Last modified 15.3.2011 at 13:24
Big city girl, small town dreams
Text and photo: Jussi Kotila
Oulu is the sixth biggest city in Finland. Compared to metropolises though, it is more like a village. Yini Wang came to Oulu to study in Oulu University of Applied Sciences from Jinan, China. The city is more populated than the entire Finland. The former metropolitan enjoys the peaceful life here in Northern Finland.
Yini Wang began her studies of Business Information Technology in Oulu UAS last autumn. She got the idea of studying in Finland from her father. He had heard about the effective Finnish educational system and its success in international evaluations.
Yini thought that studying abroad could be a great boost for her career.
– In China, the competition is really intense in universities because of the huge population. It is very hard to stand out from the crowd. An international diploma and practical training will help me in getting the job I want.
Help from peers
In order to minimize the culture shock, Yini searched for information on Finland from the Internet before leaving China.
– I found a web community of Chinese people living in Finland. It was a great help for me. I even found a guy who used to study in Oulu UAS. When I arrived to Oulu, he helped me out here.
Yini says that settling in Oulu was quite easy for her. She finds Finns a bit shy but still helpful.
– People speak English in offices and public services, so I had no problems with the paperwork. If I have trouble at school, my classmates and tutors are there to help me out. Even if I get lost in the city, I can ask for help from passers-by.
– The lack of people here really raised my eyebrows. Even the streets downtown can be very quiet.
Empty streets and closed stores
Even though Yini had searched for information on Finland beforehand, there still were some surprises for her.
– The lack of people here really raised my eyebrows. Even the streets downtown can be very quiet. In clothing stores I can try on clothes without queuing up for the fitting room. For me this is unusual.
Yini also says that sometimes she finds herself in surprising everyday situations. For example, the fact that most of the shops here are closed on holidays is totally different compared to China.
– For example, once I was going to the local grocery store, but it was closed. I knocked on the door and wondered how come it is closed. Later, I was told that it was some holiday, which I had never even heard of, Yini laughs.
Taking it easy
Yini enjoys her time in Oulu. She especially likes the clean environment and the peaceful Finnish lifestyle.
– Here everything is not so hectic. In Jinan, people are always in a hurry and their working time can be as much as fourteen hours per day. Here in Finland people also have time for themselves, Yini states.
For the future, Yini already has some plans.
– I will try and do my best in practical training. Hopefully, the company wants to hire me after that. Working here in Finland would be nice.