Student Stories from Seinäjoki UAS

  • Rula Maharjan
    As a first batch student of the international Degree Program in nursing she feels proud to be a part of SeAMK.Rula says SeAMK is very good university as it gives theoretical as well as practical education.” The school environment is very peaceful and also the education system is very good.

    She adds that new place and new people, at first it was difficult to adjust but because of the kind-hearted people and their help she got a homely environment in Finland. She get chance to know many people and they helped her to know about Finland very well.
  • Graduating to International Business ExpertiseChristian from Germany is graduating from the Degree Programme in International Business. He feels good about his studies in an international society among new friends. “It’s exactly what I was looking for!”
    Christian_rintaprofiili_syksy_nahkatakki.jpgMy name is Christian Wagner and I am from Düsseldorf, Germany. I am 26 years old and I am studying International Business in Seinäjoki, Finland. I have started my studies in Venlo (Netherlands) but after an exchange semester in Finland, I decided to stay in Finland.

    The choice to go to Seinäjoki was an easy one. I love to interact with people from different nationalities and learn more about different cultures. In Seinäjoki each semester there are many international students from all over the world. Additionally to that, I love the fact that there are each semester lecturers from different countries visiting the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences. This way Seinäjoki offers perfect possibilities to learn more about different nationalities and cultures. What could be more important than that in the globalized world that we are living in?

    Snowy and clean Finland

    To be honest, I expected Finland to be boring. Additionally I expected a lot of snow and cold weather. 2/3 of my expectations were met, it’s cold in Finland and there is a lot of snow in the winter. But it is definitely not a boring country!

    I did not experience a big culture shock. I was born in Germany and Finland is quite similar to Germany. But I guess many foreign students will be surprised how clean Finland is.

    Finns are practical sauna people

    I think Finns are great people and Finland is a great country! Unfortunately the Finnish cuisine is lacking very much. Maybe that’s a point where Finland could learn more from the different nationalities that are living in this country. A good meal also increases one’s quality of life, not only Sauna. :)

    Most Finns are very practical people and they are looking for the most efficient way to get a problem fixed. The focus is on “solving a problem” and not on “how a problem could be solved”.

    Flexible Finnish education system

    The Finnish education system is just great. In Finland the sizes of student groups are small and it is always possible to ask questions. This would not be possible with 50 or even 100 other students in one room attending the lectures. You would have no chance to ask questions if you have difficulties to understand some course related topics. In Finland the situation is the exact opposite and the teachers are always happy to answer your questions! It’s the perfect learning environment.

    Professional and personal growth

    I am currently writing my bachelor thesis in Seinäjoki and I will graduate soon. On one hand it makes me happy to know that I will finish my studies soon. On the other hand it makes me sad that I will leave Finland to find work in Germany. But who knows… maybe I will come back to Finland and even work here.

    I have grown in a professional and in a personal way. I have learned many things about doing business in a globalized world and running a business. Additionally I have become more independent and am very well prepared to work internationally and interact with many cultures.

    Christian’s greetings to other international students

    If you want to come to Finland you should be ready for a change! If you want to study abroad you should also accept the fact that you are not in your home country! Don’t do everything the way you did it in your home country and most importantly, don’t stick only to people from your own nationality! I am observing it very often that people from one nationality are sticking together in groups and are not making any real contacts with other nationality. From my point of view that’s a left out opportunity to make new friends, to learn something and to grow personally. Additionally you are not improving your English at all if you are only speaking in your mother language all the time.

    Entrepreneurship + contacts = a key to success

    I will definitely use the knowledge that I have gained in SeAMK. The area around Seinäjoki is famous for its entrepreneurship and I already adopted that. Currently I am running a small fashion label which produces and sells handmade clothes online and its working quite well.

    Additionally to that, I will profit very much from the international experience that I have gained in Finland. I know how to handle different cultures, I know how to make business with different cultures and now I have many contacts in many countries all over the world! What could be better?
  • Nepalese BBA Student Gavin's Photo DiaryJoin us for an illustrated walk through Gavin’s life in Seinäjoki! Nepalese Gobinda ”Gavin” Kshetri started his studies in International Business in September 2009.

    The river

    It was autumn time about half a year ago when I arrived from Nepal to Finland and the city of Seinäjoki, which is situated by this river. In September the view was very different with all the green and colorful leaves of the trees. I found an apartment in the student housing area ‘Marttilan Kortteeri’ , which you recognize of the high building in the picture. Marttilan Kortteeri is situated in the city center, which offers almost everything you need inside one kilometer.


    Walking to School

    I normally wake up at 6:30 am, have a piece of bread with cheese and get dressed like the Father Christmas “coz it’s winter guys”. On the way to Business School I pass the Campus house, which contains the Administrative Office of Seinäjoki UAS, the main Campus Library and a concert hall. I enjoy the mornings when the cool air blows by the river. In 15 minutes I walk to the School, which normally starts at 9:00 pm.


    In the class

    Our first year business studies have been planned around the idea of starting and managing our virtual enterprises that we run in a virtual environment. Our enterprises are supported by real companies that work in the field. During the lectures we learn theory and get background information, which we need when we make decisions, business plans, marketing plans etc. The enterprise of my group is called InOut Design and I am CEO. We had worked hard in my group and it was a great moment, when my group was rewarded for the results after all our team had the spirit.


    In the computer class

    We have fully equipped computer classes. Most of the assignments we do for the enterprise are implemented with the help of information technology.


    Restaurant of the Business School

    Lunch is served every day at school. It is not expensive, but it is cheaper to prepare food myself, so I usually eat at home. It’s good yet different. I still remember the Finnish Christmas food and especially Kinkku.


    The school building from outside, Gavin walking out

    “I normally spend at school about 6 hours mostly participating the lectures and doing group work. Today we got awarded for our efforts in the “Practice Enterprise” business simulation. We had business presentations and it went awesome so professionalism flourishes.


    Anttila (clothes)

    After school I sometimes go around in the city. In the beginning of the year there’s ALE (sale) in shops and they offer things for discounted price. There are also second hand shops, where it is possible to find clothes and other things all the year for a few euros.


    Anttila (sports department)

    I have tried to practice skating once and would like to learn skiing. It was real fun with my friends there to hold me and laugh when after every frequent fall I scored. Today I went to a shop to see the equipment for these winter sports.


    Campus Library

    The library in the Campus house near my apartment is fully occupied with necessary materials and learning facilities for students.

    My apartment from outside

    My apartment is nice and well furnitured. There are a lot of students living in the area.



    We live in cell apartments, which have two rooms and a common kitchen. I usually prepare food for several days and warm it up. After the classes it’s always fun to be back to home. I try to be a good student doing the assignments, studying Finnish, checking out the news sometimes and surfing on net. Ai jaa! (= Oh yeah! in Finnish) I probably should not forget to mention about….yes Sauna….and now you know it all. I’ve started loving sauna.


    Friend family

    In the autumn Seinäjoki UAS helped the international students to find Finnish families, who were interested to be friends with us. My family are the rare best creatures God ever made in this wild world. I truly don’t miss my home at all when I am with them. This Christmas which I celebrated staying with them are the best days in my countdown of best moments. I feel like learning Finnish is not that difficult but it’s different when they guide me.
  • A Day in the Life of FinlandAs an international degree student from the United States of America one can find the winter wonderland of Finland quite simple but yet difficult at the same time. In this journal entry I will address what stereotypes or fears I had before coming here. Also I will tell you how it has been like so far to move to Finland as an international student and what sort of things one should know before coming to Finland.
    Having arrived in end of the summer, August 14th, the days seemed to never end (nightless night of Finland = sun hardly sets during summer). Before arriving in the Helsinki airport I had several fears or stereotypes of Finland and its people. One of which was that of the people being very pale and vampire like. Thank goodness that is not true. I also believed that no one drank more coffee then the Americans, but that clearly is not true. Here they can drink coffee all hours of the day, morning, evening and night.


    “A people of Silence”

    The people of Finland are a great people. I am happy to say that I am dating one. Silence is something the Finnish enjoy. In the USA silence can be hard to come by, and it is going to take awhile for me to understand the Finnish silence. As a people, they are also very shy and tend to keep to themselves. For most cultures that would appear quite odd. Having studied the Spanish language and cultures of Latin decently, I have been accustomed to noise and loads of small talk. Here “Small Talk” does not exist and maybe it never will. This will take much time for most foreigners to get used to.

    Life as a Dual Citizen

    Having lived here for the past 5 and half months I have witnessed many things. Each day for me is something new. Being half Finnish and having dual citizenship, I have the benefits of both worlds. Here in Finland the Finnish government pays for my education. This is huge because back home higher education had to be paid for by the individual and their families based on their incomes. Having graduated with a degree (after spending 24,000 dollars) in the American higher education system I have been able to witness or experience the differences between educational systems. Yet, when it comes down to the day to day lifestyles between these countries, they are not too different.

    A Typical Day

    Depending on the time of year each day runs smoothly unhindered and generally stress free. The life of a Finn is what I lead now; educating myself in hope that one day I can lead a life as a nurse or doctor either here in Finland or somewhere else, after serving the required military service. Right now it is the middle of winter and I wake up in the morning to pile on clothing and march 20 minutes to school in -20 degree Celsius (-5 degrees Fahrenheit). The school day then ends around 3pm each. By that time it is already dark or getting dark. These short days are quite disorientating and make one tired and so I advise most new comers to buy an energy lamp or take vitamin D tablets to help them with the darkness during winter time.

    Advice for Future Incoming Students

    Don’t be shy, go out live life to its greatest, allow yourself to be optimistic. Remember the glass is half full not half empty. The Finnish people are shy, give it time and they will open up and when they do the friendships that you make between them will be lifelong lasting. If interested in getting a job here in Finland, make as many Finnish friends as you can, make a large friend network, advertise yourself and do your best to learn the language.


    Having lived here for the past 5 months has allowed me to see more of a culture that is not so different from my own. Yet at the same time, the differences are so great that one can easily note them upon arrival in Helsinki. This country is preparing itself to become more international. We international students in Finland are one link to the world!

    Ian Barsness, Seinäjoki, 23rd of January 2010
  • Top-class Learning EnvironmentThis is Tapio Perälä from Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences. I'm 27 years young and I study automation engineering; I've been doing so for the last (almost) three years.
    This is Tapio Perälä from Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences. I'm 27 years young and I study automation engineering; I've been doing so for the last (almost) three years.

    My hobbies involve listening to music (naturally, metal preferred), martial arts, movies, games and many more. I’d love to try hang-gliding but unfortunately around here hills and – god forbid – mountains are very rare. *grins* Maybe one of the reasons we made a hill for ourselves here in Seinäjoki years and years ago.

    Hands-on learning and challenging thinking

    When I first came to this faculty, the School of Technology, I thought of switching to the business and marketing faculty. Thankfully I didn’t ‘cause I fell in love with technology and its practically unlimited possibilities. Here the studies involve great amounts of hands-on learning, roughly 60% of all classes, and the teachers are all people who’ve done “real” jobs in their areas of expertise. That’s why they can teach us the way it’s in the industry and technology, and not (just) how it’s said in books.

    The studies aren’t always pure engineering studies. We’ve got a few compulsory courses about presentation and how to do it, as well as studies involving industry economics. The industry economics I found extremely challenging because there were so many variables involved, and some of those didn’t show themselves really easily. This means that one had to think, think and think.

    One of the main things we learn here is to think. Think with our own brains, to observe problems and how to solve them. That’s one of the things engineers get paid for in the real world and in real work. The challenges presented, and provided, by our studies here intrigue me greatly, and I’d never want it otherwise.

    Why Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences?

    To me, the fact that I’ve lived in Seinäjoki for pretty much all my life, was one of the binding factors. I also knew that the facilities here in tech unit were fairly new (only a few years old when I started) and the learning environment (classes, PCs, labs…) were new. Those are the main reasons I came to Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, but the reason why *you* should come here, is self-evident. The teaching here has a very high quality, the environment for learning is excellent and the labs are, according to studies, one of the best in the whole Europe, and that’s a lot.

    So, with an ancient Egyptian blessing I say farewell, until next time:
    "May the Gods always stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk."
  • Observing Cultural Similarities and DifferencesMs Kana Otsuji experienced living as an exchange student in Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland. She comes from Japan and has studied social work in Seinäjoki during the academic year 2008-2009. Since the beginning of her stay in Finland, Ms Otsuji observed many things in the Finnish culture that are similar and different compared to the way of living in her culture. Here is a story of one day of Ms Otsuji's life in Finland.
    Ms Kana Otsuji is an exchange student of the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences. She comes from Japan and studied social work in Seinäjoki during the academic year 2008-2009.

    7:30 A Finnish Morning


    Japanese Kana Otsuji woke up in her bed in a student apartment in Seinäjoki and had breakfast. “A cup of coffee helped my brain be more active! I also checked BBC news on the Internet before leaving my apartment.” Finnish people are said to drink the most coffee in the world and Kana doesn’t disagree on that.

    8:50 Social Studies


    Kana came in Seinäjoki on August 29th to study social work for a year in Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences. Today Kana had a course called "Introduction to the Finnish society and culture".

    “We learned about the Finnish education system and construction or conception of family. In fact, Finns and the Japanese have some cultural similarities; for example shyness and being afraid of making mistakes. It is good for me that neither Finns nor Japanese are not afraid silence when they are talking. For example in some European cultures or American culture they don't prefer the silence and try to talk all the time, but it makes me tired and maybe the Finns too.”

    Kana likes cooking so she had her lunch around midday at her student apartment. Sometimes she also takes advantage of the inexpensive student lunches.

    15:00 Everyday Life


    Classes finished at school. Kana went back to home and washed some clothes in the laundry room of the student apartments. Her everyday routines continued: "I went to the post office to send some postcards to my family and grandparents." Kana wrote to her family about how her first month has gone by and how she is eager to experience as much as she can in Finland. She also mentioned in the postcard that she is a bit worried about the cold winter. Afterwards Kana went to the mall and a grocery store to buy some food.

    18:00 Beautiful sceneries


    "My friends, a Finnish couple, took me to see some places in Seinäjoki region. The scenery which I saw was really beautiful and peaceful. There was a large field, sun was almost setting and the moon had already appeared… some city lights... I was very impressed."

    Kana has got to know many Finnish people and visited their homes. "I was surprised by that Finland is a "self-service" society. They even build or repair their houses by themselves! It was really surprising for me because most of us don't know how to do that so we leave that kind of work to the professionals."

    In November Kana continued her studies in Seinäjoki living in “home stay” at a Finnish family to experience the Finnish culture from a different perspective.

    19:30 Preparing for tomorrow


    During the evening Kana made dinner and did home work for the classes she had had earlier that day. E-mail, Internet, shower, writing her diary; that was an ordinary day of a Japanese exchange student in Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.

    At 24:30 Kana went to sleep.

    Kana Otsuji, 7 October 2008

    (Text: Maria Loukola and Kana Otsuji/Photos: Heljä Korkala)
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