I have to start by stating what an absolute relief it is to have the course selection done finally. Somehow everything here seems so complicated, not least the process of selecting your courses, which back in Finland is basically identical to picking candies in a candy store – pick a course, sign up, go to the lectures (if you feel there’s some benefit) and in case you want to drop the course, just stop going there. In here, the process involves 2 time windows when you can select your courses, add&drop week, over-ride forms, cancellations forms, forms for changing more than 6 credits during the add&drop period etc.. You get the point.
Anyway, my course selection is done and accepted by the student office of Aalto in their good grace. I’m just going to give a brief summary of them here:
Studies in Corporate Finance. This graduate level course captures much of the same topics as the undergrad CoFi course I took back in HSE, but concept and perspective is somewhat different. Research papers dominate the reading list and no textbook is used. We have a few case studies, mid-term exam, a presentation and the final exam. Very new to me is that the professor incorporates the behavioral finance viewpoint to all of the topics so that we cover each of them weighing the arguments of both “schools” (behavioral finance is a rather new doctrine which criticizes the assumption of rational expectations etc). The professor has a PhD from Harvard, where he met some of the pioneers of behavioral finance. Seems like a very interesting course all in all.
International Financial World: Markets, Institutions and Policies. Actually for this course, there has been only a 1-hour introductory class, so I can’t really say so much about it. Basically the topics seem to revolve around international finance, and we have to read some research papers each week and write a reaction paper of one of them. Also, each student has to hold a 30-min individual presentation, and according to my calculation, there was a t least 40 students in the class, so let’s see how that plays out in the end 🙂
Selected Topics Seminar: East Asian History and Culture. I am a bit surprised to say this, but this course from College of Liberal Studies seems to be the most interesting of them all. The course is about East Asian History, but naturally the viewpoint is somewhat Korean and Korean history plays a large part of the course. There’s only a handful of students in the course, so the atmosphere is very different from what I am used to. We are sitting around a large table and the professor is basically telling stories about the different schools and quarrels between scholars in the East Asian nations. The professor, Edward J. Baker, has some much insight and knowledge of the region, especially about Korea. His way of speaking might be a bit slow, but his stories are absolutely great!
Korean language class. Have done one class so far, most of the vowels sound exactly the same in my ear. Let’s see how it turns out 🙂
Tomorrow we are going to Jeju-do, an island located some 80 km south of the Korean peninsula. The island is dominated by Hallasan, a 1950-metre high volcano which is also the highest peak in Korea (note to self: remember to recharge camera batteries). We are going with Irina, Kasper and Tommi and i’m sure we’ll have a blast no matter how the weather is going to be. One drawback about going is that we will miss one of the welcoming parties, but you know, you can’t ever have it all, can you? 🙂
We’ll be back on monday and then it’ll be a lot of catching up for the Korean language course. We are planning to visit Japan the following week when it’s the Chusok (harvest moon) festival here in Korea. The thing is, we went yesterday to the immigration office to do the alien registration and now our passports are stuck there for some amount of time. I really hope we will get them back in time! The other option would have been to skip the registration, going travelling (our visa would have been revoked automatically) and getting a new visa from Tokyo, but I guess this is a little bit easier even if it means we have to spend part of the Chusok week in Seoul.
Next post will be about our awesome trip to Jeju where I will probably get lost in the lava tunnels or drop in to a volcano crater. Stay tuned for updates and subscribe! 🙂