Tag Archives: Studying

Me opiskellaan suomea!

by Marja Oksanen

Salolammen lukiolaisia.edTerveisiä Minnesotasta!  = Greetings from Minnesota!

Me ollaan lukiolaisia eri puolilta Yhdysvaltoja. = We are highschool students from different parts of USA.

Salolammen kesäleiri on se paikka, jossa me opiskeltiin 4 viikkoa suomea Marjan kanssa. = Salolampi summer camp is the place where we studied Finnish for 4 weeks with Marja.

Ehkä me tullaan vielä vaihtoon Suomeen, jooko? = Maybe we’ll come to Finland as exchange students, ok?   Nähdään!



Developing my sensitivity on culture

by Zipporah Jerugut, degree student in Environmental Engineering

A Christmas tree, a church in the background

Christmas time in Tampere city centre

A step for everyone considered to be the first on entering a foreign country, is to adapt to the society of that particular country; Finnish in this case. This is because history and culture just like any other country influences our ways of communication and doing things. My encounter in Finland have made me understand how culture impacts other people’s behavior and now am able to explain why certain things are done in particular ways-making it easier to cooperate, work and communicate.

Studying abroad contrary to touring interesting places provides a good opportunity to learn to use a foreign language in practice and even more importantly, to work and study with it. While trying to get things done, studies have forced me to interact with local people, an opportunity that touring seldom gives to experience foreign culture. I have developed some sensitivity on culture difference and confusion has seized.

As opposed to Kenya, it is not necessary to ask a secretary to make an appointment with a professor in Finland. Any student can approach the faculty directly and this as factor enables a friendly interaction with ease to matters relating with studies. Interaction with professors is very informal therefore equality between people is very evident. It is perhaps one of the nicest elements in the Finnish university system!

Finnish people as I have noticed are strict in obeying rules. It greatly moves when you see people stand at the red traffic light even though there is no one else around. This clearly potray the Finnish culture that is built on honesty and trust.

Small red shop cottages and decorative evening lights

People exploring Tampere Christmas market

Finnish people according to my findings do not practice their religion regularly as they do not consider it a very important part of their life. However, holidays like Christmas is mostly celebrated extensively as early as 23rd of December all through 26th unlike in other places where celebrations are only 25th and 26th.

Finland’s living standard is highly enhanced due to the basics needs of citizens being taken care of by Government unlike in many other countries. People primarily pay their taxes honestly because from it they gain benefits of free education, free healthcare and even the well-functioning public infrastructure. Anyone despite the family background get an access to education and is equally important contributor to the well-being of the nation. In other countries, access to education is only for those who can afford.


Summer School Nostalgia

by Maksim Mandelshtam, degree student in Environmental Engineering

A couple of students sitting on a lawn, chatting and having beer.

Having a great time together!

The first vaikutus (impression) , nevertheless it’s proved to be true or not, is usually kept in mind for a long time. This applies to people, places, works of art and so on. It also works with cities. My first impressions of Tampereen kaupunki (city) were formed during my first month of stay, which happened to be August, when I was studying Finnish language and culture in Unipoli Summer school.

I have to say with appreciation that this summer school helped to understand better the city, its unique culture and atmosphere. We had great trips around the city on the first week and lectures on Finnish culture and history on the 2 others, along with intensive courses of suomen kieli (Finnish language).

A smiling girl and boy, In the background mustamakkara kiosk.

Eating mustamakkara. The literal translation of this delicate is “black sausage”, trust me!

Lots of events were held during August, when we were studying, raging from Tampere Theatre Festival and various music festivaali (Guess what it means!). I visited some of them with my classmates, which were mainly coming from outside Eurooppa (Now you can understand how to make words sound Finnish!).

The whole year has passed  by since I studied in Summer School, a lot of things have changed, many of my ex-classmates have left Tampere and a lot of new friends I have met here. But I still remember these three weeks in August, when Tampere first demonstrated some of its beauties to me and my classmates from all around the world.


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.