Hello there! My name is Boris Stoev and I am from Bulgaria. I am studying in the Degree Programme in Tourism at Lapland University of Applied Sciences or more accurately Experience Design and Hospitality Management, here in Rovaniemi, Finland. I started my studies in the autumn of 2017.
I came to Lapland UAS right after I graduated from High School in Bulgaria. To be honest, this degree was not my first choice, but I am definitely not regretting it. In fact, I am loving it. I ended up applying for and choosing the Degree Programme in Tourism because I love nature, being out in the wild and different cultures (my parents also had an influence on my choice), but the courses here surprised me in a good way. I had to make a hard decision between this degree here in Finland and another one in Arts/Drama in Bulgaria. In the end I chose Finland and I am happy about it, because I have never studied anything similar to what we learn here and I am enjoying it.
I was aiming at going out of Bulgaria and Finland was the country I headed to; I just did not know where at the time. Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, was a place I had visited and loved as a child and in the end, I ended up here. One of the reasons I wanted to come to Finland was that the education is one of the best ones in the whole world. Other reasons were that the country has amazingly fresh air, clean and wild nature, one of the best tasting water in the world (if not the best) and of course that the crime rate is significantly low... but of course also the fact that you can meet Santa Claus every day of the year here in Rovaniemi is also a plus.
I love studying here because the teachers care about educating their students and about their usual life. I like the way how the teachers also encourage us, the students, to call them by their first name (or nickname); it makes a friendly environment. And well, some Finnish surnames are quite hard to pronounce for non-Finnish people. I like that there are many student events like checkpoint races, parties, hang outs (usually in nature by a shelter and a campfire with a grilled sausage) etc.
So far my studies have been going well. Of course, I have had ups and downs in some of the courses but this is why I am here - to learn! Some courses are very interesting, for example at the moment we are studying Human Resource Management and it is amazing. We had to organize in our first year one very fun event and if I am not mistaking, it is a Finnish one – Vappu. I also had an amazing opportunity to be in the organization of Dash Lapland, which is a design hackathon event.
We have been studying some Finnish laws, Accounting and Budgeting, Finnish language (which by the way is very fun but not so easy), Designing Tourism Services and so on. The thing here is that we study in a problem-based way, which helps us improve our teamwork skills with different people and learn more easily. Usually we also have presentations and projects but we are allowed to do some of them in our own way. This means that we can complete them as plays, acts, songs, whatever comes to your mind. It is a fun and non-ordinary way of doing it. One of my most memorable courses was the Finnish language course. There we studied only in Finnish (with some help in English) and we had different games to memorize some words or phrases. We had to make a tour for our Finnish teacher and our course mates in Finnish, which was a lot of fun; we made videos and recordings of our conversations and shared them with our course mates and the teacher. Studying at Lapland UAS is one amazing experience ;)
After I graduate I am planning to continue working in my current workplace and maybe also do the Master’s Degree here. I have been working since my second semester here. My first job was at SantaPark and it was a lot of fun. The second year I was working for a while as a cleaner and after that I became a safari guide at Safartica and this has been my favourite workplace. After the season in Safartica I worked in the planting business, planting pines and spruces in Finnish forests. And now I am back in Safartica. Being a guide in a tourism company helped me in some of my studies in that same area. My studies can provide me a possibility in almost any working area but it is focused on entrepreneurship. After graduation I would like to stay in Lapland. I do not know for how long, but I know that if it happens I will love it!
If you would like to have international, educational and most importantly fun experiences in your (study) life I would advise you to come over here and join us in the hometown of Santa Claus. And if you are interested in having more knowledge in experience design and hospitality management, why not join us.
- Boris Stoev -