Heippa! “University in Lapland” sounds quite mysterious and cold, doesn’t it? For me, Lapland is associated with “The Snow Queen”, a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen where a girl, Gerda, crosses this “glorious place” on a reindeer. Yes, this is a home of such pretty animals like reindeer! Yes, Rovaniemi is the town located right on the Arctic Circle! Seeing the contrast between a highly active student life and immovable snow fields, warm friendly atmosphere and cold nights with northern lights, the Rovaniemi city becomes something unique for you!
To study tourism at Lapland UAS is the best option for those who are looking for practical training in this field and job opportunities as well. There are many local companies the university has connections with. Most of my friends were able to find a job in the tourism industry during our Christmas holidays for instance.
The study process is really engaging and quite challenging. There are a lot of group projects that help you to develop skills needed when working in a multicultural team. The teachers have relevant experience in the tourism field and always inspire their students to improve their results and think of new, innovative ways. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that students can send feedback about their studies after each course. On the university campus there is a comfort zone especially equipped for independent studies or just for resting.
In Lapland UAS there are student organizations you can join and which are truly working for students. For example, at the beginning of our studies, the Rotko team arranged a competition in the medieval style. We had fun and this event brought our classmates together.
Finally, Lapland UAS is a great place for people who are tired of crowded, noisy cities and pollution. You don’t need to go far away to enjoy the nature and picturesque landscapes because it is all around here!
Arctic Business Dating or Napalaakson Yritystreffit was held on 23th of November 2016 in Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Jokiväylä.
The event started at 10 o’clock with welcoming speeches by Leena Alalääkkölä, Kaisa Lammi, Katarína Hollá and Leena Svanberg.
During the morning part, there was International Fair running in the main hall, organized and prepared by international 1st year students of International Business program. They had prepared stands where they were presenting their countries, altogether it was 9 different countries – Finland, China, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Iran/Azerbaijan, Hungary, Russia, United Kingdom and Spain. Their stands were really interesting and there was many different things to see what most of us didn’t even have an idea about!
In Borealis Auditorium were at the same time presented pitches by Napalaakso enterprises. After that students from Napalaakso enterprises visited International Business students at their stands, read their brochures, asked some questions and finally got to know 9 different cultures within such a short time.
In the afternoon students had a chance to listen to very interesting entrepreneurial stories. First speaker was Juha Eskelinen who was talking about his famous company located in Rovaniemi – CafeBar21. Second speaker was Olli Huotari who talked about his success story with company Mandragora. The third speech was about Nutmegger PR by Rob Patterson which was really interesting to listen for every student who was present.
The next on the program was Arctic Business Dating which aim was to get together Finnish students with International students of Lapland UAS. The program was created by IB students (Raivis Aire and Katarína Hollá) and consisted of Ice-breaking activities, Arctic freeze challenge and in general activities which made everyone get to know each other and most importantly laugh and have fun!
Innovate or die! is an innovation competition for students in higher education, where students from different study areas generate new, out of the box solutions for the clients’ business challenge.
The Lapland University of Applied Science had 2 teams from Tornio campus and 1 team from Rovaniemi campus there - students of International business - Katarína Hollá, An Tran, Sahand Arefi Oskui, Dilxat Polat and Matti Hämäläinen. The competition took place in Jämsä, Himos on 17th-18th of November 2016.
For the Rovaniemi team, the journey started already on Wednesday 16th of November when they left Rovaniemi and arrived in Tornio in late hours. At 5am on Thursday morning all 3 teams met and left Tornio together with the coach - Joonas Koivumaa. After almost 8 hours long ride from Tornio, the bus arrived in Himos and Lapland UAS teams were ready to start the competition!
After introduction speeches, teams received their cases. Our team of IB students received a case of Helsingin Sanomat when they needed to create a new paid digital concept for this famous newspaper to attract more young people. Everyone had only 24 hours to solve this case and they did it really well! By creating and application with multiple interesting features, creating pitch, practicing it and finally on Friday afternoon presenting it they did a great job! Even the Helsingin Sanomat representative said that it is one brilliant idea which has a future.
After the pitches, winners were chosen and unfortunately none of our teams were part of them. Even though they didn’t become winners of the competition, they became winners for themselves.
Being able to create such amazing ideas in such a short time is a great ability to have and everyone should be proud of themselves for taking part in this competition and gaining valuable experiences for their future life.
Author: Katarína Hollá
Photos: An Tran
As an international student in a foreign land, loneliness can cripple into one’s life. One can start to miss family members, friends, former classmates, colleagues and comrades in different spheres of one’s life.
Here at Lapland University of Applied Sciences, as international students we device means and ways of making every international student to feel at home and be able to carry on with studies without feeling being lonely.
We organize activities mostly during weekends as a way of bringing each and everyone one of us closer to each other. Cultural Exchange is a key area in this piece.
In cultural exchange, we can have cultural evening, where international students can be asked to bring some food from their home country. We eat together, enjoying music. It’s a good platform to make new friendships and relaxing your mind from hectic schedules we sometimes have with school.
These social gatherings unite us as a community building friendships and togetherness which an important tool, especially in this ever changing world. It brings up the idea of teamwork, team spirit and a foster a cluster which makes it easier to survive in a foreign land.
LAPLAND UAS, WHERE CULTURAL DIVERSITY IS TAKEN AS AN OPPORTUNITY OF COMMUNITY DEVLOPMENT!
Heath Nhandara, 3rd Year, Bachelor of Health Care, Nursing Science
Hello readers, my name is Zun and I am a second year nursing student in Lapland UAS, Kemi. Life in Kemi is easy going. People are friendly. I heard that Finnish people are shy but they are not that shy, at least after you start talking to them, they will answer and be friendly. I like the peaceful way of life here in Kemi and also Finland itself.
Studying in the Lapland University of Applied Sciences is awesome. We have mostly good teachers and subjects. Also we have good equipment. A lot of material and studying done at home using Moodle. Moodle is an online service in internet for studying. Soon I’m going to start my practical training at Kemi’s Hospital and I’m very excited about it. I hope I will get a lot more knowledge about nursing.
Photo 1: Me in Snow Castle
Here in Kemi, around from January to April, you can visit Snow Castle - the one and only. Also, Northern Lights are awesome, everyone should see those at least 100 times for 4 years of studying here. I have tried also ice fishing, it’s quite boring when it’s hard to get big fish but still an experience. Maybe the one-in-the-lifetime experience will be the low temperature and sauna and going outside where is -30Celsius after sauna that is +100Celsius.
Photo 2: Zun and friends in ice fishing
Photo 3: Zun caught 1 fish
The Finnish language is very hard. But you will start to love it after some hard studying. I have been studying Finnish for one year now and I can understand some and also speak some but I still have a lot to learn. I have lost my motivation to study Finnish for couple of times but still I’m working for it and soon I will master it. Trust me, when you are exposed to the language, you will see it is one of the loveliest language on the planet earth.
Words by Zun Pham – nursing student
I’m Jana and currently I study BIT or Business Information Technology in Lapland UAS.
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!
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 -