Yelyzaveta Panchenko escaped the war from Ukraine to Finland 2022. After settling down to Finland she was looking for further study opportunities and found Xamk Pulse studies of Video Games Creation and Finnish language.

Yelyzaveta arrived to Finland from Donetsk, Ukraine with her husband in May 2022.  The front line cut off their region from the rest of Ukraine, so the only way to leave was through Russia. With the help of volunteers Yelyzaveta and the husband managed to get to the Estonian border and took a ferry to Helsinki.

The journey was exhausting and nervous, we were afraid we would have problems on the Russian border as my husband doesn’t have a foreign passport. In Finland we spent a couple of weeks in Helsinki and then were transferred to Hamina, a city which I can call my second home. We lived there about 9 months and met a lot of nice, warm-hearted people. In the spring 2023 we moved to Espoo, because my husband got a job at Nokia.


Before arriving to Finland Yelyzaveta had completed Master’s degree in International Relations and also some courses in graphic design and illustration, but in Finland she wanted to study more. Learning Finnish language is one of the most important things for her at the moment. Yelyzaveta found the course Finnish 2 very useful for further studies and working life. Also the Introduction to Video Games Creation courses gave her good basis for further studies of game design: they helped her try on different roles in the industry and decide what suits her the most.

I recommend the Pulse courses for everyone. The courses are useful for those who are just determined by the direction they are interested in or for those who want to change their profession, or for those who just want to learn something new. Modern rhythm of life pushes us for lifelong learning, there is always room to grow and improve and Xamk provides an excellent opportunity to do this.


Yelyzaveta thinks that studying at Xamk Pulse is easy, because Xamk has well-organized modern educational platform, she always received a quick response on all her questions or problems and the teacher of Finnish was nice and supportive. She liked that in the course of Finnish there were a lot of different activities along with grammar, which allowed to relax a little and increased the interest in learning the language. She also liked that  there was a channel for communication with other students. The students were from all around the world, some of them were Xamk students, some just wanted to learn the language for their everyday life.

I always recommend Open UAS studies for Ukrainians who are interested in studying in Finland. You can gain new experience, improve your skills or get new one, get credits for your further education and benefit your CV.


Yelyzaveta says that Finnish courses would be especially useful for Ukrainians, as this is an acute problem for them – many of them want to learn the language, but there are not enough places in groups, or people live too far from schools and look for online courses, or mothers have no one to leave their children with. In turn, Xamk Pulse offers courses for different levels of Finnish, group sessions are held once a week, for the rest you can decide your own schedule and there are also courses in Russian.

Now Yelyzaveta is studying Finnish and digital art independently and also going to start a course Culture Finland at Xamk Pulse. Yelyzaveta would like to continue her education in the field of game design or media and arts in the future. First she just needs to increase her Finnish level at least to B1. Xamk strengthened her resolve to move forward in this area.

Of course, the only thing I want now is the peace in my country and a safety of my family and friends. I left a lot behind and it’s hard to make long-term plans.


Here you can find all the Pulse courses in English. 

Here you can find more information about Xamk Pulse.