Stories Moritz

“The quality of teaching is remarkable”

Moritz, Austria, Erasmus Exchange Student, Political Science (Vienna), Public Administration/Intercultural Studies (Vaasa)

Moritz tells about a get-together he had with a Finnish member of the European parliament at his host university, the University of Vaasa. The student union had organized a chat with the MEP and around 15 people – politically engaged students like Moritz – turned up. “For quite a long time, we were discussing current European politics. He was fluent in several languages: English, French, Swedish and so on. I spoke with him briefly in German.”

Moritz was surprised when he saw the politician again a few months later – this time in Finnish newspapers and on the television. Moritz realized that he had talked to Alexander Stubb, the newly appointed Finnish foreign minister. “Of course, I got very excited about having talked to the foreign minister of Finland. In my opinion this is a good example of the Finnish society in general. Being an egalitarian organized and modern country as well as comparably small society, it’s possible that you meet MPs or ministers in person.”

Moritz also experienced this equality at his university. “You are somehow on the same level with the teachers. In Vaasa, I have had seminars of the size of 10 to 15 people and a really close relationship with the teaching professors. This is completely different from my previous studies at Vienna University which is the biggest university in German speaking countries. Every seminar I took there was packed and impersonal.”

Moritz thinks that one of the main positive aspects of coming to Finland was the chance to improve his English skills “We have an English Master’s programme in Public Administration and Intercultural Studies here at the university, so there are a lot of courses to choose from. The quality of teaching is remarkable as well. We are obliged to read books as a whole and understand the theoretical background and not just gather pieces together out of a compendium.”

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