Besuch aus Finnland:
Interview mit Frau Korhonen
von unserer Partneruniversität TAMK

Im März 2015 war Frau Korhonen, Senior Lecturer unserer Partnerhochschule TAMK in Finnland, zu Gast an der Ostfalia. Sie hielt Vorlesungen und führte Versuche mit den Studierenden durch. Im Interview verrät uns Frau Korhonen, woran sie selbst forscht, erzählt von ihrer Heimatuniversität TAMK in Finnland und schwärmt von Wolfenbüttel. Zuletzt gibt unsere Gastdozentin Tipps, was zu tun ist, wenn man sich für ein Auslandssemester interessiert - zum Beispiel an der TAMK in Finnland.

You come from one of our big Partner Universities?
Ms. Korhonen: Yes, TAMK has about 10.000 Students and 700 Staff members with an annual budget of 71 Mill. Euros. It is a University of applied sciences with a great focus on practical experience and a big engineering school. We do offer English programs for incoming students in the field of bio- an environmental engineering and welcome especially students from our partner universities, such as Ostfalia. We offer degrees in bioproduct and process engineering with the major fields of bioproduct technology, process technology, paper and packaging technology – that program is completely conducted in English - and water and energy management to choose from. All of these programs offer some English courses to choose from for incoming students.

What is your field of science?
Ms. Korhonen: I usually teach in the field of chemistry, a very important field of basic science for an engineer. You normally use it all around within the environment we find ourselves in, in engineering as well as in your own kitchen and bathroom. Soap making is only one example, the topic I talked about in the lecture this morning. I also teach organic, inorganic and physical chemistry at TAMK, lectures and lab sessions. I also guide students on their practical training at TAMK.

What are your impressions about Ostfalia?
Ms. Korhonen: The school has a very nice campus in Wolfenbüttel and I am impressed with the schedule of the department and the course of study in bio- and environmental engineering. Our students coming here from TAMK are able to participate in quite a variety of English courses to choose from, which is very beneficial to the partnership between universities and for student mobility.

I also like the location in a small town with an historical background like Wolfenbüttel and its library with the exceptionally old books there. The town is making it easy to get back and forth and to meet fellow students. It’s very nice!

What would you recommend to an incoming student from Ostfalia?
Ms. Korhonen: First talk to your international office about the options, they will help you choose the best option as according to your plans, whether you want to stay for one semester or a whole year abroad. That would be when you can achieve a double degree from both universities, your own and TAMK as well. Here you will also get help for your funding for the stay like Erasmus grants for student mobility. Then talk to the international advisor of your own department, who will help you choose the right course curriculum and modules taught in English. After that you are ready to apply and hand in the right set of documents for your stay, your international office will aid you in that.

The curricula of TAMK and Ostfalia match very well, thus it is easy to pick the fitting courses. The cooperation between partner universities is facilitating the transition between countries, cultural differences do not matter all that much. The finnish language is a bit difficult, but all our staff and students speak at least a little English, and some of the older folks do speak a little German sometimes, so it is easy to get by. Students can choose from finnish language courses though, if they want to.

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