I am Henry Obinomen and I am studying in the Master’s degree programme in Marketing at Oulu Business School.
Studies at Oulu Business School are based on reflective and incremental learning that allows me to develop fresh ideas after each class. Interestingly, most of my courses are directed at simulating actual work experiences. For example, in Selling and Sales Management, we have lecturers that practiced sales and selling at the highest level before coming to the classroom (and still consult for some reputable organisations). From them, you do not just learn the theories of Sales and Selling but draw from the wealth of their practical experiences. Beyond lectures, we do actual sales practices to hone our selling skills.
The teachers do not try to push information ‘down your throat’ but help to raise ideas by asking questions that will make the class think. One is not afraid to raise a new line of idea or disagree with the tutor’s opinion. I am loving it.
In a month since arriving in Oulu, I have made more new friends from diverse countries and backgrounds than I in my entire life. That is because of the international classroom and the multicultural university. The only continent I have not made a new friend from since my arrival is Australia - may be if I look closely enough I could find one.
I like walking through the beautiful woods in the city and learning the Finnish language (the language is both interesting and challenging). Communities are separated from one another by trees and woods. Though I do not have fishing skills, I visit the lakeside to watch others fish for fun. I should try fishing pretty soon!
I had some modest expectations and concerns before my arrival in Oulu. I think that is usual for anyone moving into a new country. The city is much more fascinating than I had imagined with well-planned streets, roads and a good transportation system. In addition, if you like the woods like I do, happy you are. The city of Oulu is in every way different from the cities in Nigeria. Nigerian cities are warm and very busy without care for nature unlike Oulu that is calm, relaxing and natural.
I could not sleep until midnight during my first two weeks here as the night fell at about 9 pm. I was concerned about the language barrier and communication. Well, Finns speak English. I feel I have adjusted fully although I am waiting to see what the winter holds for me.
I study at the Linnanmaa campus of the university. It is a beautiful campus with great educational facilities. My first impression about the campus was ‘What a place to study’ because of it neatness and well laid-out design. The library is well equipped with books, journals, articles; It took me about ten minutes or less to book and collect my library card. When I am less busy on campus, I visit the Tellus Innovation Arena for relaxation. When serious with some assignments, Agora is my go-to place, lovely and serene.
What more do I expect from Oulu? I thought that I was coming here to acquire the usual education as it is obtainable in most African countries. I was wrong! I am not acquiring education but being trained. While having my eyes on my studies, I will explore the lakes (I want to walk on a frozen lake), woods, make more friends, learn about the history of Oulu and try the Finnish cuisine.
Last updated: 11.11.2018