A little history of me. My name is Xuan, but I prefer Swan, and my hometown is Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam. I was a sophomore in Hanoi University, specialized in French major. Although I love studying languages and learning new cultures, I felt like something was missing so I decided to step out of my comfort zone. In the meantime, one of my best friends was recommending Finland and I thought “why not? I’ve been living here for 17 years of my life; a change would be fascinating”. Also, I was raised in a family that generation and generation would work in the banking industry but I was never that kid who wanted to sit there and do what I’m told.
After many discussions and arguments, my parents had come to a decision that eventhough I will forever be their little girl but I am a daughter with a voice of my own and whenever I’m determine in doing something, they can only support, watch me experience and learn from my mistakes. And so, with all the support and the trust I earned from my parents, I got to where I am today.
UAS is a good place for international students
As far as I know, Finland has different education system than my country. It has University and University of Applied Sciences, where one only teaches in Finnish and the other one educates in English. I think UAS is a good place for international students like me, because I get to improve my English but also have the chance to Finnish too. The name “University of Applied Sciences” is pretty self-explanatory, unlike other countries, I feel like learning from the doing process is the best method of studying for me. You need to be able to apply your knowledge at school into real life so that you see the importance of study.
As for Xamk, after a year of being here, I feel like studying here is mostly independent, which teaches students to be active, you need to exploit more than just what the lecturers told you in classes to have a more in-depth understanding of what you’re studying.
Teachers always welcome students to make questions and they also open to help guide students, give feedbacks very honestly and straightforwardly!
Here in Xamk students are taught about teamwork by working in teams, through this, us students will learn some lessons for ourselves of how to work with and without a team, how to adapt to a multi-national environment. I think that this fits my personalities a lot.
I don’t take no for an answer and i say yes to all adventures!
I think everyone should give International Business a try, you don’t have to study a related degree in order to understand what they are teaching here, I was a French-major student, I didn’t know anything about Business but I still find it interesting. Or for someone who is fond of Marketing or Trade or both. Or anyone who is looking for a new field to invest their time and effort in. You never know what is about to come.
One of my philosophies is I don’t take no for an answer and say yes to all adventures. Besides, the fact that I am one of the Brand Ambassadors is also helping me apply what I learn from school to reality, at the same time, by doing this, I’ve grown as a person and as a learner too. It’s a win-win situation. What could possibly better?
In Kouvola I have everything I need
Kouvola is a pretty peaceful city, very different from my hometown. I must say it’s quite interesting since I come from a different culture. Everything I need can be in the city center and the bus can take me there for 5 to 10 minutes, in the morning I don’t have to worry about going to school late cause the bus take me straight from where I live to school. So convenient! Fresh air is a plus for a walk outside or just looking at how beautiful are the sky’s colors.
There’s a co-working space that I used to come around with my colleagues to work. There are plenty of places that you can shop. I mean except from the fact that I live far from my family then I have everything that I need here, a peaceful city, friends who live nearby that are always ready for a girls-night-out or board games. I couldn’t ask for more.
I have participated in a few projects around Xamk. The very first one should be the one where we create Marketing contents for Xamk, the photoshoot for International business (IB) -program then the video introducing Kouvola campus on Xamk website and on YouTube. I had so much fun shooting and filming with students from different countries, different classes and even teachers, it helped me express myself more, my speaking in front of the camera was improve more by the feedbacks from teachers and my friends.
The second project is the on-going one right now, being a Brand Ambassador for IB program and to be honest, I was nervous when I was asked to be a representative of the program because I haven’t done this before, I was an organizer, a host, a manager and a member of the Student Union before, but Brand Ambassador sounds like a fantasy that I never dreamt about. And have they been useful so far? 100% yes! I was never trained in courses about how to organize a show, how to manage a back-stage team or how to host a show and especially I was never trained to be a Brand Ambassador. Every bit of experience is me, learning by doing all of this, I think that it supports my study a lot, and it brings me many opportunities to work with new people, to constantly come up with new ideas, to be consistent in what I’m doing.
Another exciting project was the Start Up Passion program, I went through this program with two different teams, I learn more about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, I learn about passion and being passionate. I met so many people, young talents, wild spirits, I was so inspired being with them. There were no teachers and students, there were mentors and teams, we help and we listen to each other, in just a few days of each step of the program, we bonded and became friends. At the end of the program, I think I am a better version of me, I now present better in front of a crowd, I know how to manage my tasks and organize my job, know what to prioritize and I know I need to keep being passionate about what I do.
And the list goes on, I was chosen to be a team of the Communication team for the SHIP Disruption Camp. I spent two weeks in Kotka with complete strangers, wild ones then ended up being good friends and my free spirits intertwined with them, we made such a great media team and a greater partying team! (I made the whole team and my cabin listened to “Despacito” for two weeks straight, yup every single day for two weeks).
Because my team had a different task to work on, so we had the perks of working in a different place, more private and of course louder music! Our job was to create marketing content for the Disruption Camp next year, we always working on the images, filming and stretching idea of how to tell a story in a three-minute video, we wrote articles about the speakers, the mentors, the experience at SHIP Disruption Camp.
At the end of the camp, my writing skill was improved, my photography skill was better, I learned how to communicate better!
I got the chance to show friends at Xamk, friends at home and my family of the good work that my team and I had accomplished. Thanks to the Camp and my Communication team, I am now a better communicator and I can’t wait to show it to become a better Brand Ambassador.
International, practical, independent
The best things in my studies at Xamk… I have to say, it’s international, practical, independent. I was always dreamt of an atmosphere that I can speak freely, express my opinions, make mistakes even; because what’s important is that you dare to accept challenges and make a change in yourself and in others. I have my good friends here who always take care of me and the teachers who are always ready to help out with my studies. I have the chance to study in a quality facility with modern equipment, very ideal study environment!
But along with that, time managing is my problem because sometimes deadlines are close to each other and I am a perfectionist so it is quite difficult for me to manage the time because I want to do my best and concentrate on every assignment. And I’m also quite spontaneous, multitasking can be my advantage but can also be my shortcoming because sometimes when I am writing an essay and suddenly an idea I have for this topic can be applied to another task then I could end up forgetting the structure of work or mess up the order between tasks. So I guess the real problem comes from me mostly!
I want to participate in more projects that related to communication, marketing, entrepreneurship, etc. I want to study Communication after I finish my IB degree, I would want a Master too, I’m not planning on moving back home anytime soon. I want to see the world more. Of course, I will do my best as a Brand Ambassador. I will continue enriching my knowledge because I’m not only studying, I’m working for a startup to gain more experience about Marketing which is my major at Xamk. Maybe I will become a freelancer, I like to coordinate not following orders, I guess we’ll find out in the future!
I would love to see you at Xamk, I would love to be your friend and help you when you need. Be brave and be ready always for adventures!
I do want to say your future is yours to decide and here at Xamk, our slogan is “All for the future”. I didn’t know anything about Xamk but I ended up loving this place more than I thought. So why don’t you give Xamk a try? You never know what you miss if you don’t try it.