People around me helped me to settle in and get things rolling

My name is Hong, which means “pink” or “rose” in my language. I am studying in the Master’s degree programme in Financial and Management Accounting at Oulu Business School.

I moved to Oulu just this autumn. The people are what I have become to like the most: I have been able to feel at home in a new surrounding thanks to many people around me.

When I first arrived, I was worried about many details of my everyday life: living costs, studies, being homesick. I worked hard to stay motivated and felt that I needed to control my feelings, trying to hide emotions and acting as if everything was fine.  

After the first two weeks of studies, I could see a big gap that between myself and other students: They could see what I could not, they seem to work more efficiently and they were active during the class. I always kept silent and stuck to the books. Back at home or in the library, sometimes, I kept thinking about the discussions I did not understand or jokes I did not get.

Then, along came the first exam with the first group assignment deadline. The study methods I was used to did not work, and I felt I could not cope with the deadline. Luckily, I had two great team members. They helped me out, gave me some helpful tips, and I was given some extra time to complete my part. Things began to roll.

My kummi student (student tutor), the first person I met in Oulu, has also helped me a lot with settling in with my new life in Oulu.

I applied to participate in the Kummi Family Programme and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. As I met with my Kummi family for the first time, they were super nice to me. I felt as if they were my real relatives. Their words have encouraged me a lot and they have helped me cope with being homesick.  

I have been helped by strangers when I got lost and in the supermarket as I had no idea what to pick, when I carried too may bags of groceries and could not open the door, and dozens of other times. I have become more confident, more positive and worry less. I know there is always a way to get things done and if I have troubles, there is always someone willing to listen to me and help me.

So, my studies were quite challenging to me in the beginning. Case studies, group assignments or self-study were all new study forms to me. I feel my learning skills, as well as my time management skills have improved. I have gained friends. My teachers are more than great, I can see how hard they work and they have excellent pedagogic skills.

The Linnanmaa campus is more than I expected. It is huge and modern, and I felt it was like a wonderland where you can do anything. My favourite places include the Pegasus library, where I go to borrow books, for self-study and group work. Then there is Tellus Innovation Arena with many activities and events, not to mention that you can take a nap in the Nest. Then there is that one place close to the library with pianos that students can use freely; I just love that and often, after a long day at school, I go to practice before heading home.

I am planning to utilize my time in Oulu to learn and experience as much as I can. This is a great opportunity for me to learn hard skills but also soft skills, and to understand more about myself, my values and my passions. I am going to focus on my studies, and yet remember to enjoy my life with friends and my kummi family. During the summer, I am planning to find an internship and do a lot of reading to prepare for my master's thesis. My second year in the university will be the time for me to complete all the courses, may be retake some in case I would need or want to get a better grade. I am also planning to travel to some other countries around Europe with my family.

After graduation, I want to work as an auditor. When the time comes and with enough experience, I see myself becoming a CFO of a company. Now, in the first year of my studies, this seems more like a dream and far away, but that is what I strive to achieve.

Last updated: 9.11.2018