Students’ stories: “I enjoy studying in an international group”

​Monika Pohl, a student in the Degree Programme in Business Management taught in English, arrived in Finland in 2011 to work as an au pair.

- My father had studied Finnish at university and that’s how I also became interested in the language, Monika says.
- I visited my father’s friends in Kokkola with my family and I decided then that I wanted to come to Finland.

Monika finds the application process to Finnish higher education institutions easy. She applied to a total of five Bachelor’s programmes taught in English in the metropolitan area.

- I got an invitation to more than one entrance exam, and they were all on the same week, which was very convenient, she says thinking back to that time.

In the end Pohl got a study place at Laurea and started her studies at the Leppävaara campus. Before coming to Finland, she had also studied Business Management at a university of applied sciences in Germany, her home country.

“Very practical education”

According to Monika Pohl, the practical and project-oriented studying at Laurea is very different from the studying at German universities of applied sciences. Whereas very few courses at Laurea end in an exam, in Germany students had exam weeks and hundreds of pages of material to read for the exams.

Monika Pohl’s group in the Degree Programme in Business Management was very international. A third of the students were from Finland and the rest from different parts of the world. According to Monika, the diverse group soon found a common working culture.

- And it’s good that there are also some Finnish students in the group, Monika says.
- They are a big help with the language as well as with many practical things.

An especially rewarding study entity in Monika’s opinion was the Service Innovation and Design study unit implemented in the autumn. This study unit was a compulsory part of the studies of all students at the Leppävaara campus.

- It was very interesting to work in a large project with students from degree programmes in other fields and to learn to understand their different points of view on different issues, she describes.

Placements open up opportunities for entering Finnish working life

At the moment Monika Pohl is completing her first placement at Laurea’s international services. Working at the international services has made her realise how much work is done for both departing and arriving students all year round.

- This placement period lasts until March. After that I still have another placement and my thesis to do, Monika explains.
- I would like to find a placement in some international company, for which I could also write my thesis. That way I might be able to get my foot in the door when it comes to finding work.

Monika has a Finnish boyfriend and she is planning to stay in Finland when she graduates. She speaks English with her boyfriend, but she can also manage simple discussions in Finnish.

- It is quite possible for a foreigner to also learn Finnish. I know some students who have been able to participate in courses taught in Finnish after having lived in Finland for two or three years, she says as an encouragement.

Application period for Degree programmes taught in English from january 8th until January 27th. Learn more about the Bachelor's programmes in English here.

Modified 1/13/2016 3:51 PM

​Monika Pohl.