Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:19
Keeping in touch
Text: Laura Myllykoski Photo: Milan Kolarovic
Feeling a bit home sick? Many exchange students might very well feel that way since they are far from home. Luckily there are ways to cope with the distance by using the modern communications technology.
Finland is know for its technology, especially its highly modern and widely spread ways of communicating. Over 70% of Finns have a broadband internet-connection at home and over 90% of people own a cell phone. The number of cell phones is perhaps influenced by the cell phone producer Nokia, which is one of Finland’s most succesfull companies.
Use your mouth
Getting a cell phone subscription and a cell phone isn’t that difficult or expensive in Finland. Basically you just have to walk into a mobile store and buy a phone and a subscription. The prices of the phones alter from 20 euros to several hundreds of euros. The cheapest ones are used ones that cost about 20 euros and you can find them from almost every mobile store. But if you insist on having a brand new one, it will lighten your wallet by at least 80 euros.
The subscription is usually taken at the same time as the phone. Different stores offer different subscriptions. Sometimes a foreign subscription buyer might have to buy a warranty that will be returned when the subscription is closed. There are some differences between different subscriptions: some are aimed for those who like to text message a lot and some of are built for those who end up babbling on the phone. The subscriptions rarely have an opening fee but they usually have a monthly fee that you must pay along with the bill.
Then of course there are those subscriptions that are so called prepaids. This means you can buy time for your calls in advance and when it runs out you can no longer call with your phone, unless you buy some more time. Many students and especially exchange students find this a useful feature because that way they always have enough money to ”pay the bill” and the subscription is more contemporary than the normal one.
Tangled in the web
Finns are also keen on the internet and emails as you can conclude in the beginning of this article. All of the students studying in Oulu University of Applied Sciences get their own email-address, even the exchange students. UAS also offers hundreds of computers for student usage. There are about 100 computers alone in Schools of Engineering and Music, Dance and Media, excluding those computers that are in class rooms and mainly used while lectures.
Apart from the schools own computers and their internet-connection the city of Oulu provides a free-of-charge wireless network that enables people to use the internet in the network’s coverage area. The area covers for example the center of Oulu and all schools of UAS. This means you are able to use your laptop in cafes and such in central areas of Oulu and at school too. So remember to install your messengers and skypes when preparing for an exchange... but of course we don’t surf during the classes, right?
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