Student story: Engineering student set off to get new perspectives
Electrical and automation engineering student Antti Inkinen decided to go abroad to student exchange for half a year before graduation. Antti´s philosophy is to challenge himself and he also wanted to have new perspectives to engineering and project work.
At times, Antti felt like a local.
Third year engineering student Antti Inkinen headed for the Netherlands. In September 2019 he started his student exchange at Den Haagse Hogeschool in Delft. Antti´s opinion is that location of the exchange university was good, as the city was not a tourist destination and thus he could experience the true culture of the country.
– I was looking forward to meeting new people and having aha-moments related to technology. Both came true, although I did not get to know other exchange students. All the arrangements connected to student exchange went fine at SAMK.
Antti was the only exchange student in the group, which was not a problem for him at all. During the whole exchange period, the group used English not only with Antti but between themselves as well, and this created a good team spirit. Antti also had a chance to see the local lifestyle close by through his friends from the university.
“ I can take that leap of faith”
Antti feels that student exchange was really useful for him. The courses offered in the Netherlands supported his studies in Finland so he got a lot of valuable knowledge during his exchange. During the exchange, Antti´s English skills developed even more, and the exchange brought about courage to act in an unknown environment.
During the exchange, Antti completed Smart manufacturing and robotics course, which included two different projects commissioned by companies. The projects were carried out in teams, with team members representing different fields, e.g. electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and information technology. Together with his team Antti was able to conduct the projects for real companies that had real-life topics to offer them.
– We automated the work cycle of a lathe by utilizing a collaborative robot. The main emphasis in the project was on flexibility and quick commissioning, as there were several pieces to machine and the lathe will be used also manually from time to time. We started working on a clean slate and the end result was a system that utilized machine vision to load the pieces to the lathe and communicated by fieldbus with the controller circuit of the lathe.
– During the project we were in close contact with the customer and visited them often. We learned a lot about technology but also project working. I got proof for my CV that I can take a leap of faith. I also did things I could share e.g. on LinkedIn.
Part of a Dutch floorball team
Antti decided to take full advantage of his exchange also in his spare time. He searched for a local floorball team, found one and played there during the exchange period. Playing in a team enabled Antti to travel around the country and get to know the culture of the country even better.
– Team sports gave me a feeling of belonging and at times I felt like a local. Through floorball I got a regular schedule for my exchange, something to look forward to.
Based on his own experience, Antti thinks it is important to be prepared financially and do all the paperwork in good time. In addition, Antti feels that it is important to take part actively in extra-curricular activities at the exchange university, and also to remember to study. Antti´s last tip is that remember to keep contact with people back home.
– For me going on student exchange was an experience that broadened my horizons, and I recommend it to everybody. It´s good to leave your own comfort zone every now and then and test your boundaries.
Find out more about Antti´s project: https://www.robotminor.nl/cnc-loader/
- Degree programme: Electrical and Automation Engineering
- Exchange country: the Netherlands
- Exchange university: Den Haagse Hogeschool (The Hague University of Applied Sciences), Delft