I have been living here for over a year - enough time to find out why Finland has good education
Hello, my name is Lan Anh. I come from a country of rolling tropical hills and densely forested mountains: Vietnam. After finishing the exchange program in Korea one year ago, I returned to Vietnam with the nostalgia of international experience. As an Asian, I was accustomed to a generally tough education so I tried to bring myself to a place that is considered as the happiest country in the world and the world's most educated: to Finland. I have been living here for over a year - enough time to find out why Finland achieved that appellation.
I am sophomore at Lapland UAS, studying Business Information Technology in Tornio campus. Here, I have learned new and interesting things from the professional and experienced lecturers in the business and IT field. We have access to useful and up-to-date materials and we work with real company projects at the end of each semester, after learning the necessary knowledge for the future job.
We have learned the basic structure of software, hardware, operating systems, e-commerce, programming, business strategies as well as the way that IT operates in business. This way, students have the background to self-study and elevate knowledge by themselves. UAS Lapland students are equipped with the ability to self-study and self-research, and be creative as much as they want with the help of the professors.
I think one of the reasons why Finland is leading in terms of living environment as well as education is due to the respect, attention and enthusiasm of the teachers, the staff in the school and Finnish people who are my friends and neighbours. We do not have too many exercises or assignments, every lesson takes very few hours, but we have much time for independent work. The teachers know that we are not be able to absorb too much at once and that we get stressed, so they divide the necessary lessons in small sections for us to keep track logically.
Students are always welcome to social workers at the school, even the tutor teacher, who is always active and patiently listening to all our stories whether it is a study story or a personal story. They are also eager to help us unravel our troubles.
Learning here makes me more self-aware, know myself better and more creative, more open-minded due to the way the teachers always encourage us and respect my personal preferences and opinions. The teachers help me to recognize my mistakes rather than criticize me.
After each session, I have participated in many activities and events organized by students and student union. You will never get bored at this place if you are active and proactive in making friends, as so many international students, exchange students and Finnish students here are willing to keep company with you. If you worry about your English, we have the same problem, people will help you get better if you really want to improve it.
Living in Finland has helped me to recognize myself, helped me grow up every day and brought valuable lessons that I have never had in my life otherwise.
Lan Anh, Vietnam
I always had passion for technology and wanted to become an expert in technology.
My name is Duc Ngo. I am from Vietnam, which is one of the Southeast Asian countries. Firstly, I was a little bit confused when I passed the Entrance Exam because I have never left my country before. I was very worried about many things such as culture, people, education system, and so on. However, it is also a good opportunity for me to develop myself, as well as learning something new and different.
Currently, I am a second-year student at Lapland UAS and studying Business Information Technology in Tornio city. I am also an international school ambassador in 2018, so I think that I made the right decision when I came here.
In order to fulfill my goal, I know that I need to enrich my knowledge. That is the reason why I chose Lapland University of Applied Sciences. Besides that, I chose Lapland UAS not only the support system with scholarship up to 80% in the first year and 60% in next years, but also because international applied science, quality education, and international accredited degrees. Lapland UAS also gives me a chance to experience the multicultural and unique Scandinavia.
About my major, in the first year, I learned about the infrastructure and services of ICT. It gave me a glimpse of the necessary backgrounds in a digital environment, knowledge about Cloud computing, and some basic skill about teamwork, presentation skills, survival skills in Finland, etc. Then, I learned how to analyze a business environment to identify development opportunities and practical requirements for ICT solutions. I worked with a real company in Norway with my team to propose the most appropriate solution and identify the development opportunities. That was a great practical experience for me.
The best things that I would like to say about Tornio is that the friendly and quietness. Tornio is a quiet city and peaceful, it is very safe and comfortable.
However, it is nice that people organize some festivals here, like international market, ice fishing, flea market, cultural evenings, and so on. Especially nice is that you can see the northern lights if you are lucky enough. It is so beautiful but it is cold at that time. Even the cold is an interesting experience, you should try it.
Duc Ngo, Vietnam
If you are looking for a place to learn and grow, professionally and personally, for caring teachers, real experience, great social life and people from all over the world – this university is sure choice.
My name is Anya, I am 19 years old and a first year degree student in Lapland UAS. I’m writing to you today not because I was forced or because I have to, but because I truly and with all my heart love this school and want people to know more about it. I come from Russia and, as I already said, I am a first year student and I study Business Information Technology in Tornio campus. To start with, I had never planned coming over here and this all happened for me by chance, so when I arrived I had no idea what was waiting for me… Well, an endless adventure, as I discovered shortly after!
We arrived at the beginning of September, when It was still quite warm, and the first thing that I found priceless about Finland – is its nature. The very first evening the sunset and the river view took my breath away. And this view (and the northern lights if you are lucky enough) we keep seeing every day right from the dormitory windows! Only this is worth coming. And maybe it gets really cold in times (-37), even this frost is worth experiencing.
Very first and essential thing that I noticed that differs from my previous university is the support from the school staff. From the moment I took off the plane I was looked after literally every second. Everything you need to know is given to you and explained in details, tutors (selected students from 2-3 years) and teachers are your help 24/7. I never felt lonely, homesick or confused thanks to a constant care from all of them.
Talking about the studying process itself, from the beginning I was amazed how enjoyable it can be. The school building is very modern and equipped with the latest technology necessary for successful studies. Classrooms and halls are very bright and create a positive environment for a sometimes intense studying. Courses themselves are taught by qualified teachers that know how to balance practice with theory to keep lectures interesting and students progressing. Some of the classes might be challenging because this University uses Problem solving teaching. But this is exactly what makes it so exciting and actually fruitful in the end.
Apart from the educational part, Lapland UAS can be proud of its very well-organized social life. Coming here I wasn’t expecting to have so many after-school activities. Having spent here almost 6 months I’ve participated in dozens of team-building events and orientations events such as Checkpoints’ parties, Movie nights, evening BBQ, International food evening, the biggest event of the semester Cultural evening and of course student parties. Also, I became a member of a volleyball team, but there are many other sports to choose from (football, basketball, floorball etc.). Besides, University organized multiple trips to other two campuses in Kemi and Rovaniemi, we had a chance to visit Santa Claus village, see real reindeer and take a picture with Santa. Moreover, school encourages students to participates in different contests that sometimes include money rewards( I myself and my team won one of them). So, my life here is never boring and always busy with one or another activity, whether it’s a school project or a concert, I am always involved in something and I love it.
But no matter what, what I like probably the most is people. Lapland UAS manages to gather together people from all over the world to cooperate, work and learn from each other, which is not easy but so fruitful in the end. This part I find the most important one of the whole experience. For these 6 months I have met many great people from different countries, made some hopefully long-term friendships, made useful contacts, shared my culture and learnt about others’. It made me expand my boarders and look further. It taught me tolerance, patience, understanding and respect of another opinion. It taught me to think different and to accept difference, overcome challenges alone and with a group.
To be honest, there are too many good words I can say about my days in the walls of Lapland UAS. The one more thing that I’d like to add is that: If you are looking for a place to learn and grow, professionally and personally, for caring teachers, real experience, great social life and people from all over the world – this university is sure choice. Just join us, we live it large.
-Anna Lobko, BIT student-
Never before I have enjoyed spending time in a library like in Lapland UAS, we are lying on beanbags while making homework
My name is Norbert Herczeg. I am an exchange student from University of Óbuda that has faculties in both Budapest and Székesfehérvár in Hungary. I am studying Business Information Technology in Tornio for 1 semester.
The reason why I chose to come to Lapland is that I wanted to experience a very different country and get to know the Scandinavian culture. In previous semesters, I was already involved with Erasmus because I had met quite a lot of exchange students and made many friends. In the end, I even became a kind of tutor for them in my faculty so I really wanted to experience it myself too. I can say that it has proven to be the right decision. Almost everyone speaks English here so I have never had trouble in everyday life when you go to the shop or bus station for example. All parts of the country have seemed to be generally clean, safe and ordered.
Lapland UAS is very well equipped. When you enter the university, you find yourself in a productive environment. I have never before enjoyed spending time in a library like here, we are lying on beanbags while making homework. How cool is that? I also really like the small class courses, it can be a lot more interactive and practice oriented because the teachers can focus us. The staff and teachers of the University are very friendly; I could solve all my problems in the matter of minutes. They really treat us as equals and it makes the time I spend at the university much more convenient. We have very friendly tutors that help us with any kind of questions that we have during our stay. Even though the polar nights with all that darkness can be challenging, we have a good community within international students’ so it is easy to make friends if you are open to that.
In some of the courses, I have learned things that improved my understanding in topics that I had already used in work. I have seen northern lights a couple of times, which was a unique experience that I will never forget. I am sure I will always tell stories about my time here and my experiences will be useful later in my personal and professional life too.
- Norbert Herczeg, BIT -
I heard about the school from my friends. I wanted to study abroad and to study something relevant. That’s why I chose Business Information Technology – it included IT and business area that are so current these days.
My name is Wang Xiaoyue and I’m coming from China. Just a year ago I started my BIT studies at Lapland UAS in Tornio. As any other applicant I was anxious about the entrance exam and, having passed it, I was anxious about the beginning of the studies as well. I didn’t know what to expect and now, here I am, just finished the first year the learning process is running smoothly and I am not stressed anymore.
When I was preparing for the entrance exam, I did some practice on reading and math, I also tried to train my English harder, so that I would perform well in the discussion part of the exam. So, the exam consisted of the following: reading, mathematics and a group discussion. The easiest for me was to do the math; although, the reading part turned out to be more challenging, there you need to understand the vocabulary; and therefore, to the new applicants, I would advise to do some reading practice beforehand. In addition, if you are not a native English speaker, practice your English to be able to participate in the discussion.
After I received the acceptance letter, my first impulse was to have a good rest before the studies since I wanted to have enough energy for the challenge. To my surprise, the beginning was very smooth and relaxing and, actually, it was great! In the orientation week, I and my classmates received a set of information and our friendly tutors patiently guided us everywhere, and gave us very helpful tips. We also learned how to use Moodle and SoleOps, which are the Web-platforms where you save all of your study materials. Except for the school activities, once we had a barbeque party beside the river, it was quite something.
So far, I like the studies. We’ve had the basic computing skills, learning skills information, OS and hardware, servers and network, mathematics, system analysis and design, programming and Finnish for foreigners. By the way, Finnish is a compulsory course here, so no matter what, you will have to learn “terve” and “kiitos” J. Personally, I like mathematics and Finnish here, whereas programming seems a bit challenging for me.
I associate Tornio with piece, quietness and cleanliness. It really wins your favor, because nothing distracts you from your studies and you can work with your individual pace. The locals are very friendly and there, actually, is many international people living here. Tornio differs very much from my hometown in China.
So, if you are wondering whether you should come here or not, I will tell you that in Tornio you will learn about business as well as IT, which means you will have more opportunities to find a job in future; and moreover, you can pick one of the specializations and study it more deeply if you decide so, the school will provide you with everything you need.
- Xiaoyue Wang, BIT'15, Tornio -