Study Abroad at Aalto University, Finland 2015
Study Period: January 2015 – December 2015
Affiliation/Grade at the start of studying abroad: Graduate School of Design, Department of Design Strategy, Design and Architecture, 1st year Master Program
Some people say that you should definitely study abroad after they returned to Japan, but I can’t say that for sure. The classes were in English, so it took twice as long to do the same things as in Japan, and for design projects, there are a lot of differences such as window sizes, laws, etc., and it’s hard to get to know them. Also, there were many difficulties in finding a job after returning to Japan, as I was not able to apply for a job, at the same time as my peers. Even so, I was able to broaden my horizons through studying abroad, and I was able to have more concrete plans about my future after studying abroad. I encountered many more problems than I did in Japan, and there were so many things I wanted to do that I didn’t have enough time to do, so I think I was able to understand my limits and learn to solve problems with calmness.
The good thing about studying at Aalto University is that there are many kinds of students and you can make friends from different specialization and countries. I am majoring in architecture, and among the people taking architecture classes at Aalto, some people used to study a completely different field, people who are already working, and people from all over the world. We had a lot of different ideas when working on a single theme because unlike in Japan, the people studying architecture are mostly of the same age. Also, when we had to make a product in class, we were able to use various machines and materials, and each class had an expert to teach us, so we were able to make what we wanted to make at the school. People tend to think that the cost of living in Scandinavia is high, but students are very privileged, and the cost of living itself is about the same as in Japan (or lower). I felt that it was very important to live in Finland, which is known as a welfare state, while you are still a student to experience whether Finnish life is what you have expected.