Summer School Alum story: "The perfect study program for anyone who wants to visit Northern Europe and Aalto University"

Aalto University Custom Programs offers short study programs at Aalto University for students around the world. All programs are tailor-made in collaboration with the visiting university and academic professionals at Aalto.
Students from UNIST university (from the left) Sola Moon, Jinsu Son and  Yeongjun Park successfully completed the course Digital Business, Advanced Technologies and Innovation at Aalto University.
Students from UNIST university (from the left) Sola Moon, Jinsu Son and Yeongjun Park successfully completed the course Digital Business, Advanced Technologies and Innovation at Aalto University.

Did you know that Aalto University Summer School is not all about summer courses in the world's happiest country? As a part of the course offering, Summer School offers Custom Programs – customised study programs that fit the needs of students from any university around the world. The programs are always designed in collaboration with the visiting university and academic professionals at Aalto University and are offered any time of the year.

In January 2022, an eager group of students from the Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea travelled to Aalto University and Finland to participate in Digital Business, Advanced Technologies and Innovation. The program consisted of lectures on business ecosystems, big data analysis, 5G technology, AI and machine learning, among others. It was combined with student excursions to Nuuksio National Park and guided tours to the top attractions in Helsinki.

We had a chat with Jinsu Son about what he liked most about the program and what his first impression was of Finland and Aalto University. He is completing his bachelor’s studies at UNIST and double majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Electronic Engineering. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in autonomous vehicle research. 

Jinsu, what was your first impression of Finland and Aalto University?

January was warmer than I thought! I had expected severe coldness, but it was pretty mild during our stay. My first impression of Aalto University was the pleasant surprise of the campus having its own metro station. It made commuting so much easier. We had most of our lectures in the School of Business, and I loved the clean and straightforward design of the building. 

You participated in the two-week study program Digital Business, Advanced Technologies and Innovation at Aalto University. What was the best part of the program?

The best part of the program was the final presentation of the team project we worked on alongside the lectures during the two weeks. It wasn’t until the very last days of the course that everything came together, and I realised how the lectures in, for example, Strategic management of technological innovations and Business modelling gave us solutions to our challenge – everything was related. 

Challenge-based learning as a pedagogical focus

Challenge-based learning is an integral part of the learning focus for custom programs. The challenge-based approach allows the students to immediately put the knowledge from the lectures into practice to deepen the learning experience. 

During the program, student teams choose one of four grand challenges from the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), around which they conduct their innovation project. The aim of the project is to offer a novel business solution via a prototype for the chosen SDG. The project begins with the formation of small startup-like teams that go together from the initial problem definition all the way to the final pitch of a viable business model. During the project, the students understand the essentials of sustainable entrepreneurship, learn how to identify target audience and to explore potential solutions to the key problems identified.

Jinsu Son happily mailing reward the camera in a black knitted sweater.
Jinsu Son was happy to see how combining lectures with a team project enhanced the learning experience.

‘After graduate school, I want to become a professor and make my name known. Participating in this program allowed me to take many lectures that I couldn’t attend in my existing university curriculum. Thanks to this, I could develop myself even further, and I genuinely feel that the course will help me achieve my future career goals.’, says Jinsu.

For whom would you recommend an Aalto University Custom Program like this?

I would highly recommend this program to other students, particularly those who want to refresh themselves through new experiences and want to participate in lectures by professors that are not available at their home university. This is also the perfect program for anyone who wants to visit Northern Europe and experience the Nordic culture.

Is your university interested in sending students to Aalto University? We organise customised international programs to fit the needs of your students all year round.

Contact us

The Aalto University Summer School team is here to help students and faculty build memorable academic experiences on the Otaniemi campus.

Contact us to discuss collaboration possibilities.
Aalto University Summer School team, all smiling towards the camera.

Learn more about International Programs

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Custom Programs

Do you want to offer your students a short-term program in Finland? We can help with that!

Aalto University Summer School
Group picture of students from UNIST university holding their diplomas and wearing face masks in A Grid building, Aalto University.

'We knew we were in good hands' – Custom Programs hosted students from South Korea in customised study program

Aalto University Custom Programs invited engineering students from UNIST university in South Korea for a short-term study program in Digital Business, Advanced Technologies and Innovation.

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