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Anil from Pakistan: Finland Surprised Me

In 2015 Anil moved from Pakistan to study BBA in International Business in Finland. He came here with hopes to get valuable experience and a degree that will drive him forward in his career. He’s now almost done with his 3,5 year International Business studies in Finland.

He says that in Pakistan, students are pressured on getting good grades to get admission to good universities and to get good jobs. He decided to study abroad. Anil applied for Germany first, but Finland was recommended by a friend. At that point, he had completed his Bachelor of Commerce studies.

A view of Helsinki

Anil said, “One of my friend who lives in Sweden suggested me to search for Finland as well. After going through different study blogs and comparing the education system of different countries I found Finland has one of the best education systems in the world which made me apply for Finland.”

In Finland, Anil settled in the city of Kouvola in South-Eastern Finland for the duration of his studies. He feels that the city is too quiet for him. He’s disappointed that the city is not marketing outdoor and indoor activities for students properly or then the opportunities are truly limited. He hasn’t traveled much yet, but Helsinki is one of his favorite places to visit.

“Before coming to Finland, I was thinking that there will be skyscrapers, high tech innovations, international study, and working environment and I found all this to be true except for the skyscrapers.” Anil was surprised that the country is innovative yet peaceful. 

White buildings and trees

When Anil arrived in Finland he was shocked at how a small number of people were out on the streets. The Finnish food also shocked him, since it is quite different from the food in Pakistan.

“Being a foreign student, I never had any challenges from my teachers, colleagues, or classmates. Finns are loyal and honest but very shy ­- especially males. They are very open when they are not sober.” Said Anil.

Anil is working on his Finnish language skills but currently has a very basic level, since the language is really difficult and takes time to be proficient. Knowing Finnish is very important as there are very limited opportunities available for non-Finnish speakers. For example, jobs and networking.

Anil is optimistic that his degree will secure a professional job in his field of study and that is what he plans to do in the future. He’s currently working in two companies in Finland but he found language barriers causing challenges when finding a job. He thinks that to secure a job one must have a good network and references. 

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