Student story - Erica Williams
Home country: South Africa
What are you currently doing: Studying Nursing
How did you find out about TAMK and what made you choose it for your studies?
I found out about TAMK online. I was living in South Africa at the time. I was looking to study in Europe, in English. I applied because they had an English degree programme in Nursing. The entrance exam did not require studying a book, which I would not be able to get.
What did you like most about Tampere and Finland?
Finland is a beautiful country. It is not always easy, but it is beautiful. It is also safe. Tampere is a student friendly city; there are often things going on, like music events and festivals. It is also very close to the forest which is lovely all year round.
In what ways have your studies contributed to your professional and personal life?
My studies will give me the opportunity to progress in a field that I find very interesting. I hope they will enable me to work in various countries and learn more every day. These studies are an introduction to nursing; so much is gained on the job that is essential to start with a solid and current background knowledge.
My studies have re-enforced many coping skills and how to make do with what I have.
How has TAMK supported your needs as a student?
When I arrived in Tampere for my studies, the English degree programme had been closed because there were not enough students interested in it. It was a big problem for me. I did have basic Finnish skills, mostly grammar, but it was extremely difficult to get started. On an institutional level, there was very little appropriate support. For example, I did not even know about the international tutors until recently. But the teachers were very helpful and kind. They have a great attitude. I was able to write exams with a dictionary or even in English sometimes.
I was lucky to receive a "tukiseteli" paper (I am dyslexic), which entitles me to extra hours that I can use for exams or extra tuition. As well as this, I was able to carry out many practical training periods abroad through the Erasmus+. It was a wonderful experience which I really enjoyed, and through which I learnt a lot. Lastly, I made good use of the gym facilities available to students.
What would you say to anyone considering studying at TAMK?
I would recommend TAMK for the quality of the teaching and the teacher's attitude. Facilities are also very good. Part of our practical classes takes place at the Faculty of Medicine, where they have great training material. The opportunity to leave on an exchange programme is also a big plus.