Embracing the Unknown

What did I know about Finland before joining the Education and Globalisation master’s degree? Not much. A country of Santa Claus, endless winter, quality education and somehow, the happiest people in the world are pretty much how I could synthesise my knowledge beforehand. So, I decided to embrace the unknown and discover the secrets kept in this far, far away country.
A stream in the middle of green pastures and trees

First impressions

I arrived at the end of August and was definitely not prepared for the 27 celcius degrees that welcomed me. The first weekend here I went to Nallikari beach with a friend and was surprised by the amount of people there. Everyone was trying to soak in all the sunlight possible, knowing that the weather would change very quickly.

Arriving at the end of summer I was able to see how intensely green nature gets with the hot weather. The city stunned me, water everywhere, bridges and bike paths.

I was afraid of coming into a place of “nothingness”, a small city where not much was going on, but Oulu is clearly not like that. It is full of life, there are many different summer events and “pop-ups” where you can take part in. I was lucky enough to experience the Air Guitar Word Championships f- - yes, it’s a real thing! If you read that Finnish people are quite introverted and silent, well let me tell you that this event makes it possible for you to see their “true colours”.

Diving into my studies

Before coming to Oulu, I dealt with contradictory feelings; being excited for the programme for studying again and in a totally different environment but at the same time, being nervous about how difficult it could be. Even though I was a good student in my bachelor’s programme, I was very insecure about my capacity to study a master’s programme abroad, especially in such a well-renowned country as Finland. So, I embraced my fears and insecurities and made the decision to come here anyway. And for the month and a half that I’ve been here, I can surely say it has been worth it.

The Education and Globalisation programme this year has only seven students. Being such a small group has had many benefits. Firstly, we are very close to each other, and it makes you feel like you have a family to which you belong and that they are here for you.

Also, here in Finland, there is not much of a hierarchy between the teachers and students, so the relationship with our professors is more horizontal and that makes the courses more personal, and we get to have more enrichened discussions.

The beginning of my studies here has gone much more smoothly than I thought it would. Although all the submissions that we have to make such as essays, presentations, and literature reviews are expected to be high quality, the difference from my past experience is that the teachers here tell us exactly what we are expected to do and then accompany us throughout the whole process. This way, we have the opportunity to actually achieve the goals with the correct mediation.

Moving to another country and starting to study again can be challenging and make you nervous but embracing the unknown and pushing through the fear can be so rewarding. If you believe in yourself and commit to the process, you realize things work out and you’ll probably end up loving the new life. Getting to know the unknown and making part of your own experience.

About the author

Marianne Reuse is from Santiago, Chile. She is currently studying the Education and Globalisation master’s degree programme. She enjoys nature and the biking paths here and trying to adapt for the winter as well. She is glad that there are saunas everywhere.