Interview with a Nursing Student at SAMK

Tero is a half-Brazilian and half-Finnish student in the degree program of nursing at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. He grew up in Brazil and then moved to Finland three years ago to pursue his studies and to reconnect with his origins. After joining the army, he realized that the nursing program is the right choice for his future career. We sat down with Tero for a chat about his life in Finland.

What comes in your mind when you think about Finland?

I think about nature and distance which makes you relax a lot. It is a place where you can come to meditate, to rest and to work. You live your experience here and it is a safe haven from everywhere else. Everyone is polite in general, you always have a nice feeling of hospitality.

One of campus facility in Finland
SAMK Campus

Describe the Finnish education system in three words

Self-centered study. They give you as much information as they can, and you are going to gather what you think is necessary for life. Of course, sometimes they have exams.

What do you like about studying in Finland?

I like the support in general. In classes, they understand that learning is an exercise for your brain which takes a lot of energy out of you. So they always give you proper time to rest.

One of the things I really like here is that you have student parties and actually they put that on your schedule. Going to parties is something good for you and it can relieve stress. Finland is honest about it: going to parties and relaxing is an important part of a student life.

What do you like about your nursing studies at SAMK? 

What I like studying about nursing is the idea of helping other people. It is always something that moved me. In Brazil, I used to be an English teacher, then I came to Finland. I somehow managed to join the army and I became a medical commander. Here, I have realized that I like to do things with my hands, like patching people up and stuff like that.

Hanging ornaments and light decors in ceiling
SAMK student lounge

What about practical training?

Starting from the second semester of this year, they are going to put as working in a health care center or even hospitals.

Do you need to use Finnish while practicing?

Well, you learn it by doing and as fast as possible, but the nurses can explain to you in English what you have to do. The greatest thing about the university and the program is that Finnish was not required for the admission, because my Finnish is not that good.

Are you happy in Finland?

Definitely happier than before! In Brazil I was super unsatisfied with my lifestyle. My parents gave me a good life in Brazil and I could have stayed there. However, I was feeling very down about it and I was just following a straight line, there was no fun. Then I decided to do something different and start fresh in Finland.

During the first year, I joined the army and it was very good for me; I have learned that if you keep moving forward you are going to get somewhere eventually. There is no point in giving up: you can stop and rest, but you can’t ever give up.

The second year, I was literally without any idea what I am going to do. I didn’t have a job, but thankfully there was the Finnish government there for me. They supported me until I found my purpose and applied to SAMK to study.

Foreign student, headphones with many students
SAMK campus facilities

Any suggestions for students coming to Finland?

If you have an idea what you would like to do, there are going to be tough times and you just want to give up, but here are the words that I have learned from the army:

“Eyes forward, stand up and laugh!”

Interested in nursing studies? Read more about SAMK’s Nursing program and apply now!

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