Student Story - Phuong Nong
Home country: Vietnam
What are you currently doing: second year student in International Business
How did you find out about TAMK and what made you choose it for your studies?
When considering studying in Finland, I actually had a hard time choosing which university of applied sciences (UAS) would suit me the most, since I had heard the quality is pretty equal among them. Thus the most important point is to choose which major you want to study and in which city you want to live. To be honest, at first, the major I was most interested in was tourism, hotel and hospitality, but I soon found out that there were not so many choices since just a very few Finnish UAS offered the major. And I was so thrilled to find out that TAMK's International Business degree programme offers the Tourism path in the second year and also gives an opportunity for students to take a double degree in Tourism with Salford Business School in the UK. After that, I had a very clear vision of my school and how I was going to arrange my study there. I spent most of my time studying about Tampere and TAMK, and became totally confident that the city and the school suit me the best.
To say more about my major, International Business with the Tourism specialization, I have to add that I already graduated from a university in Vietnam with a major in International Relations, where I studied about the world's history and the relationship between nations, international politics and how nations are dependent on each other. Based on that background, I wanted to learn more about doing business, something very practical and crucial for the young people nowadays. I have a dream of making Vietnam and its tourism more popular and well-known globally, so that many international tourists will consider Vietnam as a promising destination for their trips. That is basically the reason why I choose this major, this path and this school were my top choice.
What did you like most about Tampere and Finland?
I always find it hard to explain why I like something because if I like it, I just adore everything about it. And this feeling is also true for Tampere and Finland. However, I can list here some of my best impressions about Tampere and Finland. First of all, there are just so many students and young people here in Tampere.
Moreover, Tampere is simply the best city in Finland and most suitable for me. It is not too noisy and bustling like Helsinki, which I believe is also a wonderful city but too much for an introvert like me. It is not too quiet and deserted either. I can find lively parties and gatherings, yet also some quiet and calming time of walking through the forest and around the lake, easing my mind and soul.
Other thing is that I adore the people here. Before coming here, I heard Finnish people were quiet and distant, but I was surprised and excited to find them in reality very friendly and hospitable and honest. I have received a lot of help from my Finnish friends and schoolmates. I enjoy walking into smiley elderly people who speak delightfully Finnish with me though I don't understand it.
Also, it might sound weird but I love the winter here. I love the cold and the freezing outdoor sensation. I love the snow and the white surroundings. I love to dress warm though I look like a penguin and see others looking like penguins too.
In what ways have your studies contributed to your professional and personal life?
At TAMK, I have been studying very practical and real life related subjects. The theoretical background here is quite basic, focusing on the most important issues which could be applied in reality. However, the best things I have learned at TAMK are teamwork and presentation skills. There is literally teamwork in every course; therefore, I can hone my skills in cooperating with other people, distributing tasks and dealing with possible problems. I also do a lot of presentations in English.
How has TAMK supported your needs as a student?
TAMK teachers and peer tutors have been a big help for me and my classmates. The teachers here, unlike teachers in Vietnam, are very friendly and thoughtful. There are more like friends to students, who are willing to help and support us in studying and other school related issues, by answering questions and inquiries. Our peer tutors have been supporting us, the international students from the very first day at school, not only in studying, but also in adjusting and adapting to our new lives in Finland. Moreover, the Social Counsellor, Mirja Onduso, has been helping us a lot: she picked us up from the airport, arranging transportation when we needed to move, providing us with furniture if needed, and inviting us to other very exciting activities and visits. All in all, I really appreciate all the support I have been receiving so far and I'm always surprised and awed by it.
What would you say to anyone considering studying at TAMK?
Just do it. TAMK has so much to offer you, regardless what you are looking for. I am confident to say you will be satisfied and grateful as I am with all the experiences you get from TAMK, Tampere and Finland. They will become ones of the loveliest memories in your life after graduating.
This story was written in December 2016.