Give for the future

The best trip ever!

More than 60% of students at the School of Business experience an international exchange every year. The School of Business gives financial support to every one of its students going on exchange abroad. As a donor, you can do the same.
Topi Ronkainen istuu Kauppakorkeakoulun opiskelusalissa
Exchange studies were part of Ronkainen’s bachelor’s degree in business. During his upcoming master’s studies, he will focus on information and service management.

A student embarking on international exchange brings home a lot more than just study credits. Topi Ronkainen set off on his journey with an open mind and had an opportunity to experience local student culture in its truest form. Topi Ronkainen’s richly-filled five-month exchange in the United States consisted of a study place at Florida International University, campus life in Miami, studies in film and marketing, the crowning of a Homecoming Duke, a fraternity membership and a farewell party with 80 new friends.

‘I was the only Finnish exchange student at the university, so the need for any Finnish language flew out of the window right away. My roommates were from Australia and Ukraine, and at school, I used to hang out with fifty exchange students from all around the world’, says Ronkainen, who is currently studying at the Aalto University School of Business.

Ronkainen also became acquainted with the local students, as his long-term dream had always been to become familiar with university life in the USA, including the Homecoming and fraternity traditions, as famously depicted in films. ‘I took part in everything I could. After a number of competitions, promotions and voting, spanning several weeks, I stood in front of 25,000 spectators at the football stadium with the Homecoming Duke 2018 crown of the International University of Florida on my head’.

And so it happened that Ronkainen also became a lifelong member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity on campus. ‘The ten-week introductory rites bound the group of applicants tightly together and I could always find a friend in the fraternity, no matter where I went’, Ronkainen reminisces.

Exchange studies also provided Ronkainen with an opportunity to study courses that he would not have been able to do in Finland. During the culture course, the students analysed films and familiarised themselves with the related marketing. ‘A course in psychology gave me a new perspective for my bachelor’s thesis, so my plan is to also use this knowledge in my master’s thesis’.

Exchange studies are part of Ronkainen’s bachelor’s degree in business at Aalto University and during his upcoming master’s studies, he will focus on information and service management. ‘I will definitely apply for an exchange during my master’s studies too; perhaps to Japan or China. Exchange studies are a unique opportunity to discover new things about yourself and get to know new cultures and meet new people. I highly recommend it to everyone. Allow yourself to gain the experience at least once’, he says.

Alumna encourages young people to become more international

Similarly to Ronkainen, more than 60 per cent of the students at the School of Business experience an international exchange every year. There are 44 destination countries to choose from, including Australia, South Korea and Mexico. The School of Business gives financial support to every one of its students going on exchange abroad. As a donor, you can do the same.

This is what Leena Suviranta did. Educated at the Helsinki School of Economics back in the 1970’s, she became interested in putting an international dimension into her life during her studies and summer jobs. ‘I was very privileged to do part of my studies abroad, because doing so was not such a normal thing to do those days’, says Suviranta.

Suviranta graduated as a Master of Science (Economics) from the Helsinki School of Economics in 1978, followed by an MBA degree from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. ‘My studies in Finland and abroad, as well as my summer jobs in Paris, Norrköping and Monaco paved the way for my career in human resources’. Her summer job in a small oil drilling company in Monaco especially gave her a real sense of the international aspect of business, as her colleagues represented up to 16 different nationalities.

‘I encourage young people to go abroad. You learn to operate independently, even in strange environments and gain new perspectives on life. I made some good friends during my studies abroad, and I still keep in touch with them’, Suviranta says. ‘Donations also help make sure that money does not prevent young people from having these experiences. And for the donor, the donations are tax-deductible’, she adds.

Text: Marjukka Puolakka

Kauppakorkeakoulun oppilaita portaissa.

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Supporting the international student exchange

At the School of Business, we encourage all students to become more internationally orientated during their studies by providing a grant to every student going on exchange abroad. By donating, you help our students gain important expertise, which is crucial for Finland’s competitiveness.

School of Business
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