Welcome to our – Edona’s and Tintti’s blog! As two International Business students of Häme University of Applied Sciences (Hämeen ammattikorkeakoulu), we thought to write our occurring thoughts of our class trip to Riga.
The trip took place from the 12th to 16th of September 2017. The program that was successfully planned and organized, included programs starting in Helsinki and followed our road all the way to Riga.
Hopefully you will enjoy reading this while getting a detailed vision of our trip and understand how awesome HAMK actually is for letting us have this experience.
Tuesday 12th of September
To start, the whole class met up at our school, where we packed our buss and started our trip to Riga.
In fact, our fellow student Leevi Vekka was our bus driver for the whole class trip and he drove us safely from Finland to Latvia and all the way back. During our buss drives, we were working in groups on an upcoming project we second year students have for this semester. Hence the name Amazing Business Bus for our trip to Riga.
At first we stopped at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Vantaa. We had a chance to dine there and explore the campus.
After that, we continued to the factory of Fazer, which is the largest chocolate company in Finland. We had the opportunity to have a private tour of the headquarters and listen to not only the history of the company but also see in first-hand the department. We also had an amazing chance to taste the chocolates – which was a huge bonus for the guided tour.
Our group also stopped at Kiasma, which is a modern art gallery located in Helsinki. We were lucky to have a guided tour in the gallery, where the guide explained more in detail about the artwork we got to see. What was even more, we learned about the exception of contemporary art collections of the Finnish National Gallery.
In addition, we attended a lecture held by one of the Finnish parliament representatives – Arto Satonen. And of course, after every guided tour, lecture or visit we had, we students gave a small thank you gift for everyone, who found time to guide us and give us lectures.
The day was almost over, and after our lecture, our group travelled to the Helsinki harbor and took an overnight cruise to Estonia. We ate in the buffet all together. There we had more time to bond and get in groups to discuss about our upcoming programs and tasks for the trip.
Wednesday 13th of September
We arrived in Estonia in the morning and we immediately started our drive to Latvia. We stopped at a beach to enjoy the view and have a lunch break before we continued to our next destination.
After arriving in Riga we had an eventful schedule to follow.
We attended a lecture where we gained more information regarding the Latvian government and the opportunities provided. Furthermore, we then went to our hostel to settle in. After a while, we continued to have dinner with the whole class and with our lovely professors.
After the dinner we were free to explore Riga. We visited the Radisson Hotel Sky Bar and the professors joined us students there. We had a great night hanging out together.
Thursday 14th of September
On Thursday, we listen to a lecture in the Stockholm School of Economics. There we also had the honor of listening to one of HAMK Alumni who now is the Minister of Economics in Latvia.
During the day, we were delighted that we continued our trip to the Valmiermuiźa beer brewery. There we learned about the ingredients of beer and the process of beer making. After the tour, we had a chance to taste their newest beers and then get in groups and complete tasks that would help them import their products and advertise their beer in the Finnish market.
After our brewery visit, we had a reserved dinner at a restaurant for the whole group. Additionally, we continued back to the hostel and we had free time for the rest of the day. Most of us went out together to see the nightlife or Riga.
Friday 15th of September
In the morning, we went to the Finnish Embassy and we got a guided tour there. After the tour, we went back to the SSE where the same people who gave us the tour, now gave us a lecture.
In the afternoon, we were given free time to explore the old town and go shopping. Obviously, we really did not have free time during the days, because of our tight schedule. So this was a rare treat! Although, every day after our lectures and other programs, we had free time during the evening.
On our last full day, we had the opportunity to attend a ballet at the Opera house, which for many of us was the first time in such an environment. The show was magnificent and eye opening, thus the perfect event to finish our program!
Saturday 16th of September
On Saturday morning, we were leaving Latvia and heading back to Finland. We drove back to Estonia in the buss and there we took a ship back to Finland.
The program as a whole was quite eventful but yet everything went smoothly and according to the schedule thanks to our amazing professors who organized it. During the bus rides, we were able to catch up with our schoolwork and we managed to complete some tasks for our project.
As a class, we had a phenomenal time where we got closer as a group and got to enjoy a lovely time abroad together.
Overall, the trip was amazing. We are very thankful for our professors for arranging this, Nordplus, which made this trip possible and HAMK UAS for letting us go and experience this as a part of our courses for a very student friendly price.
-Edona and Tintti