An experience full of growth, learning, and appreciation. Past Review

By (University of Maine at Orono) - abroad from 08/14/2012 to 12/14/2012 with

Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences: Helsinki - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was able to improve my language abilities and make lasting connections with my host family. I have not only gained a love for the Finnish culture but also a big appreciation for my own, the American culture.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Availability of housing was good for exchange students, however, the quality of the housing was poor. The apartments were very cold and utilities half broken. The housing organization also doesn't seem to care too much of the tenants complaints and opinions.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had a sort of "host family", so I was able to integrate myself very well with the Finnish culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Helsinki is a VERY expensive city. The housing is also quite overpriced ($500 per month). Luckily there is no tuition at the school. But living on a student budget in this city without the financial help from my parents in addition to loans, I would have struggled.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Approximately $90


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I had never studied Finnish before.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Get a host family!! Try to get access to a TV and read the subtitles with the shows. Play Finnish learning games online

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • (Direct enrollment) The Finnish Class
  • Variety of events hosted by the student organiazation
  • Nearness to downtown
* What could be improved?
  • Housing
  • Class Selection for Exchange Students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How the online classes are set up (only essays and LOTS of them).

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Finnish for Exchange Students 2

Course Department:
Instructor: Laura Saarikoski
Instruction Language:
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Multicultural Teamwork

Course Department:
Instructor: Riitta Blomster
Instruction Language:
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Finnish for Exchange Students 1

Course Department:
Instructor: Hanna Tani
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues: