Riley - Mechanical Engineering student from Hong Kong

Picture of Riley

“Everything has been good despite the pandemic”

Why did you choose to study in Finland?

I want to become a teacher to primary or secondary children and teach them about STEM. That’s why I wanted to come here to experience the education system as it is one of the best in the world, and learn about how they teach engineering, science and mathematics.

How would you describe your studies in Finland?

In Finland, self-motivation and self-evaluation are important. No one will force you to read or do something. You need to do it by yourself and for yourself. It’s also very relaxing to study here while at the same time you are actually learning.

Teachers are also very open to students. When students have problems for example, you just send an email to the teacher and the teacher will instantly reply, like in two hours. We’re free to ask questions here. Even though some of our questions may sound silly, they would always say things such as “it’s okay, we have time and if you don’t want to talk right now, we can meet other time in Zoom and talk about what you want to do”. I’ve also asked questions regarding my career path. At first I was confused what I can do after my bachelors so I asked my study councilor or department head of the university and they were willing to answer my questions and willing to spend time to help me to do some researching on my career path.

I think everything has been good despite the pandemic. I have finished one semester, and everything is pretty good.

How would you describe living in Finland?

Mostly silent and relaxing. Finland is a very big place but with less people. It’s quite relaxing because it’s not so crowded even in Helsinki. It’s good for you when you’re are relaxing or stressed. Another is, there will always be someone here who will say something like “Hi, can I help you?” so you don’t have to be afraid if you don’t know or are confused about something.

What is your advice to potential international students?

Work hard, play hard! The key is balance. Your university life should not be only about studying. You also need to be playing and building your network. When you have exams or lectures, you study hard on that. You should study well and achieve excellence in your academics, but also making a meaningful impact on your life. On your free time, hang around, join different social clubs and explore more things in Finland or explore things you didn’t know before or not happening in your home country. So, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. You are here to explore what you have never experienced before. Build up networking for your future!

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