My name is Dmitrii Slepnev, I come from Saint Petersburg, and I am currently studying Information Technology at Xamk, Mikkeli campus. Now, I’m a 3rd-year student here.
What made Finland stand out as your study destination? Why Xamk is so special that you decided to study over here?
– After graduating from school, I’ve been considering various options related to how I will continue my education. The options of going to local universities didn’t seem that interesting to me. I wanted to get some new experience and broaden my horizons. Of course, I also wanted to obtain a degree that would help me in my career path. Then, I started to look at what I can get abroad. Finland is a nice northern country, located close to my hometown.
– The Finnish education system is considered to be one of the best in Europe. I’ve read a lot of feedback from students and decided that I like the Finnish approach to higher education. Finland is also a safe, clean, and welcoming country with amazing nature. After choosing Finland as my study destination, I started to select the university that would fit my requirements. I’ve done thorough research on all universities that offer IT programmes in English. Xamk turned out to be at the top of my list. And that’s how I made my choice.
So what has been the best part in your studies so far?
– I can’t even say which part of my studies was the best – they were all equally good! I like that every semester we have something different and more complicated compared to the previous ones, so you don’t get bored.
What about teaching – tell us little bit about that? What about practical orientation?
– Everybody says that teaching at Xamk is very practical and aims to provide students with skills which they will find useful in their working lives. And this is absolutely true. I’ve never had a thought “Why do we need to study this subject? It’s useless!”. If the programme title at Xamk says IT, then you will study IT. Every teacher tries to add just the necessary theory on their course and make more practical assignments. Though you can always study more on your own. A lot of things depend on the student.
– The teacher is like a guide for the student, you can always ask them anything, but they won’t force you to study. A lot of attention is paid to self-study, but Xamk doesn’t leave you alone– you have all the facilities (even much more than you probably need), support and guidance from teachers. Just come and study.
How does Xamk provide you with support, advice and guidance?
– In Xamk, there are a lot of people who are ready to help you if you need any advice regarding your studies or practical matters of living in Finland. I think that Xamk also supports its students by providing facilities on campus which really deserve to be mentioned. There are a lot of modern, nice and comfortable places for self-study or to do project tasks with your teammates.
Do you think that the programme gives you skills you need in working life?
– I am sure that the IT programme gives me skills which I need in my working life. The IT programme at Xamk is mainly oriented towards networking but you can also study IoT or programming here. If we talk about networking, you will work with real devices which are used in production networks in companies. You’ll do it regularly, at least every week, so by the end of your studies, you will know exactly how to work with network devices and have a lot of hands-on experience.
– As for IoT, everything you need is provided by the university, there are a lot of sensors, microcontrollers, and other components in the classrooms. And for programming, you have a lot of PCs to choose from, as well as big monitors which provide great coding experience.
What motivated you in your studies? Can you give any good tips?
I think that any kind of study is based on pure self-motivation. Nothing can motivate you more than yourself. Just set your goals and go for it.
What kinds of plans do you have in the near future? What are your career plans?
– In the next semester, I will go on a student exchange to Amsterdam to study mobile programming there. That’s another great opportunity offered by Xamk – if you study quite well and you are motivated, you can go abroad for a semester or two and have an even more fascinating experience! Regarding my career plans, I am still thinking. I am planning to obtain a master’s degree first. I am also considering entrepreneurship as a possible career path.
By the way, do you have good advice for applying to Xamk?
– All in all, I absolutely recommend applying to Xamk. You will have an unforgettable experience, and a lot of different roads which you probably didn’t even know about will open up before you. In my opinion, Xamk is the best option among the Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences.
Dmitrii Slepnev, student, Information Technology