I’m Jana and currently I study BIT or Business Information Technology in Lapland UAS. Earlier I had studied in Saint-Petersburg, Russia for 5 years and after my graduation from Saint-Petersburg University of Culture and Arts I came to Finland to study BIT in Lapland University of Applied Sciences.
When I started to study in Finland I noticed some differences between Russian and Finnish education systems, and therefore I would like to share some of them with you.
#1 TEAM WORK & PRESENTATIONS
Since there are many international students from China, the USA, France, Hungary, Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Nepal, Iran, Pakistan, Germany, we have to learn how to collaborate with each other while working on group assignments. Despite the fact that all students are from diverse cultures, we definitely have some things in common. I have also noticed, that understanding is the most crucial thing in international environment. I really enjoy using English on a daily basis, making friends from other countries and studying in an international team as well.
#2 LEARNING, LEARNING AND … I-LINC
Learning in Lapland UAS is NOT about sitting in the class and listening lectures. It is completely opposite. You need to be active and be ready to make a team in the class and start working on a task. Teachers are not for controlling you, what you are doing in the class, but teachers are present in the class in order to give you an assistance and advice. If you want to give the feedback concerning a course or if you have some new ideas regarding assignments, you are always welcome to discuss them with teachers.
Lapland UAS offers students to take some additional courses during a study semester or even some summer courses and study REMOTELY. I have never heard about this system when I studied in Russia, so it was something new for me. This summer I took three summer courses: “Culture Connected Customer Service”, “Finnish language”, “Linux Server Installation and Configuration” and I got some extra credits. Basically, online virtual meetings were hold via i-Linc (virtual classroom software) and all assignments were to be done remotely and submitted before the due date. This way of studying is new for me, and who knows may be soon it will be more widespread all around the world.
#3 TEACHERS TREAT STUDENTS EQUALLY
Teachers do not try to find students whom they like more or less, since they treat all students equally. Grades depend on team work assignments, amount of assignments that are to be submitted individually before the deadline and sometimes exams. Moreover, teachers in the school are ready to assist you if it is needed and most of them are reachable via school email.
I also want you to know that students have parties and get together events in Tornio, they do not just study!
Generally, I can say that the huge difference between Russian and Finnish education systems is that in Finland students are enthusiastically excepted to participate in learning process and here learning is based on practicing.
If you want to hear some more stories from my experience studying in Lapland UAS in BIT faculty, please contact me and I would be happy to share them!
Photo credit: Salman Daniel
Business Information Technology
Hello my name is Huang Xiaoqin. I am an exchange student from China. I
study BIT in Lapland UAS now. Since I studied here I have made a lot of
friends with different culture and they tell me many interesting things
that I have ever heard. Before I come here, I was worry about language
gap. I was afraid of that I cannot express own ideas clearly and follow
classmates and teachers completely. However, it is actually fault.
Everyone care my ideas and be fond of helping me. I need not worry about
the problems of study and life.
The scenery around Lapland UAS is so beautiful. I enjoy to take pictures with my friends here.
On this Halloween, Student Union organized a party for all of us
International Students. We dressed up to scare other else, at the end of
party we have chosen out the most scary one.
Most homework is required to work with other students. It is a good way to learn how to work with individuals well. In another hand, we can gain different ideas from group members with different culture backgrounds.
Before Christmas Vocation, School tutor organized us to visit Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. I experienced a different Finnish culture and tasted the local food in there. I believe I enjoy this nordic ambience.
I really like the teaching methods of Lapland UAS, it mainly organizes students work together, not only let students learn the knowledge but also show them how to work in a team. In the future, when we graduate from university, we have to work with different colleagues. This is the reason why I think it is good to pick up this skill in the school. Many outdoor activities are also help us to care our life and enjoy it. School life is not only about learning knowledge from teachers, it also about learning from our life and schoolmates. At Lapland UAS, you should not worry you cannot follow the life here. In general, Lapland UAS staffs take care of their students very much. They are very warm and friendly, so you can ask them any questions that you want to know.
If you want to become a Lapland UAS student, you can get more information on our school website.
Huang Xiaoqin, a exchange student from China
I was at the brink of going into debt for the rest of my life when I discovered Finland. It’s normal for students to never pay off their student loans in the states. But here I am, paying my way through college by working summers as a laid back Lappish shepherd.
During the past year I have experienced the glory of Lapland’s northern lights, Norway’s epic fjords and mountain ranges, and the relaxed and respectful silence of Finnish get-togethers.
In high school I was part of an exchange program that introduced me to many western nationalities like Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Taiwan, Canada and Mexico. But Here I have made lifelong friends with people from a completely different set of countries such as Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Nepal. My invaluable connections made here have taught me a lot about the world and the memories shared here will come with me as stories to tell throughout my life.
The climate here has blown my mind. The sun seldom rises in the winter or sets in the summer, and the transition is breathtaking. The Tornio River is the biggest river in Europe that is free flowing, meaning without dams, and it freezes every year thick enough to drive planes and trucks over it.
There are many historical buildings in Tornio including the church near the dorm that dates back to 1686. There is a nice museum with all kinds of information about the native Sami people and the old traditions of fishing logging and reindeer herding.
Overall I am amazed at how much Finland and Lapland UAS has been able to offer me. Thank you Finland!
Aaron Celeste, 2nd year student, USA
Photo Credit: Petra Brestovanska
In summer 2015, I was in the same situation as you probably are right now. I got accepted to study the degree programme in tourism, into a city where I had never been before. It was the result of a random idea I got while the application period was running. I felt excited and worried at the same time about how everything would work out and how I can find an apartment on the other side of Finland, whether I will make friends and if I will manage to study in a different language. For two weeks, I was wondering if I should even accept my study place or not.
After I got the courage to take on and step into unknown, I started looking for an apartment from Rovaniemi. I sent my application to DAS and after couple weeks, I got an apartment from Kuntotie. I recommend you to send an application to DAS as soon as possible and don’t to be choosy about the area, since places in Rovaniemi are all accessible. Also, it is much easier to start searching for a new apartment after you have already settled down in here.
When I came, the first week in school was orientation and getting to know all the group members. Teachers and tutors taught us everything from the beginning: How to use the school applications like Moodle and SoleOps, where to find library and other basic things. They also organized some nice activities outside the school.
Before my studies here, I was shy while speaking English and I doubted if my skills would be enough. Those thoughts proved to be wrong. The school made me use it, I developed my language skills in a short period of time. So, if you worry about the same thing as I did, that is unnecessary. You got accepted, so your skills are enough. You don’t have to be perfect and making mistakes is okay.
When it comes to studying in an international group, it has been interesting and really teaching. Our cultures differ from each other a lot quite often and it is impossible to avoid misunderstandings and collisions between each other, but it really makes you work differently, find new solutions and adapt to these different cultures. In an international group, people are strangers to each other and they come from further places than Lapland, so it is pretty easy to make friends because everyone is in the same situation.
Getting used to the studies was very easy for me. It did demand a lot of individual group work, but once you learn the system and how to prioritize your objectives, the workload doesn’t feel that heavy. What I like the most in our school, is that we don’t only have theory, we are using PBL – Problem Based Learning, which you will also soon get familiar with. Moreover, we, the DPT students, get experience in organizing events, such as the Vappu Event and the Gala. We also have training periods in real workspaces, various company visits etc.
Myself, I have really enjoyed my studies in here. It has already brought me much more than I previously expected, and the best thing is that I can have an effect myself on how much more I want to increase my knowledge. The school gives us a great chance, for example, to go abroad, and it really encourages the students to do it! I chose to take an advantage of it and this autumn semester I will spend in Austria.
I would have a piece of advice to give you, but the most important is: Come here with an open mind and a positive attitude! You will surely face some difficulties and feel homesick every once in a while, but stepping out of our comfort zone is one of the things we learn from. Use the chance the school is giving ng to you and do your assignments before the deadlines! J
Once again, you’re warmly welcome! <3
-Emmi from DPT’15, Rovaniemi-
When I arrived in Tornio, I struck up a conversation with some students having a smoke break. They were from Russia, and before then, I’d never met anyone from Russia. They took me into their flat and made me some tea while we waited for my key. The janitor arrived with my door key but he didn’t speak English. It was fun to conduct some business without even sharing a language. He found my name on the list and showed me to my room.
My name is Aaron, and I’m from the US. I came to study in northern Finland to experience something unique. Even though Finland is a developed, western country, it is in no way boring. Eight months later, I still find myself navigating my way through interesting situations related to a language barrier or a cultural difference. These situations make me stop and think. They can be funny like teaching English to a class full of third graders with British accents. And they can be awkward like sitting with some newly made Finnish friends in silence as they look at their phones or simply stare at the wall. But each of these moments holds a million lessons and opens my mind that much more.
One of the first things I noticed was that Tornio is a very small town. The other students told me that there was absolutely nothing to do. They also said most students are consistently unable to find employment. This was an unfortunate discovery. If I would have accepted things as they seemed to be, I would have been like everyone else; bored and jobless. But I spent the next few months networking. I did this relentlessly, even with my tight budget. I got outside and joined groups, clubs, and lessons. I even caught rides to other cities and started meeting people every day. I found a swimming pool, movie theater, gym, rock climbing gym, I found jogging paths around the city, I took a slow dancing lesson, and yoga lessons. I found a youth club, a bible club, two different choirs, and so much more. I have built a network of friends and I’m considered family by many. This was a lot easier with the help of the school.
Lapland University of Applied Sciences facilitated my networking immensely. The first place to start meeting people is where you go every day. The Finnish students won’t go out of their way to meet you, but the school provides student tutors who help integrate newcomers into the community. We had a group of tutors designing ways to get us connected to each other and to the school. For the first weeks of school, they arranged parties, events, and competitions every few days. They provided a link between us newbies and the established communities within the school. They were also there for us when we needed advice about banking, establishing permanent residence, and getting a population number. A friend of mine actually landed me a job for the summer on an organic sheep farm, where I will be able to make enough money to last the whole next year. None of this would be as magical without Finland’s crazy natural beauty.
That first day in Finland I walked around with my mouth open. I walked around the lake near the school. The warm soft breeze churned the green leaves in the trees and bushes while the white sun lit up the shimmering blue water. Early in the school year I picked blueberries, raspberries and bunchberries every day at the nature reserve near the sea in Sweden, a few minutes from my flat. I froze my berries and was able to make them last all winter. When the warm weather was finished, northern lights lit up the sky multiple times per week. When we would walk to and from the clubs, we would watch the skies dance with greens and yellows. The towns are so small and far apart here, that just a few minutes in any direction lay the brightest stars you’ve ever seen. Welcome to the top of the world.
- Aaron Celeste, BIT'15 -
My name is Tang Tian and I come from China. I’m a 3rd year Bachelor student and my major is Tourism Hospitality Management.
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 -
Here is the interview with Nadine, a tourism-degree student. She came here in 2014 and wants to tell us her story.
Hello, Nadine, how are you doing? Hi, I'm ok, thank you!
So, can you tell us, where you come from? Sure, I'm originally from Petrozavodsk, the capital city of the Republic of Karelia in Russia.
How did you end up here, in Lapland UAS? I applied to the university for the first time in 2013 (back then it was RAMK), at that time, I was not accepted but I did not give up and I decided to prepare for another application period the whole year. I tried applying again and succeeded.
Was Lapland UAS familiar to you before you came here? The whole education system is completely different from my country's, so it took me some time to get used to this system. The difference was not only in the system of education, but also in the atmosphere of the class.
What subjects do you like the most? I prefer subjects that include company visits or projects, where you should plan an event. Last year, with my group (DPT'14) I organized a Vappu warm-up party. We all worked as a team and got some nice feedback. Moreover, we often visit local companies and it helps us to understand all features of tourism business in Lapland.
What kind of study methods are used in your degree program, and what methods do you find the most effective? I consider myself as a practical person, so I study more via practice. I want to say that making projects helps us not only to learn material, but also to know how to work as a team; and I'm sure, it will help in future. Each group-work we have in our program is always different from the previous one. Personally, I like when working in a group requires creativity. One of my favourite works is «Arctic – non Arctic», a photoshoot that we made with my team.
What you like the most in Lapland UAS so far? Lapland UAS gives you an opportunity to make your schedule personalized, so you can study the subjects you want. If you study in International Business, but you want to have some lectures from the Tourism program – you can do it. The same thing is with our Master Degree Program and Bachelor Degree Program. You can do your Bachelor along with having lectures from the Master Degree Program.
Why would you recommend your degree program/ Lapland UAS to others? Why tourism? As for me, I gain knowledge from both lectures and practice. I think it helps to understand what obligations you would like to have at work in your future; or if you even would like to start your own company.
Why Lapland UAS? Here you can study in international atmosphere that helps to develop all skills that you will need for the future job. Moreover, you have an opportunity to study abroad or to have an internship outside Finland. In Lapin AMK, it doesn't take long until you consider it your home!
How do you think the graduation of DPT/Lapland UAS will help you in future employment? After 1 year of studies, I understood that I am in the right place to study, and after my graduation I will find a workplace. Now, I already have work experience in Finland and abroad (thanks to Lapin AMK), and, for me, finding a job is not gonna be a problem.
Do you think your studies here will help in your future career progress? Sometimes, I think about becoming an entrepreneur in tourism sphere. Here, I have the subjects that will help me to understand what are new trends in tourism and business market,for example, what exactly demanding customers want nowadays.
How would you describe Lapland UAS? Study environment, school in general etc… Here we have international atmosphere, we are all from different countries. We all speak several languages but communicate in English with each other. We have different events, where we meet new friends. In addition, we study each other’s cultures and bring something new to each other’s lives. So, join us be fired and iced, have Nordic factor!
Thank you, Nadine, and good luck with your studies!
Getting good results is a combination of ingredients that, if mixed together, can yield good results. Below are some of the ingredients one can use to get good grades.
- First of all,be committed be committed to your studies
- Be motivated to learn (you need to have passion as a driving force)
- Listen attentively and pay attention to detail.
- Follow all the instructions (follow the provided guidelines always)
- Study (have a properly scheduled diary that you follow)
- Self-discipline is a key element in following a properly scheduled diary.
- Try your best to meet deadlines.
Lastly, develop a positive attitude and always crave for success!
- Nhandara Heath, Lapland UAS, HYVO II -
How to motivate yourself to study when there are so many fun student activities around? Which one to choose over the other? Which one is more pleasant? But which one is more important for your future? All the answers are here!!!
Here, it’s both! At Lapland University of Applied Sciences, you can combine studies and fun so, that they don’t affect each other. At Lapland University of Applied Sciences, spare time is not a problem. There always are some events, meetings, “nights-out” and sport activities, where you can mingle with international as well as with the local people. Just an advice for you: “if you wish to have enough time for both fun and studying, you need to manage the business of yours very well!”
Certainly, it depends on the kind of person you are. Whether you are a “company person” or a quite introvert, it will influence how much time you dedicate to socializing. Therefore, one of the main suggestion I can give to you is to write your personal diary/organizer, where you will mark all of your classes, deadlines and meetings. This will 100% help you to combine school and university activities. It also will release your head from the stress and overstimulation – you will clearly see, how busy you are and make plans accordingly.
Next, mark not only your tasks but also pleasant things in the diary – “small prizes”, with which you can reward yourself for meeting a deadline on time or completing just a small task. This technique is recommended by many business and leadership-focused writers; such as Brian Tracy, for example. In his book “Eat That Frog!”, he proposes such a technique. The point is that, when you have something you really do not want to do; in your diary, you should draw a small frog and every time after getting rid of such by crossing it, you can reward yourself with a special prize, like a delicious cake or a ticket to the cinema. Personally, I use this technique a lot. It really helps motivate myself to study. When you encourage yourself you want to move further. Simple as that. ;)
In my opinion, these are the most important and, actually, the basic principles of how to include some fun in your studies. The last tip: Don’t plan to study the whole day and have fun the whole night with your friends! We all need to sleep to regain energy for the next day. ;)
Good luck with finding new friends and studying!
- Lada Stukolkina, DPT'13 student -
The Gala is an annual event organized by the DPT students of Lapland UAS. Its main purpose is to bring people together and meet new friends from different countries. The guests are Lapland UAS exchange students as well as students from our English speaking programs.
This year, our group (DPT’13) was in charge of planning the event with the help of the Hotel and restaurant management students. The Gala was held in the restaurant Oppipoika and the after-party in the nightclub Halfmoon.
The theme of the gala varies each year and this time, we chose Masquerade – the Night of Mystery. All the guests received a mask and a drink as soon as they arrived at the venue. Before the actual program started they could have their pictures taken at the LapinAMK photo-booth.
The menu consisted of reindeer tartar with deep fried lichen, butternut squash soup, coal grill friend pike-perch, honey-marinated season vegetables, spinach-potato puree with butter sauce. For the dessert, our guests enjoyed black currant sorbet and chocolate fondant.
During the dinner, the guests had a little mystery to solve.
There was a murderer on the loose and our hosts gave hints from the mysterious black envelopes. In the end, the murderer was caught. It was one of the waiters – Ville-Veikko.
After catching the murderer, the band started playing and our guests had a chance to dance or just enjoy the music with the “raspberry sparkle” cocktail before leaving for the after-party.
DPT’13 wants to thank the participants of the Gala. We hope to see you at the next year’s Gala organized by DPT’14!
Written by: Emmi Manskinen and Lada Stukolkina. DPT'13 students.