so, it’s been a while, huh. i am trying to do a quick recap of the past month.
at the end of may went to vienna as part of my ‘understanding austrian society and culture’ class. did a hasty city tour which didn’t really teach me anything new, went to the opera in the evening and didn’t really see a thing but liked the music. finally saw the schönbrunn castle and was a bit disappointed, possibly had too high expectations. spent the afternoon at prater (the amusement park), experienced nice adrenaline rush and then spent six hours on the train back to innsbruck because the train broke down for an hour. not exactly fun. passed an exam with flying colours and fell ill. (which in turn ruined my plans to spend a long weekend in graz. noe i never got to see that city.) had an entrepreneurship course with a misleading name, but learned probably more than during the two similar courses i’ve had back in finland. spent few days in amsterdam and a day in brussels. loved the former, majorly disliked the latter. did airplane spotting, wrote essays. this week i’ve sat on ‘the rise of asia and understanding the west’ lectures, and now i am finally done. as of today i am finally on holiday, it feels like everyone else has been done with school for at least a month. this weekend i will need to try to pack (so much stuff, i will never get it all back home) and some official things to do next week before i leave. my friend A is coming to visit me next week also, so i will need to schedule everything. after that we’re off to italy (sun, sightseeing, the national!) and oh, on 7th of july i am flying back to finland. it’s so weird, i feel like i just came here and in two weeks i will be back in finland. i have such mixed feelings about that.
as i am writing this blog for school and everything, i figured i should do a recap of all the courses i took. just in case someone is coming here in the future and wants to know a bit more than i did when i randomly picked courses based on their names. so here goes:
alpine tourism: was interesting for someone who knows very little of anything to do with skiing. i enjoyed the day when we talked about the promotion of tyrol, but there were some days that simply felt too long because of the topic. environmental issues are important, but when you listen to stuff about them for 8 hours it’s too much. the trip to st. anton was awesome, the one to zugspitze not so much. it’s 5 credits though, so even with a quite a big assignment on summer product for st. anton it’s worth it.
business & strategic management: the entrepreneurship course with a misleading name. three different professors, two of them teaching together. a lot of real life case analysis and lots of good examples. quite a big amount of group work too. interesting things about personality types and how to use them in business environment. dealing with business cases that haven’t gone that well. 3 credits, two big essays which were rather easy if you did pay attention to in the classes.
destination management: one of the courses i did not like. neither of the lecturers knew how to teach and the material they used was not all that good. some parts about promotion and how to define destinations was okay, but with an exam of 90 true/false questions i don’t know if the 3 credits are enough for anyone to like sitting in these classes.
german course: this depends a lot on your level and who you have as a teacher, so very very subjective. (as if none of the stuff before wasn’t…) 3 credits, but you also need to pay 90€ to take this course. i’d recommend it still. especially if you don’t know any german, it’s only right to learn at least the basics when spending your time here. if you’re like me and have spent years sitting on german classes but managed to forget most of it because you never use it, well, still worth it. a laid-back teacher, teaching lots of random vocabulary and asking for one presentation and one essay in the end. not too bad.
intercultural management: my asbolute favourite of all the classes, even if it was rescheduled and that messed up my other plans. awesome teacher from hawaii, tons of real life examples, discussion about things that most classes do not cover. one essay to write, one that i actually enjoyed writing. only 1 credit though, and a bit too short. i wish there were more classes of this, i would have liked to get more in depth with this subject.
international tourism and leisure markets: this one is a bit difficult to evaluate given i missed half of it, but from what i heard those classes i did miss were possibly the most boring of the whole semester. which says something. the ones i did attend were about asia and while in a way i did learn some new things, i don’t feel like i really learnt that much about the markets there, i think the lecturer spent more time promoting his own institution. two massive essays, especially the one about asia-pacific took forever to write (well, not forever, but we’re talking 8 hours of just reading the literature and almost another 8 writing the essay). 3 credits, but still, i wouldn’t recommend it that much. if you can get something else, you might be better off studying that.
international tourism management: misleading course titles pt. 2. basically half of it was crisis management and half of it was about product innovations. crisis management was incredibly difficult and requires you to do a lot of studying. product innovations part was one of my favourites. amazing teacher, lots of group work and interaction. i would recommend, but it’s up to every individual on how much effort they are willing to put on this, because the exam is demanding and i only did as well as i did because i had a neverending train ride to study with someone who helped me understand some of the things. a lot of exchange students fail this exam, so really, think about it. 3 credits this one too.
the rise of asia and implications for the west: the last course of the semester and i think that showed. personally i enjoyed the course a lot, and learned so much new things about asia. not necessarily about the business possibilites, but about how to understand those countries and how to understand the news about those countries you’re bound to read on the papers. the lecturer was not a professional teacher, but i think he did a decent job. it helps if you actually read even some of the literature you’re supposed to before the classes and pay attention. one presentation in the end, which our group aced. (surprisingly we were the only ones who actually did stick to the assignment and did what we were supposed to.) i do recommend this one, it might feel a bit daunting but it can be so rewarding. even more rewarding than the 3 credits.
understanding austrian society and culture: 4 credits, trips to cafes, preparing food and baking, listening to music, one presentation, an essay and a trip to vienna. it’s a sort of a crash course to austria, but doesn’t really give you in depth information about the country. it’s a lot of fun though. got to say, i have no idea how this is going to be recognized in finland.
that’s it. there are some courses other people took but i skipped because i felt like i’d either had something similar already and just didn’t feel interested in them.
four months in innsbruck are coming to an end. i am going to miss this place a lot. to the finns who might be reading this: hyvää juhannusta!