Joanna is a student from the Philippines, who has recently graduated from a Master’s program in Health care, Health Business Management from Metropolia in Finland.
Why did you choose Finland AS YOUR STUDY DESTINATION?
I chose to study in Finland because I found it on the internet when I searched for the safest country in the world. Then I became aware that Finland is also the happiest country and place in the world, based on the statistics.
In addition, I was very curious about how people treat each other in Finland and what is the system like in Finland to be nominated as the happiest country in the world. So that is why I chose Finland and also because of the cost-effective tuition fees compared to other countries. Finland is really the best place to study.
“Finland is really the best place to study.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT FINNISH LANGUAGE AND FINNISH PEOPLE?
In my opinion Finnish people are very humble, based on my teachers, colleagues, and my classmates. They are all humble but at first, they may seem shy. Once you get to know them, establish a close relationship and earn their trust, they are able to open up and discuss more.
The characteristics of Finnish people make them stand out from other nationalities, that I have encountered. Since I have also lived in other countries I really have a drastic comparison between some other countries and nationalities.
What comes to the language, it is actually part of my master’s thesis. For me personally, I found it difficult at first to speak, write and read. Of course, that is what I experienced in the beginning but once you get the hang of it, you can learn it. I feel that I am still willing to learn more and achieve higher levels in Finnish language.
CAN YOU TELL ABOUT YOUR STUDIES AT METROPOLIA?
I have studied a Master’s program in Health Business Management in Metropolia, starting from 2019. I have graduated now in April 2021. This course is very good for those, who would like to expand their knowledge with regards to the operational and administrative side of the health care. I am a nurse in the Philippines but I only knew patient care, drug preparation . With this degree, I was able to acquire all the knowledge and skills that I need to if I want to put up for example a business. Especially here in Finland, there is definitely an encouragement to become an entrepreneur. Therefore, this is also a very good course for those who want to be an entrepreneur, in terms of health care.
“I definitely recommend Metropolia University of Applied Sciences as a university because they give so much encouragement to students in each subject, that you will have in the curriculum.“
Metropolia really give up-to-date and real-time information regarding the courses and what they are all about. They teach you what is happening right now in the world. They also make the students feel that it’s okay to give opinions. There is a different kind of education system in the Philippines. In my home country, the teacher is always right but here I find it so odd and different. I have a new perspective of learning because in Finland students have the right to speak and tell their opinions whether it is agreeable or not. So this is what I like in Metropolia! I definitely recommend Metropolia because they give so much encouragement to students in each subject and studies.
What do you think about living in the capital of Finland, Helsinki?
First and foremost, I find it to be safe. The people in Finland are “rauhallinen” meaning peaceful. I have had a peaceful neighbor for 2 years already that has lived with me in one “talo” = house. My community is very peaceful. I live in a happy environment with supportive neighbors, even though we don’t know each other that well. The capital of Finland, Helsinki, and other cities are generally speaking safe and really a good place to live.
How was your daily life as a student in Finland?
My daily life as a student in Finland before the coronavirus was a little different than now. I used to go to the campus in Myllynpuro. After school, I went to my part-time job and then did the assignments during my own time. We also had group works and sometimes met somewhere with my classmates. Already during the first two weeks of my stay here, I luckily got a part-time job. So it was a good lesson for me that I was able to get a job to support my stay in Finland.
After the COVID, it became a little different. Everything went online but I think the standard of education in Metropolia did not change. I can attest to that, because the teachers were reaching us in the same manner than before the pandemic. Therefore I can say that the education in Finland did not change, no matter what the circumstances the world has. That is what I am grateful for Metropolia. They did not compromise our Education.
“That is what I am grateful for Metropolia. They did not compromise our Education.”
WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN FINDING A JOB IN FINLAND?
I cannot say that it is easy, but I had a really good background in health care since I am a nurse. Therefore I was able to find a job as a health care assistant. I think that helped me to find a job easily. I was also willing to push myself to immerse myself in the working system of Finland. This way I could also determine whether I would like to stay here or not. That was my aim and the reason why I searched for a job in Finland as a part-time worker.
I became a personal assistant for the city of Helsinki. So the part-time work was really a great experience because from that I was able to get a full-time job. My employer now considers my part-time experience as a very good one because I can handle patients and other tasks. I am currently working full-time in ‘Kotihoito’ and I am doing patient care, specifically elderly care.
If you were to give 3 tips to an international student who is coming to STUDY IN Finland, what would they be?
If I were to give 3 tips to an international student, who is coming to study in Finland, they would be the following:
- Be self aware
It is very important that you have practiced and have the skills to be self-aware. You will be dealing with different cultures and you will feel this acculturation stress. It is a kind of stress that when you experience dealing with other cultures and nationalities. You might feel that your identity is being lost. Or you might feel confused as to which culture you should follow. Therefore, it is very important that you have established self-awareness.
2. Be patient and do not give up!
Be patient in terms of learning, knowing new skills and meeting new people. Also of course if you would like to find a job, be patient in searching for a job. Because it will not come easily, you have to work hard for it.
Do not give up, because in the end, all your sacrifices will be worth it. Because aside from gaining a degree, you will be able to find a job after that.
3. Be grateful
You have to be grateful for all your mentors who have helped you, might be your teachers, your colleagues, or someone you met along the way. Because without them, your journey in Finland will not be a success. Do not forget the people who have been with you on your journey in Finland!