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"Tampere is the most optimal size” - student ambassador story

Published on 9.10.2020
updated on 18.1.2022
Tampere University
Faculty of Management and Business
Picture of student ambassador
Student ambassador Meredith first came to Tampere as an exchange student and decided to continue her Master's studies with us.

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

I have lived in Tampere since 2017. Indeed, I did the last year of my bachelor degree as an exchange in Tampere University. If I have to recall my first impression and experiences as an exchange, I would never had thought that I would settle in Tampere in the future.

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

I study Leadership for Change with a major in Politics and minor in gender studies and sustainability. After my bachelor in politics it was quite obvious to me that I would continue in this direction. However, I didn't have the chance to study gender or sustainability in France, so it was a great opportunity for me to it in Tampere.

What do you like most about Tampere and Finland? What has been the most surprising or different thing about living here?

Tampere's size is for me the most optimal. Indeed, everyone can feel this city very homie easily, at the same time it is very dynamic, everything needed is available and in addition, it is very close to nature. Living in the Lapinniemi area, I feel lucky. In 2 minutes I am by the lake or forest and in 20 minutes (by foot) I am in the city centre, this is a comfort that I wish to everyone. Finland had been a cultural shock for me at first, because it was challenging many of the habits I had. What I considered very restraining at the beginning became something I couldn't live without. For instance, respecting rules is something that seems very normal but in my home country there is a need to overrule every time it is possible, for minor things (e.g. crossing the road with red lights, parking somewhere forbidden, being very noisy in buildings...). I learnt how to appreciate the "personal" space needed by Finns and I didn't enjoy not having it in my home country anymore.

What are your hobbies in Tampere? Have you tried out any new hobbies after coming here?

In Tampere, I do a lot of student association work and by consequence hangout with friends and colleagues every day. I also do a lot of sport at University and swimming. As a passionate of photography, I spend a lot. of time haunting northern lights and sunsets. I also appreciate chilling at home and playing board games.

What would you say to someone who's trying to decide whether Tampere is the right place to come to study and live?

I would say that moving to Tampere should be something that comes from the heart. I personally fell in love with this place after hating it for couple months (when arrived as exchange). This place is not for everyone, but anyone should find a place as Tampere is to me. A place where you can be thankful and happy just by realising you are waking up where you belong and want to be. These feelings of safety, pure happiness and admiration for the place you live in are the one I have for Tampere. I would recommend anyone to try this place and give it a chance. for at least 3 months, because it is the time at took for moving from hate to love. However, as an honest advice, I would also encourage people to have some financial "security" and plan B in case things are not going the way planned because everything is possible in Finland, but it takes time. I learnt in Finland to be patient and accept the fact that everything comes at a time (SISU spirit) and learning about yourself is a key element to be able to move forward.


Photo: Jonne Renvall

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