Peggy Tsang (PuiKi), TAMK and LUT proud alumna, joined international AFS Intercultural Program 10 years ago and began her beautiful journey as an international high school student in Finland. Spent her Finland student years with her host family, Peggy dubbed it as a unique and wonderful opportunity. She constantly travels to Asia from HK (China) for her global Independent Engineering and energy management work and travel related projects.
My Journey as a Foreign Student
“My study abroad journey started with AFS, I was accepted for an exchange program and had a host family in Finland and it was a great and happy study abroad experience. I went at Tampere University of Applied Science (TAMK), for an Environmental Engineering Academic Degree Program and Master of Science in Environmental Technology at – Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Finland. I worked in Finland at China Business Chamber, got few roadblocks and challenges, and went back to HK (China) 3 yrs. ago after studying 7-8 years in Finland and obtained also my master’s degree.”
On Overcoming Challenges and Roadblocks
“It was very challenging. Finland culture was unique and different from ‘traditional’ western countries. For me, their language was the very interesting and challenging part as it is not Latin-based. The rules and grammar don’t sound like a role that consists of plenty of exceptional cases.
But despite some challenges, I’m glad I met and gained a friend and she’s a Finnish girl. I noticed that Finnish people are reserved and shy, but once you get to know them, they will be happy spending time with you and you’ll have a good and lasting friendship with them. In terms of balancing life and studying, I had the opportunity to work part-time also while studying, I worked and travel at the same time.”
The Balance between Challenge and Self-Learning
“Don’t prepare too much. I learned you must be mindful always and not to ask much. There’s so much explanation to Finnish language and it is quite different in a way, but I can say it’s uniquely beautiful and you will get used to it. Don’t ask too much, because that’s their cultural customs, be prepared, adjust and embrace it.”
“Finland is weird but spectacular!”
– Peggy Ki Tsang, TAMK and LUT Alumna
“The Freedom. Yes, the freedom and flexibility students enjoy. It was very different compared to Asia. The choice of courses, the way they must choose on the variety and the flexibility, say for example Science subject, Home economics. Finland school resources were amazing, and I was really impressed. In Asia, it was different, while in Finland, students who are smart will get the least of attention from the teacher. I noticed in Finland too that there’s no extreme competition.”
“Finland: It’s weird and spectacular! You know in that way it’s weird, like super cold, but in an amazing way, you have the fantastic place and at the same time really in touch and in love with nature and the Finns, crazy beautiful Finns. You have a lot of things to do such as picking berry and mushrooms, rolling on the snow naked, nature! What an awesome experience.”
My Professional Career after Studying in Finland
“I’m working now as an Engineering Consultant for a US based company here in HK (China), that works as a technical advisory role for power projects in Asia so I travel a lot.”
Advice to International Students Planning to Live and Study in Finland
“My advice to international students- Be more willing to consider new ideas. Don’t expect too much, enjoy the journey! Work hard and play hard. Try your best to learn Finnish. Learn the ropes and adjust to your new life, you will overcome the challenges along the way.”
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