Hello, everyone! I am Shi Shengjin (Allen) and I am very happy to share with you some of my study experiences in Lapland UAS regarding:
- Why I chose Finland as a study destination and why Lapland UAS?
- How does actual learning environment & experiences look like?
- Precious international internship experience & financial supports from Erasmus?
- Feelings & Challenges during the graduation process?
So, I chose Finland because of three important aspects:
1. It is the happiest, safest and stable country in the world.
2. Finland has world’s most well-known and cost-efficient education system. Importantly, Lapland UAS offers high-scholarships (almost free!!!) through every year for international students, which can largely reduce financial burden for their family. Furthermore, teaching style are quite flexible and humanized, individual study plan will be made based on the learning ability of the student which means he or she does not have to worry about getting lost in study progress as important lectures will be recorded on the study platform.
3. Lapland UAS is located in Kemi, Tornio and in Rovaniemi city which is a perfect masterpiece of nature and modernity as well as the hometown of Santa Claus, also just on Arctic Circle. Thus, many are able to see great Northern Lights as well as the opportunity to visit real Santa Claus. Excited?
As for learning experiences and environment as a whole, academic atmosphere in Lapland UAS is excellent and teachers are highly qualified as well. In addition, teachers will often give the feedback & improving advice after classes. More importantly, teaching methods in Lapland UAS are diverse, rich and professional (indoor and outdoor). For example, during the studies, the school will arrange many valuable activities for students regarding personal professional learning and growth such as company field visits, CEO entrepreneurial experience sharing & communication, different workshops and business projects, labs for testing business ideas, etc. This is something that business student needs.
Lapland UAS also provides compensated international internship opportunities for students. I achieved my first professional practical training in 2017 from May to November with a good financial support from Erasmus. I worked as a general manager assistant in a local hotel business in Spain. After half year in that position, I slowly realized what a real professional working life should be (strict work schedule & 100% execution, highly disciplined & emotional controlled, effective team cooperation and communication skills, excellent working competence, etc.). Thus, as a qualified entrepreneur, one not only requires number of professional theories from school but also the practices from actual work. Consequently, Lapland UAS can be an ideal study place which offers international students excellent business theories, the opportunity to do business projects with internationals and an internal platform for testing business ideas under the assistance from business tutors.
Most excited part but also challenges
Facing graduation, most students including me, are thrilled and sad in a way because a lot of things are coming to you at once such as thesis writing, feedback & improvement, graduation application process....and diploma certificate eventually received. However, I acquired both professional theories and practical work experiences during my degree studies in Lapland UAS from past 4 years. Thanks to all teachers who taught and helped me during my business studies and I felt indeed a powerful education system as well as enthusiastic teaching atmosphere, I am truly grateful for such efforts and patience from all of you teachers and I am very proud of my school! LOVE YOU️!!!
Shi Shengjin (Allen)
Born and raised in Veszprem, Hungary – sister town of Rovaniemi, my elementary school had organised a student exchange programme, during which we stayed with local Lappish families and went on school & leisure activities with them. I will never forget the first time I saw the reflection of the pine forest on the river and how I suddenly found myself feeling home at such an extraordinary place I have never been to. All in all, I knew I wanted to experience this modern system and their peaceful nordic lifestyle, so I decided to start planning my higher education studies back then already. My feelings were right back then: Lapland is the place to study and grow into the best self of who you are.
Planning my studies & moving to Rovaniemi
So around my last year of high-school, I realised that this dream of studying in Finland is not necessarily a dream and I can easily turn it into a plan that can be then executed, right? I didn’t really know what to study exactly back then & didn’t get much guidance on which direction to go for. As I did not know anyone who went to Finland to do their Bachelors, I started digging and doing a research, after which I knew plenty about their system, school types and even got interested in one of Lapland University of Applied Science’s programme. Their courses were built upon Problem and Project based learning, where teachers were sort of guiding how to apply your knowledge into certain areas of the field. They also offered student talent mentoring by their individual study plan programme, which perfectly suited their practice-oriented approach. The programme sounded just exactly what I needed after being raised up by a heavily academic education.
Application & moving to Lapland
After applying in January and taking the entrance exam, which is a test and an interview in April in Budapest. Having prepared well & being really enthusiastic about my studies in Lapland, I know I will get accepted. As the Finnish entrance exam was the sole basis of student selection, I felt relieved and I was able to ignore the insane amount of stress, that our Hungarian baccalaureate brought upon us (which by the way, I have passed all with the best grade) Plus the numbers were on my side too, Helsinki and rather southern places are more popular within Finland, as people think that it’s less cold and dark there – well, they are wrong!
So I got the email of acceptance in June: this girl is moving to Lapland! What an exciting summer it was, with all the planning, packing and organising. It was quite easy to find the local student housingcompany and just like that, I had my new home waiting for me. I will never forget the feeling of packing your life into two luggages and flying alone the first time to a new country 3000km away, just to follow my dreams. This feeling of freedom felt intoxicating & scary at the same time I admit, but when I arrived to Lapland, I found myself surrounded by the kindest and most welcoming people I ever met.
Studying in Rovaniemi, Lapland UAS
Rovaniemi the capital of Lapland, a town of 60 000 people & 200 000 reindeers. Ideal place to focus on studies, develop yourself and have enough time for everything you have not had before. You can definitely finish that book, network, find friends for life, connect with nature, learn winter sports andpick up that guitar or start that business – no reason for procrastinating! Not to mention that there are around 10 000 students, from two universities – which definitely bring the town to life during Wednesdays (little Saturdays) and weekends. Several student events, social happenings and leisure opportunities are offered by the student unions & ESN. The student life was truly amazing, I had an international class of students from like 10 different countries like U.S., Vietnam, Nepal, Russia,Cyprus, Finland and we were welcomed by student mentors, senior students who guided us in the first months. We were also joined by exchange students in our second year, after which we had representatives of almost all the European countries, as Lapland really is the place to study!
Individual study plan and Learning experiece
The student-teacher relationship was something very different, that I have experienced before. Teachers became our friends and the teaching style was very much direct, we were learning together with them, sharing knowledge, information and having their guidance when needed. We could easily trust with asking for professional consultancy regarding our professional development building our career. Each class had their tutor teacher, who helped us planning our individual study plan (ISP) during the semesters. This meant that we could always change and tweak the direction a bit according to our interests, which meant an amazing level of flexibility & tailored learning. This is the main reason I could get my degree within 2 years: I have become the best self of myself, more motivated knowing that I can study what I am the most keen on & what will get me to where I want to be. Plus they offered online courses as well, which I could take during the summer and the one semester of practical training could be done while still studying as well. I personally like to keep busy, however this is an option too: as many decides to take it easy and slow while others rather take it quick and more challenging.
The studies started smooth, our courses were project based, making them feel more exciting and we had only a small amount of lectures. There was also a possibility to get previous knowledge accepted, if you have acquired the needed skills before, which is another proof of how flexible and development oriented the teaching is. Team work, group tasks & individual learning were core parts of our studies, teachers were more of tutors & mentors, who stepped in when needed. In my opinion, this is why we got ready for the ‘real life’ & work: we developed real products and services instead of only learning about the theoretical steps of implementing. Entrepreneurs and representatives of businesses were brought to the classroom, who gave us projects to be done via creating a tailored marketing, accounting or business model for them. Innovation and sustainable
business thinking were core parts of our classes, nurturing the minds of young business students – the next generation of decision makers.
Getting the job I wanted, even before I have officially graduated
We were advised to get a practical training at the field we felt the most interested about, as our skills will be developed in that area & valuable field-related experiences are acquired that are awesome for your CV. Having the opportunity to organise a student-business network event at the university, I got really interested in project & event management - I was offered a practical training in this area at my university by my lecturer during the spring semester of 2019. Later around April, when I was thinking to start writing my thesis during the summer, I was put in contact with a former Lapland UAS student, who now is a co-founder of a London-based company related to R&I project collaboration. I asked if they would like to take me & give me a case, based on which I can write my thesis. The answer was yes & yes – they even offered me to work with them as a trainee in their London office.
From Lapland to London, what a change! Realising that I only have 20 credits left apart from my thesis, I took online courses during the summer, such as Circular Economy & International Project Management & Funding Instruments. It was a busy summer: working, writing my thesis & doing online courses. Although, It was all worth it: by October I got into an amazing startup in London & I am living the life I have always wanted. Although I have to say: I miss Rovaniemi, surprisingly jealous of their early snow and miss my friends a lot too. My path may lead me back some day, but definitely going to visit as often as I can. I think choosing Lapland UAS was the best decision I could have, given
all the nurturing, opportunities & the welcoming people I met there. I am utterly grateful for my teachers, friends and colleagues from Rovaniemi & Lapland UAS :)
Orsi Tuba, International Business graduate
My name is Heli Huhanantti and I was born and raised in Rovaniemi. I enjoy living in the North and at the moment, I work as a Sales Manager for Arktikum Service Co. I take care of the sales and marketing in Arktikum Museum & Science Centre and in Korundi House of Culture.
Before applying for the business degree at Lapland University of Applied Sciences, I had been studying and working for many years. I was looking for something new and was especially interested in studying in English. The Innovative Business Services study program sounded interesting for me, and, therefore, I decided to apply to Lapland UAS.
Project management, cross-border culture/business as well as the law courses interested me the most! I also liked marketing and entrepreneurship-related lessons, because they were useful for my career.
Among the lectures and basic group works I attended, mainly I enjoyed tackling real-life cases and projects, in which I had a chance to participate. I gained valuable experience and contacts while studying.
I appreciate the knowledge I got in the degree. I recommend the business degree in Lapland UAS for those who want to gain practical know-how and who want to study in an international environment. The programme gives you as much as you are willing to invest in it. Motivation and working hard pays off!
Even though I cannot predict the future and my career path may change, I am happy with what I am doing right now. The study programme and the contacts I gained during the studies helped me in my career progression for sure.
Picture is taken by Hayden Lloyd Photography
- Heli Huhanantti, IBS -