19 Dec Warm and cozy UTU
Two years ago I listened to my friend’s stories about Finland, Turku and her experience as a student of a foreign university. That fascinating life seemed unbelievable and really far from what I used to have. Another world, rules, traditions, and culture. But every great adventure starts with the first step, doesn’t it? I would say that my journey began when my friend told me about the University of Turku and I caught myself thinking «wow, that should be awesome». Now, two years later, let me be your friend who will introduce you to the Finnish charming lifestyle.
Hope you don’t mind if for the beginning of your journey I will offer an insight into the first days of my life in Turku. As they say the importance of a first impression is undeniable. The fact which amazed me most is that you are surrounded with such attention and care that in few days you feel at home in Turku. For me personally, it’s an essential part of a study process. And I don’t think that it depends on your age or nationality. It’s just a natural desire to have a warm, cozy place where you can relax and enjoy your learning. Once we had a conversation with some of my group mates about our feelings during the first two days of our arrival. All of us said something like «I wanted to buy tickets, take all the bags which were still not fully unpacked and run home as quickly as possible» and «I could stay at home and not feel all this stress». Probably, it’s quite funny to hear such stuff from adults who are already getting their master’s degrees. But that’s how it was. Happily, those frightening thoughts vanished almost at once. The international office, our tutors and teachers did their best to show that they are glad to meet us, help in any situation and that they do view us as a part of a huge university community.
The level of respect which you receive here is one more bonus which you can get from the Finnish system of education. I have an example which struck me and helped to realise that it was a right decision to come here. All the international master’s degree students came for the Orientation Day to the main building where the vice-rector of the university greeted each student personally. She stood near the entrance to the audience and warmly shook hand with everyone, smiling and saying that we were welcome to join the new academic year. I am not sure whether it’s a common situation in different countries, but I have never faced such an attitude in any other university. And it was absolutely cool.
My decision to apply for the University of Turku at the last moment was great and I can’t be happier with the choice I made. Now I feel that everything is as it should be. Who knows, probably you will think the same when you make your decision to study here? Just give it a try.