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Student ambassadors travelled by train to put exchange studies on European map

The purpose of the Game of Trains journey was to make exchange studies more well-known on both sides in European universities.
The purpose of the Game of Trains journey was to make exchange studies more well-known on both sides in European universities.

Four students from the School of Electrical Engineering were chosen as ambassadors of technology studies and spent six days travelling by train around Europe.

The trip took place on 14–18 September 2015. Two pairs of students set out on the trip. One of the pairs headed for Scandinavia and the other to Central Europe. Timo Vehviläinen and Joonas Tietäväinen travelled in the Central Europe team. Jani Oja and Oleg Stikhin headed for Scandinavia. The idea for this trip came from the Learning Services, as a similar visit from France took place at the School of Electrical Engineering last spring.

Game of Trains - visibility in the best possible way

The Scandinavian route went through the following universities: Stockholm, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) – Gothenburg, Chalmers– Lund University – Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The Central Europe team visited the following universities: Hamburg University of Technology – Bochum, Ruhr Universität – Belgium, KU Leuven – Netherlands, Eindhoven University of Technology – Netherlands, Delft University of Technology.

During their visits, both teams met representatives of international services and students, and explained to them about the studies at Aalto. The teams had taken with them material to be shared, including a brochure of all the courses offered in English in the field of technology at Aalto.

We only got a small taste of each place during our visits, but many times we pondered what a nice place it would be to study there.

'People were eager to receive the brochure. Many were actually not aware that there are such extensive opportunities for studying in English in the field of technology in Aalto', explained Jani Oja. 

Despite the rapid pace of visiting the universities, the student ambassadors were able to make the most of the visits. They also received positive feedback from the universities.

'In particular, KU Leuven and Delft University of Technology praised the visits as a rewarding and good way for exchanging information. At Delft University of Technology, they were very excited about our campaign and will possibly realise a similar student ambassador concept', said happily Study Coordinator Helena Hietanen of Learning Services at the School of Electrical Engineering. 

Exchange studies provide an eye-opening experience

The trip achieved positive outcomes on both sides.

'It was interesting to see how other universities operate. This makes you also get excited about applying for exchange studies and inspiring others to participate in student exchanges', Timo Vehviläinen summarised the results of the trip.

Jani Oja and Oleg Stikhin from the Team Scandinavia with Oskari Lahti. Oskari Lahti represented Sähköinsinöörikilta at the N0llegasque party.

There were also surprises along the way. The Central Europe team arrived in Hamburg around one only to realise that, for example student offices had already closed for the day. Meanwhile at KTH, the Scandinavia team found themselves at a sitsit party, so their work day as student ambassadors stretched long into the evening and included, for example learning new party songs.

The students' travel journal could be followed in real time on Facebook where both of the teams actively reported on their journey. The best outcomes were summarised there as follows: 

'All in all, the experience we had during this past week has been quite eye-opening and thrilling. Being in Otaniemi and enjoying the student life here, it’s easy to begin thinking that this is the only and best place for me. It's only when you step outside to look around that you see how much other places have to offer as well. Studying abroad really gives you the best of both worlds, being able to savour life in another country and another culture. We only got a small taste of each place during our visits, but many times we pondered what a nice place it would be to study there.'

Photos by the Game Trains students
Text: Annika Artimo

Game of Trains on Facebook (facebook.com)

Find out more about opportunities for exchange studies (into.aalto.fi)

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