I enjoy the learning atmosphere here the most. Students are encouraged to ask questions during lectures. There is no distance between teachers and students. Teachers are very friendly and helpful. It is common to address them by names instead of titles.
Financial courses are oriented towards practice. I like the Portfolio Management course where we form a group, choose strategy, build our own portfolio and perform trading on a stock market simulation game. Group work, discussions, and presentations are required in many courses. I enjoyed the Portfolio Performance Analysis course very much because a state pension fund manager was invited to give a lecture to us. We had so many interesting questions and discussions regarding how a portfolio is constructed and evaluated by the fund. In addition it is rather easy and quick to get help from staff. For example I often come to discuss or get advices from my very nice coordinator. I feel that this university is a cooperating and encouraging learning environment.
This is a well-equipped university. Computer labs have many fast processing computers with large screens. Libraries are updated with all books, articles, and newspapers. They are very well-designed for different purposes such as for quite study, group discussion, and presentations. One great thing is I did not have to buy text books at all during the two years study here because I borrowed from libraries. Student office and housing organization have made my student life much easier. Any reported problems are responded very quickly by them. My rent is very reasonable (under 200 euros) and only 5 minutes walking to university, 15 minutes by bus to city center.
There are many interesting and meaningful programs held by the university. For example in the mentoring program, I could connect to a professional in my field, a banking manager, and get consulted about my career. The kummi family program brings me a Finnish family, whom I consider as my second home. In summer we go to their cottage next to Oulu River and pick up berries in the forests. Last summer there was so many berries that we got a full basket each in only 2 hours. When we came home my teeth and hands were all black because of the blueberry’s color. In winter we go skiing and ice-fishing. That was the first time in my life to ski over 2 km to the place where my kummi father set the fish traps. I remember how excited I and my kummi mother were to count the number of fish caught in each net. After the sauna in the afternoon we had delicious smoked fish for the dinner. These activities give me a real taste of Finnish culture.
I like Oulu very much because it is a green, high-tech city. It is easier to find a forest, a lake, or a river here than anywhere else I have been to. Oulu has very good bicycle routes. I often cycle to city center in summer watching green grass, flowers and trees along two sides of the roads. In the city center and train I get free access to Wi-Fi. If I lose stuff, quite often I will find them again. One time I dropped my key on street, and 30 minutes later a girl followed the address attached to the key and brought it to my apartment. Bad news is winter can be long and cold in Oulu. However, on the bright side it is a great time to focus on my study :)
In final word, Oulu University is an excellent place to study and experience an exotic land. I am happy that I made the right choice of coming here.
Nguyen Kim Lien
MF Student, 2011-2013
Last updated: 26.1.2015