Survival tips

Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:20

Tutor is exchange student’s best friend

Text and photos: Susanna Siironen

Tutors are exchange students’ guides for a new country and culture. They are like guardian angels who know where the best parties are. So you can relax because you are in good hands.

	Exchange student's life is not just partying.

Exchange student's life is not just partying. "My friends do not believe that I am really studying, so I think I should take pictures like here I am with my teacher", Hendrik jokes.

Jelmer Ahse and Hendrik Breimer came from Holland to Finland in early September. Their tutors Heikki Hellgren and Antti Karjaluoto met them at the airport. So from the first step on Finnish ground they have been in good hands. Oulu UAS trains senior students to be tutors of the new exchange students. A tutor for example helps a new student to get to know the city. A senior student can tell you where you can find the cheapest food and where are the best parties.

Boys are sitting around the table and chatting like they have known each other forever. All the boys are studying in the School of Engineering. Jelmer and Hendrik tell that Heikki and Antti have taken good care of them.

- One morning I called Heikki eight o’clock because I needed a doctor. He could not make it right then, but he helped me and explained where to go, Hendrik says.
- And when I go to sleep, I call Antti and he sings me a lullaby on the phone, Jelmer jokes.

It started from Otokylä

Antti and Heikki act first time as tutors. They have both lived in Otokylä which is Oulu UAS hall of residence; there they spend their free time with exchange students, so it was natural for the boys to start being tutors. The boys think that it is pretty easy to be a tutor.

- You just need to have motivation and some free time to pick up people from the airport Heikki laughs.

Being a tutor for foreign students can sound very demanding. Jelmer and Hendrik think that Finnish people are a little bit shy of speaking English.

- I think that it is a bit scary. I could imagine that. Lots of Finnish people seem to be like I-don’t-know-these-guys-so-I-better–go-to–talk-to-my–Finnish-friends, Jelmer says.
Hendrik, Heikki, Antti and Jelmer enjoy their common time. Boys tell that tutors have been helping them a lot.

Hendrik, Heikki, Antti and Jelmer enjoy their common time. Boys tell that tutors have been helping them a lot.

Contacts and parties

If being a tutor takes something it also gives very much.

- We have got lots of new contacts and friends, Heikki says.
- It is very different to spend time with foreign people than just Finns, Antti adds. The boys also remember the importance of partying.
- Tutors arrange different kind of parties, for example sauna nights, Hendrik tells.
- Tutoring gives these guys a lot more birthdays to celebrate. So, it means more excuses to party, Jelmer laughs.

Life is not just parties and tutors arrange also more chastening activities.

- The boys arranged a soccer tournament for us and we actually won, Hendrik remembers.

Hendrik was also invited to the trip to Luleå in Sweden. Unfortunately he could not make it.

All boys have nice memories from their common time. The best can still be ahead.

- I think we are going to make the best memories when there is minus twenty outside and you run from sauna to a snowdrift, Antti thinks.
- But I do not need that kind of trauma, Hendrik opposes with laughter.

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You can find specific information and how to apply from the Studies and Applying section of Oulu UAS website.