Friday, 30 April 2010

FIRST study trip to St. Petersburg 10.-18.4 2010

St. Petersburg is a city full of history, culture and people. St. Petersburg is located at the delta of Neva River. All in all, it’s a home for more than 5 million people. The city was founded by Peter the Great. He had the city built with precise plan and style. Nowadays the historical center of St. Petersburg is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

St. Petersburg offered an unforgettable week for us 15 Finnish students that were chosen to participate in FIRST Russian study trip. Our aim was to explore Russian culture, business and nightlife.

We Finnish participants were from several universities and university of applied sciences in Finland for example from TAMK, TuAMK, SAMK, HAMK, UTA and TTY. From TAMK we had two participants from IB this year. Our group was completed when 17 Russian students from different universities from St. Petersburg joined us. The teachers were Mikel Garant , Anasse Bouhlal, Jussi Okkonen, Oksana Yevseeva, Heikki Holma, Aleksander Polyakov, Taina Huhtinen, Ekaterina Tulugurova and Tatiana Khvatova. The program was held at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University and was coordinated by Daria Kozlova and Tiina Vuorio from Tampere University of Technology.

During the week we got to know each other as well as Russian business culture in general. We had guest lecturers from InnoPartnership,Finpro, the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce, Nokian renkaat, Rumpu Consulting, the St Pedtersburg Currency Exchange, Handelsbanken and Promaco. The lecturers were kind to share their knowledge of Russian business today. We heard success stories of companies that had entered the Russian market and also their difficulties when facing a new culture. The lectures raised interesting discussions of various topics. We also went to visit The Stock Exchange and Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky. At the Sokos Hotel we also got an inside peek to the rooms.

Besides the lectures we were amazed by various sites around St. Petersburg. On our second day in Russia we went for a city tour and heard about the history of St. Petersburg. We saw the Peter & Paul Fortress, The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood and the outstanding Hermitage. Some of us also visited The Kunstkamera which is established in 1714 by Peter the Great who was fascinated by questionable items from all over the world.

On Sunday 18th of April 2010 our group came back to Finland. We all had been enriched by this unforgettable experience to the spectacular city of St. Petersburg – not to mention all the international contacts we made!
By: Maija Peltola

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