Living with roommates at the campus has helped Théotime Lemoine to cope with remote studying
My home university is EPFL in Lausanne Switzerland. I'm currently finishing my bachelor (3rd year) in Mechanical Engineering here at Aalto.
Most of my courses are related to mechanical engineering courses, because of the agreement with my home university. However, I had the possibility to take other courses from other schools like automation in electrical engineering. I also managed to take a few really interesting courses related to fluid mechanics, a domain, which I'm really interested in and looking forward to do a specialized Master’s in. Here in Aalto my exchange lasts for one full year; I arrived last August and I’m going to stay until June.
I was lucky to be able to come to Finland. Despite that the courses are all online, I 'm glad to be here and enjoy as much as I can Finnish and Erasmus life. I share a room with two other Erasmus roommates at the Aalto campus.
At first, the remote studying was really annoying especially since you are new to the country, because it's harder to meet people and also harder to find some motivation in your studies. However, having some roommates and living in a building full of students really help. I will also add, that once you are familiar with the course and the university system, remote teaching allows you to organize your week almost as you want, and therefore allows you to plan some activities and trips easily.
Usually after waking up a bit late after 9 am, I work on my courses in the morning. Then I go with friends to eat on the campus (the famous Täffä or A Block). Then, I usually work a few hours before going to do some sports. I have been really into running since I came here. At last, I usually join my friends for a sauna or another activity like ice skating. I will also point out that, I usually try to work efficiently to be able to do some activities in the weekend, like excursion to places like Suomenlinna or Nuuksio.
Before coming to Aalto, I was an active member of a student rocket association at my home university, therefore I'm still working a bit on their project remotely. On another note, I’m trying my best to take part in Erasmus activities or guild activities. However, the Covid-restrictions make it more difficult to fully attend those. Moreover, Erasmus allows students from everywhere to meet and I’m part of a small group of students, and we have tried to organize some activities on our own.
The best thing about my exchange is without any doubt the cultural experience! Meeting people with different backgrounds and different horizons is an amazing opportunity! Cultural experience is also about learning and trying the Finnish way of life! Sauna every week, baking cinnamon rolls with Finnish friends, renting a lake cottage for a weekend… It's all those experiences that make your Erasmus exchange here truly unique and surely amazing!
Finally, I'll also include in cultural experience the different trips I was able to make during the first semester. One that will stay forever in my mind is when we went to Rovaniemi in Lapland. Beautiful nature, seeing the northern lights and also meeting Santa! It's more than I could have ever dreamed off!