One of the things that has impressed Vietnamese Mai Truong the most in her time in Finland is the learning environment at the University of Oulu. Mai studies in the Learning, Education and Technology Master’s programme, and she says everything is very different from her home country--in a good way.
Mai explains that in Vietnam, the approach to teaching and learning is very traditional. She has worked as an English teacher back home and can compare her studies there to studies in Finland. In Oulu, studying in groups or pairs are a welcome option to listening passively in lectures, Mai says. Collaborative learning is the main method of learning that’s applied to every course.
“I have immersed myself in a learning atmosphere where everyone is nice, supportive and active in class. My classmates have put in a lot of work and time to their education to reach a high level of critical thinking. I am really proud of this generation who are self-taught, brilliant, responsible and capable of doing anything they want,” Mai says.
Mai says people help as well as respect each other in Oulu.
“It’s like what Professor Dumbledore says in the Harry Potter series, ‘Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask it’,” Mai laughs.
“It’s the same here, I can definitely always find whatever help I ask for, either with classmates or with teachers. This also inspires me to help others,” she continues.
Mai is also immersing herself in other activities, like taking part in the Kummi Family Programme and the UniOulu Ambassador Programme. She enjoys spending time in nature and hanging out with her classmates socially. The kindness of Finns has surprised her in a good way.
“They help me in the supermarket, like help me find sugar or whatever it is I need, even if it’s not their job. It’s really cool,” Mai says.
As for the future, working in groups is something that Mai is going to take back to her own students in the future.
“I really see the advantage of working in a group like this. You can have bigger projects, see things from different perspectives. I need to immerse myself in the right environment, reflect on my experience and then apply it in Vietnam,” Mai concludes.
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Last updated: 12.6.2020