My first impression upon arrival in Finland was a sense of calm and security. I got the impression that there everything was made for the sake of people, e.g. easy transportation, and reachable conveniences. Not only technical aspects, but also clean air, bright sun, green forests, blue lakes, and friendly people in Kuopio. When I asked about the direction, I should take to reach the shore of the lake, the answer was “in any direction.” Kuopio turned out to be a pearl city, surrounded by clear lakes.
With all the excitement and expectations, leaving home (Africa), for the first time was like a good dream. I took all I thought I needed, including the warmest clothes I could get in Ghana, only for me to leave Accra with a temperature of about +28° Celsius to arrive in Joensuu at -12° Celsius. I had always known it was cold out here but I did not know it was this cold. It is funny and not funny at the same time.
In order to participate physically in a winter school (talvikoulu) to earn the remaining three credits necessary to complete my doctoral programme’s required 50, I boarded a plane to the Finnish capital. One of the first cultural references you run into at the airport is Tove Jansson’s Muumi. It’s popular among residents as well as in foreign countries including my home, Japan.
As doctoral researchers, we sometimes get carried away with our projects and lose sight of other areas in our lives. Occasionally, we need to tell ourselves that we are more than our doctorates.
While I research cultures in the Circumpolar North in the Social and Cultural Encounters programme, it is important for me to spend time exploring other cultures as well as (non-)academic interests. It is with this very attitude that I visited Italy – from its Alps to its more southerly coastal areas.
From the May of 2021, I have been working in the marketing team of University of Eastern Finland as a trainee. Since I worked at an admissions office in an international school before coming to Finland and worked closely with the marketing team there, I was interested in recruitment of students and promotion events for students. The jobs I have been doing in the marketing team are quite in line with the ones I did before, but the targeting age groups are different, and the scale of marketing is much bigger and wider here. The marketing team is under the Communications and relations department and, apart from my team, we have several different teams under the department such as design & video producing team, international affair team or translation team.
Summers in Finland are all too short. Time is therefore precious, and one must strive to use the available time well. COVID-19 is still impacting our lives, as everything had ground to a halt and is now trying to start up again. Hence, there has never been a better time to dream up a bucket list of things to do than now. There certainly is something about the Finnish summer that just brings the joy of life to all of us, isn’t there? Like the all-encompassing LIGHT and the white NIGHTs! As SUMMER is now in full swing and we have begun to crawl out from our home offices at University of Eastern Finland, why don’t you open the door and let your imagination fly over FINLAND? Perhaps it is a good time for you to look for future COVID-19 safe activities for your BUCKET LIST in Northern Savonia?
So, the question is: if you do not have your own mökki around…
Having observed a number of Finnish schools and lessons, I will to use this blog post as an introduction to the few more-to-come blog posts about my experiences as a teacher student, my opinions on Finnish schools and my attitudes towards Finnish educational system.
I would like to continue to tell about my experince of being a teacher student in Finland, and today I am proud to present you the 5 small, but in fact big things, I love most about Finnish schools.
Writer: Williane Bernardes Master’s Degree Programme: Medical Physics
Greetings, fellow reader! I am Williane and I was born in Brazil about 26 years ago in a family whose background is a mix of European, Brazilian native and African heritage. You may be surprised but such thing is quite common in South America due to the historical context. Due to that fact, I have always been very curious about my ancestors’ origins and since most of them were Europeans, I decided to visit the continent. Doing an exchange would be the easiest way and in the end Finland was my chosen country since I also wanted to see snow for the first time. Fortunately, I could not have made a better choice and soon you will understand why!
My trip to Lapland on November 2017.
The total time I have been in Finland is around 3 years but divided in two periods. The total time I have been in Finland is around 3 years but divided in two periods. The first time was during my exchange in the University of Jyväskylä in 2014-2015 and the second time is still going on since I came back on 2017 with the intention of starting my master’s degree. Fortunately I got accepted in UEF and I have not left so far. Continue reading “From clueless to accustomed – how to adapt yourself to Finnish culture”
As the epidemic in Finland has forced most of the UEF employees to work from home, we can stay PRODUCTIVE – and SAFE!
Who Am I?
To preface, who am I and why am I talking about this? I’m Szabi Felszeghy, Anatomist, working at UEF and I’ve only been working remotely in the last years on weekends and holidays…
Remote Work was an end goal after UEF was closed down rapidly.
The infrastructure and policies needed for remote work and online education were already unquestionably in place at UEF even before COVID-19. However, the vast majority of staff members have never been hit with such a long remote work phase before, especially when they’re suddenly left with little to no time to prepare for it. The middle of March has been a very crazy time for everyone at UEF. Organizing blended education, lab work or any other important services, as well as life at UEF in general, has seen a tremendous change. Many of these everyday projects have had to be cut down to minimum or have even been fully scratched. This is indeed a very challenging time. Using education as an example, there are many thousands of students, educators, administrators, and operatives at UEF. None of the blended courses can possibly run without significant student engagement, self-motivation, 24/7 IT service, and the need for teachers to refresh their skills on virtual conferencing, at the very minimum. Luckily, it has turned out to be working well. Slowly, we are back in our best action and have started to adapt well to this current situation and its “online requirements”.
Writer: Pracheta De Master’s Degree Programme: Biomedicine
“Namaste! Hello! Terve!” has become my usual greeting when I introduce myself at any event these days. It makes me feel great to embrace all the cultures around me and that is part of the reason why I came to study here in Finland.
Choosing to study Biomedicine at UEF, Kuopio, was one of the best decisions I’ve made as it gave me an opportunity to meet people from around the world, study in a fair education system, and have good work-life balance. Not only have I learned to live independently but I can also handle adversities better now.