Meet The Ebster: Jarkko Pukki
If you're interested in doing your Erasmus exchange semester in Milan, Italy then this is for you! Jarkko will share his experience living in Milan - the good and the bad.
A brief introduction about you.
Hello everyone! I hope you're having a good one reading this!
My name is Jarkko, and I am a 22-year-old Bachelor student at EBS studying Entrepreneurship in the Digital Era.
In addition to my studies, I help businesses create creative content, manage real estate, and do a lot of intense gym workouts and running sessions, watch hundreds of videos of successful entrepreneurs, listen to self-help audiobooks, and I am currently studying abroad.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that we are building our own b2b platform at school and an SMMA agency outside of school that we will be launching soon.
What would be the 3 most interesting facts about you?
My name is completely Finnish, but I am not fluent in the language.
I strive for excellence in all aspects of my life, not just work and school.
I have a large wardrobe, but I always end up wearing my favourite pieces.
What country are you currently doing you Erasmus in? And how come you chose it?
Currently I am doing my exchange semester in Italy.
Great pasta and pizza, a lovely city with warm and sunny weather, and the exchange university being one of Europe's top four business schools (in management) – all played a role.
Which school are you studying in and in what aspects does studying there differ from studying in EBS?
The school where I currently study is Bocconi University in Milan.
While Bocconi has a more theoretically extensive scope, studies at EBS are unquestionably more personal, agile, and engaging.
I can imagine your exchange school has some fun classes. What has been your favourite class/assignment so far and what did you have to do?
We're still working on it, but in the marketing elective, we had to actually find a company and build a marketing plan by the book for the company to execute - it's been a crazy experience.
Milan has a lot to offer. What have been your favourite places to visit and why?
My favourite area to visit on a regular basis is the Duomo area, because there are magnificent shopping venues, great restaurants, cafes, and a lot of gorgeous architecture to see.
What have been some of the difficulties while living abroad that you have faced and how did you overcome those?
A lack of things to do: Aside from travelling and dining out, there aren't many things to do in Milan because most people only work or go to restaurants. I conquered it by joining a gym and a spa.
Language Barrier: People here do not speak English very well. It is really beneficial to use Google Translate or to have an Italian friend with you.
Transportation: One of the challenges was that I did not have my own car here. I got around that by purchasing a public transportation card. Using Bolt Scooters (which has recently expanded here) and Google Maps is also really beneficial.
Budgeting: Milan is not the most affordable city to live in. I was likewise first confused as to how much it would cost to live here. I overcame it by creating a personal financial flow statement, which has allowed me to function more clearly.
Is there anything that totally amazes you about Italy and its culture that others might not have known about but totally have to experience this themselves?
When welcoming someone in Italy, it is normal to kiss them on the cheek.
In a suitable amount, Italians can also be more touchy feely. Kissing strangers was something new to me. It's also common for straight Italian men to kiss on the cheek, which surprised me.
Coffee must cost between 1€ and 1.8€ everywhere because it is regulated by law because coffee is considered a human right by Italians.
Family is the most important thing to Italians. Some families live with their whole lineage. Dinner with family is essential, and children can live with their parents until they are 35 years old.
Any encouraging words to students going on an exchange semester?
"If something is important, you do it even when the odds are against you," Elon Musk said.
This is an excellent opportunity to travel the world, make new friends and memories, and spice up your university experience by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
If you're afraid to do it, it could be a sign that you should.