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Palestinian students share their first time in Finland and at TAMK

Palestinian students share their first time in Finland and at TAMK

For the very first time, a group of Palestinian students came to Tampere University Applied of Sciences to do their exchange. How do they like TAMK and Tampere? Have they experienced any culture shock? Two of them agreed to share some impressions with us.

Palestinian students, Hani Khamees (left) and Nada al Samman came to Tampere University Applied of Sciences to do their exchange.
Palestinian students, Hani Khamees (left) and Nada al Samman came to Tampere University Applied of Sciences to do their exchange.


"Getting accepted to study one semester at TAMK was such a memorable event in my life!"

Nada Al Samman lives in Ramallah and studies a major of urban studies and spatial practices at Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences at Al-Quds University.

In Tampere, she is expanding her views on the world. She gets to know a unique culture and the great Finnish education system. Nada explores new brilliant ways of planning cities of Finland which could boost her knowledge after she gets her master's degree in the future. She is also taking time to explore the beautiful nature.

– Despite the cold weather, Tampere has a unique atmosphere due to its astonishing clean, green nature, surrounded by many lakes and forests worth exploring.

However, the biggest culture shock so far is not the weather, but going to Kaupinojan sauna and swimming in a frozen lake.

– It makes me wonder why people do that here. A Finnish friend even said that some people don't even to go into the hot sauna before or after swimming. That's crazy!

Nada adds that she will never forget the students' union Tamko which cares about student life and entertainment and provides many trips, events and parties at student-friendly prices.

Would she like to return to Finland one day?

– I would consider coming here with a scholarship after graduation. Getting accepted to study one semester at TAMK was such a memorable event in my life!

"I came to a beautiful country with good nature."

Hani Khamees had two places of choice for his exchange studies: USA or Finland. He initially got accepted to study in New York, but shortly after, he was told there was a technical error in the system, and his name did not make it to the final list of applicants. As a consequence, he applied to come to Finland and got accepted to study International Business at TAMK.

Hani who studies Economics and Finance back in his home country notes striking differences between the Palestinian educational system and the Finnish one.

– There's no kind of group work at my college; everything is individualistic. Each student works on his projects with no external help. I feel there's less pressure in Finnish education because you can ask your colleagues and friends about the projects you're working. Sometimes they can help or motivate you.

Developing friendships in Finland takes time, and can be challenging to one who comes from a country where conversations often start in the street.

– The Finns seem to be a little bit unsocial. Palestinians are completely different; they're friendly, and you can make friends anywhere. Here is hard to make friends in a short time. But all-in-all, people are polite, nobody bothers you or interferes with your issues. I respect that. Also, I like the equality between genders.

Hani is returning to Palestine at the end of December carrying a memorable experience with him.

– Finland is the first place I have travelled to, and it's been beneficial and useful to me. This experience had a great impact on my mind and life. I came to a beautiful country with good nature.


Text & photos: Andruta Ilie

 

Published 13.12.2017