Testimonial: Antti-Matti Olkoniemi at USI from Jyväskylä

Antti-Matti Olkoniemi
Antti-Matti Olkoniemi

Servizio relazioni internazionali e mobilità

15 Maggio 2013

Thank you Antti-Matti for accepting our request of a short interview to share with our community. Please, tell us something about yourself.

“My name is Antti-Matti Olkoniemi and I am 24 years old. I come from Finland, the land of long winters and bright summers. My hometown is Jyväskylä which is located in the middle of the country. I study Organizational Communication & Public Relations at the University of Jyväskylä. I started with my studies in Autumn 2010 and finished with my bachelor studies in Winter 2012. After that I came to USI for the Spring semester to start my master studies. I also study economics, intercultural communication and German language and culture.”

Why did you choose USI as a destination for your semester abroad?

“USI is a partner university of University of Jyväskylä, so getting information about the university and enrolling at USI was relatively simple. But I had two criteria for choosing USI. The first one was the interesting selection of courses. The master of Corporate Communications offers a great variety of courses which in my opinion are practical. The courses at USI differ a bit from the course table in my own university, so during my study exchange I can gain diverse knowledge than in my home country. My second criterion was the location: because of my study background in intercultural communications and German language studies, I wanted to do my exchange where I can really see intercultural communication in action. I knew that USI is an international university and many of the students come from abroad. Moreover, Switzerland is an excellent place to witness diversity of communication with its four official languages. In conclusion the reasons for coming to USI were combination of tempting courses and character of the university.”

What was your first impression about USI and the courses?   

“My first impression was pleasing. As a university USI is quite small but it has personality. It is active and offers recreational activities. The International Relations office provides experiences and activities for exchange students. Facilities are new and in good condition. Level of education is good with top lecturers from all over the world. Courses are pleasing and as an exchange student on the Faculty of Communication Sciences, I’m also allowed to choose courses from the Faculty of Economics. The course selection is wide and flexible.”

How is the relationship with your fellow students, both Erasmus and locals?

“The student community at USI is really nice. During my two weeks of Italian language courses I learned to know most of the people who just arrived in Lugano. The exchange students from previous semester took good care of us and helped us through the first days and weeks. USIHOME (the student’s house, Ed.) seems to be one of the hearts of foreign students. People come along well together and organize activities together. In a short period of time I also met some locals. They are friendly and some of them are interested in joining in for the activities of exchange students.” 

Why would you recommend the University of Jyväskylä for a mobility programme?

“Exchange time in Finland would be a real experience for USI student. If you can spend whole year in Jyväskylä you can experience all the four seasons of Finland. University of Jyväskylä offers a nice variation courses, there are lots of options because of the seven faculties. Our professors are international   and we have lecturers from all over the world. Education is high quality. The city is about the same size as Lugano but the student population is over 15’000. Student life is more active because of the larger number of students and there will be no boring time. The city of Jyväskylä is surrounded by lakes and, for example, skiing resorts are within a walking range. No matter if you are more interested in sports or culture: the university will offer activities you will enjoy. Coming to Jyväskylä would definitely be something different!”

Before closing the interview, 3 tips for future Erasmus students coming to Lugano…

“Join all activities you can! By joining activities offered by USI you can easily get to know the people, not only exchange students but locals too. 

Enjoy the lake and the mountains. In my mind those are the real  heart of Lugano. 

Travel and see Switzerland. Have fun!”