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 Dominik Stecher

Dominik Stecher (25) was happy with everything else except the cold and long winter.

Charlotte TausonWhere do you come from and what is your home university?
I study in the Pädagogische Hochschule Tirol in Innsbruck, Austria.

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

How long have you stayed in Finland?
I have stayed almost for five months, from 5th of January until 25th of May.

What do you study?
I study teacher education to become a teacher in a secondary school. My major subjects are German, Geography and Political education.

Why did you choose to come to study at our department?
Well, I am also studying at the German Department, but mainly I studied at the Department of Teacher Education. My Erasmus- coordinator in Austria advised me to your department.

What are the things that you have liked most at our department?
In comparison to my department in Austria, I have to say that Finnish students are lucky. They have a wonderful, cozy library, comfortable and very modern lecture halls, about 600 or 700 printouts for free and the equipment is really up-to-date.

Are there some things that haven’t worked as well as you expected?
No, the organization as well the courses were perfect.

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

Do you think there is enough teaching in English at our department?
Sure, the choice is quite good. I would have been able to achieve 30 ECTS- credits, just by doing courses offered in English, if necessary.

Did you get to know the Finnish students?
This was quite difficult, because not many Finnish students participated in courses offered in English. So I just got to know my tutors in the orientation days in January. They were really helpful.

Was there any kind of leisure activities offered by the exchange programme or student organizations?
I heard about Peduca (the educational sciences and class teacher student organization) and that they organize some parties. I knew of ESN (Erasmus Student Network), too. They organized parties every week and some trips to Lapland and Russia.

How does studying at our department differ from your studies at your home university?
I really enjoyed studying here in Helsinki because in my mind, the teaching methods are more sustainable here. I did a lot of reading and writing - especially essays. In my home university the methods are quite good and interesting, too, but we still focus more on memorizing than really understanding the contents.

What do you think about Finnish teacher education in general?
Well, I learned a lot about the Finnish teacher education system. Special thanks to my professors Matti Meri and Pasi Sahlberg. I am still fascinated about the fact that the Finnish education system is more or less build on trust.  It´s amazing that the teachers have the confidence to teach without inspection or guidance. Of course that is basically a question of high quality (master’s degree level) education of the teachers.

What do you think of Helsinki or Finland in general?
The city is nice and the standard of living is quite good here. People are nice and friendly as well although the winter was hard, long, cold and frosty.  It seems that it’s still winter time, 4 degrees on 9th of May!

Anything else you would like to say?
Dear Finns, try to laugh more often ;)

Text: Meri Siippainen
Photo: Dominik Stecher