"I enjoy living in Tampere the most" - a student ambassador story

Student ambassador Anh studies Environmental Engineering. She has been living in Finland for five years.

Tell us about yourself and your studies

I come from Vietnam. Growing in an Asian country with many traditions for the whole childhood, I was really interested to have a new experience in a totally different culture once I was able to step into adulthood. Europe was my first choice, and because of language barriers, I could only find study opportunities in English. I knew about Finland and just naively thought that I would like to come here because I would like to see snow and reindeers for the first time. The idea of coming here may be quite spontaneous but after living here for more than 5 years, I would never regret being here.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering and I'm currently taking a Master's in same major. Back then when choosing the study option, I just felt interested in this major as I really loved animals and I wanted to protect them, starting from protecting their habitats. Till this day, the original intention remains the same, but I have grown more interest in other aspects in this field.

Can you share us your experiences on Tampere and Finland

When studying in Finland at first, I was quite shocked because it was really easy to get good grade and I was given many chances to raise the grade if I asked for. There was no peer pressure here as well since everyone had their own plan and nobody would really judge you if you did not do well in one or two courses. Thanks to Finland, I have come out of my comfort zone. I am not afraid to ask for what I do not know anymore and I am willing to try as many new things as I can without fearing of failure. I have understood that each of us has one's own path to follow with different timeline so there is no point in comparing or being peer-pressured.

After travelling in some European countries and other cities in Finland, I still enjoy living in Tampere the most. It is peaceful enough, not too quiet like in some distant places but also not too crowded compared with e.g. Helsinki, Paris. Everything in Tampere is at a moderate level, which is what I like most. And since I come from a totally different culture, I would find almost everything in Finland quite shocking and surprising e.g. the crazy love for the sauna, the clear line between work/study and holidays (we still have work to do even during holidays in my home country), etc.

I can come up with many things to do during my free time, one of which I enjoy most is reading, especially detective novels, and drawing. I would also hang out with my friends or go taking pictures with my boyfriend. When I seem to feel a little bit lazy, I would like just to stay home and chill with my cat. I am also quite a gameaholic so I spend some times playing games as well.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about studying and living in Tampere?

Whoever is hesitating in choosing the major, just go for the one you like most. Even if after that you want to change, there are still many opportunities for you to do so. Thus, do not be afraid to experience something new.


Photo: Jonne Renvall

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