“I like to live according to my own will and passion.”

Trang, Bachelor's Degree Programme, International Business

Trang Nguyen is a 24-year-old student from Vietnam, who came to visit Finland 5-6 years ago. She travelled in Finland during a beautiful summer, and fell in love with the country right away. After reading from many sources about the highly recognized Finnish education system and finding out that it was free of charge, she decided to apply for Oulu University of applied sciences to study international business and got in. Now Trang jokes that she was a little bit misguided during her voyage in Finland in the summer time, since she didn’t have time to experience the Finnish winter.

“The winter was so different! The first time I saw snow was memorable – I wanted to feel it, smell it and even taste it.”

Whilst studying in Oulu, a city in northern Finland, Trang took interesting courses and found many new friends. In her first school year she studied the basics of international business. She looks backs at her time in Oulu with warm feelings. One of the greatest experiences for her was meeting new people.

“Especially I remember all of my friends – not only the courses and exams.”

After the first study year Trang sat another entrance exam and got into Haaga-Helia University of applied sciences. The new school was located in Helsinki, where she also had family and relatives. Trang was able to continue her studies there. Although changing schools was quite easy, Trang didn’t get all her credits transformed from Oulu to Haaga-Helia. Due to this she had to re-do many courses and delay her graduation.

Why Finland?

Trang chose to study in Finland because she had read from many sources that Finland has a very good education system. She also likes the fact that Finnish children study not because they are forced to but because they really want to and they are willing to read and learn.

Best things in studies

Trang feels that one of the best things about studying in Finland is that Finnish community is so open and students have a chance to explore their inner ability and passion. This is quite different compared to her homeland, where students follow a specific path.

“In Finland if you study a subject and you notice that it’s not suitable for you, it is still possible to take another entrance exam like I did. This way you can find out which is the best kind of education for you.“

“After a while I found out what my true interest is.“

Trang also likes to live on her own and to be independent. She especially appreciates the flexibility and openness of Finnish culture. She feels that people value each other’s opinions and ideas here.

“I like to work together with Finnish teams because they know how to listen and they know how to compromise”

“Here I can express my opinions freely and still get accepted.“

Surprising things in Finland

One thing that was new for Trang in Finnish culture was the fact that people here are used to being on their own. Finnish people are not so open compared to the Vietnamese. Finnish are famous for shyness and silence. Trang found it interesting that even though she lived with several flat mates in a student house she did not get to know them that well. But after four years of studies in Finland, she has adapted to this more individualistic way of life.

“Here you don’t know your neighbors. Even right know I still don’t know my neighbors.”

What are you doing now? Future plans?

Right now Trang is working for the summer. At the same time she is writing her thesis for her employer about online marketing in a business-to-business environment. After graduation she hopes to be able to stay in Finland and continue working here. Trang would also like to gain more experience in working as part of different kinds of international teams.

“After graduation I would like to stay here and experience international atmosphere and working environments even more. So I will try my best to continue working in the company that I am working for now. Or I will find another international company that I could work for.“