Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:18
Jiri said yes to English - in Finland
Text and photos: Susanna Siironen
Two years ago Jiri Kähtävä started studying in Oulu University of Applied Sciences. His dream about studying in English came true nearer than behind the sea. Oulu UAS offered an opportunity to take an international degree in his own hometown.
Letters BIT do not tell much for an applicant. BIT or Business Information Technology is one of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences' international degree programmes. Students are both Finnish and foreigners. For 22-year-old Jiri it was natural to choose studying in English.
- I have always been interested in international things and the information technology so BIT was a good choice for me, Jiri tells.
Jiri's early dream of studying in Medical Faculty had to give way when international things took his interest.
In the Degree Programme in Business Information Technology students study international business skills and entrepreneurship. Of course technology is a very important part of the studies.
- You really have to be interested in information technology. Otherwise you will have trouble passing the degree, Jiri says.
He thinks that it is even more important to understand something about information technology than knowing English grammar perfectly.
The world calls
Jiri has now the second year going on. Soon it is current for him to start thinking about his practical training. Most of the international degree programme students do their practical training abroad. Jiri tells that there are also good firms in Oulu where one can do the practical training because Oulu invests so much in technology. Jiri, however, wants to go abroad.
- I do not want to stay in Finland. School supports pretty well when you go somewhere else. It would be great to go somewhere in Asia. And you can always come back if you face hard time there.
School encourages students to also take part in international student exchange. Jiri gives a laugh that this is at least a good way to escape the cold Finnish winter. Jiri thinks that for a foreign student it might be a lower threshold to depart abroad. They are, in a way, already abroad.
In international degree programmes the students are both Finnish and foreigners. So the circle of friends can be very international. (From left Yulia Frygina, Tommy Leinonen, Ilkka Jalkanen and Jiri Kähtävä)
English and sign language
In international degree programmes all the lessons are of course in English. Jiri tells that the technical terminology was a little bit difficult for him at first.
- Math's and economy's terminologies were little bit mystical, but I went with my intuition. You just have to try to understand what some words could mean.
Jiri says that it is a very good thing that knowledge of a language develops alongside the studies. He thinks that many Finnish students are frightened to take a degree with some other language. Still, he thinks that people manage even if English does not come easy. Even sign language has been used in the lessons if something is hard to understand. "Studying in English programme is a good way to create contacts and go out to the world", Jiri says.
Jiri rubs shoulders with foreign students also in his free time because he acts as a peer tutor for new exchange students. Besides studying, the students want to have some fun. Student parties are a basic part of life. Finnish students are almost famous for their ability to party, but many times foreign students challenge them.
- For example some exchange students have told that after being in Finland, they have got fame as a great partygoer in their home country, Jiri raises a laugh.
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