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Lapland, my home away from home

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Hey, my name is Nora Evans, and I am a second-year bachelor’s degree student of Tourism at Lapland UAS. I am from Nigeria, West Africa. Initially, I was hesitant about coming to Lapland as I couldn't find enough information about the region. The limited information online mainly focused on the cold weather, darkness, and being the official home of Santa Claus. As someone who dislikes very cold temperatures, especially coming from West Africa, where we have warm temperatures all year round, I was discouraged.

Despite the discouragement, I chose to study in Lapland, and today I can confidently say that it is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. The education system here is very different compared to what I was used to back home in Nigeria. The teachings here are very practical, involving a lot of group work and individual learning. This enhances learning as we have the opportunity to learn from one another. As someone who loves teamwork, this is one of the best things I appreciate about studying at Lapland UAS.

I have had the opportunity to work in different tourism companies, which has significantly improved my learning. It provides first-hand experience in the tourism sector and contributes to my personal career growth.

The teachers here are warm, supportive, and welcoming. There is no discrimination of any kind, and everyone is encouraged to speak freely, ask questions, fostering a friendly and respectful learning environment.

If you want to experience nature in its purest form, study in an internationally friendly environment, come study in Lapland. It is beautiful. While the culture, language, and people might be different initially, with time, you will learn to appreciate the beauty in every aspect of Lapland.

-Nora, DPT 2022/2023-

Tourism expertise in Lapland is highly valued all around the world

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Studying at Lapland UAS gives many opportunities to get involved in different projects which help network with people all around the world already during the studies.

My name is Riikka and I’m a 25-year-old, third-year tourism student at Lapland University of Applied Sciences. I decided to apply for Lapland UAS because I knew that tourism expertise in Lapland is highly valued all around the world. Lapland is known as a sustainable and innovative tourism developer and the degree is very practical operating in a close connection with the local tourism industry. I was born in Rovaniemi and lived here for almost all my life, despite four years that I spent in Oulu and one year of living in Texas.

Even though Rovaniemi is my hometown, studying in higher education here has helped me to see my hometown from a totally different perspective. Hearing international students admire the town and the nature around has really made me see the beauty and uniqueness of the town in a different way.

Rovaniemi is a great town for a student. There are many student events happening here and the student community is very united between different fields of studies. Studying at Lapland UAS gives many opportunities to get involved in different projects which help network with people all around the world already during the studies. To get mental balance, the nature around the town is incredible with its four seasons and a great variety of different types of restaurants.

Studying tourism in a multicultural group prepares you very well for the working life and focuses on the international tourism industry. The tourism degree is highly valued especially here if you’d like to stay in Lapland after graduating. However, sometimes you don’t need a clear plan for the future – which is actually my case. I’m not quite sure where I’ll be in a couple of years but I would like to go abroad to work at some point which the degree programme in tourism also prepares me for.

I recommend visiting and coming to study here to the land of northern lights and the midnight sun. I’ll be more than happy to help with anything regarding studying in Lapland!

Hope to see you around,
Riikka, the student in the Degree Programme in Tourism

Combine studies with practical experiences – be random and study tourism in Lapland!

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Studying abroad makes you more independent and meet some amazing people

Hey there! My name is Magdalena, I am 20 years old and was born and raised in Germany. Unlike many of my international classmates, I actually did not initially come to Finland to study! Instead I spent one year as an Au Pair (someone who lives with a host family and takes care of their child(ren), a bit like a nanny) in Espoo, which is close to Helsinki – the capital of Finland.

After that I actually thought I’d return to Germany, or even study “film” in Scotland, which was one of my considerations, but after some self-reflection I realised that travelling and working with international people is what I am truly passionate about and tourism would be the ideal field for me. Therefore, following the good reputation of Lapland UAS and the unique location on the Arctic Circle, I decided to stay in Finland for my studies (didn’t regret this decision, really! I love this country) and started studying tourism in autumn 2020.

Despite a lot of online studies and dark seasons, I would say that I am very happy here and with my choice of studies generally. In addition to the days of below -20 degrees Celsius, the international atmosphere, especially now in winter 2021 as we finally have tourists again, is really refreshing! And living and studying here gives perfect opportunities for seasonal work as well as a variety of trainings, which are also strongly promoted by our school!

This brings me to the next point: Lapland UAS is focused on combining theory and praxis by implementing the “learning by doing” approach. Personally, I very much prefer this over studying from text books only as I believe, especially in tourism, the most valuable things you learn are learnt in practical life when doing the actual work. So, that is what I really appreciate about my studies here in Finnish Lapland and can only recommend this degree programme to anyone interested in tourism, especially now that the pandemic seems to not restrict everything anymore and solutions for problems can be found more easily. Studying abroad will make you more independent for sure and you have the opportunity to meet some amazing people from all over the world, who will enjoy student life here with you! (A shoutout to my friends and whole class here!).

I am looking forward to the rest of my studies and, who knows, maybe I will see you around in the city one day! I really do love meeting new people😊

All the best,
Magdalena, tourism student  (or as basically everyone here calls me, because apparently my name is too difficult: Malla)

Why I wanted to be a student tutor

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Hello everyone! My name is Linh, and my friends call me Evelyn. I'm a 22-year-old Vietnamese girl who was born and raised in a mountainous city named Cao Bang, Vietnam. I am now a third-year Tourism student at Lapland University of Applied Sciences. This is my first year as a tutor, and I'm looking forward to assisting new students and enhancing the school's reputation. It makes me ecstatic and happy.

I'd like to tell you about why I want to be a tutor. I was anxious about enrolling since I knew I would have to leave my hometown and start a new life in a distant country. I was nervous and terrified when I thought about it, even though I knew that studying abroad had always been my desire and ambition. I contacted my classmates and professors to gather information on living in Rovaniemi. Thankfully, my tutors have been helpful to me.

One of my tutors helped me in taking the keys to my new apartment and bringing them to my residence on the first day I arrived in Rovaniemi. My tutors planned several events for new students like myself in the following days, and they were always willing to help and answer my inquiries. I highly appreciated their help, and it has made it much easier for new students to become more open-minded and assimilate into the new environment.

At that moment I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps as a tutor. My prior tutors' passion sparked my desire to become a good tutor.

I'm still working on improving myself and doing everything that I can to assist new students. I hope that the new students are always happy and they will have beautiful memories of student life when studying in Lapland UAS.

Linh Mong (Evelyn)

Studying in English gives you more opportunities in working life

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If you are looking for a programme that gives you endless opportunities regarding your future employment, the tourism degree is for you

Hello! My name is Juulia, I am 20 years old and a first-year student at Lapland University of Applied Sciences. I am studying in the Degree Programme in Tourism in Rovaniemi and I have been living here for my whole life, so it was kind of natural for me to apply for a school in Lapland. Choosing the English programme felt right since I already speak English with my friends quite a bit on my free time.

In spring I graduated with a dual qualification from a local high school along with a vocational school which focused on chef studies. Because of my previous studies, I was fortunate enough to get a job in a restaurant as a chef, which really strengthened my wish to work in the tourism field. It was only in 2018 when it was completely sure for me that I would apply for this programme since our chef class got the opportunity to work with the annual Gala that the tourism students arranged. It was my first touch to the degree and from that moment on I knew clearly what my future would hold.

Since I already live in Rovaniemi I was able to avoid the whole “moving to a new place” hassle. As a studying town Rovaniemi is very welcoming. It has a lot of different activities and things to do on your free time around the whole year. In Rovaniemi you can experience all the seasons, which is something that some foreign students, and why not Finns as well, really look forward to. If you want to study in the heart of tourism, I would highly recommend studying in Rovaniemi.

The past few months I have been studying at Lapland UAS is what I was expecting. Academic but still practical with a few group assignments every now and then. Having a balance between writing assignments and creating a fun experience for our fellow peers is what I really like in the programme. All the teachers are friendly and professional, they are willing to help you the best way they can and encourage you to ask questions if there is something you do not understand or want to know more.

If you are looking for a programme that gives you endless opportunities regarding your future employment, the tourism degree is for you. Studying in English is also very appreciated in the field and it prepares you for the future, especially if you want to work abroad.

- Juulia, DPT student -

Studying in Lapland met my expectations

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I would say that my expectations towards my studies match with the reality of this programme. It is great to learn on a daily basis, sometimes from local entrepreneurs and experts of this industry for example from a guest lecturer but also together with other students in group projects, discussions and presentations. It is definitely the right field to study.

I started my hospitality and tourism career when I was 17 years young as a food and beverage trainee in a small luxury hotel in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa.

When I returned, I went to a three-year apprenticeship in a luxury five-star hotel in Hamburg, Germany. After the successful completion of this programme, I took the full advantage of my profession and threw myself into this exciting world to travel this planet as much as I possibly could until this day. For the last 15 years, I have been working in eight different countries on four continents, travelled another 51 countries around the world and for some reason, my bucket list is still getting longer. I have created a lifestyle combining my personal interests of cultural exchange and exploring our extraordinary planet with its enormous diversity of nature, landscape, animals and people together with a huge passion for working in hospitality and tourism to bring people closer together.

When I decided to study in the Degree Programme in Tourism at Lapland UAS, I had many expectations and was generally very excited about this new challenge and different chapter in my life. I expect from this programme in the next three years, to develop strategies in sustainable tourism. I believe it will become a very essential part in the future of this global industry and customers will search for climate neutral and green ways to travel. I would like to improve my presentation skills with modern tools and I am also looking forward to gaining more knowledge in entrepreneurship, business plans and marketing. At some point in my future career, I would like to open my own hostel to welcome and support young travellers from around the world and distribute my part to the international travel community.

Personally, I expect to enjoy my time in Lapland and explore the Arctic and its culture in all possible ways. I expect that living near the Arctic Circle would be a lot different compared to the places I have been living before. A place where people are surrounded by endless amounts of nature and wildlife, living in icy cold and dark winters, a period of endless days of warm summer when the sun never sets, the number one country in innovation and technology and referring to the world Happiest report in 2020, the country where the happiest people in the world live.

Reflecting the last seven weeks, I would say that my expectations towards my studies match with the reality of this programme. It is great to learn on a daily basis, sometimes from local entrepreneurs and experts of this industry for example from a guest lecturer but also together with other students in group projects, discussions and presentations. It is definitely the right field to study.

A great part, in my opinion, is that we students are very well connected with the teachers. The information we receive throughout the lectures are clear, mostly simple to understand and very easy to find on an online platform for self-study. As a new member of Lapland University of Applied Sciences, I can tell that our teachers are enjoying to educate their student and willing to support us during the study progress as much as possible.

The programme itself is designed very creatively with different challenging tasks. The general idea of this study is, that the students are active throughout the entire programme, learning from experience and study very close to the working life with real-life projects at the UAS or during trainings in local or international companies where students have the possibility to practise their skills. This was one of the main reasons why I decided to apply for this programme at the UAS. The university also acknowledges previous work experience of students which they can implement into their personal study plan and graduate on a faster pace. I am also looking forward to going on an exchange study programme that is offered to experience a different university, destination and culture.

- Simon, tourism student -

Challenge yourself - you won't regret it

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Last year, after graduating from high school, I decided to challenge myself by studying abroad.

My name is Huong Giang Nguyen but my friends usually call me Annie. I am 19 years old. I was born and grew up in a small city in Vietnam. Last year, after graduating from high school, I decided to challenge myself by studying abroad. And now here I am, a second-year student in the Degree Programme in Tourism at Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Rovaniemi, Finland.

Since I was just a toddler, my parents already gave me a lot of opportunities to travel here and there. As I grew up, I gradually realized how much I got interested in tourism and culture. When I was in the last year of high school, I had to decide which major I should choose to study in the future. Without any hesitation, I pick Hospitality Management. However, I needed a more international space to develop myself; that is the reason why I chose to study abroad. After doing some research, I found that Finland is a fantastic place to live and study because of its best education system, welfare and living environment. Moreover, Lapland is always filled with tourists coming from everywhere. My dream was to see winter snow and the aurora. So what could have been a better place for me to major than Lapland UAS?

The education system here is very different from what I have experienced in Vietnam. It is not just sitting at school for hours listening to teachers giving lectures. Beside the knowledge we learn from school, we also have a chance to visit many places like Arktikum museum, workshops regarding local people and reindeer, or one of the beautiful hotels of the Lapland Hotels chain. There are some activities that I have really liked, for example when we created memorable activities for others in a project. I also enjoyed a case when we formed a group with Finnish tourism students and made a video to promote Lapland. The most challenging but also very educating task was when we established our own virtual companies. We had to take care of all the legal issues, accounting, sales and marketing. I think that will help me a lot in my future career.

I have lived and studied here for more than a year now and my experiences have been great all the time. Local people here are so friendly and always willing to help. The study environment is multicultural and the teachers dedicated and helpful. The nature always creates wonderful, peaceful vibes for me. I will never regret coming here to live and study, and I hope I will enjoy my studies here even more in the future with more amazing experiences.

If you are looking for a perfect place to live, an international and friendly study environment , then why don’t you come to Lapland UAS?

-Huong Giang Nguyen-

Experiencing Nordic life

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The education system of Finland is different. The teachers care about your learning, you are free to ask or share your opinions with them anytime during the teaching and the atmosphere makes you relax in the class.

My name is Wenchien Hsu and I am from Taiwan. I am studying a Bachelor Degree of Hospitality Management at Lapland University of Applied Sciences. I started my studies in Rovaniemi 2018.

I studied sports economics and management at Beijing Sport University. The programme I am studying at Lapland University of Applied Sciences is the Degree Programme in Tourism.

Since the Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing 2022, Beijing Sport University and Lapland University of Applied Sciences cooperate in a special programme which is Ski Resort Management. There is an opportunity for us to study winter sports and resort management in Finland. Before I came to Finland, I hardly knew about winter sports. I came from Taiwan and there are no ski resorts at all. To be honest, I haven’t seen the snow season like in Finland before. I think this is a great chance for me to experience a totally different life here. I was super excited when I signed up for this programme.

Before I moved to Rovaniemi, I lived in Beijing. Since we have to study in Finland for two years, we definitely need to live here. In my opinion, Rovaniemi is quite a small but lovely town. People are kind and warmhearted including my tutors and classmates. I have met a lot of new friends here. Actually, I haven’t been to a such cold place before but now I am used to it. And I really like the natural setting around Rovaniemi. The best thing here for me is fresh air, for sure. I strongly recommend you guys to come and experience the Nordic life in Lapland!

I have been doing the thesis process recently which means this is the last step before I graduate. Within these two years, I have learned a lot from many different courses. My favourite one is a skiing lesson. Although it took few weeks only, I still benefitted a lot from it. Before this course started, I had no idea about skiing. During the lesson, we learned how to ski in a proper way. More importantly, skiing eventually became one of my hobbies because of this course. Our skiing instructor was very patient and she gave us a lot of useful advice after class. In addition, our tutors brought us to watch the Levi World Cup which was an opening competition for downhill skiing last year. That was my first time to see the slalom skiing competition. Lapland provided such great conditions for us to experience and learn winter sports.

I have really enjoyed the time when staying in Finland. I have experienced a totally different life here including a different language, culture and people. The education system of Finland is so much different as well. For instance: you will have more than one time to take the exam if you happen to fail or you are not satisfied with the grades. The teachers care more about your learning instead of your grades. The atmosphere always makes you relax in the class. So, if you want to experience the Nordic life and everything here, please do not hesitate to join us!

- Wenchien Hsu - 

An Unforgettable Experience in Lapland UAS

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I am studying in a great school and the teachers are really nice and lovely

Hi, my name is Tri, I was born and grown up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I am a freshmen in the Tourism Programme at Lapland University of Applied Sciences.

After my high school graduation in Vietnam I studied Tourism in Ho Chi Minh City University of Foreign Languages and Information Technology but I realized that to develop better in my major, I needed to find a better environment. After having searched many places, I decided to choose Finland – a place which has a popular education and which is also the happiest country in the world. I supposed that my studies in one of the best education places would be a fantastic idea and also an interesting adventure to the beautiful Arctic Circle, so Lapland University of Applied Sciences was a perfect choice for me to follow my passion.

I really love the content of the Tourism programme in Lapland UAS. Instead of coming to class and getting a lot of knowledge which sometimes make us bored, I have enjoyed visiting museums and planning projects like Pohtimo to get practical experiences. Besides, I went to SantaPark to have more work experience that will help me a lot in my major. In the second semester I studied how to start a business. This was a project that will help us plan for future, it was really useful for me.

Having lived for nearly one year in Rovaniemi, Finland, it is so amazing, out of my imagination: great environment, studying in many ways, kind and nice friends. I hope that I will enjoy the rest of my studies with unforgettable memories, that I will continue with getting more knowledge and developing myself.

If you are searching for a perfect choice for your studies, why don’t you come to Lapland University of Applied Sciences and enjoy it?

-Ta Duc Tri- Tourism student

Dreams are here in Lapland!

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I have a range of work experience and this was the one of the reasons why I chose to study the Degree in Tourism. I hope to start a business of my own.

Hi, my name is Linda Krajewski. I am 35 years old, a dual citizen for Finland and Australia.
I was born and raised in a small family in Helsinki. During my teenage years I enjoyed horses and nature, spending much of my time caring for them at the stables. I completed my trade in Vantaa as a surface treatment technician, but I went on to pursue a life of personal fitness and travel. I have 8 years’ experience as a Fitness professional and an assessor trainer at a private education company. I settled in Australia after meeting my husband who was in the Australian Army. We then raised our family together in different parts of Australia for 10 years. I have been to countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and many more. I love travelling and learning about new cultures. I completed several vocational courses in Australia including business and management.

I have worked in many cafés, restaurants and fitness centres. As a pizzeria employee I was the head of the prepping for the opening of the business and training new staff. I have also worked as an educational trainer and assessor in Australia to qualify other fitness leaders. I have a range of work experience and this was the one of the reasons why I chose to study the Degree in Tourism. 

I have always enjoyed providing a good and positive customer service experience wherever I work. I have started my own business where I provide experiences and accommodation. I love working with different nationalities. I applied for Lapland University of Applied Sciences in the Degree Programme in Tourism because I believed this will complete my knowledge what I have done before and it will help me to prove my business. I’m extremely enjoying the studies at Lapland UAS.

I am hoping to continue towards the Master’s Degree at Lapland University. I hope to grow my business here in Lapland. The more time I spend in here in the nature, the more I fall in love with the forest. I joined the hunting club when we moved here; it’s fascinating. Sitting in the forest over the bond fire is magical.

- Linda J. Krajewski --


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Lapland was so intriguing place that I decided to come here to study

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Wonder how I ended up in Finland? And why am I still working here? In my latest job interview, the interviewer asked me the same question why I came to Finland. My answer was ‘‘I never came to Finland, I came to Lapland.’’

I am Imran. Born and raised in Pakistan. I graduated from Lapland UAS in 2015 and I am currently working in Clarion Hotel Helsinki as a night audit agent. 

When I applied for Lapland UAS, I had already graduated from Commerce with a specialization in Accounting but at the same time, I wanted to travel abroad for further studies. I started to look for different study options in Finland because I had some friends who recommended me to study in Finland. I have always been mesmerized by the midnight sun and northern lights phenomena and always wanted to observe them. As soon as I knew that Finnish Lapland has the midnight sun and northern lights (keeping in mind I was not good at geography :D) I decided this is the place where I wanna be!

Lapland UAS has a very balanced study structure between theory and practical training. We had lots of on-the-field assignments, for example visiting tourist attractions and safari companies. This helped me a lot to learn about the local and international culture. It was an extensive and deep learning experience from contact lessons to group work and study tours. The teachers really own you here. I remember, my teacher tutor Ulla even helped me to find a job during my early days in Finland.

If you are planning to study in the tourism and hospitality field, I highly recommend Lapland UAS because here you have great opportunities to learn about tourism in a real environment. Rovaniemi is a small town that means easy to move around. I call it my Finnish hometown.

After graduation, I started looking for a job because I really wanted to stay here in this beautiful country. It was not easy to find a job without proper skills of Finnish. I was motivated to start my career as a hospitality professional, so I decided to go to full time language school and after spending there only 6 months I heard of a Norwegian hotel chain entering into the Finnish market. The next thought I had was ‘‘a job at a hotel in Finland means you need to have fluent Finnish skills’’. I had doubts and fears while I was writing the application for this job. But at the same time, I had passion and courage to tell the world that nothing is impossible if you have these two qualities.

I would also like to share my journey to this job. The company launched a big recruitment campaign in Helsinki. The first audition was to sell yourself to the employer within 2 minutes. Guess what? I did it! I made my way to the second round. Then after a week, we had a few online tests where I succeeded as well. This was the moment when I said to myself that I am gonna get this job. Then there was a 3rd round and after this final interview, I was selected to be part of the team.

My advice for new students is that have dreams in your life, work hard for them, never lose hope and live your passions, success will follow you! Cheers!

Imran Safdar, DPT-graduated

Educating Oneself for Future’s Career in Tourism

I met a lot of wonderful people from all around the world and made new friends. I always had the feeling of being a part of the community, part of the team: both in and out of the university.

I graduated from the Degree Programme in Tourism at Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Lapland UAS) in 2015, and I am now doing my Master’s Degree at the University of Lapland. Being from St. Petersburg in Russia, I have been living in Finnish Lapland for almost 6 years. And frankly speaking, the more I live here in Rovaniemi - the more I get attached to this place and the more I like it.

Time for the Big Decision: Future’s Career Plans

However, first things first. I was 16 when I was finishing the last year in the gymnasium in St. Petersburg and it was time for the big decision: what to study and where to apply. The tourism industry had somehow fascinated me and I chose it as my subject. I knew I wanted to study abroad in an intercultural environment and Finland seemed like the perfect place for that. I found that in Rovaniemi there was a good tourism institution offering studies in English. I looked at the map and, without knowing much about Lapland, I thought that it could be a great place to study. I took the entrance exam in St. Petersburg. I was fortunate to get to Lapland UAS (RAMK back then), the Degree Programme in Tourism. And then the next page of my life began.

Continuing Studies and Falling in Love with Lapland

To say that my life has changed since I left my home in Russia is to say nothing. Every time you get into a new environment, culture and society you change. Many things have changed from my viewpoint. The education system with a balanced combination of theory and practice is one. In addition to this, many real projects and field trips appeared new to me, but I immediately loved it all. In every class we learned not only from books, but also from each other - and group work supported that. All in all, during the degree not only I gained a lot in terms of knowledge and being prepared for working life, I also enjoyed my learning journey.

I met a lot of wonderful people from all around the world and made new friends. I always had the feeling of being a part of the community, part of the team: both in and out of the university. And these local people, who may first seem cold from outside, but in the end they are so kind and friendly once you get to know them. It was not a problem to find a seasonal job here either - of course in the tourism field. That way you can implement your knowledge in practice as well as learn from work.

I also have to mention the fascinating nature of Lapland and the way it is culturally treated. I think I will never stop getting amazed by the beauty of the North.

Now I am continuing my Tourism studies with MTI at the University of Lapland and I am happy to be here. My bachelor degree from Lapland UAS gave me a great knowledge base for further studies, so now I can focus more on sociological and ethical aspects of tourism.

Experiencing a Broad Range of Tasks in Tourism Field

During my studies in Lapland, I have had a chance to try my skills in various tourism fields and see the industry from the practical side as well. Thanks to traineeships, I have experienced working in restaurants, an amusement park and a travel agency - with tasks covering both customer service and managerial/development aspects. Now, I keep on working in a nature-based safari company, a local destination management company.

Lapland is a truly magical place! Once you get here, your life won’t remain the same.

Mikhail Sinitsyn, DPT-graduated

The DPT Graduate, Veli-Matti Hettula Career Story

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Now here is a story for you guys who are pondering whether to apply to DPT (Degree Programme in Tourism) or where to head after graduation.

My background to start with is far from a usual one; I was working as a prison officer in Helsinki when I saw an advert of a Tourism programme where tuition was completely in English, but in Rovaniemi where I was born. Wow! Having lived in England for a while I got interested, applied and in the end got accepted. Then came the decision making process at home where my wife and two daughters came seriously into play. In the end we decided to pack our gear and return to Lapland as both of us have roots in Kittilä.

School started and my motivation was sky high! My wife took care of the children at home and I went to school every day thinking; "I must be effective with my studies as she is working hard at home so that I can study at peace!" Exams and essays followed one another and the group of students started to grow together. The first training during December came quickly and I wanted to split it in two in order to create an opinion of what I would like to do. First I went to a local hotel for a few weeks and liked it. The second place was an assistant guide with the UK charters at Korvala. I was a bit unsure of the whole thing with the Elf costumes and all, but I decided to give it a go with a company called Emagine Travel UK Ltd. It was a decision that I didn't have to regret!

The next Christmas I had a larger role and I also expanded the guiding experience to Saariselkä over New Year. Then came the last year of my studies and I was asked whether I would like to work year round for the company after graduation! Soon the school was out and new challenges were waiting ahead. Building my knowledge upon the issues learned at school had started. After a lot of clients and programme services in various locations in Lapland, I wanted to try the programme service sector more in depth with Lapland Safaris in Levi. Selling the services became more familiar and so did the comprehension of distribution channels of tourism in general. New groups from different countries and cultures broadened my knowledge further and I was lucky to work with a few of the very top of their business in and outside of tourism branch.

Developing something new has always fascinated me and so the next step was my current position as a Project Manager with the Kittilä municipality and Kideve, Kittilä Development. The first project combined culture and tourism into better conversation and understanding one another. I had to challenge myself to new branches and issues where I had not been thinking to work while studying tourism at the university of applied sciences. After the first one, new projects have come along where culture tourism, events, villages of Kittilä, tourism education and many other issues related to tourism have been the subject of development.

The growing understanding of the scale of tourism sector has broadened my view and also raised the hunger for further knowledge of tourism. Therefore I started studying alongside work in the Master of Hospitality Management programme at RAMK (now Lapland UAS). It was the right choice for my personal growth as in addition to the tuition itself I got the chance to challenge other colleagues and tourism teachers with conversations related in and outside the branch.

Now after about 10 years of tourism experience from different positions I still feel that I have the passion to develop and challenge myself for future challenges that are ahead. What they are remains to be seen.

In the end here is my advice to you who are currently studying and soon entering the tourism branch:

1) Go abroad at an early stage of your career. It will extend your personal view and you will learn more from yourself.
2) Ask questions and challenge yourself and others from time to time. You will learn more from the branch and the scope of it.
3) Future employees need to look at branches outside their own and understand how to modify the signals back to their own branch.
4) Be proactive, not reactive and you can be a future professional!

- Veli-Matti Hettula, Alumni / DPT graduate -

Kuvaaja, Vesa Rönty