Experiences: From Egypt to Jyväskylä

Experiences Global Cooperation Erasmus+ Erasmus+ for higher education
Egyptian Mohamed Hamdi studied in Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences for four months as part of the Erasmus+ programme. The exchange was an educational experience in many ways.
Muhamed Hamdi in Jyväskylä. The University of Jyväskylä is seen in the background.

I applied for an exchange because I wanted to learn to understand different cultures and get to know new people. Even if my generation is more international than the previous ones, it is different to live in another country than experience internationalization for example through internet.

In addition, I thought it would help me in finding a job since work life requires ability to work with people from different cultures. I decided to apply to Finland because I had heard a good word of the level of education. I was wondering why they are so good at it. I wanted to experience it myself.

As soon as I got accepted, Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences contacted me and instructed how I should prepare for the exchange. The arrival was made really easy for me. Because I was well-prepared, I didn’t face any big surprises. Of course, I was also prepared for the weather being cold and different than in Egypt.

I feel that in Finland the education focuses more on interaction. What surprised me was that the exams didn’t have such a big effect on grades, but also other assignments affected: I wrote a lot more assignments than in my own university. Studying was more intensive, and I liked that I could do exercises also in practice. The studies were recognized as part of my degree, except for one extra course I took because I found it interesting. The teachers were friendly, but I found it strange/unusual that in Finland you could address your teacher by their first name. In my home country you could get into trouble for doing that.

I didn’t face any big difficulties/problems. One reason for that was my amazing tutor who was like a life saver for me. My tutor was always ready to help when a student had problems. I really appreciated it. The best thing about the exchange was the intellectual growth. You experience intellectual growth when you are in touch with other cultures and different kind of education does that too. I still believe that international experience can help me in finding a job regardless of whether it is in my home country or somewhere else. I made friends from all over the world and got to know people from different cultures.

I would not have gone for exchange without Erasmus+ grant because going abroad is very expensive. For me the exchange was an amazing experience and I recommend it to everyone who has the possibility. Go for it if you can!