Hello all and welcome! My name is Annika, I come from a city/town from Southern Finland called Tuusula and I’m here now as a first year IB student in Lapland UAS. I am very thrilled about telling my story on how I ended up far up North doing an international degree as a native Finn.
Before coming to study I was really struggling with getting into schools I wanted. Not having a plan, I ended up doing courses from open universities with no success and since the pandemic started, there wasn’t really possibilities to go abroad to study, either. So I was just doing work full time in jobs where I saw no future. With just a high school background, there wasn’t that much job opportunities interesting enough, either. This made me want to educate myself further, though for a while I wasn’t even planning on doing it.
So why I wanted to come to Lapland’s UAS was because I needed a break from the city, and though still staying in Finland, I had a feeling of being abroad. As mentioned before, I did have plans going overseas to study, but studying an international degree, it felt like I did. I heard great things from my boyfriend, who studied here few years ago and because of him I wanted to give it a try and I so far regret nothing!
As and IB student I wanted to give myself an overall education that can lead me anywhere, whether it was a country or career path I can work towards. Also, having a variety of different backgrounds and cultures in one class was part of my plan getting network from all over the world.
So why did I choose Rovaniemi, the furthest studying destination from all of the places in Finland? Because it was different. It had surprisingly different nature, not even getting started with the weather conditions. The housing prices are cheaper, there is so much work for students, there are so many activities you can do… Coming from near the capital city, I knew the second I moved here that the city was never the place for me to live. I would have to travel quite a bit to see nature, everything was so hectic, and winters were always dark. It’s quite the opposite in here and I love it.
Rovaniemi as a study destination, well, I cannot compare it to anything else other than Helsinki. All of the schools in Helsinki were rather hard to get into (at least for me), whereas Rovaniemi, being a rather small study city, was so much easier, although they have all of the same recourses that they have in Helsinki. So, in a way I think that Rovaniemi is quite underestimated, though it is so unique! There are so many bars and pubs, affordable restaurants where a lot of the students go to all the time. Everything is basically in a walking distance, even the Jokiväylä campus is only 2km away from the city center. I like all of those facts that I just mentioned. There’s something going on almost every day, and even if there wasn’t, the possibilities of doing different things are major and all within a walking distance. So, for all of those who value these things when choosing a study destination, Rovaniemi is the place for you.
At the start of the studies, all of our classes were in Adobe Connect or Teams, not in campus. Yes, you could wake up five minutes before your class stared but you didn’t get much out of it because of distractions you have at home. That I’d say so far being the only disadvantage when moving here. But other than that, I have loved the campus, the teachers, and most of all, my peers.
I can say that with three months of studies, I’ve already learned so much. There have been fun and less fun courses, but all of them have taught me a great deal about overall economic situation in the world and also teamworking and such.
School comes home with you, for sure, but what do you expect when you’re applying to a higher education? After our lectures which go from about 9 to 3, there’s always homework and assignments to do. As a university of applied sciences, a lot of work is team orientated, which I prefer to having a big work load for yourself. And although at first, I thought there was so much work coming in all the time, at the end of the day I find it good as I’ve learned so much more in a short time and I can already see connections between courses and to my dream careers, too.
Coming to school here I was really excited to learn about sustainability which Lapland’s UAS promotes a lot. We’re now going through a course called introduction to sustainable business, which is teaching us about how sustainable or unsustainable companies and individuals can be and what are some factors that can change that to better. So far, the teacher has been amazing, having interesting stories and topics of discussion. Our class has had the most interesting points of view in these topics. This course so far has taught me that whatever I do in the business world, I want to act sustainably and toward a better future. If you value this, you don’t want to miss out on this course nor degree.
I’ve liked everything about my studies so far, but aside from the course of Introduction to Sustainable Business, the favorite part of my studies has been the networking with my peers. Especially after going to the campus for lectures, I could finally connect voices I heard online to real faces. This way I started enjoying and understanding my classes even more.
I know I have a long time to enjoy being a student but since starting my studies I already have new dreams about what I want to do when I grow up and how my studies can help me with that.
I come from a long family history of entrepreneurs and although I don’t know what that will be yet, I know for sure I want to start a company of my own. It might be right after I graduate or 10 years from now, who knows. Maybe rather later than sooner, as I’ve found my passion in marketing, especially photography and videography kind of marketing. Maybe working for a company, who share my values in that area, could give me the right tools that can help me with a company of my own. I haven’t yet worked in the field but having photography as a hobby thrives me forward. So if you have a hobby or an interest, don’t hesitate to maybe make it work as a work field. I would love to take photography, videography and another hobby of mine, horses, and put them all together into maybe a bed-and-breakfast someday.
In conclusion, I advise everyone reading this who think about coming to study here to do so. International Business degree gives you tools for several different careers and possibilities and meanwhile studying, you can enjoy the rare and beautiful surroundings, people, and nature Rovaniemi has to offer.
Annika, International Business -student