Markus Rohregger: Finland is an educational paradise

This fall the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki welcomed 68 new exchange students of 35 different nationalities. One of them is Markus Rohregger, a 22-year-old pianist from Austria. He studies at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, but his department is in Innsbruck. He is going to study at SibA for the whole academic year.

In addition to studying the piano, Markus also studies music education at his home institution. Therefore while looking for interesting places to apply to for an exchange, he looked into universities that do a lot of pedagogical studies, music education and instrumental education, and ended up finding SibA’s English course description. Originally his plan was to do an exchange in Sweden – he even studied Swedish for a year in advance. However, after being accepted to Gothenburg and Helsinki, he chose the Sibelius Academy. He was persuaded by a church music student from Kuopio who did an exchange in Austria. “And of course the educational system in Finland is very good, Finland is viewed as an educational paradise!” Markus says. “I think this university has the best courses to cater to my needs.”

When asked about what he knew about Finland in advance, Markus admits he’s a fan of korvapuustis (Finnish traditional cinnamon buns) and Finnish music. He thinks that Finns have a unique way of making music, and thinks that his exchange will enable him to take some big steps musically.

“It’s of course enriching to be in a totally different country with new teachers, a different language, such an interesting music culture… I want to get as much of it as possible: teaching, chamber music, everything!” Markus says, and remarks that in addition of the musical aspect, it is exciting to start a life in a new city and meet new people. “Especially because my home institute and Innsbruck are very small compared to SibA and Helsinki!”

Text by: Elsi Vertanen