Earlier this month, Edunation hosted a live chat with the topic ‘International students in Finland – Ambitious adventures after graduation’. One of our guests was Khanh Tran, a Bachelor’s student in International Business Administration at LAB University of Applied Sciences. During the talk, Khanh shared with us about his life as a Vietnamese student in Finland and his ambitious career plan after graduation. You can rewatch the livestream here.
Khanh has been in Finland for exactly 2 years. When asked about his interesting impression of Finnish people, Khanh shared that Finns are usually quite shy when you first approach them, but they actually are one of the kindest people on earth and, especially after a few drinks, Finns can be very friendly and talkative.
For Khanh, Finland is a very calm and peaceful country. He enjoys having coffee when it is snowing outside and simply indulging in the tranquility here.
Born and raised in Southern Vietnam, Khanh was used to the hot and humid climate. He laughed when talking about Ho Chi Minh City, where he comes from: “In Ho Chi Minh City, we have two seasons: the hot season, and the freaking hot season.” Finland offers something totally different. Khanh was surprised when a friend told him hat the Finnish winter was going to be harsh and he should prepare well for it.
When winter actually came, Khanh then understood. He believes in the Finnish way of thinking that the harsh winter makes people appreciate the sun more. Khanh enjoys the nature and Finns’ traditional activities here, including swimming in the lakes in the summer, together with sauna and ice swimming in the winter. For him, Finland has a good balance between nature and urbanness.
Khanh gave an honest advice that international students, especially ones from tropical countries, should be aware that the winter in Finland can be tough, the darkness is here most of the time and to prevent depression, you should prepare your mentality and take vitamin D. You however don’t have to be worried of the cold because Finnish heating system is of very high quality and you will be nice and warm indoors.
‘For Vietnamese students, you don’t have to bring things like rice here. There are Asian stores that sell this.’, Khanh said.
Finland is also a very safe country in Khanh’s mind: ‘You can leave your stuff in public areas and they will always stay in their original place.’
Khanh learns a lot from moving far away from home and living independently. This studying abroad experience in Finland give him lessons he would never forget.
When asked if Lappeenranta has a lot of Vietnamese students, Khanh shared that there was a Vietnamese student community and they had many events and activities together. Last year, Khanh was in the organisation team of Tết – an event that aimed to introduce international students to traditional Vietnamese lunar new year festival.
Feeling lucky to be born and raised in a good family that supports him all the way especially with his education, Khanh really appreciates life and he wants to give back to the society. Recently, Khanh met Peter Vesterbacka – advisors of many start-ups in the world and also advisor of Edunation – and learned about Slush, a start-up event created by young people. For Khanh, it is undeniable that Finland is a country that trusts young people, believes in their potential and hence, is one of the best countries in the world for start-ups.
Sharing about his future plan after graduation, Khanh could not hide his ambitious smile: ‘I’m studying Business not because I want to be rich. I believe business and finance are the core of everything […] I have been doing a lot of volunteer activities, especially back in my home country, Vietnam. In the future I would still want to do those but in much bigger scale. That’s my ambition. I might even move to Africa to work after graduation. I also want to connect all the Vietnamese in the world together to do something brilliant for the society.’
Khanh gave his most important advice to young people of his age: ‘Be initiative. Opportunities don’t just come to you. You find your own opportunities.’
Soon after our talk, Khanh is moving to Germany to finish his double degree in Finance at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences. Good luck with everything, Khanh!
You can read more of our student stories here.
Written by Sophie Nguyen, coordinator at Edunation.