“Having realized that I want to work in game industry, I started looking for a suitable degree worldwide. I soon found this Xamk degree that is super focused in game design”, Luu Nhi, a first-year B.Sc. student in game design, says.

Having quit school 15 years ago, she worked as a self-learned UI/UX designer for 10 years in her home country Vietnam. For the last three years her employer was a gaming company.

“In this Xamk degree no previous studies are needed. We learn everything from the very basics and studies are most practical. Teachers say that after one year of studies we will be able to develop new games ourselves.”

She finds studying in English a bonus because that way you learn the common language in gaming industry. In her class there are students from the U.S., Russia and Turkey.

“With other students, I share the same interest in gaming. My main hobby is playing games with my classmates. That is a good way to learn more and reflect what we have learnt. We also go to the movies, have saunas by a lake and attend leisure activities.”

Flexibility and choices

Studies are a flexible combination of online and contact studies. Housing is available at reasonable prices in Kouvola and in Lahti where she now lives.

“I now attend contact studies every other week. Studies are intensive and our teachers are most supportive. You have here freedom to study. It is a big bonus for me that I can balance studies and work.”

She thinks that Xamk has a very good support network for students and all staff members are most helpful.

“Because I have previous experience in design, I am curious to learn more about art and game theory. In Vietnam students have to follow fixed study courses which I sometimes do not like. In Finland I have more options to choose from. Xamk teachers are easy to approach anytime. I think having more freedom makes students happier. I also feel that here I get more respect from my teachers and classmates.”

Her expectations have been fulfilled. She found a degree programme that is fun and gives her a possibility to work in Finland as a game designer.

“True thing. Finland is the right country to work in gaming industry as the demand for designers is always high in this industry. Xamk has good contacts with companies and there are career days to meet recruiters in person. One of the coordinators also helps with fixing portfolios. I am very confident that I will find work here and I have already gone to job interviews to top gaming companies.”

Positive cultural shocks

Xamk has tuition fees for non-EU students. Luu Nhi thinks that prices are affordable compared to what you get.

“The tuition fee is only a bit higher than in Vietnam. Living here is cheap, thanks to plentiful of student discounts. Xamk has also a scholarship programme. We get bonuses, for example, for Finnish for foreigners course credits. Studying everyday Finnish is fun and it helps to communicate with local people.”

She loves Finland for its four seasons, nature and love for animals.

“It is great to see dogs travelling on the train. Finns are honest. I once lost my wallet with money and important papers at a bank and they messaged me to come and pick it up. I have lost so many things and always got them back. I have taken lots of pictures of the four seasons. Now I have suggested that I would make introductory videos for promoting Xamk because I just want to do it.”