When Amisha Mishra from India arrived to Rovaniemi, she was astonished to hear herself breathing. "This was something I have never experienced before.”
When the first leaves of autumn fall, it’s also a signal for another academic year to begin. Joining in the flow, Rovaniemi once again welcomes about 385 international students enrolled in the University of Lapland and the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, two major educational institutions of the city.
Coming from various countries around the world, exchange and degree students are contributing positively to the diversity of the studying environment in Rovaniemi. There are now a total of about 1,000 foreign students including the previous years’ students in the city.
According to the international coordinators of the two universities, out of 385 international students, 215 are attending the Lapland University of Applied Sciences while the remaining 170 go to the University of Lapland.
Talking about the reason of choosing the universities, most of the international students agreed that the famous beauty of Finland’s nature in general and the unique Arctic experience of the Rovaniemi City in particular are their motives to study here.
Coming from a densely populated country of India, Amisha Mishra, a Master’s degree student of Art and Design at the University of Lapland, could not hide her surprise when she first came to Rovaniemi. “I started to like the nature and the quietness here and was astonished to hear myself breathing. This was something I have never experienced before”, Mishra remarked.
Echoing the opinion of Mishra, Pham Ngo Cam Tu, a student from Vietnam enrolled at the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, said she also feels so refreshed when she can immerse in an amazingly nature-friendly environment which she hardly find in her big city back home.
Most of the international students usually stay in dormitories of Domus Arctica -Säätiö such as Kuntotie, Rantavitikka, Asemarinne and others, which are located near the campus and surrounded by the nature.
To help newly enrolled students settle down in accommodations and giving answers to their enquiries, a group of student tutors from the two universities are very active and ready to offer help.
One of the most exciting parts of every academic year is the series of welcoming events held by the two universities’ international departments. According to Ida Vahtera, coordinator of the University of Lapland’s International Department, a number of events were held such as the Amazing Race, Grill and Chill, Lapland’s Game Night, Welcome World Party or even visiting Santa Claus and watching northern lights. Fortunately, all the events attract the majority of the international students who have given positive feedback.
Regarding the academic research and studies, most of the international students decided to choose Finland because of its famous high-quality education system. Pham Ngo Cam Tu from Vietnam admired Finland and the Lapland University of Applied Science for long after watching a promotion clip on the university. Aiming at a higher education level, Mishra from India finds the Arctic Art and Design Master program of the University of Lapland appropriate with various international workshops and seminars. “I believe that studying and working in an international environment will enhance my creativity and give me insights into a lot of different cultures”, Mishra said.
In spite of the fears of a cold winter and upcoming long dark days, all the international students seem to be excited for their very first Arctic experience in Rovaniemi. Another exhilarating academic year has come with rewarding surprises for them to explore.
City of Rovaniemi- Daily Finland Report