Student Report Name of the University: Hanken School of Economics / Svenska Handelshögskolan Exchange semester: Autumn, 2014 I. PRACTICAL INFORMATION Before leaving Norway - When and how did you receive information from the exchange university? I received all information by email. - Any difficulties in preparing (application, housing, contact, courses, etc)? I had no problems. However, I found the Online Application process a bit time consuming, so I recommend getting started reading and following the instructions as soon as possible. I was lucky to find cheap housing early. When registering for courses, remember that not all courses are for exchange students, so sort by “Courses for Exchange Students” in the a bit confusing course overview at hanken.fi, and remember to apply early. Applying for a visa (if applicable) - There was no need for Visa Travel - How did you travel to your destination? Any problems? I travelled by plane. This is the easiest way travelling from Oslo to Helsinki, since the travel takes approximately an hour and you can choose among many departures. In addition, SAS has a Student Ticked for those of you under 26 years old. If you apply for Housing from HOAS, you can ask for “pick up” service, and get picked up by Tutors from Hanken wherever seems best for you, where they give you the key for your apartment. Housing - Was housing provided by the university, or did you have to find your own housing? I god housing through private contacts, so I was lucky. This could be a rather expensive way of finding a place to stay for only 4 months, since Helsinki is not a cheap city to find an apartment. Other students I talked with, usually found their student accommodation through HOAS. They told me that this was the best way to find somewhere to live during their exchange period, and told me that it was important to apply as early as possible. Many students live at the same place, and HOAS seems to me as the best solution if you do not have private contacts providing you with housing as I had. I heard that some students found “worse” places than others, so I recommend you to find out more about the housing in advance, such at it suits your prerequisites and demands. - What support did you receive from the school in locating housing? We received information about HOAS, and they told us to apply for HOAS student accommodation. Some students came to Hanken without housing, and Hanken helped them finding something. Some places could however be further away from the school - than others, so I recommend to apply as soon as possible and not wait until your arrival. Any special issues or good ideas for prospective students? Apply through the HOAS webpage (follow the instructions received by email from the receiving school) as soon as possible, or as soon as you know you are accepted by receiving the acceptance letter. Costs - Approximately how much per month did you spend on rent, books, food, transportation, and other personal expenses? Rent Books Food Transport Other Travelling 2000 NOK* 0 NOK 4000 NOK 250 NOK 2000 NOK 2000 NOK** * Check in advance how much rent will be at HOAS, I paid 2000 NOK for a room in a private apartment in Vantaa outside Helsinki (20 min by bus). ** This depends on how many trips you want to attend. Culture and language - Did you have any language problems with the faculty or other students? I had no problems. First of all, I speak fluently Finnish, which came in handy talking with students from Finland and outside the faculty. But, since this is a Swedish faculty, most of the students talk Swedish and English as good as they talk Finnish, and many prefer talking Swedish or English to Finnish. The staff also spoke English and Swedish fluently. - How were the possibilities to experience the country and the culture? Great! Tutors will make sure you are having a great time during your stay at Hanken. You will have the opportunity to travel, play sports, and attend many parties. It will be a lot happening, so make sure you can keep up with both school and non-academic activities. During autumn 2014, we had the opportunity to experience the northern part of Finland, and go abroad to St. Petersburg and Stockholm. In addition, we had the option to visit Tallinn and Lapland, and just to mention – we had the opportunity to experience an all-Finnish cottage weekend just outside Helsinki with sauna and good food. The students and tutors participate and make this a good opportunity to get to know new people. Cultural and social effects from the exchange experience - How do you think the exchange experience will affect you from a cultural and social point of view? Finland is a lot like Norway when it comes to culture, but you get to know different cultures through all the other exchange students at Hanken. I studied a bit differently during my stay, mostly because each course period is only approximately 2 months. - How do you think the exchange experience influences your future career possibilities? For me, the exchange period in Helsinki gave me the opportunity to strengthen my skills in the Finnish language. Finland, being a Scandinavian country, but also distant because of language differences – hopefully makes the exchange experience unique when applying for jobs in the future. Finland is not the most common place to have any experience from. It is additionally well known, that the academic level in Finland is high, so courses taken at an advanced level in Helsinki means a high level of work and quality. II. ABOUT THE SCHOOL General facts: - The Hanken School of Economics is perceived as being a very good school, being one of the oldest schools in the Nordic Countries. “Hanken is a leading, internationally accredited university with over a hundred years of experience in education and research in economics and business administration”.1 - Hanken being the “only stand-alone business school in Finland” is well known for their research in Economics, Financial Economics, Management and Organization and Marketing. - The school have two campuses, one in Helsinki and one in Vaasa, both offering academic programmes on the bachelor, master and doctorate level. - More information about the school and in particular for Incoming Exchange Students, please visit: http://www.hanken.fi/en/studies/international-opportunities/incomingexchange-students - Semester structure: two 2 months periods with intensive classes, often including presentations and term papers. Courses are more often being 8 ECTS, meaning that you have a lot to do preparing for your exam in the end of each period. - Compared to BI in Oslo, the school felt a bit small, but that is a good thing – meaning that you will attend smaller classes and often participate in class discussions (often mandatory) and exams are held at the school, which was a good thing. - I also want to mention, that food is not as cheap in Finland as I anticipated, but the cafeteria offers students a cheap lunch. There is also a food store just outside the school. Course registration - Course registration is done through the Internet (Hanken Intranet) and you must register the courses you want to attend yourselves. Be early out registering (opens two weeks before school start), since there are a limited number of seats (some courses being more important than others), and be clear about the prerequisites (quite strict) by reading the course description. Everything is done online, so no worries. - Sign more courses than you are attending, this is because you then can see if you like the course you registered for and be able to have a course to attend if you are not accepted because of place restrictions or a lack of prerequisites. Also, you have to register for exams and fill out learning agreements – but you will receive information on every detail by mail. Academic calendar Arrival date: 20.aug First day of the semester: 1.sept Last day of classes: 11.dec Examination period: 20-30 October and 10-20 December Arrival 1 http://www.hanken.fi/en/about-hanken - “Pick up” days where tutors help you find your housing and other practicalities. You will be attending an introduction week. The week consists of practical information, a tour around Helsinki etc. and ends with a party with dinner. The exchange students themselves and tutors arranged parties and social gatherings for the rest of the semester. The International Office - The international office is available for consultation and information almost every day during the week. English is spoken most often here, but some Norwegian is understood because almost everyone knows Swedish. Promoting BI and Norway - We did not promote our sending institution, apparently since this is done during the spring semester. III. ACADEMICS In the classroom - Language: - Courses are though in English and Swedish (mostly English at advanced level). - Level of study: Used to heavy workload from BI, so the level should not come as a surprise. However, some courses are more demanding than others, so make sure you know what you are getting in to w.r.t. Prerequisites etc. - Teaching: Lectures, class discussions, group work, presentations and midterms. - Workload: The workload could be quite intense at some points (two months until exam with 8 ECTS courses), but if you currently are majoring at BI, this should not come as a shock. - Relationship between professors and students: There is a close studentteacher/professor relationship at Hanken. It is easy to ask the professor for help. Classes are often small compared to BI (the school consisting of only approximately 2000 students distributed on two campuses). Contacting professors by email seemed to be no problem, and you can always schedule for a meeting during “office hours”. I got good feedback on my term papers on email by the professor. - Relationship between students: I found it easy to come in contact with the other exchange students through the events made by the tutors. I also found it quite easy to talk to people – including Finnish students at Hanken during my stay. Because of group works etc. you get in contact with students from Hanken not being exchange students. Course materials - Course materials: the material consists of books, articles, professors lecture notes and PowerPoint’s. - Language: the language of the material is in English or Swedish. - Level of course materials: the same level as BI, however – Finland being a EU country, commercial law courses are more EU oriented than Norwegian courses at BI. Exams - What was the exam based on? Exam is based on class discussions, book chapters and lecture notes with articles. - How was the course evaluated? The professor will give specific information regarding course evaluation. You need 50 points out of 100 to pass, where 50 points is an E and 100 points is an A. Points could in addition depend on class participation, term papers, presentations etc. Library and technology - Library and resources: Most of the course material is found on the Internet. The school has a bookstore, but most of the advanced course material is not found there. You can (rather than buying) use the school library. The school has (as most universities) a quite zone and places to study. - Computers: Wifi in the whole school area, but a limited number of computers – so make sure to bring your own (recommended). - Distribution of information: Term papers etc. is handed in by Email to the professor. Courses have their own course-page. More info on this will be given during the presentation week. The professor in each course will give you the specifics for his/her course. Description of courses Course code & name 1741 Advanced Financial Theory (8ECTS) Master/ Bachelor Advanced 3774 Fundamentals of Intellectual Property Law (8ECTS) Advanced 3734 The Corporation and Its Employees (8ECTS) Advanced Exam form Prerequisites Comments None Approved as Elective 2 midterm exams (15 percent each) 4-hour written exam (70 percent) Term paper (20 percent) 4-hour written exam (80 percent) None Elective None Elective Great course! A lot of reading and mandatory class participatio n All exam relevant material found on the internet. Term paper and presentation (20 percent) 4-hour written exam (80 percent) Quite heavy workload Any other experiences/comments about your exchange experience?: High quality and level on the academics, but at the same time a lot of fun getting to know the other exchange students and people from Helsinki through trips, parties etc. If you want a good learning experience, meet ambitious people and get to know the capital city of Finland, then I recommend The Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki.