An Interview with a Palestinian Student from Germany

A morning wandering in a big event Liekkeissä at Tampere University of Applied Sciences helped me open my mind about the Entrepreneurship grand emergence in Finland but also led me to an interview with a Palestinian lady student from Germany, Joud.

I don’t want my exchange studies to end. I love Finland, so much. – Joud

Among the young faces, I noticed Joud from afar, who patiently watched the videos presenting about Entrepreneurship in Finland and what it takes to overcome the fear of running a start-up from the dust. Joud looks more mature than most of the audience ( the majority are high school students) just like me. When the break came,  I rushed across the auditorium to meet Joud and, hopefully, have an interview with her. Joud was surprised but welcoming towards my offer of a cup of coffee and a quick interview. At the campus cafe, me and Joud talk about each other’s studies and what led us to Finland. Joud, who hailed from Palestine, been living in Germany for a long time and decided to make Finland her student exchange destination among other popular countries around the world. To her, Finland’s education is modern, flexible and provides a sense of freedom to the students. She loves the Nordic weather and a sense of “self-reliance” that she finds worth learning about in Finnish people. This, I agree.

I tried the make the interview as quick and fun as possible as I don’t want to bore Joud.

Q: Three things you like about Finland:

The people, the landscape and the education. The assignments are really flexible, you can choose the time and place to finish them as long as they are before the deadline.

Helsinki cathedral

Q: Three things that shock you when you first came here:

I don’t think anything is that different from Germany. But: the coldness, the privacy and.. maybe, the lack of brands here sometimes. There aren’t a lot of brands in Finland, which is sad but true (laughs). But the quality of Finnish products are very good. I think that is why you can buy some second hand stuffs at such cheap price and still be able to use it for a long time.

Q: What do you think of the communication here in everyday life?

The fact that everyone speaks English in a smaller city Tampere (than Helsinki) is very easy and comfortable for foreign students. Plus, people are nice and the customer service at stores is so good. They are always welcoming to you.

Q:What do you think of the amount of assignments at school?

There are mainly group work so the amount of essays kind of less, you only have to do your part. Real life cases for companies in Finland really helps with work experience later in life.

Q: I agree, it helps with your CV as a foreign applicant if you work in Finland after graduation. What about the food?

The cafeteria food is really cheap because of students’ discount. A good tip is to eat a lot at school so that you are full even after coming home.

Q: And the culture?

Not much difference compared Germany. People are very open-minded here. You can dress anyway you want. People love independence.

Koli national park Finland

Q: How’s your study program – International business?

We have a very modern leadership skills class which is my favorite class. The teachers are so good! As for others, so far, I have nothing to complaint.

Though the interview was short, one thing Joud assured with me before we part ways: “I don’t want my exchange studies to end. I love Finland, too much to leave now!” Me too Joud, me too! The beauty of Finland is remarkable and Joud, as an international student would like to share with you.

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