Our class was very international. We have classmates from Finland, Germany, Pakistan, India, China, Vietnam. I really enjoyed the multicultural environment. I made friends with many international students in our class and we still keep in touch until now. After the programme, all my classmates have better career paths. The study also helped me a lot in my work.Hang Do, Edtech Business Development Professional
Study program: Master Degree in International Business Management
Lahti University of Applied Sciences, 2009
Why did you choose Finland?
I never thought I would go to Finland to pursue a Master study. I came to Finland in 2008, which I felt very lucky. It helped me to fulfill my dream of studying abroad. So yes, the reasons were very simple: Best Education, and I had a chance to explore Europe.
Best things about Finland
Before I came to Finland, I did not know that Finnish education is one of the best educational systems in the world. The more I stayed, the more I love about this country, and it is now my second home country. Best things about Finland are education, social welfare, work-life balance lifestyle, the best country to be a mom, the safest country, nature, beautiful summer and golden autumn.
Another best thing about Finland is that you can choose to go back to study whenever you want to. It does not matter how old you are as long as you feel the need to study for work or for improving your knowledge and skills. I have been just accepted to a Master of Business Administration in Leading Business Transformation at Haaga-Helia UAS next spring.
What is it like studying at your university in Finland?
I started my study at Lahti UAS in 2008 and graduated in 2009. What I learnt from that time is that I learnt to be very independent. We had a lot of assignments and group works. We learnt to work independently and cooperate with team, which was different to the passive learning style in my university in Vietnam. I learnt to raise my voice in the class otherwise I would not have any chance to speak.
Finnish universities have all the best facilities for Students.
The university provides all the best facilities for students to study. My thesis and Vietnam trip to carry out field research was sponsored by the university. It was 3000€. I felt very grateful. My research was highly evaluated by the supervisors and it was published as a book in 2010.
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The programme was very well-designed. Besides learning individual subjects in class, we did a project together about Renewable Energy and developed a RE business plan for Finnish investors to do business in a local market of our choice. Our masterclass group worked with the bachelor group for one-shared project and we divided in roles. It was a really practical hands-on project experience.
Our class was very international. We have classmates from Finland, Germany, Pakistan, India, China and Vietnam. I really enjoyed the multicultural environment. I made friends with many international friends in our class and we still keep in touch until now. After the programme, all my classmates have better career paths. The study also helped me a lot in my work.
Your most memorable experiences
Enjoying the best educational system in the world, making friends with Finnish and internationals, learning from them, and growing personally and professionally. International events organized by schools for students.
Highly recommended, as this is also the best place to be a mom! Fantastic benefits provided for students, families and professionals. I was able to witness that the Finnish government provided a helping hand for business no matter what class or race.
Jobs and career opportunities for international students in Finland
Here in Finland, definitely the in-demand jobs are in the field of Information Technology, ICT, Business Analytics, Marketing, jobs in areas like Digital Marketing and Social Media, Business Management.
How BiziVietnam started?
I started BiziVietnam project since 2016 as a personal passion. I created the website by myself, wrote blogs, attended events to promote Vietnamese culture, food and tourism in Finland. I involved in coordinating many kinds of cultural events such as food, full moon festival, tourism. I also taught Vietnamese in Finnish schools in several years. All these things induced me to make a plan, find a team and make it a real and legit organization.
As a team, we founded BiziVietnam – Vietnamese Language and Culture Association in Finland in March 2020. Despite the pandemic, we successfully organized an exclusive Launch Event in August 2020 with attendance of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Embassy of Vietnam in Finland, companies and other organizations. Since then, we’ve been running several programmes including language courses, cooking classes, hobby clubs, and meetups. You can read more about the Launch Event here and watch a video. BiziVietnam is a multicultural team of talented professionals and we keep growing.
How is it like managing a language and cultural organization in Finland representing your home country?
BiziVietnam is the first ever non-profit organisation in Finland dedicated to empowering cultural connections and strengthening the Vietnamese cultural footprint in locals, internationals and Vietnamese people in Finland; along with promoting cooperation opportunities between Finland and Vietnam.
This is not the first time that I lead a team. I have been in the managerial positions in my previous jobs. However, this is different. First, it is a volunteer project. All the team is working voluntarily for BiziVietnam so if I talk about management point of view, it is quite challenging. However, our team members are all very talented and try their best to contribute, and I am very grateful about that. The second difference is that managing a language and cultural organization in Finland representing my home country, which makes me feel very proud. I really love what I am doing. I love the missions that we do at BiziVietnam because the impacts created are really meaningful.
Managing a language and cultural organization in Finland representing my home country faces many difficulties, yet brings about opportunities for us to pay back to Finland, to create values to the Vietnamese community in Finland in particular and Finnish society in general.
What you’ve learned about yourself while working in an international company?
I am an entrepreneur. I did not start my own business. However, I always thrive on ideas, opportunities, possibilities, and big thoughts. Sometimes I like to put pressure on myself to try out different ideas and plans. In any organization that I work for, I will always take ownership of what I am doing and make the best out of it. At present, one of my main focus is to develop and grow BiziVietnam to become a sustainable organization.
I need to be challenged and need challenges. I always feel to learn more every day. By challenging myself to work on a new initiative, I not only perform better, but I also feel more motivated.
Keep learning and adding values. There are always many people in the organization who are very talented. I learnt a lot from doing team work.
You can’t succeed just by yourself. I have been working in multicultural team where the diversity is strong. Even though leadership is decisive, team work plays an essential role in the success of the company. Each person is one puzzle of the whole picture.
Top three tips for Vietnamese students who are considering studying abroad
I am not going to talk about list of things that a student should remember to bring along when going to study abroad or finance status, schools, English, documentation issues, etc. For me, as an experienced student having encountered challenges, and having met many other students studying abroad, my top three tips for Vietnamese students that you can prepare are:
Bravery. Yes, study abroad requires bravery. I don’t mean to scare you, but you can imagine how it is to live without family, close friends. Are you brave enough to live in a different country? You will face homesickness like all of us did. However, I am sure you will learn and grow a lot instead. Like they say “what does not kill you makes you stronger” or in Vietnamese we have this saying “Travelling forms a young man. Travelling widens one’s horizon – Đi một ngày đàng học một sàng khôn”.
Independence and proactiveness. When studying abroad, you will need to do everything by yourself, from personal issues to study, and finding a job during or after your study. You will need to be super independent. Many students found this difficult because they are used to being taken care of by parents, family. However, when you are aware of this and well-prepared for it, you will find it easy to live anywhere abroad. Ask yourself this question when you are considering study abroad: “Am I an independent and proactive person?” Try to be outgoing as much as you can, meet new people, make friends with Vietnamese and internationals, and learn new things in the new country! It might also help you later if you plan to stay and look for a job. Networking is very important.
Grab it with both hands. Even though there are many things to consider when you plan to study abroad, my last top tip for you is to grab it with both hands. You should feel lucky because you have an opportunity to study abroad, because many don’t. Mark Twain said “If you must be regretful, regret what you didn’t do, not what you did”. Buy the book “Tuổi trẻ đáng giá bao nhiêu/ How worthwhile is your youth” and read it when considering to study abroad, you will find motivation and inspiration to start living your dream. If you come to Finland, you are welcome to join BiziVietnam member community to make the most advantage of your study and living in Finland.
Best things about Finland are education, social welfare, work-life balance lifestyle, the best country to be a mom, the safest country, nature, beautiful summer and golden autumn!
BiziVietnam is now a successful partner of Edunation. Hang Do is living in Finland for more than a decade. She recommends the country, not just for Vietnamese students, but for all who plans to study in Finland and Europe.
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