Postcard from Stuttgart, Germany

Greetings from Southern Germany, where I'm spending the winter semester of 23/24 as an exchange student!

My studies here in Stuttgart are off to a great start. The “Print & Packaging” minor programme at Hochschule der Medien (HdM) is a wonderfully unique opportunity to study what happens to most of the paper and board products after they leave the mills.

Even though it’s already October, it is still very much full-on summer here weather-wise. I arrived just in time to experience Oktoberfest, which definitely was a bucket-list item, and it did not disappoint. Germans do love their bureaucracy, so filling out forms and waiting in line at different offices has taken up quite a bit of my free time. Luckily the forms eventually have to end at some point, so I can see travelling and experiencing different parts of the German culture in my future. Stuttgart itself is a beautiful city full of history and it is surrounded by hills and vineyards.

Germans are a bit more formal and punctual than us Finns. Many of our professors wear suits while teaching, something that I have never witnessed in Finland. They are also always addressed with their titles (Dr., Prof., etc.) and/or with Herr or Frau. The atmosphere in the classrooms is still very much the same as in TAMK, there is open discussion about things, everyone is free to ask questions any time during the lectures and the professors are easily approachable and genuinely nice people. The punctuality aspect is something that I personally really enjoy. I am always (at least) 10 minutes early everywhere, so it’s nice that here so many others are as well. No more waiting alone in the empty classrooms for me!


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