Stories Marcus

“Studying here is a very personal and collaborative experience”

Marcus, Austria, Master’s Degree Programme, Paper Technology

“After two weeks of studying at the Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University School of Science and Technology), I already knew for sure that I will stay longer than the intended year as an exchange student.” Marcus is an Austrian Paper Technology degree student in Helsinki. Two years ago he came to Finland as part of the European student exchange programme Erasmus. And after a short while in Helsinki, he decided to finish his master’s studies in Finland.

”After my arrival for every one of us newly-arrived international students, two tutors were appointed. During two days they showed us around, explaining the library, the computer system, and the essential administrative things.”

The mentoring programme was fundamental for Marcus. Straight away he felt welcome and well-prepared for his life in a foreign country and he gained first personal contacts at his school. “You never had the feeling that you were left alone with your questions”, he adds, “tutors and teachers were always ready to help.”

Marcus particularly enjoys the atmosphere at his university. “When I think about my first weeks and months in Finland, I was really impressed by the attitude of the university staff. The professors are more like colleagues here. If you want to discuss something with them, you can always arrange a meeting on short notice. Studying here is a very personal and collaborative experience.”

In the beginning of his exchange term, Marcus also got involved with the student association. During his first days, the Forest Product Guild invited all the foreign students to a welcome event. Through the guild Marcus became acquainted with several Finnish as well as international students from his university.

During his studies at the Helsinki University of Technology, Marcus got more and more involved with the Forest Product Guild. Currently, he is the Guild’s Head of International Relations and arranges introductions and welcome events for international students. He also organizes student excursions to Finnish companies that are global players in the field of wood and paper technology. And he is giving back the hospitality he experienced in the first place to international students coming to Finland.

He describes his Finnish fellow students as very friendly and honest. “In the beginning it’s not that easy to get through to the Finns. They seem a bit shy. But once you really get to know them, you will have a friend for a lifetime.”

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