Erika Loman, 25, thought first that she would be a translator. She moved from Russia to Japan where she spent around three years studying Japanese. However, her passion for technology won and she decided to change her career path. Now she is studying IT at the Oulu UAS.
– I have always had interest in computers and various gadgets. Finland being one of the happiest countries in the world and a place of origin of unbreakable phones and the most popular open-source operating system Linux – seemed like a great choice for me as an IT student.
Erika chose Oulu in particular because it boasts the title of “The Silicon Valley of Europe” and the city is booming with tech and non-tech startups.
– I had a preference for Oulu UAS because of its more practical and hands-on approach and the unique opportunity to participate in one of the three LABs that university has to offer was a deciding factor.
Erika thinks that being a student at the Oulu UAS is super convenient. Her top favourites are self-service at the library and the ability to reserve books online from all Oulu universities, incredible cheap but delicious food and the Sports Pass.
– With the Sports Pass there is enough activities to keep you occupied throughout the whole year. I got into Archery and Power yoga, for example. And I really like my class too, we are regularly spending time outside of school and throwing parties together or visiting one of the numerous bars or clubs Oulu has to offer.
Erika is very interested in three different LABs that Oulu UAS provides: Game LAB, DevLab and EduLab. The LABs are unique training and development programmes available for the students of Oulu UAS. The cornerstones of the learning model are a working life orientation, creative problem solving, conceptual design, teamwork, internationality, entrepreneurial thinking and interdisciplinary learning. Overall, interdisciplinary and international student teams develop new innovations for real challenges from different industries.
– Game LAB looks like a lot of fun. I am a big fan of games! And EduLAB and DevLAB have so many possibilities - you can get involved in Green Tech, Education or Healthcare-related fields through them. You could also combine any of these two paths together and create something entirely unique. Like EduLAB and GameLAB, for example, since gamification is on the rise now.
In the future, Erika would like to work someplace in Europe. Her dream is to work remotely, so that she wouldn´t be bound to one place and she would be able to travel more around the world.
Now Erika feels happy in Oulu.
–I like that here by bicycle you can get everywhere really quick! If you are more of a bus fan, for a fixed price you can get a monthly bus card which allows unlimited travelling around and makes a great deal. Also, everything is done very fast around here – like paperwork and all these other things you need to take care of when you move to another country. All people are very friendly and helpful!
She warmly encourages young people to study abroad.
– Go for it! Don’t be afraid that it would be difficult or lonely. There are always people around you who are willing to help and cheer you up. So just believe in yourself and you’ll be fine.