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Short Time Ex­ch­an­ge Pro­gram” in Finland

Hi, my name is De­bo­rah and this year I got the op­por­tu­ni­ty to par­ti­ci­pa­te in the STEP pro­gram, a Short Time Ex­ch­an­ge Pro­gram of Ba­den-Wuert­tem­berg Co­ope­ra­ti­ve Sta­te Uni­ver­si­ty and Cen­tria Uni­ver­si­ty in Kok­ko­la, Fin­land. It was a gre­at chan­ce to gain in­ter­na­tio­nal ex­pe­ri­ence al­re­a­dy at the be­gin­ning of my studies.

Af­ter an in­ter­cul­tu­ral training and some on­line mee­tings, eight Ger­man stu­dents set off for a week in win­try Fin­land at the end of March. The­re we li­ved tog­e­ther with eight Fin­nish stu­dents, who in­tro­du­ced us to the Fin­nish cul­tu­re, their way of li­ving and the Fin­nish cui­sine. On va­rious ex­cur­si­ons we were able to pet reinde­ers, go snow­s­ho­e­ing, and walk on the fro­zen sea. Cen­tria Uni­ver­si­ty also or­ga­ni­zed va­rious com­pa­ny pre­sen­ta­ti­ons for us, such as an ex­ci­ting pre­sen­ta­ti­on by the lar­gest trans­por­ta­ti­on com­pa­ny in Fin­land. An­o­ther im­portant part of the ex­ch­an­ge was en­ding the day tog­e­ther in the sauna.

At the be­gin­ning of Sep­tem­ber, the Fin­nish stu­dents vi­si­ted us in Bad Mer­gen­theim. We made many ex­cur­si­ons with them, for ex­am­p­le to Ro­then­burg ob der Tau­ber, to the Mer­ce­des Benz Mu­se­um in Stutt­gart or to the Herbst­häu­ser Bre­wery. In this way, we were also able to show the Fi­nish stu­dents so­me­thing of Ger­man cul­tu­re and our re­gi­on as part of this cul­tu­ral ex­ch­an­ge. The Finns were par­ti­cu­lar­ly en­thu­si­a­stic about Ger­man beer and tra­di­tio­nal sou­thern Ger­man cui­sine such as Kä­se­spätz­le and Maultaschen.

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