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Roland Anye Ndifor, graduate of MICLaw, Cameroon

To be honest, I didn’t know much about Finland, but when I found out about the MICLaw programme, it got my attention, and studying in Finland sounded like a good experience to me. I was interested in international law and business law in general, and when I saw that the University of Lapland offered this particular programme, my mind was already set in coming here!

I appreciated ULapland’s approach to publicize their studies: before applying, I saw what was required in my studies (study program), and I didn’t have to stress about finding information because it was all well displayed on the website. I also knew that if I work hard, I will be able to graduate in time because of the structure of the programme. I didn’t feel so motivated to apply to other places, but I tell you, seeing this program, I was actually moving, I saw myself already coming here – nothing would have convinced me that I will not find myself in the University of Lapland.

"I understood that here your analytical opinion matters a lot, and that’s very important for me academically."

In my former university I felt that the system was too restricted – study, write your exam, pass or fail (read and reproduce). But at ULapland I found things to be different – I had tremendous academic freedom. I understood that here your analytical opinion matters a lot, and that’s very important for me academically. The teachers direct you on what to do, they also give you their opinion and give you materials to read, but you interpret what you read and analyse them from your own point of view and then offer a fair theoretical and practical assessment. I am 100% sure I have been enriched with knowledge here at ULapland.

"I know all my professors, everything is very interactive, and you’re never left out. They always managed to make me feel as a part of the team."

I found the programme to be fantastic, and it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I think it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life! Each day, I tried to learn something new, if not from school then from the people around me, and the support was great. I was amazed with the kind of relationship that you could build with your instructors here: I know all my professors, everything is very interactive, and you’re never left out. They always managed to make me feel as a part of the team.

My favourite memory from my time here is the warm welcome I received when I arrived at ULapland. It was my first time here, and people made me feel that I was needed as well as wanted. This place felt like home then. My student tutor was helpful, the International Office staff and the faculty coordinator in particular were there for me, and I can say firmly that the Student Services were incredible and always available to help with anything I needed, at any moment in time.

"I happily embraced the new Finnish lifestyle and culture."

I didn’t know so many things about Finland or Rovaniemi before coming, but when I came here, the differences were very clear. In Cameroon we have a lot of sunshine, but in Finland, just getting out of the train on my first day here only to be welcome with snow on my face – that alone told me where I was! Someone told me that Finns are a bit shy, but after getting to know people better, I created some very strong friendships. I had the opportunity to try skiing for the first time in my life – I fell down a couple of times, but it was good! I also tried the Finnish sauna, hotter than Cameroonian sun though. Living in student accommodation was also a lot of fun, I met fantastic exchange students from all over the world, and our good moments together helped my time to move so fast and got me through the freezing winter. Nevertheless, I happily embraced the new Finnish lifestyle and culture.

"Keep focusing on your studies, because if you have a plan, with an aim, these things are just stepping stones on your way to success."

Studying here made a remarkable difference in my life, in my approach to life, and how I interact with people in the society. The studies helped me improve my knowledge, and each day when I walked into the University I was inspired when I saw everyone being so focused. I love studying, and together with how much I enjoyed my studies here at ULapland, and my general appreciation for the Finnish education system, I would love to continue my studies here on the PhD level. I already feel like I’ve improved academically during my time here, and I’d like to continue that!

I would advise current and potential applicants that if you consider studying at ULapland, you don’t have to think about it twice – just take the chance, because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. If you miss this privilege, you might never get it again. Be prepared for the best studies, good environment, good people, fantastic services, top class professors – but also be prepared for some bad weather, haha! But don’t give up; keep focusing on your studies, because if you have a plan, with an aim, these things are just stepping stones on your way to success. You just have to enjoy your time here – you have to dare to dream!