Mikhail Timofeev, or Mikko as his friends call him, is an 18-year-old information technology student from Russia. Mikko moved to Mikkeli from Moscow straight after high school. He is currently living in a MOAS student flat with his girlfriend.

Hackathon organised by NASA

– I really like Finland and I was searching online for a nice university to study IT at. Mikko did his entrance exam in Russia, found it pretty easy and passed.

Xamk offers the possibility to take courses not directly related to your specialisation or degree programme.
– I have chosen to do several courses and one of them is game programming.

Besides normal studies, Mikko has also participated in a hackathon organised by NASA.
– We did the most amazing app. You can’t even imagine. In the app you choose between random pictures of clouds that are taken from space. The one that gets the most votes gets shown on our website.

Remember to be tolerant

When asked what the biggest cultural and economic differences are, Mikko is able to find a few points to share with us.
– It is important to know that you live in a multicultural environment and you need to consider people from different cultures. You just need to be tolerant and obey the rules. Basically that’s it.
– Finnish people are also really close to nature and they respect the privacy of others. Finns don’t visit each other unannounced and a Finnish person does not talk to a stranger unless they really need to. Mikko says that the price of living in Mikkeli is comparable to that of Russia.

No need to exaggerate

Even though Finland is known for its nature and wildlife, there is no need to bring things usually brought on hikes or camping with you.
– When I came here the first time, I brought a mosquito spray with me but I didn’t really need it because there aren’t that many mosquitos. Maybe only in the middle of summer.
When asked what to bring Mikko adds.
– Just pack with you all the ordinary stuff and some warm clothes because winter is severe.

Feeling home sick?

Mikko has high praises for Finns and Finland in general. He loves the Finnish nature and the pollution-free environment that Mikkeli has to offer. He has managed to make a lot of friends at school. Some of whom are Russian as well.
– There are a lot of Russian students at Xamk, so I don’t really miss Russian people. I can always visit them, party and do crazy stuff.

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