Daniel Sypko is a German student who has decided to come to HAMK in Finland for his final year of studying. He is having the best time living on his own, meeting new people and enjoying more relaxed and project-based way of teaching that he has not experienced before, in his home country.
Who are you – tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, my name is Daniel Sypko and I am an exchange student from Germany. I live near Cologne and study International Business at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein. I am currently completing my final year at HAMK as part of my double degree.
The way teaching is done, here at HAMK, is very different from Germany. Everything is much more relaxed here
Why did you decide to take part in the student exchange program?
For me, it was clear even before I started my studies, that I wanted to gain experience abroad. I really wanted to get to know other cultures, other ways of working and generally a different environment. I also wanted to get out and experience something new after such a long time in Germany.
Why did you decide to come to Finland and HAMK in particular?
After my first study attempt, I looked around at a lot of universities to find the right study path for me. That’s how I ended up at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein. There I was introduced to the study program with the one-year stay in Finland at the HAMK. I was so excited right away because it was something unique. Hardly anyone decides to go to Finland, although I would recommend it to everyone now. And this is why I’m here 😀
I came here on my own and have since met a lot of nice people, and I am having the best time of my life here!
What was the biggest challenge you encountered?
My biggest challenge was and still is the language. Of course, everyone here at HAMK speaks English, but when you have to buy things in the supermarket at the beginning and you understand absolutely nothing, it can be very funny… But with the Google translator app you can manage this quite good 🙂
What did you learn from the experience?
I have already learned a lot here. The way teaching is done, here at HAMK, is very different from Germany. Everything is much more relaxed here, much more personal and the interaction with the teachers is completely different. That was the most interesting experience for me personally. Classical lectures, as I know them from Germany, do not exist here at all. Everything is much more personal. You really work with them and are involved in everything in various group projects. Lectures are definitely not boring here.
What was the most fun part of the Erasmus program?
For me, the best part was finally being able to live alone. Since I had previously lived with my parents in Germany, this was a completely new experience. Finally, my first own apartment. This freedom is for me personally the best thing here. But also meeting so many people, who also choose to study here in Finland is so nice, because you already have this big similarity.
Say a few words to students who are considering participating in Erasmus.
In any case, think about your stay abroad early enough and look at what options are available. Check out where scholarships are available, look where you want to go, which country appeals to you, etc. Also attend all kinds of info events, etc. And try to connect with other students who already have experience abroad or who are currently abroad. But the most important thing: Don’t worry about your stay abroad. It’s super easy to meet new people here because everyone is in the same situation, where you don’t know anyone at first. I came here on my own and have since met a lot of nice people and I am having the best time of my life here!