I chose the Environmental Science study program at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) in the city of Kuopio. I had seven courses, one of them a web course, one an online course (with the teacher in a different campus in the city of Joensuu), and the rest taught by different teachers, each with their own topic in which they were most competent.
I really liked the system with independent choice. Nobody forces you to take practical classes on air pollution, for example, if you are already in your 3rd year and you understand that you want to delve into soil ecology. Everything is free, but if you choose the course, then you must definitely study. Such a formation of courses helps to understand the priorities in training, improve time management, and communication with teachers.
It became clear that programs at Industrial University of Tyumen are different in the field of environmental protection. It is more and more modernized and aimed at supporting research, as well as global thinking and the search for relationships between pollutants and human and environmental health. A very important feature of studying in Finland is the conscious consumption of knowledge: in my courses, I needed to write my observations in the form of a learning diary, which was often 60% of the grade.
In general, Finland is calm and safe. It was even strange for the first days not to meet anyone on the streets, but Finnish people are very helpful and friendly – they will always help. The language is sooooo complicated and strange, but I already managed to master the basic phrases on my own. It helped a lot that everyone speaks English, even those in their old age.
The Finns, in spite of the weather, always ride bicycles. Sometimes it's funny to observe their wild determination when passing a snowdrift and even uphill (the city is very hilly), and in the evenings you can often see people jogging. Their life is measured, they do everything slowly, but with high quality. A very important plus is that you can visit the Finnish sauna once a week, which is in every house of the Finns here – a local feature, and our building was no exception.
The nature is magical! Although the city is average sized (smaller than Tyumen), it is green. Sometimes it seems that I live in a forest, there are many lakes around, there are beautiful trees, rocks and views, there is a lot of snow, and the temperature did not drop below -13, but with the wind and near the lakes, it got very cold.
I am very glad that I came to Finland! But as always, when going to study abroad, it is important to remember your goals – I would advise not to apply if you only want to travel abroad. Without a clear vision of yourself in a foreign country, you can get lost. Furthermore, another country changes people, which, of course, is nothing to fear, but you need to be ready to cope with any situation and adequately calculate your strength and finances.
Published in 2021