Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:25
Text and photo: Hanna Lempinen
This spring around 60 students of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences will head for studies abroad. One of them is Merih Arikkök, who will be spending the spring semester in Poland.
Merih Arikkök, 21, is a third-year student in the Degree Programme in
International Business. Talkative and outgoing Merih, who is originally from Istanbul, Turkey, has been very happy with his life and studies in Oulu.
- For me the best thing about my studies has been the possibility to get familiar with a lot of different areas instead of focusing on just one theme. I like the broad range of subjects that we study. An additional bonus is the multicultural atmosphere.
Spring in Poznan
This year Merih will not be experiencing the Finnish winter in its full glory. He will travel to Poland to spend an Erasmus exchange semester in the city of Poznan. How did Merih end up choosing a city which many people haven't even heard of?
- Poland's history between the West and communism fascinated me. I want to be there to experience the change from old to new, to live the transformation. I chose Poznan because it was the least famous city on the list. I wanted to go to a city that I know nothing about. It's more exciting when you don't have any expectations.
Improving one's language skills is one of the most common reasons for spending a semester abroad. However, learning Polish is not among Merih's top priorities.
- Language with so many consonants seems impossible to learn! I'm looking forward to meeting new people and getting to know the culture. I will of course also travel as much as I can, although I think studying will take a lot of time too.
For Merih, the exchange semester is also as a good chance to create professional contacts.
- I hope that I can also network with people and companies from my own field. It's good to get to know the Polish business culture. If I'm really lucky, I will make business contacts that will help me to get an interesting internship position.
Life after Erasmus
Merih doesn't have detailed plans for his post-Erasmus life, but he has set himself a goal to finish his studies during the spring of 2012. After graduation Merih will be aiming for a career in the finance business. The ambitious young man is not afraid of professional challenges. On the contrary, he seeks thrill and excitement from his future work.
- I enjoy the idea of having a job that is all about stress, being fast and thinking quickly. Everyone who knows me says that I am impatient. I want to have a job where I can put this feature into good use.
Merih is not too picky about the whereabouts of his future dream job. As long as the tasks are challenging enough, moving to a new city or country for work is not a problem for him.
- I would be ready to work pretty much anywhere, but I'd also be happy to stay in Finland and even in Oulu. For that I would have to work on my language skills a bit, says Merih - who actually already speaks fluent Finnish - with a boyish, charming smile.
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