International students Student interviews Contact Information

Department of Teacher Education
PO Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 5)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Home Economics and Home Economics teacher education,
Craft Science and Textiles teacher education

PO Box 8 (Siltavuorenpenger 10)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Special education
PO Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 3 A)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Centre for Educational Assessment
PO Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 3 A)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

tel. +358 294 1911 (switchboard)
fax +358 2941 29611

Student Interview: Erasmus student Charlotte Tauson

Charlotte Tauson (24) would like trust and freedom to be a part of the teacher education also in the UK.

Charlotte TausonWhere do you come from and what is your home university?
I come from United Kingdom and I study at the Liverpool Hope University.

What is your exchange programme?
I am an Erasmus student.

How long have you stayed in Finland?
I came in January and I studied here for the spring term (5 months).

What do you study?
I study in teacher education, I am studying for my bachelor’s degree. I have studied with other Erasmus students here.

Why did you choose to come to study at our department?
Because of the courses offered and the education in Finland is quite good. I wanted to go somewhere in the Northern Europe and not to the typical exchange countries like France. In my home university, the international department is quite good so I got information about your university from there.

What are the things that you have liked most at our department?
I like our Erasmus group, we are about 15 Erasmus students studying at the department. There have been some courses that I have liked too: “Child welfare” and “Citizenship education”. On the latter course, the best part was the excursions: we went to the Parliament House, to prison, to kindergarten and some other places.

Are there some things (at the department, in our university) that haven’t worked as well as you expected?
Well, my other subject in my home university is music and I wanted to study it here too. But courses were difficult to find. On one other course we had some problems because the teacher didn’t speak so much English.

Have you taken the courses offered in English or have you also participated courses that are taught in Finnish?
Only the English ones.

Do you think there is enough teaching in English at our department?
Yes there is. And I also took one course in Finnish language in the Language Centre.

Did you get to know the Finnish students? How?
I already had one Finnish friend when I came here. I knew one girl who studied at our university last year. I also got to know some persons via Erasmus. We went to a skiing trip to Vuokatti on March and there I got to know some Finnish people there too. Lapland was amazing and it was very relaxing to ski.

Was there any kind of leisure activities offered by the exchange programme or the student organizations?
Yes, we visited for example an international school in Espoo.

How does studying at our department differ from your studies at your home university?
Studying is more relaxed here and you have more freedom to choose. You can’t choose so much in my university in Liverpool, you just do what you are told to do. In Finland, you also spend more time in the classes.

What do you think about Finnish teacher education in general?
People say it’s quite good. There is more freedom here. The class teachers seem more independent in their jobs, they are in control of what they do. They are also trusted more. These are the positive sides.

The negative sides might be that the class rooms can be a bit boring here and the system is focused on text books. In UK we have more interaction and fun in the class rooms.

Is there anything in the Finnish teacher Education system that you would like to bring back home to United Kingdom?
Yes, trust and freedom.

What do you think of Helsinki or Finland in general?
I love Lapland. I do like Helsinki too but it’s a bit crowded. The architecture is amazing, I really liked the White Church (Helsinki Cathedral).

Text: Meri Siippainen
Photo: Charlotte Tauson