"Tampere is designed to help students socialize and network." - student ambassador story
I was born in China. However, when I was 12 years old, my parents decided to move to the Philippines for me to learn English. So I finished high school in the Philippines. I would describe myself as an international person due to my upbringing.
How long have you been in Tampere and what brought you here originally?
I’m here in Tampere for my studies at TAMK. I moved to Tampere only one month and two weeks ago. However, I feel very familiar with the city already.
What TAMK degree do you study and why did you choose it?
Bachelor of Software Engineering (First Year)
I chose this degree because I understand the demand for software engineers all around the world and especially in Finland. Also, I have always had an interest in computers and softwares. It brings me a lot of joy and motivation to see what I can achieve, for example in making a website.
In your opinion, what makes TAMK special?
TAMK is special in a lot of ways.
First of all, it offers a full software engineering degree, whereas other Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland only offer the Information Technology courses. In my opinion, software engineering is a lot more specialized and focused on softwares, which is what I like.
Additionally, Tampere has a good reputation as a city, so I think TAMK has an upper hand on the location.
Last but not least,TAMK is one of the biggest UAS in Finland, and I like big universities, so that makes TAMK special to me personally.
How would you describe Tampere as a student city?
Tampere has a lot of student events with numerous clubs and bars for students to socialize. It’s as if, it is designed for students to interact with one another. No matter where you are from, you can feel like you are part of something big.
Tampere enables people who aren’t social to join social events thanks to the diverse range of hobbies that are included in the events. All that makes Tampere a perfect student city.
Have you had memorable successes / epic failures in settling in Tampere? How did you overcome difficulties?
I have to be honest, everything in Finland feels extra SMOOTH.
From the moment I landed in Helsinki-Vantaa airport, I was already impressed with the organization of the airport. The location of info desks, the signs that guide you, and how on point the train schedule is.
I had some hiccups before coming here due to some Visa issues, but after I arrived, everything went incredibly well. I was able to get my paperwork done almost immediately since I booked ahead, and then I got my police ID a week after that, and I got my online banking, all within a month!
The culture shock was quite a big thing for me. Although I am still in my honeymoon phase for the country, I already know what will bother me in the future.
First of all, the weather (not really about culture) really isn’t suitable for me, who has lived in the Philippines for the last 7 years. I’m currently coping with it by forcing myself to take a cold shower every single day. It sounds absurd, but it works very well. I feel extremely proud when I’m outside and wear less clothes than the locals and still feel warm.
The real culture shock is when I was in the newbie night event, everyone was SO comfortable with not wearing anything, everyone even ran around the campus, my adrenaline was pumping so high, that I joined everybody, it felt surreal, and I still don’t know how to cope with that, but honestly, it was amazing, I can’t complain too much.
To whom would you recommend Tampere as a place to study and why?
I would recommend TAMK to all my friends back in my high school. Since they are all open minded people, they would love Tampere and the studies in TAMK. The experience is so different yet so good.
I would recommend my parents to live here, it is calm and peaceful if you don’t go to the city center. So there is a perfect balance on your life. If one wants some action, one can just go to the city center on a Friday night and they’ll see some action. Otherwise they can chill by the lake, walking their dogs while enjoying the peace and the waves of the lake.
Photograph: Dimitra Panopoulou-Huovila