To begin with, the reason I came here is that my previous school (which prepared students for studying abroad) recommended me Rovaniemi as a good place to study tourism.
When I came here, I realized that there is a huge gulf of differences between China and Finland. For example, Chinese schools are more focused on theories and Lapland UAS gives practical lessons along with theoretical background. Also in China, we mostly listen to the teacher not asking any questions, and here, we often have discussions and we can express ourselves when we have group-work; then we need to communicate and speak out our own ideas. At first, it was strange for me, but later I even liked this method.
I think asking questions is a good way of learning. Another difference which I noticed since coming here is the honesty and friendliness of the people around. People don’t hide anything from you.
When you move to a country with a different lifestyle, you need to take care of yourself BY yourself. You cannot rely on your parents anymore. So, I think, since I came here I have become much more independent in many ways. By that I also mean that studying here makes you also more open-minded and you learn to accept different cultures and learn from your friends.
For me, it was very hard to get adapt because I wasn’t confident of my language skills and wasn’t that outgoing. But it changed. Lapin AMK has provided me with a wide range of opportunities. One of them is a semester abroad, I went for an exchange to Ireland where I made new contacts and gained even more knowledge. By the way, the exchange programs also give grants to students, so it’s affordable to go abroad either for studies or the training.
My future plan is to do the Master Degree and then return back to China. I think international experience is important for work and I want to work in tourism, maybe, as a tourism manager. But first, I should finish my Bachelor thesis here.
Before the thesis, when I had free time, I used to visit my friends and we went to the city center or I could simply go outside for a walk – the nature here is very beautiful and the air is fresh. During the first 2 years, I often went to the swimming pool here. Rovaniemi is relatively big and all the distances are walkable even if you don’t have a bike or a bus season ticket.
I like that as a student, you also get some discounts and the student rent is lower than it is normally. Personally, I use the VR student card. Of course, with the student union card you get many more benefits, but VR card is enough for me. I get discounts while travelling and when I go to the swimming pool in Rovaniemi.
-Tang Tian, DPT'13 -