Embraced by the tranquil nature and kind people
My choice – the University of Oulu
Ha Pham studied Literature for her bachelor's studies. Since graduation, Ha has been working with different groups of students and in diverse educational sectors while always focusing on bringing changes in students' life using the power of language and literature.
After six years of being a Literature teacher in Vietnam, Ha realised that she needed more knowledge and experience in education at an advanced level.
"The first country I thought about for a master's degree was Finland, a well-known country for quality education worldwide."
"I wanted to find "my university", where I have a sense of belonging. My friends who have been studying at the University of Oulu told me that the university is well-known for student-friendliness and the services for international students," Ha further comments.
In the application process, Ha was impressed by the speed of the documentation process and the friendly interview atmosphere. "Those are elements that helped me make my decision quickly while I received four other offers from different universities for the master's programme at the same time in 2020."
Systematic viewpoint on education
"I acknowledged that only literature expertise and curriculum skill are insufficient for operating educational groups and organisations. I came to Finland with ambitious goals of achieving a more systematic viewpoint of education in the relationship with culture, society, and technology", Ha explains. Therefore, Ha chose the master's degree in Learning, Education, and Technology to dive deeper into the subject.
According to Ha, the programme Learning, Education and Technology (LET) is uniquely based on three main reasons:
- LET programme teaches students fundamental concepts (how we learn), and emerging concepts (technologies) simultaneously.
- LET programme connects students with working life, and they have opportunities to work with clients.
- Most classmates have diverse backgrounds, from engineering to teaching, finance, project management, and psychology. It allows you to learn from smart people.
Ha studied 100% online during her first year of studies. She learned how to cope with unfortunate and uncertain situations. That is the attitude toward education that she wanted since the education systems need educators who are not easily giving up.
"Despite the points, I motivated myself to keep going and ‘make lemonade’ from the pandemic. After one year, I exceeded 30 credits compared to the minimum required number of credits and got to know a lot of new educational concepts as well as new interesting friends and lecturers," Ha further mentions.
Fell in love with Finland at first sight
The place Ha calls home is Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest city in Vietnam. "It is a multicultural, bustling, and dynamic city while still very calm and relaxing. I love it, and I am a city girl."
When Ha first arrived at the Helsinki airport, the only difference she noticed was that pets were everywhere; people travel with pets, and pets are treated like humans in public spaces. "I am a huge fan of pets and animals, especially cats, so I loved Finland at first sight."
"Finland never disappoints me. I feel embraced all the time by the tranquil nature and kind people. I love the quiet and balanced atmosphere."
Ha moved to Finland after one year of distance studies. Upon arrival, she explored the city and the country to the fullest. "Some of my memorable experiences are being an ambassador of the University of Oulu, a well-being tutor of OYY (student union of the University of Oulu), and a university representative in a study fair by Study in Europe. Moreover, I found an extra job in the humanities field in Oulu. Thanks to that, I feel more connected with local people and to be more independent in terms of finance", Ha explains.
"Wherever I go after graduation, I am sure I have exciting stories to tell my students in the future about my life and my studies in Finland. I never regret what I have been doing here and the people I have met. I cherish all these opportunities", Ha comments.
"Oulu is a perfect city for studying, not too crowded or not too quiet. Clean, organised, and beautiful city. It is not very bustling like southern cities, but you can still find good opportunities here."
As an ambitious educator who aims for sustainability in education, Ha wants to complete her master's thesis with a good grade and graduate in time. After that, she wants to continue being a teacher because she loves teaching.