First Days in EdGlo: What to Expect

My first weeks in Oulu were hectic and exciting. I joined the Education and Globalisation master’s programme a year later than planned due to Covid-19, and I was ready to be around people interested in discussing education 24/7 with me.

The first two weeks of EdGlo

The first two weeks of Education and Globalisation were orientation courses, and our kummis (student tutors) were indispensable. We took tours of the university, tried out the various campus restaurants, and quizzed them on everything from which classes we might take as electives to bus etiquette. Our academic advisor helped us register for classes, taking into consideration past studies and personal interests. The University of Oulu offered online facilities to participate in the orientation, so bigger groups with all the Faculty of Education first-year master’s students took it online.

The demands of moving to a new country slowed me down on that front and allowed me to bond with my classmates outside of the classroom in powerful ways.

Students helping students

Outside of formally scheduled classes, my classmates and I spent most of our time outfitting our apartments and taking care of the logistics of living in Oulu. We all discovered what a small-town feel Oulu could have; I went to get a bus pass with some friends in the city centre and ran into my new Finnish roommate, who helped us figure out how to take a ticket and then went across the street to explore a second-hand store while we waited for our turn!

In EdGlo, we all pitched in to help one another get settled in. Most people moved into their PSOAS apartments on the 1st of September after spending a few days in other accommodation.

I was lucky to find a bed to buy at Toppila-Center, one of the second-hand stores here in Oulu.

I got lucky- the previous tenant was moving out early, so I was able to move into my place a few days early! We helped one another learn where to go to find the necessities; ‘Where did you buy your bed?’ was a common EdGlo conversation starter in our first weeks in Oulu. When I finally got it, I was so excited to share a picture with my family and friends!

Nature and surroundings

We also had the chance to enjoy the end of summer weather in the city in-between organising apartments and attending orientation courses, registrations, and survival Finnish classes. I walked around an island near the Oulu city public library and enjoyed an outdoor art installation there.

The first weeks of EdGlo were hectic and busy, but I was glad to have enough time to get set up in my apartment before classes began in earnest. And the friends that you make while helping one another move furniture across a new city are folks who stick with you!

About the author

Mairead Howley from Minnesota, USA, is currently completing her master's degree in Education and Globalisation. Apart from her studies, she stays busy helping international friends get adjusted to cold winters, cooking and baking, and playing in the Kamariorkesteri (Chamber Orchestra) at the University of Oulu.