So it’s official! I’ve finally received a confirmation letter from the Aalto University School of Business, which means that I will be spending five months in Helsinki, Finland next year.
For a person who is poorly-adapted to cold conditions, spending that period of time in Finland throughout the harsh winter season seems like a terrible decision (it is). If an air-conditioned room at 25 degrees Celsius in Singapore is already too chilly for me, living in sub-zero temperatures is going to be a challenge. And besides these problems, the administrative issues – travel and resident documents, insurance, accommodation, living expenses, curriculum matters – have started to pile up too.
Why Finland then? For one, its education system has always fascinated me (here and here). Small class sizes, highly-qualified educators, the lack of pedantic examinations… Whenever there are public discussions on Singapore’s education system, and how improvements should be contemplated (here), Finland will be inevitably raised as an example. Hence, within the university, it would be interesting to hear about the experiences of my Finnish counterparts.
Beyond that, I’m looking to (hopefully) visit different high schools in the area, to catch a glimpse of the teaching-learning pedagogies in practice. I’m not looking to provide a critical or objective evaluation of the education system (duh, I’m in no position to), but to think about what I’ve read, and hear first-hand opinions. At the same time, it would be great to meet with people – based in Helsinki, whom I’ve interacted with through the Internet.
Also, as a representative of the United Nations Association of Singapore (here and here), I will be looking to connect with individuals and organisations working on Model United Nations projects, and participate in a variety of conferences.
And I’ll be blogging too! While keeping in touch with developments in Singapore (Mondays, Wednesdays, and with the Breakfast Network), I’d write about my exploits and exchanges in Helsinki. And through it all, grow and learn as a person.