How exciting is it to finally receive that one email you have been longing for, with several attachments and one of them happens to be a letter attachment labeled as the “letter of acceptance” stating,” We have the pleasure to inform you that you have been accepted to the university of eastern Finland.”? After receiving this email, I clearly recall, asking myself how it would be like. I even had fictions of my imagination on how I was checking in at the airport, -this could me my second experience flying-, in the university corridors, in class and how I would have my first snow experience. I have to say; this email blew my mind. As Finland holds a very strong reputation internationally for the quality of its education overall, I surely did not want to miss my chances of being part of it-I mean who does not want to part of one the best education systems in the world?
My whole desire to study abroad pushed to apply to many universities in different parts of the world, but you know what? My biggest wish was to get a chance to study in Finland, so I decided to apply to all the universities in Finland that had programs related to my interests. This was to increase my chances to being accepted in any university whatsoever. After being turned down by several universities in different parts of the world, I almost lost hope until one afternoon when I was constantly checking and refreshing my email account’s inbox with the fear of getting another email of being turned down, I finally got that exciting email of acceptance from the university of eastern Finland.
As I was waiting for my Flight at the Kilimanjaro international airport in Tanzania, I had so many questions in mind just as most people in new places. I knew for sure many of the questions will be answered as I start my new life in Finland. I was not completely blank about Finland because I had read about the university, the people and the life experiences. I gave myself hope that I would eventually cope with everything and life will be just fine. I made it to Finland, a beautiful country full of life.
As I started my university life in UEF, I realized as time went by, the knowledge one gains is more than just increasing one´s knowhow, it challenges one’s way of thinking and acting. From my experience in this University, education, independence of mind with respect to education, academic values and life values are the things I have mostly achieved so far. The sweet truth is that, UEF does not only give just the know-how, also guides you through acquiring qualifications to deal with the competition in this 21st century. For instance, the world’s labor market prominent employers accentuate increasingly the need for today’s young professionals to possess not only deep disciplinary knowledge, but also an intense capability to operate effectually across disciplinary, social, and cultural borders.
Majority of students measure their time at university purely by what happens within the four walls of a lecture hall laboratory or the library. As for my case, my initial thoughts were that, university life is all about that degree. The University of Finland has made me change my perception about this. There’s is more that I as a student and as a person has changed. The first few months were a bit challenging, not being used to the new environment-especially the weather- new people, culture, and the system. However, many people were ready to lend a helping hand and share their expertise with me.
Mind you, this is a culturally diverse institution, people from all over the world are here, making it easier to widen our insights in about everything. Culture shock and confusion was most likely to occur, but with time I became culturally sensitive, and generally learnt how to live in a multicultural environment through several courses offered by the university as well as self-determination to learn more about multicultural environments. I am confident that any other international student would be able to study and live here happily. At UEF cultural diversity and Multiculturalism plays a crucial role in making our school life and social life enjoyable.
If someone asks me a question like why I would think UEF should one of the top choices to international degree students, I would just tell them that, 1. Being here will help one unveil their weaknesses and strengths in many aspects of their student life and life off campus. 2.Coming from different systems of education, no matter what kind of system at UEF one is taught to be self-dependent and self-responsible towards your schools’ life and life out of school. Afterall, in the process of growing to be better adults, we all need that sense of responsibility, right? Where nobody decides for you nor pushes you to do anything but yourself. 3.Here teachers and fellow students as well as the natives are always kind and ready to help, so it is just you as a person left to know what you want. 4.Here you get challenged to pursue your individual interests and goals, since students are given more choices to explore different subjects and find the ones that really match their interests. 5.It promotes multiculturalism and diversity. The list is unending.
The student union
The student union at the university of Eastern Finland organizes events that bring together students from other parts of the world. For instance, they organize tours and visits to various fascinating places such as the famous Lapland located in the most Northern part Finland associated with father charismas since 1927 and uptodate. It is a great place to explore especially during the winter. Other activities are such as Erasmus cruise safaris such as the “Pirates of the Baltic Sea” which brings together students from allover Europe in a cruiseship, where they play different games, eat together and know each other, with many other activities in the ship in two nights. See https://www.uef.fi/studies/student-union for more information.
Sports and other activities
The student Union gives discount to students’ sports fees. You get to access the most equipped and modern gyms with very little expenses. Fitness plays an important role for one’s body and brain health as a student and as a person. They also organize activities such as skiing, and skating and they even offer the requirements for these activities. Here those that have never experienced get a chance to learn. One can also get the requires for these activities from the student union and practice by their own.
The student residence permit
Did you know that the Finnish residence permit for international student allows you to visit some countries without a visa? Yes, you have a chance to tour around more than 18 countries and spend not more than 90 days for each visit. You get a chance to widen your exposure while you study in Finland. See? its not just about the degree, right? You get a chance to be a tourist and explore places, meet new people, explore different culture, experience new things, learning more and stepping out of your comfort zone.
Massawe Consesar Mark