Living and Studying in Finland

Via Joy, Hycon and Ivy are first year students in the field of catering and cooking services at Vamia. Hycon and Via Joy moved to Finland last fall from the Philippines, and Ivy, originally from Vietnam, moved to Vaasa last year May after living a few years elsewhere in Finland.

What were some of the first impressions you had when moving to Finland?

I come from a densely populated country, so compared to that Finland is very calm and quiet. You also feel safe in Finland, and you can go outside even later in the evening and have fun without being afraid, says Hycon.

Finnish people are quiet, but I fell in love with this characteristic because I am also quiet myself. I was also impressed by the Finnish nature, it is just beautiful and gorgeus! adds Ivy.

Oh, one thing that also shocked me at first was the fact that you can drink water straight from the tap!, says Via Joy and they all have to laugh and agree.

Some things can seem a bit complicated first when moving to a completely new country. For Ivy it was booking a medical appointment before being able to visit a doctor. For Via Joy it took some time to get used to the fixed schedule of public transport.

When it comes to education, it was easy for them to spot some differences between Finland and their home countries. Via Joy mentions that in Philippines the days in high school are longer, lasting sometimes from 7am to 5pm. In Finland the students also seem to have more breaks during the day, not only a lunch break.

In Finland education is free for everybody and there are not big inequalitys between the quality of elementary schools. I also feel that students can use their own voice and they have the freedom to explore, without relying on the teacher too much, adds Ivy.

The relationship between teachers and students has less hierarchy here. You can also call teachers with their first name! It seems to me that at least at Vamia teachers look at students individually. Maybe you could call it a holistic way of teaching? Hycon wonders.

Ivy, Via Joy and Hycon all feel that the most interesting part of their studies has been to practice cooking and serving customers at Silveria:

I expected we would just first study for some time, but actually we got to train cooking and serving for real customers right from the start, says Via Joy.

As an advice for new students, Hycon encourages everyone to follow their own passion.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you will learn everything in time. And if you fail, you can always try again, says Via Joy.

Also, do not be afraid of making mistakes and always ask the teachers when you are in need of help! They won’t judge, Ivy concludes.

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