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Oulu UAS: To the Family

Information for families

Friend families are a real-life example of what ‘internationalisation at home’ is at its best. Friend families offer international students a chance to get to know the local life, and at the same time get a unique opportunity to broaden their own worldview and see their home country in a new light. In best case, taking part in the programme results in unforgettable experiences and lifelong friendships.

Friend Family Programme is intended for the first and second-year international degree students of Oulu UAS. Unfortunately exchange students cannot apply for the programme. Students are not expected to speak Finnish. However, this is an excellent chance to practice it.

Families and students are matched on the basis of their applications. Special attention is paid to common hobbies and interests. Wishes concerning the family will be taken into consideration as well as possible, but all wishes cannot necessarily be met, and all students cannot be guaranteed a friend family.

It is good to notice that not all families are traditional nuclear families. There are no specific criteria concerning family’s size or shape. Couples, singles, families with and without children, single parents and pensioners can all be friend families.

What can families and students do together?

Every family is different, and not all students are going to do the same things with their friend families. Families are not required to organize trips or other big-scale activities. Many times the ordinary, simple things of everyday life are the ones that can teach you most about the local life and Finnish culture. It is also good to think in advance what sort of things you could share with the family.

There is no one right way for the families and students to go about spending time together. Discuss what sort of things you all are interested in, and how often you are prepared to meet. The most important thing is that both the student and the family are genuinely interested in getting to know each other and respect the shared time by sticking to agreed plans and by being on time. Friends or anyone else cannot be invited to join the activities, unless separately agreed with the family.

Please notice, that your friend family doesn’t necessarily know that much about your culture or, for example, about your religion. It is good to discuss things openly in advance to avoid any possible problems. Mutual learning is, after all, one of the greatest benefits of the programme.

Families are encouraged to read also the instructions given to students.