"The best student community in Finland" - student ambassador story
How long have you been in Tampere and what brought you here originally?
I've been living in Tampere for a little bit over a year now. I moved mostly due to university (as I finished high school and was looking for a place to continue my education), but I was certainly at least slightly influenced by the fact that I had started a relationship with someone who already lived here. Nonetheless, when I first came to visit Tampere during my final year of high school, I discovered a beautiful city that reminded me of my home town Tallinn, but also had its own flair and a deeper sense of community.
What subject do you study and how did you choose it?
I'm currently studying in the Science and Engineering bachelor's degree programme, with my major being information technology. I chose the programme as it seemed most fitting to my interests at the time. I was not completely certain on what I wanted to focus on with my studies, and this programme seemed like a very good option for a bachelor's degree that would prepare me for nearly anything that might catch my interest in the fields of engineering. However, I ended up realising already within my first year that IT is what I'm really interested about and excited in, and my language studies progressed faster than I expected, so I am now looking into switching to a Finnish-language degree programme to focus completely on that.
What do you most like about Tampere and Finland?
I've found an amazing community for myself in Tampere, and I feel very at home here thanks to that. If I ever feel like I want to spend some time with other people, I know I can always go to the room of my guild (subject association) or some club to socialise - or if I'm at home, I can just send a message to my neighbours and ask if they'd like to have some tea or head to the common room to watch a movie. I also like how easy it was for me to adapt to the society here and make friends - I found it a little difficult to find like-minded people with similar interests back home in Estonia, but over here that has not been an issue.
What about your hobbies in Tampere or in Finland?
I've actually found a large number of new hobbies through the school and my friends, which have become big aspects of my life. I've had to drop one previous hobby (playing handbells), because there is no group for that in Tampere, but I've instead found dance games, boffer fighting, organisation work (ensuring that the associations I care about keep running) and radio making. In addition, I'm still pursuing interests such as tweaking with electronics, playing video games, contributing volunteer translations and learning about various computer systems.
What would you say to someone deciding whether Tampere is the right place to come to study and live?
I strongly believe that there's a place for everyone in Tampere and the university community here - it might just take a moment for you to find it. The community truly is very diverse and offers something for everyone, whether it be new friends, pursuing old hobbies or getting involved in completely new things (such as student theatre, student radio, flying drones, joining a band...), or learning about what it means to be a Finnish university student (and for students in Hervanta, what it means to be a teekkari or technical student). My first year at this university has come with immense personal progress and learning lots about myself, and the people and environment around me have certainly been a big part in why I've been able to do that. If you'd like to experience life in a city that's just the right size to feel cozy, but not cramped, and in the best student community in Finland (totally not biased), I'd highly recommend Tampere!
Photo: Jonne Renvall