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Ha Ngo, Vietnam

6.11.2017

Haha enjoys the contrasts Lapland has to offer because she feels she is also full of controversy as a person. She jumped off from her safe career plan and decided to follow her educational dreams to the University of Lapland – and this newly appointed International Student Ambassador has never regretted it.

Tell us about yourself

Hi, I’m Ha Ngo from Vietnam, but you can call me “Haha” (laugh), just like when you are laughing, then you remember me (laugh). Currently, I’m studying Master’s Degree in Media Education in University of Lapland.

How do you define yourself?

I think I’m full of controversy. I am obedient but sometimes I can be crazy and rebellious. I would love to follow a safe plan, but I also want to challenge myself with numerous unexpected things. I think my journey to the University of Lapland proves that. I studied finance and banking in my Bachelor’s degree, which has nothing to do with media or education. It would have been safer to continue on my banking journey, but I decided to change since I realized I am not as interested in finances, like I am in teaching, especially teaching online. Hence, I made up my mind, and of course, I wanted to challenge myself in the most well-known education system in the world. That’s why I’m here at the moment, and I never regret it, because Lapland is also full of controversy like I am (laugh).

How do you think Lapland as full of controversy?

It is indeed. After one year of studying and living here, I realize that fact. Almost everything here is controversial. I mean, it’s dark but it’s light; it’s cold but it’s hot. It sounds weird, doesn’t it? But it’s true, to be honest.

Why did you define Lapland as “It’s dark, but it’s light”?

Well, in the winter, you will live in darkness. It seems like the night never ends, and all you want to do is go to sleep, but of course you have to go to university, which is a nightmare (laugh). However, thanks to darkness, it’s much easier to spot the spectacular Northern Lights dancing. It’s really amazing, and I never get enough of Auroras. On the other hand, in summer time, the sun will come to visit you all the time. You will never know when it is morning and when is the night. They are exactly the same to me (laugh). However, the mid-night sun is beautiful - worth experiencing.

What do you mean by Lapland being “cold, but also hot”?

Look at the temperature in Lapland and you will know what I mean. I come from the Northern part of Vietnam where the lowest temperature is 10 degrees, but here, I experienced -30 degrees (laugh). It’s freezing in winter, but you can try a lot of fun things with the cold, which makes you hot. My favorite one is SAUNA. Oh, I love it. After getting extremely hot from sauna, you can even jump into the freezing lake or lay down on ice, then go back to warm up. Believe me, you will survive and you will love it. Besides, you can try doing skate or cross-country skiing. No matter how many times you fall, you will have a lot of fun with these sports. Just remember to put on numerous layers to keep you warm, then you can go out and enjoy the cold.

What about University of Lapland? How would you describe university with three adjectives?

Interesting question, I never think of it. Let´s see. I would describe University of Lapland as free, cozy and dreamy. Free, I mean, in terms of study. I have my own study plan and for my assignments I can choose the topics that interest me. There is no pressure, it is me asking me to study, not anyone else. Cozy refers to the atmosphere that professors, friends and staff here at the University bring to me. They will smile all the time when I try to approach them, though they may not speak with me (laugh). But yeah, I don’t feel isolated here. And finally, dreamy is the word I want to use for technology here. I’ve always been dreaming of studying in a classroom full of modern technology to support me. All the time I go to class, I will be surprised by innovative technology the professors use in their teaching like interactive white boards and skype calls - there are a great number of things that I cannot use my words to describe them. I think the best way is to experience it.

Do you have any message for potential students?

I have never regretted making the decision to study in University of Lapland. It is a place where I can be myself, where I find myself, and better myself. If you want to challenge yourself, come here and experience it. Dare to dream. I hope to see you here. Good luck 😊