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Islam Md Shahidul, Media Education degree student, Bangladesh

I was interested in Finland because of the country’s reputation for one of the best educational systems in the world. For me it was also very important that there are no tuition fees. The Media Education studies and curriculum were closely related to my previous degree, and I felt that the University of Lapland was the right way for me considering my future career and continuing my studies.

"My relationship with my teachers has been really good. Their teaching has been very influential, and they’ve always provided us lots of encouragement."

The teaching and learning system makes the Media Education programme special. My teachers are very friendly, the schedule is flexible and I can balance it between studying and other activities. They also use a lot of technology, which is good for media students. The quality of teaching is also great. The small class size is an advantage; we can cooperate with each other, and that’s really important in higher education. That also makes one-on-one teaching possible. We have good academic counseling and career preparation, and the atmosphere is great. My relationship with my teachers has also been really good. Their teaching has been very influential, and they’ve not only helped us with studies but also with more personal matters, like how to cope with the weather, how to connect with Finnish people, how to build a strong personality. They’ve always provided us lots of encouragement.

"There is so much to do and so much to see here. I enjoy the nature, and obviously the eight colourful seasons!"

I really like Lapland and Rovaniemi, because there is so much to do and so much to see here. I enjoy the nature, and obviously the eight colourful seasons! Ounasvaara is an excellent place in wintertime, and even when you visit it in the summer, how you can see the whole city from the top of Ounasvaara, it is unbelievable. I really think that every week you have something to do here! In the beginning I found it a bit hard to communicate with Finns, and I had to bring them out of their shell, but now I have Finnish friends and they never make me feel like an outsider – I feel like a part of the society now.

"Now I also know how to cope with both good and bad situations; that’s one of the main lessons I’ve learned here."

My advice to others would be to do your studies, and try to build a strong network with teachers and students that will help you in your future. And don’t panic about the weather! I came here for three months as a test and thought that if it went okay, then I’d choose to stay here. Now I also know how to cope with both good and bad situations; that’s one of the main lessons I’ve learned here.

"Earlier I wanted to be a media specialist, but now I think I could also be a teacher as well."

The system and schedule here are also so flexible that I’ve had more space to think about my future. In bigger cities things are done in a more robotic way. The University of Lapland has had a great influence on me and helped me think in a different way. Also, earlier I wanted to be a media specialist, but now I think I could also be a teacher as well. At the university students can easily learn how to teach others.

"Two things are important: you need to build up your personality and have confidence in yourself. People think that the language and weather are barriers, but I think they are more like opportunities."

Currently I am working part-time reporting for a newspaper, so I would like to build up my career as a media professional, and maybe doing some research on media education and a job in education if possible. The university has given me the confidence to build my career in a way I would like to. I really like Rovaniemi, and I have good connections here already, so if I have the opportunity I could stay in Rovaniemi for the rest of my life!

Finding a job can be hard, but two things are important: you need to build up your personality and have confidence in yourself. People think that the language and weather are barriers, but I think they are more like opportunities. You just have to open your eyes and knock on many doors. I knocked on my employer’s door, and I broke it!