Jianwen Xu takes advantage of the global approach in his studies

“I want to work in a global environment, so why not start with a global learning environment?” asks Jianwen Xu, a Chinese student enrolled in Software System Service Development in Global Environment Master’s programme at the University of Oulu.

Jianwen says that his biggest motivation in choosing this programme was precisely the promise of cross-cultural communication.

“It’s not only about knowing the differences between cultures but also keeping myself curious and modest. For me, these gains are something that will benefit me for a lifetime,” Jianwen says.

Of course, Jianwen also had professional motives in applying for his Master’s programme. Jianwen is in his early thirties and has worked for many years after getting his Bachelor’s degree. For eight years, he had a software engineering job in the IT industry, and specifically working for an airline in China. His main responsibility was developing aircraft maintenance software. After what is a rather long work experience already, Jianwen says that he still met some classmates here in Oulu who have more experience in the IT industry than he does.

Jianwen is adapting to life in Finland well. This is his first time living abroad, even though he has travelled in Asia. Jianwen came to Oulu with his wife in August and found that strangers are willing to help with everyday things.

“We went to the supermarket to buy groceries and a stranger asked me if I found everything I wanted, because everything is in Finnish. It was very friendly,” Jianwen says.

As far as his studies, Jianwen is also adapting to a different learning environment in Finland than what he was used to in China.

“In my experience, studying in China is a lot about written examinations. In Oulu, I have kept learning diaries, done group exercises, taken online quizzes and so on. I feel these assessment methods record and reflect the true self of the student. The emphasis here is more on the process of exploration,” Jianwen muses.

One of the things that concerned Jianwen beforehand was having to communicate in English, which is why he was apprehensive about joining the UniOulu Ambassador programme at first.

“After studying English in China, I was good at reading and understanding English, but not so good at speaking because I didn’t have to use it in my environment. So, I was nervous to speak it.  But fortunately, I did join the programme. And it has been a really good experience to get to know these guys,” Jianwen says about his fellow ambassadors.

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Last updated: 12.6.2020