Welcome to Vaasa!

TEXT | Teemu Myllylä
Permalink http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2023051644661

On behalf of our staff and us teachers I want to welcome you, new student to our beautiful & silent country and especially to our lovely, but windy city of Vaasa. Vaasa is a city with a diverse multinational population, that has a long history of internationalization. We trust that this makes it easier for newcomers to get in touch with people who share similar interests despite the wide variety of backgrounds.

In this text you’ll find some helpful tips & comments from our staff and students as well as general suggestions on how to approach new, terrifying country, like Finland.

Teachers will teach, help and guide your way at VAMK

Teachers are obviously a large part of your experience during your studies. All our teachers share a joint goal to train international experts for the region’s working life. We want VAMK graduates to have accumulated international experience and knowledge during their studies. Something that you can all use in your future. Here are some tips from our staff to make the learning easier and adapting to the Finnish ways right from the start.

Us as Finns have a reputation to be rather hostile towards the newcomers. However, that comes from our tendency to be stubborn and silent, compared to more talkative and curious cultures.  However, that is luckily something that is moving to the past. While strolling through the Palosaari region you can immediately notice the age structure that differs from the Finnish standard. In this region we have several different educational institutions. Right next to us is the University of Vaasa, to which some of you will most likely continue your studies after graduating. Across the street is Novia, our Swedish speaking counterpart, from which most of you will most likely find lifelong friends maybe even complete some courses in. So, especially in this neighbourhood of learning, you’ll find young international-minded people who you are likely to make friends with, if you dare. However, don’t expect Finns to be the ones initiating the first contact. Be active.  

Try to be active in getting to know the locals while also getting familiar with your classmates. Your classmates will make your studies easier and more fun, while locals will allow you to integrate into society during this phase of your life. And by classmates we mean everyone, get out of your community bubble and widen out. Do not befriend with only people from your country, culture or background. That will help you to build your network. REMEMBER: Your classmates today may be the one who may recommend you for a job in Finland.

How? AT VAMK we utilize a ton of group projects and teamwork in our studies. BE on time (We tend to be very punctual), pull your weight and contribute. Utilize the possibilities to interact with people from different culture and be open to learn, adapt and share experiences with these likeminded people as only through that you’ll develop your own international skills. Your skills and knowledge on difference in people & different cultures. So, always remember that on top of the subjects you study, the ones you study with and the environment you study in are both learning opportunities in your international journey.

In addition, make sure you are open-minded and willing to learn from the experience abroad just as much, or even more, than you will to learn from the topics your studies. You can, for example, notice that on top of being silent and stubborn, at times Finns might talk and when they do, they might be rather pleasant peers in one of the many joined projects you’ll have during your studies.

Tips from our Talent coach

When entering our school make sure to contact out our talent coach, the position is designed to provide free career coaching and counselling services for all international students. You can get personalised feedback, tips and advice during every step of your studies.

“Here at VAMK, we are dedicated to making sure that your studies go smoothly. Particularly, your personal life with the help of your talent coach. Furthermore, surviving in Vaasa means being yourself, respecting others and being active in the community – volunteering or joining a club.”

Francis Oyeyiola, Talent Coach

Being one of the 45 nationalities, we regularly have studying at VAMK, you have a great possibility to learn and share knowledge with future professionals, but also start planning your career already when starting your studies. And in that planning, note that you do not have to wait until graduation, before you start looking for job opportunities.


Building bridges among schools, students and the working life, is a key focus here at VAMK. We aim to make every student, no matter where they come from feel welcomed and provide true job opportunities in this region. This shines through in the comments from our students past and present, when they describe VAMK.

“At VAMK you feel welcomed your get support throughout your studies. VAMK is a straight road to your dream job.”

“The culture at VAMK is very inclusive and enjoyed the exchange possibilities as well as joined courses in which I could work together with people from different countries, and even travel to the Netherlands as part of a course.” “I also liked how we dealt with more practical real-life examples while studying which could be applied to the real world and how VAMK really sets you up to go straight into the workforce after graduating.”

“VAMK is rather small and therefore you can have a great cooperation with students and teachers. We also had a lot of practical cases in our studies and that allowed me to learn with real-life examples, not only focusing on theory. It was also great to be part of the international Business program as it allowed me to learn about new cultures while providing good job opportunities as well as a solid base for further studies at university.”

Welcome also from Kati

Togetherness shines through in the comments and a great example of that is our CEO, President Kati Komulainen. If you are active in social media, you might have already noticed her at VAMK but also through different social media channels. She might even share you the greetings, congratulations or a word of advice, rather rare in larger institutions, but at VAMK we aim to keep our students close to our staff and our management available for interaction.

“You are more than warmly welcome to Vaasa University of Applied Sciences to study! We are happy to tell you that almost 50 % of our international student get a job from Vaasa after their graduation. We have a cozy campus close to nature and here we know you by your name.“

Kati Komulainen, President, CEO at VAMK

So! Enjoy the Experience to the fullest and find YOUR way to Vaasa and our great International Campus! And always remember, at VAMK you are not alone!

Welcome to Finland, Vaasa and VAMK!

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