Studying and living in Finland – a newcomer’s point of view

by Vera Mazaikina, degree student in Environmental Engineering

Smiling student crowd in sunshine with their overalls and balloons.

Energizing student life!

Terveisiä Suomesta! Nimeni on Vera ja minä olen ensimmäisen vuoden opiskelija Tampereen ammattikorkeakoulussa. Olen kotoisin Venäjän pohjoisosasta, Murmanskista, mutta tällä hetkellä asun Suomessa.

Local people and Finnish mentality – were the first things that surprised me. In the early days of my stay in this country, Finnish people seemed to me so reserved and shy. More than once I saw how at local bars, many fins enjoyed coming in for a drink on their own.

After a few months I have spent in Finland, I met with a lot of Finns, and now they do not seem to me slow and apathetic people. On the contrary, many of them know how to have fun and a good time. Those first two months of my life in here, created a false impression of an entire culture and people. Turned on the fact that these people are in the majority, are very kind and honest, these two qualities, this combines the features of the people of Finland. In the beginning it’s not that easy to get through to the Finns. They seem a bit reserved. But once you really get to know them, you will have a friend for a lifetime.

The second thing that must be mentioned – the atmosphere at the university. Straight away I felt welcome and well-prepared for my life in a foreign country. I never had the feeling that I was left alone with my questions, tutors and teachers are always ready to help. You are somehow on the same level with the teachers. When I think about my first weeks and months in Finland, I was really impressed by the attitude of the university staff.

In Tampere, we have seminars of the size of 10 to 25 people and a really close relationship with the teaching professors. The professors are more like colleagues here. If you want to discuss something with them, you can always arrange a meeting on short notice. Studying here is a very personal and collaborative experience.

This is completely different from my previous studies at Russian high school. Every lesson I took there was packed and impersonal.

I also would like to emphasize that the equipment of the university here is excellent. In my field of studies, this applies especially for the environmental laboratories and the extensive collection of the university library. Finland is a small but very modern knowledge society. It is easy to get access to all kinds of information, not only on the scientific level, but in everyday life. The computer facilities are usually up-to-date. A fast internet connection for all users is of course standard in the university.

I especially like the living environment. Finland is very safe country, especially comparing to Russia, you don’t have to fear neither crime nor discrimination.

For six months I have lived here in Tampere, the third largest city in Finland, and many things have changed in this short period of time. Streets, houses, and the main thing – people, do not seem to me so unknown and alien anymore. During this time, I could experience the atmosphere of this wonderful country, and the more I get to know it, the more I like it.


3 thoughts on “Studying and living in Finland – a newcomer’s point of view

  1. Vi-kka

    Hey 🙂

    I’m planning to study in Finland too! Your page is so interesting and helpful!!

    1. Marja Oksanen Post author

      Thank you! And welcome to Finland! Nowadays this is the warmest place in whole Europe: also in Lapland over +30 degrees! :oD

  2. BarryRiley

    Making a plan travel to Finland and reach your page from Google, Never traveled through Russia but glad to see it is safe to live in Finland. I also thought Finnish are reserved but your article impressed me much the difference.

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