Solving real business problems while waiting for the first snow

Chathuka Bandara from Sri Lanka has always been looking for international and multicultural experiences and dreamt of studying in Europe. Now he is excited to come to Oulu and about studying in the master’s programme in International Business Management at Oulu Business School: “This experience will definitely be a turning point in my life and career,” he says.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Chathuka had to start his studies remotely: “In the beginning I was a bit worried about that. But my personal tutor and advisors were so positive and made me feel confident about it. They are providing all the help necessary to make my studies easy.” Now Chathuka is looking forward to soon meeting his lecturers and classmates in person.

Until he sees Oulu and Finland with his own eyes, he enjoys the beauty of the nature in pictures. “Initially I had the idea that Finland is a freezing cold place, but my impression was wrong! Finland is a country which has its own natural beauty in every season. I was amazed by its lush forests, hills and the green surroundings.” But Chathuka is also looking forward to his first winter. “I don’t know how I will feel when I see snow for the first time,” he laughs. He is also planning on visiting Santa Claus, hunting northern lights and of course going to sauna to warm up after a day in the snow.

Another thing Chathuka is longing for is the spaciousness of Oulu. “I like my personal space and I have been missing that during the last years in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, where there are always people around you. I feel like in Oulu I will be able to focus on studying while having a social life.”

At university he is impressed by the innovative and modern approaches to learning. “What I like most about this program is that it gives us the opportunity to reflect our ideas using the theories. In the courses we get to face real business problems and to find solutions. The lecturers are super cool, and they always offer us help when we need to improve somewhere.”  

Chathuka feels like this atmosphere will give him the chance to focus on the real world and absorb knowledge rather than focussing on grades. He is impressed by the way teachers make the online learning interesting and possible. “For example, I was wondering how I could learn Finnish without hearing and seeing it in my daily life. But the lessons are full of innovative and fun ways to learn, for example with games and other resources.”



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At the time of the interview this student resided in their home country and had not yet been to Oulu due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The interviews took place during the autumn semester 2020, when studies were mostly online.

Last updated: 3.12.2020