainly partied with international students (Finnish tend to organise their parties and the international community does the same, so if you are no from Finland you will party with almost any nationality regularly). On the time I have been here the normal thing was to party 4 to 5 days a week. This can sound hard, but on the first 2 months i only had class 2 days a week, so I easily got into the party mood.

There are other activities, but the best thing you can do in Turku is party: kitchen parties in the student village, go to one of the many discos that there are, ESN parties, university celebrations, Vapuu (at the very end of April, biggest party of the year, my liver hurt for 3 days after that... ), etc.

Would you recommend the city and the University of Turku to other students?

Turku School of Economics is the 3rd best business school in Finland. This place offers a wide range of courses and the teachers are highly qualified professionals, so even if you party a lot you will enjoy going to many classes as the lectures and the material can be really interesting. There are some courses that offer economic simulations (subjects I had with simulations: Sales Management; Strategy and Business Competence). This subjects are a bit more time demanding in some cases, but they will offer you the best learning experience here (at least it happened to me... ).

What is the food like?

Finnish people don't know how to cook. The menu in the university is really cheap, so if you are lazy you can select from a variety of plates and eat for around 2.50€.

If you enjoy good food (as myself) and you live near your campus, you probably will go back home to cook something decent. Recommendation: learn how to cook!

How did you find your accommodation?

Great. I lived in the student village, West side building 3A. This place was great, the tenants office would take care of any problem really fast. The living environment was great (and the kitchen parties in the 3 block, 12a and 10a buildings were spectacular).

What are the accommodation prices like? What are prices like for other things in general?

The prices were very suitable. Around 280€ a month for a room of 18m2, with small fridge in the room and common area kitchen (for the 12 people living in the corridor, which end up being like part of your family).

Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

There are many language courses, for all the levels. Finnish is a very difficult language, and almost every finnish person speaks English (and some times Spanish!), so I recommend you focus on your English and forget about Finnish, as probably you wont use it again in your life. Friends of mine who took language courses ended up repenting or not going, as they saw more valuable to use the time sleeping and recovering from last night's party.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Turku from your city?

By plane. Check out cheap flights, the more stops it has the cheaper it is. I went to Denmark and after to Turku directly for around 160€. But if you go to Tampere and then get a bus or train to Turku, then it can be even cheaper.

You can also travel to Stockholm and there get a ferry to Turku (I think this is probably the cheapest option).

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Turku?

  • Monkey (great party, normal prices)
  • Bors (biggest and best party disco in Turku, you need to go a bit posh to go in and drinks are expensive inside, but it is certainly the best)
  • Forte (cheap, open every day and almost never empty, if you want to go out on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, this is the place)
  • Dinamo (independent style, 80's music and a bit more relaxed mood than the other discos)
  • There are many other discos, if you come to Turku try them all!


    And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Turku?

    Hesburger is the finnish fast food burger, you will end up eating there many party nights.

    What good cultural sites are there to visit?

    1. Moominland
    2. Rovaniemi (Santa Claus)
    3. Forte Night Club (good to see the typical finnish night culture... )

    Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Turku in the future?

    Get a good coat and some comfortable water resistant boots, don't try to save money on either of these 2 items, January and February in Turku are terrific, it is all beautiful covered in snow, but I will never forget those days in February when I had to go walking to university at -22ºC.

    If you go to live to the student village expect to be awakened more than one night by your drunk neighbours knocking at your door and telling you to join the after party when they come back from a disco (probably you will end up doing it too... ).

    Get some kind of water pot to keep in your room in the winter, as for some reason (I think due to the cold and the heater) the rooms get very dry. So having something to humidify the room will help you not having a sore throat many mornings after a night of party.

    Buy the ESN card as soon as you can (you can do this from ESN members at the beginning of the semester, normally they will announce it), it will save you a lot of money in the discos and night clubs.

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