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"Tampere has given me quality knowledge but also life-long friends." – student ambassador story

Published on 4.2.2019
updated on 4.2.2020
Tampere Universities
Zolzaya Shagdar
Zolzaya Shagdar from Mongolia is touring the Nordics with our joint Master's programme. Her time in Tampere gave her more than expected.

How long have you been in Tampere and what brought you here originally?

Let me start by briefly introducing myself and the programme that I am studying in Tampere. I am Zolzaya from Mongolia and I am a first-year student at the Nordic Master's Programme in Innovative Governance and Public Management (known as NORDIG). NORDIG studies are conducted in three distinctive universities located in three different Nordic countries, and us - the students are required to move between those universities for each semester of their studies. Thus, I was given an amazing opportunity to spend my first semester of studies here and lived in the beautiful city of Tampere for 5 months from August 2018 to January 2019.

What subject do you study and how did you choose it?

When I first saw the description of NORDIG programme, I remember thinking to myself “This one is for me” considering the syllabus which combines the soft and hard applied sciences. I also believe the Nordic countries are the best place to learn about an effective and innovative public management since they demonstrate the most successful cases of public private partnership through innovative solutions. I choose this programme because not only it offers an excellent academic knowledge, but also a wide and varied combination of locations in Nordic countries and facilities that enhance student life.

What do you most like about Tampere and Finland?

This question is the hardest one to answer for me because there are just so many things that I love about Tampere or Finland as a whole. However, after a long thought, I reached a conclusion that the thing I love most about Tampere is the simple fact that Tampere is one of the best cities to be an international student. Since the day I have moved to Tampere, I have never had any trouble communicating with locals in English. Moreover, most of the places in Tampere starting from cafes to buses offer student discounts. Going back to concept of Finland as a whole, the thing I love most about Finland is Finnish people. As you may heard the common stereotype describes Finns as quiet and hard-to-socialize people, I would happily say that Finns I met in Tampere were more than happy to socialize with international students. Furthermore, I believe that once you make friends with Finns, most of them are quite humble yet warm-hearted and honest friends. I even believe that my time spent in Tampere not only provided me with quality knowledge but also have given me friends that I would cherish for life.

What about your hobbies in Tampere or in Finland?

One of my favorite free-time activities when I was in Tampere was cooking good food and watching hockey games with my friends. Personally, I like to try new recipes and cook new foods, thus I have spent quite amount of time trying to figure out where to get best ingredients for certain dishes.  For instance, if you want to make a warm cup of mushroom soup on rainy autumn day, I would recommend you to visit Tampereen Kauppahalli (Market Hall of Tampere) for freshly picked chanterelles. This is also a place where you could find traditional Finnish rye bread - famously known as ruisleippa - one of many things I love about Finland. All the foods aside, another activity I loved to engage in Tampere was simply walking and hiking in the green areas around the city. Personally, I used to live at Laapinkaari Student Apartment nearby Näsijärvi lake and the area is surrounded by hiking or jogging trails where you can feel near to fascinating nature of Finland. In case you are interested to join and experience Finnish innovation culture, Tribe co-working space or Y-campus at the university are the best places to find and meet interesting people to share ideas.

What would you say to someone deciding whether Tampere is the right place to come to study and live?

After my semester in Tampere, I could assure you that the NORDIG programme and Tampere not only did NOT fail my expectations but also exceeded them in all possible ways. I was positively surprised by the care and support given by the faculty staffs at the university regarding every matter starting from printing papers to finding funds for internships.

Anything else you want to say?

I am so glad that you are considering Tampere and based on my experience I would say you are at the right place. Now just keep calm and enjoy one of the best times of being a student in Tampere, Finland. Onnea!


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