Mayank is an 18-year-old Indian student, who is currently doing his first-year Bachelor’s studies in engineering at HAMK, at Valkeakoski Campus. We sat down with him and he shared his experiences in studying and living in Finland.
Finland has the best education system in the world and that was one of the main driving factors for me to come to Finland.
Why did you choose Finland?
Finland has the best education system in the world and I like it. I hope to get a job from here after I graduate. Engineering is really nice in here. There are a lot of advanced machines. Salaries are pretty high too when you compare it to the rest of Europe.
I wanted to study Automation Engineering and HAMK in Finland has a very good program in that. It’s really nice.
What do you think about the Finnish language and Finnish people?
The Finnish language is hard but if you have Finnish friends they will teach you and they really do make a lot of effort to help you. My Finnish friends’ have a goal that they want to teach me to speak the language by the time I graduate. They are really taking it seriously. I’ve been in Finland for seven or eight months and I can speak very basic Finnish.
Finns like to keep it to themselves and they will not be the initiators of the conversation. Usually, you need to initiate it. But they are really straight forwarded people. They go straight to the point and there’s no beating around the bush. Once you get to know them and make friends, they are really nice!
What would you tell to a person who is interested in coming to study in Finland?
I would tell them that it’s really nice to study here. Yes, the topics are tough and we get to learn tough things every single day. But it’s not that the teachers give you 15 tough things to learn rather we learn one thing at a time.
Studying is still pretty chilled and that’s one plus point in Finland. The teachers are really friendly with the students. You can go and ask any question and there’s nothing you have to be ashamed of. We call teachers by their first names. For example, our lab teacher is a really nice guy. He even plays video games with us.
For someone who is coming here: get to know people in Finland already and make friends before coming here. Go to Facebook, join groups and get to know who your classmates are going to be. That will help you.
What were the biggest culture shocks for you?
It’s really dark. And Finnish people don’t talk to you first that much. Back home in India you could go and talk to a random person you’ve just met on the streets and then you become best friends. People exercise a lot in here! They walk, run and ride a bike unlike in India where we just take the car everywhere we go.
Also the cold. My father is working for a Danish company and he has been in Copenhagen a couple of times and he told me what to get to prepare myself for the weather.
How is your daily life as a student in Finland?
In engineering, we have classes every day. Friday can be an exception since Thursday is the so-called national party day in Finland. Every student goes out and party.
We study from 8 am to 4 pm and we don’t have to study a lot at home, only one or two hours and the rest of the day is for yourself. I study at the University of Applied Sciences so we have a lot of hands-on knowledge. We get to practice what we have learned. A lot of students play video games. You see your friends at school and after school, you play games online with your friends. It’s nice.
I like nature and lakes. I like to go to bridges and click some pictures. There’s a bridge called Sääksmäki close to Valkeakoski, around 10 kilometers from here which is a 40-minute bike ride. I like to go there and during the summer I went there quite a few times. It’s really pretty.
What comes to your mind when you think about Finland?
Before I came to Finland I thought about Angry Birds, Moomin, and the cold weather. Now when I’ve lived and studied here I think about Finnish engineering and about how beautiful Finland is and nature here, especially the winter! Everything was frozen and it was very nice. But I still think about Angry Birds.
Are you interested in studying Engineering? Here you can find more information on HAMK’s Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Automation Engineering program.