Tell me a bit more about the program you're working on up in Finland, when you have some time!
Well, there's alot of work that's for sure. I've been busy as hell for the last few weeks now since every course is coming towards the end when summer holidays are coming.
Alrighty, I study in the university of applied science, and the line or subject is Social and health studies, and more accurately, sports and leisure. It's complicated system, there's no way to address this simply enough, or then even I don't understand this simply enough. Anyway, here's a brief explanation on what this type of school is about:
A classical university with several colleges is called yliopisto in Finnish. However, some specialized universities are called korkeakoulu, because unlike classical universities, they focus only on one discipline, even though they have the same status as an yliopisto; for example, Teatterikorkeakoulu, a theatre school, can be considered a single "theater college".
The vocational universities, however, are called ammattikorkeakoulu. The potential for confusion has led some korkeakoulus to change their name to yliopisto, abandoning the distinction between the terms yliopisto and korkeakoulu.
And where I study is Rovaniemen Ammattikorkeakoulu, and I study sports and leisure. I'll graduate as the bachelor of sports and leisure. The most common name for the graduates is fitness instructor (liikunnanohjaaja), which is a huge understatement and is in the verge of changing.
It's a 3,5 year school, our class has about 40 sutdents. Over 300 tried to apply here, but only that few were chosen. We go thorugh hell of a lot of courses with lots of variety. The courses are divided into several categories. First is basic studies, which covers all the nonsense of the schoolworld, language studies and information technology. Then we have professional studies, which has several categories. These include: health and well-being (anatomy, physiology, nutrition, improving health etc.), exercise education (motoric learning, didactics, pedagogy, exercise physiology, etc) Exercise methods and sports (Nature and winter sports, track and field, gymnasticks and dance, water sports and the understanding of different games and "gamesense"). We also have a opportunity to specialize to either nature exercises and sports or sport coaching and instructing There be more specific courses when the specification begins.
Then there are studies revolving around society, jurisdictions and business stuff like that. Then we have periods where we have to work for a company that has something to do around the business of fitness and exercising. So there's plenty of stuff. For graduation, we have to do this huge thesis with research and stuff. After that we have to work for atleast 3 years, then we can apply for master studies. Not necessary tho.
This isn't the only way to become a "Personal Trainer" in Finland, but it's the best and most competent. You can get your diplomas by some silly weekend courses and stuff, but I have little respect for that kind of studies. A proper university is needed if you want to become a teacher in this profession. Or earn a doctors degree.
There's the structural model of my school, or somewhere along that. The grammar has some poor translations, as some words don't really go well with english. Anyway, if there's something more accurate you'd like to know, just ask. I still got two and a half years to go.