Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:21
Gothic Nordic countries
Text: Heikki Ylipaavalniemi Photos: Milan Kolarovic
Pi Shangyu or as her friends like to call her, Nancy, came to Finland from China attracted by the Nordic countries and the fascination to gothic music.
Nancy came to Finland in August 2008 to study International Business. She has also done some courses in Business Information Technology and Finnish language. Her major in China was English Language Ecucation but when the opportunity to study business opened, she didn’t hesitate to take it.
Her love for the Nordic countries was the main reason for choosing Finland.
- I have loved the Nordic countries since I was in the junior high school because of the fancy gothic music and beautiful snow. In my hometown, I can hardly see any snow in winter time.
Overcoming the darkness
To many international students the winter time in Finland can be a challenge. The short days and coldness can be depressing in the beginning. To Nancy the quietness and smaller population of Finland compared to China was a cultural shock.
- Honestly, I felt so depressed about the darkness and coldness. But when I finished my Christmas trip through some other European countries, I found myself preferring to stay here much more than I used to.
In comparison to the coldness of Finland’s climate, Nancy has enjoyed the clean environment, high-level of civilization and the public safety.
- One of my friends forgot her cell phone in a public toilet. The next week, she went to the same toilet, and the cell phone was just in the corner of the toilet. That surprises me a lot.
One difference Nancy has paid attention to is the windows in houses. In China people always open their windows towards outside but in Finland the windows are opened inside.
- Maybe there are some culture differences. Finnish people do not want to bother others.
In the weekends Nancy likes to go to bars and play pool with her friends. They also make food from different countries together. One typical Finnish food Nancy has fallen in love with is the Finnish black bread.
Studying with a practical and co-operative touch
Nancy has been in Finland for almost a year now and has a pretty good picture of the differences between the education system of Finland and China. For example the teaching methods are completely different.
- In Finland, we always have a lot of group works, presentations, reports and case studies. It is more practical and co-operative. But we also need to figure out some points by ourselves, meaning that we are more likely to depend on other students than the teacher.
When attending school in the first period, she had trouble getting accustomed to the different approach. Now it’s getting better and she has grown to like the new way.
Nancy describes Finnish students as very nice people who have a lot of personal ideas and thoughts. The teachers have good knowledge of the courses and they are warm and always eager to help.
When asked about why someone should come to study in Finland, Nancy describes it as a beautiful and challenging place to live and study.
- It is a very good chance to know the outside world and international business. Also the most important thing is that it is so safe and people are well-educated here.
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