tiistai 27. lokakuuta 2009

Affordable bicycles for foreign students

University of Jyväskylä is an internationally oriented university and has hundreds of foreign students each year from many different places of the world. Though the university and the student union welcome guests from abroad with open arms, there could be some improvements considering services for foreign students.

Often exchange students stay in Jyväskylä only for a short period, like five or nine months. Understandably they don´t wish to buy things they will have to abandon upon leaving Finland. Then again a bicycle is almost a must in Jyväskylä, because public transport is horribly expensive, but distances are short enough for cycling.

Bicycle markets sometimes overheat in the fall, when new students -both foreign and Finnish- arrive to Jyväskylä and look for affordable bicycles. One way to solve this problem would be to have the student union have some bicycles for rent for foreign students. Rents would need to be moderate, the idea is to provide service, not to create profit. For me a deposit of 30 euros, of which you get 20 back on returning the bike upon leaving would sound reasonable.

The election for the board of representatives in JYY is here, and international students need someone to speak for their rights. I would suggest creating a city-bicycle service for foreign students in Kortepohja and Roninmäki. Around 20 bicycles would be just fine to begin with. This hopefully would help our valued foreign visitors to adapt to the society.

The picture: a bicycle station in Lyon

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