UTU Masters | Nhan Nguyen
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Juhani is a typical young Finn studying at University of Turku. His name has been the most popular one in Finland for years. I am lucky to have him as a friend before coming here. Although Juhani is extremely friendly, helpful, and nice, he feels shy to talk about himself and personal issues. This blog is about you, Juhani, as a small gilt although you may not expect it. * The real name of my Finnish friend has been changed and the character in my article is fictitiously formed, but vividly reflects a Finnish portrait.
“Today, I decide to learn about and try to understand you, Turku. By doing so, I think I will love you more!”
As usual, it will take you months to get acquainted with a new environment, arrange your personal life, studies, and friend connection. This phase may be short or long depending on your own adaptability. And then, let’s look for a part-time job as an essential part of student life. Though finding a part time job for international students is commonly assumed to be quite challenging in Finland in general because although Finland has a quite open mind, local workers are always prioritized due to Finnish language. However, I have to say that it depends on the place you live.  As a common rule, things gonna be easier in the capital and big cities where there are plenty of job opportunities, while less chances to work in other group of cities.

From my experience, after finding out places to buy foods to “survive”, you will soon take a further step to think about furniture and some other interior stuff for studies, or even clothes, shoes, electronic appliances for yourself and your lovely home in Finland. Although...

As a part of our curriculum, INNO58H turns out to be the most intriguing course to me in Turku. The basic idea of the course is to learn how to apply design ideology for opportunity creation by means of various tools and methods. The course is co-organized in collaboration with other schools and local firms in Turku. You, of course, work in teams as a “typical learning style” in Finland, but the thing is each team may go with different case posed by a client firm to create innovative ideas and strategies. Perhaps the highlight of the course is the innovation camp where students are trained in innovation design with various assigned tasks with the focus on future-oriented envisagement. Here are the reasons why I think INNO58H – International Innovation Management as Design is the most outstanding and interesting to me.
Hackathon is typically a sprint-like event in which programmers and some other parties involved in software development, namely project managers, designers, and others, with the focus on software project development. Particularly, Hackathon usually focuses on language of programming, operating system (iOS, Android, MeeGo), an application in a specific area, or an API. Hackathon often lasts for a day or several ones. In Finland in general and Turku City in particular, hackathon and innovation camp are commonly typical events organized for students to experience, to learn and explore their potentials. You will find this kind of event without difficulty.
Thanks to paying visits to local families, joining typical Finnish parties, eating out sometimes, and by means of my Finnish friends who are really patient with my stupid questions, I have chances to have unique experiences to discover more Finnish social customs.
My neighbor Alex, a very close friend, took me to the sauna for the first time. We started with taking a shower and bring a towel or “sauna paper” (I don’t remember the exact name but it was kind of nylon paper which cannot be torn when it absorbs steam) to sit on (for both hygiene reason and because the bench is hot for the first time). Sauna which is natural to Finns seems an attractive traditional feature with a lot of meaningful lessons behind it to me. Sauna is something you should never turn down on receiving an invitation because the invitation itself is the positive signal of the next level of trust and familiarity of the inviter to you.
Cultural difference awareness is becoming increasingly crucial in the context of globalization. To my view of thinking, the more we know about Finnish culture, the better we understand and discover their secrets for success. After learning and interacting with many Finnish entrepreneurs, managerial staff, and office staff, I figure out interesting cultural characteristics of Finns in general and business culture in particular. By understanding features of culture, we are able to not only avoid causing offence to others, but also maintain good relationships in the long-term run. In general, it seems to me that Finns are straightforward, friendly, easy to make acquaintance,… and love nature and sports activities, but they really expect others’ respect of their need for privacy. There are much more fascinating things about people in this wonderland. Let’s discover with me.
Almost six months ago, I set foot on Finland soil after making a decision to change my life. And things happened did not in the way that I want, but simply have been exceeding my expectations. And I would like to let you know how wonderful it is!