The Study Hub of Autumn 2023 has come to an end. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be once again the tutor of an amazing group of students we’ve had this semester. In this short blog post, I wish to reflect on what has happened in the past three months.
What Study Hub?
Before we move on, let me remind you what Study Hub is. It’s part of our series of pathway programs, which prepare international students to progress into a pre-selected university of their choosing in Finland. The Study Hub program differs from our regular Pathway to Finland program because the mode of studying is hybrid, meaning that approximately half of the studies are conducted online and the other half on-site in Finland.
Having early access to the destination country can benefit students in many ways. For example, it allows them to begin integrating into the country before university studies. Additionally, the students have a chance to create new friendships and networks that might prove crucial for their journey in Finland.
About Our Students
Last spring, we had students from three countries (Vietnam, Myanmar, and Nicaragua); this time, we doubled our reach to include six countries: China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and the USA. This is promising, as I see the stronger diversity of the student group as a blessing.
Our students come from various backgrounds and for different reasons. The youngest of the students is in their 20s, and the oldest is nearing their 50s, showing that it is never too late to change the course of one’s life.
Study Hard, Play Hard!
Study Hub is, of course, mainly focusing on studies. The students have both online and on-site classes, the former of those including their pathway studies according to their chosen track and the latter consisting of their Finnish language and culture courses. In addition, the students can receive on-site tutoring, further aiding them to succeed.
But it’s not only about studying, as there’s also a variety of activities we’ve done together to counterbalance the weight of working hard. For example, this autumn, we’ve visited the Suomenlinna Fortress in Helsinki, which was the favorite of students last spring, Nuuksio National Park, which offers spectacular views of Finnish nature, and the National Museum of Finland taking us back to the roots of Finnish culture.
While these activities help the students get to know Finland better, we’ve also done other fun stuff. For example, very recently, we went to bowling. A few weeks ago, we were visited by a South African social media influencer and musician living in Finland, Chico Muya. We’ve also eaten well in various restaurants in Finland, exploring the tastes of Finland and international tastes of Chinese, Turkish, and Nepalese kitchens.
These activities have allowed us to bond extraordinarily, which is not the most common way for a teacher to bond with their students. In a relaxed atmosphere, it’s easier to let your guard down and get to know each other better, not as a teacher and a student but as individuals. At its best, there’s a possibility of creating long-lasting friendships.
Lastly, as Christmas is closing in, we enjoyed the St. Thomas’ Market, a beautiful Christmas Market at the Senate Square in the Heart of Helsinki (next to the big white church you might’ve seen in a poster or a postcard). We even got to meet the Santa Claus!
Overall, I’ve had great fun with the students enjoying various activities the Helsinki metropolitan area offers. Not only does it offer a way for the students to begin their integration into Finland before their university studies in a Finnish university, but it can also reduce stress as it allows them to take their minds off of their pathway studies.
It’s been great to operate as the tutor of this program, helping the students both academically and also with their integration into Finland. I’ve met some very nice people, and I wish all the best for them in their future endeavors. For those considering joining, I welcome you to Finland and hope you’ll have the time of your life!
For more information, see our website or book a free consultation to discuss with one of our professionals which option would suit you the best. I’ve also recently written another blog post about the value of networks and how pathway studies help you to build those. You can check it HERE.
Moreover, we have various classes to assist your study in Finland, such as online Finnish and English language courses. More importantly, our Arrival Finland Package lets you have a smooth entry into the country!
About the Writer
Jonne is an Education Specialist from Finland. He has been the instructor in the Study Hub program during both Spring and Fall 2023.