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Nursing student Manju: ”Work placements improve Finnish skills a lot”

Student interview with Manju Pandey Neaupane from Nepal, who is studying at Laurea to become a nurse.

What is the greatest challenge international students face when settling down in Finland? It will certainly not come as a surprise that for many, it is the Finnish language. Manju Pandey Neaupane, a nursing student at Laurea, who moved from Nepal to Finland four years, agrees. Although learning the language is a huge effort, Manju still encourages everyone to do it:

- The Finnish language is not rocket science, you will learn it, she says.
- It takes time to learn the language, but you should practice it and use it boldly. You do not always get everything right, but if you are determined and practice every day, you will get more fluent.

Work placements strengthen proficiency and teach about working life

In addition to independent practising, the language course offered by the TE Office and the language studies at Laurea, work placements have in Manju Pandey Neaupane’s opinion played an important role in learning Finnish. When we do this interview, Manju has already completed five of the seven work placements included in the nursing studies.

- Work placements teach a lot about both communication and language. My practical Finnish skills have really improved during work placements, she says.

As a third important thing learned from work placements, Manju brings up learning the Finnish work culture.

- Finnish people are very punctual – and even if they are only 5 minutes late, they let you know about it, Manju describes.
- In health care, I have noticed that recording is very important. That has been something new to me.

Diverse study opportunities at Laurea

Manju Pandey Neaupane started her studies at Laurea in 2021 in the Degree Programme of Nursing taught in English. In addition to Finland, her group has students from other countries, such as Nigeria and India. This has provided the studies with a truly multicultural perspective on nursing and studying it.

- I have enjoyed it at Laurea and the studies have gone really smoothly. The guidance given by the teachers is one thing that I particularly like at Laurea, Manju says.
- The curriculum is also extremely good and diverse. Entrepreneurial studies are a good example. It is wonderful that the nursing studies also open up opportunities for other kinds of work for us students, not just the traditional paid employment.

As a highlight of her studies so far, Manju mentions the project studies based on Laurea’s Learning by Developing model. The project assignment guides to examine the studied topic more comprehensively:

- Studying at Laurea is not just looking things up on Google and copying them. In the projects, we students have to be creative and innovative and find whole new solutions, she says.
- Such projects are really nice and really encouraging for us students as well.

Nurses have many work opportunities

The studies and work placements provide nursing students with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with many areas of nursing. After her graduation, Manju’s goal is to find work in an internal medicine ward. Elderly care is another option, if she already does short-term work alongside her studies now.

When Manju moved to Finland with her husband, she gave a lot of thought to finding employment when considering her field of study. The diverse employment opportunities of nurses made her choose the studies in nursing. The decision proved to be right:

- Working as a nurse in Finland, I won’t need to worry about the future.

Student story: nursing