Studying and Living in Finland LUT Alumni Experience by Aisulu Harjula

  • Top 10 Must Know Things About Finland

    When I ask my Finnish friends to tell about national identities and explain local customs, they told: “Well, Finland is just a country, there is not much to

  • Badges and overalls

    An unofficial dress code for students in Finland

  • Night festivals in the campus

    Every autumn there are number of events and festivals dedicated to the beginning of a new academic year. This is the Saimaa sunset festival from last year: live music, live

  • Academic adventure

    As the new academic year approaches us, I’d like to show more about how the studying year actually starts in our faculty. And it starts awesomely right tomorrow, the

  • Biking in Lappeenranta

    In Finland you can bike whenever and wherever you want – between cities, to work, to study, and to just enjoy. There are many biking opportunities. Of course

The Funky Finland

The Funky Finland

Finnish design is funky, isn’t it? [...]

July 10, 2017 Aisulu Harjula Uncategorized 0

Transformation of the modern society

Transformation of the modern society

A nice construction. It’s located in Mustola, Finland. It reminds me of a set of lectures in the Transformation of Modern Society, in which we’ve been shown that future houses will be like this. The lecture was held by the professor Karl-Erik Michelsen. His course inspired me to study more [...]

June 30, 2017 Aisulu Harjula Uncategorized 0

Fantastic Sky: Aurora Borealis, the Sun Eclipse, Halo and Supermoon

One of the Finnish natural beauties is Aurora Borealis or the Northern lights. Throughout the winter you can observe them in Lapland, behind the Arctic circle and rarely in Southern parts of Finland like South Carelia and Lappeenranta. [...]

June 25, 2017 Aisulu Harjula General 0

Finnish Street Animals

Finland has a strong animal protection system. Even though there are many homeless cats (I’m not sure about dogs but maybe too!), you won’t see them on the streets. Homeless animals are kept in foster homes until a new owner is found who can then adopt them. Still there are animals [...]

June 21, 2017 Aisulu Harjula Finnish Nature, General 0

Finnish Family Values

Home is a holy place.  [...]

March 27, 2017 Aisulu Harjula Culture 0

Top 10 Must Know Things About Finland

When I ask my Finnish friends to tell about national identities and explain local customs, they told: “Well, Finland is just a country, there is not much to tell about it”. I’ve been living in Finland for 3½ years, and I can tell a lot about Finland and its culture. First, [...]

February 28, 2017 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General 0

Facebook for students

Where else than in a Finnish university can you really feel the necessity to use your smartphone 24 hours a day, react to Facebook messages immediately (that became the fastest way to communicate) and join tens of groups for various purposes? Purpose of studying, purpose of living, purpose of everything? [...]

February 6, 2017 Aisulu Harjula Ergonomics and facilities, Student services 0

LUT Entrepreneurship Society

Being an entrepreneur requires a lot. I believe that entrepreneurship is a skill and not only a talent. It requires a lot of effort to learn the business and to own it. Finnish universities have their own entrepreneurship societies where students can discuss and exchange their business ideas, receive help, [...]

January 14, 2017 Aisulu Harjula Events, Student services, Work 0

Where To Learn Finnish Language

Why study Finnish language? Finnish is spoken only in Finland but it’s a mistake to underestimate its importance. If you want to live in Finland permanently or want to survive in basic everyday life, then you need to know the language. It is also an unforgettable experience to learn Finnish [...]

January 6, 2017 Aisulu Harjula General, Studying 0

Something Everyone Should Do: Learn Languages!

I admire learning languages. It makes life easier, more interesting and meaningful. It’s such a wonderful feeling to feel comfortable with using local language when travelling and you will never get lost anywhere. I have advanced skills in both English and Finnish, intermediate skills in German, basic skills in French [...]

December 21, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Studying 0

Clubs In Finland

In this post I would like to write about Finnish clubs and societies where you can spend your free time and practice hobbies in arts or sport. It is usual in Finland that people have some activities in their free time outside their work and home. Some practice sports, others [...]

December 13, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Sport 0

The Independence Day

(Finland emojis; here) Finland and Kazakhstan have something in common: Both countries celebrate the Day of Independence in December. Finland’s Independence Day is on 6th and Kazakhstan’s Independence Day is on 16th of December. Finland got its independency from Russia in 1917, while Kazakhstan got its independency from Soviet Union in [...]

December 4, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Events 0

Choir singing and life

Life must be diverse. Then luck will feel the best even if something was to happen. What’s happening with me right now – busy with the research project and lots of questions in my mind about how my dissertation will go, how can I improve my skills, etc. But… In [...]

November 23, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture 0

Studying through the Open University

Education is key to success. Every day many people face challenges and make decisions to study further and upgrade their knowledge. Yet getting a study place is not easy, and everyone faces challenges when applying for a study right. In Finland there is an organization called Open University. it’s an [...]

November 16, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture 0

PhD and Research

Doing research in business is so fascinating and interesting. So, in this post I would like to share little info about my research area. [...]

October 31, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Studying, Work 0

Beautiful and dangerous forest mushrooms

The traditional Finnish cuisine includes different mushroom sauces. Picking mushrooms in autumn is a nice recreational activity for many Finnish people (and for me too). But not all forest mushrooms are edible. Maybe they are created by the Nature for the purpose to see them and make pictures =) They are all different [...]

October 10, 2016 Aisulu Harjula General 0

Badges and overalls

An unofficial dress code for students in Finland [...]

September 30, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General 0

Wedding in Finland

Traditions vs. stereotypes – peaceful and calm wedding or a lot of alcohol and fun? [...]

September 20, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture 1

Night festivals in the campus

Every autumn there are number of events and festivals dedicated to the beginning of a new academic year. This is the Saimaa sunset festival from last year: live music, live bands, night show and after-party in the student union building. Every year there is something new and the year has just started. [...]

September 10, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Events 0

Academic adventure

As the new academic year approaches us, I’d like to show more about how the studying year actually starts in our faculty. And it starts awesomely right tomorrow, the first day of September! Why Academic Adventure? There is an orientation week for those who just recently came to study to LUT [...]

August 31, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Events, Student services 0

Beach party – let’s celebrate the start of a new academic year!

Every year LUT prepares amazing social events for newcomers. The academic year begins from opening ceremony where the university rector gives speech and welcomes new students. This year it it starts on 5th of September. The student life in Lappeenranta (and I’m sure in most of the Finnish universities) is [...]

August 25, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Events, General 0

Biking in Lappeenranta

In Finland you can bike whenever and wherever you want – between cities, to work, to study, and to just enjoy. There are many biking opportunities. Of course biking also depends on the weather but many Finns do bike all year round, even in winter when there is a lot [...]

August 16, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Ergonomics and facilities, General 0

Travelling to Finnish cities

Travelling in Finland is great in summer. In July-August there are many discounts for usually expensive train trips and one can go somewhere for 5 euro. It is especially great opportunity because Finnish cities are situated far from each other. [...]

July 31, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General 0

Finnish Summer and Midsummer

Finnish summer is cold with rare warm days. Although the sun may shine brightly and nights are bright, wide lakes seem to be so tempting to jump in and swim, but the wind is cold and water is freezing, the sun is far up in the sky and clouds come [...]

July 3, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Finnish Nature 0

Graduating university in Finland and abroad

When the Master’s thesis is almost done and you have gained required amount of credits, you are almost ready to graduate. What’s next? [...]

June 22, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Events, Studying 0

High School Graduation Party – Ylioppilasjuhlat

White hats – that’s what Finnish high school graduates and university students wear in respect to their obtained high school diplomas and having completed most of their university applications. [...]

June 13, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Events, Studying 0

Public Defense of Master’s Thesis

In Finland you don’t need to defend your thesis publicly when graduating Bachelor and Master programmes. [...]

June 3, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Studying 1

Model Work & Fashion by Day in Lappeenranta

Modelling is a nice and exciting hobby for me. In Finland I’ve got contacts with Fashion Model Agency and this spring I participated in the Fashion by Day -event in Lappeenranta: Vero Moda dress, spring 2016 It’s the first time I’ve worked as a runway model in Finland. Previously I became the face of [...]

May 25, 2016 Aisulu Harjula General 0

The Art of Peace and Love – Aikido

The day I arrived to Finland was like a new chapter in the book called “Aisulu’s Life”. Two months before that day was an ending of the previous chapter. At that time my life already had interesting, long and finished chapters: Birth and growing up in Almaty, Kazakhstan Studying in Tomsk, [...]

May 11, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Sport 0

Vappu, the May Day Celebration

For me Vappu is a traditional picnic in the city fortress on 1st of May and visiting a cozy home-furnished cafe there. This year it has been also a new experience of performing in the Vappu concert in a choir. [...]

May 1, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture 0

Classical music concerts in Finland

I’ve got a chance to meet maestro Sasha Mäkilä, internationally well-known Finnish conductor, and visit his concerts twice. Our meeting happened last year when Sasha came to our aikido club in Lappeenranta for a training. [...]

April 22, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General 1

Hiking in Finnish National Parks

I’m impressed by the Finnish nature. I love walking there, visiting different places and watching the sceneries.  [...]

April 10, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Finnish Nature, Sport 0

Finnish Easter and Kazakh New Year Nauryz

  This month we have celebrated two important cultural holidays – Kazakh Nauryz, the beginning of a New Year and Finnish Easter, historically the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Both holidays are important in our family since my husband and I are from different cultures.  [...]

March 31, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General 3

The Unforgettable Lapland

Meeting husky dogs and experiencing dog sledges in Lapland is unforgettable. This is something I’m eager to do next winter. These dogs are so cute, kind, smart, and fast! [...]

March 20, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Finnish Nature, General, Student services 0

Sporting Activities for Students

This topic is about sporting events organized by student clubs.  [...]

March 10, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Uncategorized 0

Sport Facilities for Students

I’m totally sure that attending sport activities is a key to a fulfilled and healthy life, especially when we have to do a lot of intellectual work. Attending sport lessons regularly brings a lot of joy because at these lessons we have a chance to get out of stress and everyday study [...]

February 28, 2016 Aisulu Harjula General, Sport 0

Business English for Finnish Students

This post is linked to the previous post about English in Finnish Higher Education. I would like to share how Finnish students learn English. I’ve attended a lesson of Business English course taught for Finnish students. It’s quite a secret why Finnish students are very good at English but I think it’s both the teacher’s approach and [...]

February 21, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Studying 0

English in Finnish Higher Education

I would like to share in this post features of higher level education programs in Finland taught in English. [...]

January 30, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Studying 0

Students Guilds: Mechanical Engineering Students

Exploring university buildings from the inside is a useful and adventurous thing! You can find a lot of interesting yet unexpected places. For example, students’ guilds’ rooms. I think they are solely Finnish creation. I haven’t ever seen anything like this in other countries where I’ve been as a student. [...]

January 19, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Studying 0

Finnish Winter Holidays: How Has it Been?

Hurray! Winter holidays are gone and officially this week schools and universities in Finland start working. I would like to tell about two main events: Christmas and New Year. [...]

January 12, 2016 Aisulu Harjula Events, General, Uncategorized 0

Psychological and Urgent Help for Students

How do you cope with stress? [...]

December 10, 2015 Aisulu Harjula General, Student services, Studying 0

Going To Exchange From Finland

Did you know that even if you come to Finland from another country to study full time you can travel for an exchange abroad? [...]

December 6, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Student services, Studying 0

Nenäpäivä or the Nose Day

The Nose Day or Nenäpäivä is a global charity event which raises funds to help people in developing countries, especially children in difficult conditions. In Finland it has been organized since 2007. [...]

November 30, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Events, General, Studying 0

SLUSH 2015

Lots of energy and drive. Awesome speeches and start up pitches.  Here and now in the heart of the IT business. It’s all about Slush, one of the biggest start up conferences in the Nordic countries. [...]

November 17, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Events, Work 0

Halloween in Finland

How people celebrate Halloween in Finland…? [...]

November 1, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Events, General 0

Student apartment interior

Just moved to Finland? It’s important to feel like home when far from home. A student apartment will be your home for the next few months (or years). Let’s turn boring walls into a cool design! Plenty of student apartments looks “too student”. For those who want to create a nice [...]

October 27, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Living and accomodation 0

The Autumn Forest

Finns love going to forest throughout the year, and autumn is the season when you still can find some tasty mushrooms in the jungles of moss. Now the Finnish forest is full of mushrooms and tar aromas. A short walk in the forest reminds of fairytales by Dutch writers (such as [...]

October 7, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Finnish Nature, General 0

Summer Break

I don’t say “Goodbye”, I say “See you later!” I’ve graduated Master’s degree, I’m going to continue learning Finnish language the next months and get great summer holidays. Have a nice summer! [...]

May 1, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Uncategorized 0

How Elections May Change Finland

It’s so interesting to look at the political and legal situation in Finland from an insider’s point of view! [...]

March 26, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Events, Studying, Work 0

The Sun Eclipse

It’s absolutely fantastic! I’m so amazed by the sun eclipse which has happened today.  [...]

March 20, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Events, General 0

Safe Finland. Lost & Found

It’s awesome how safe is this place! I’ve collected some stories about lost and found items in the university. [...]

March 14, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Living and accomodation, Student services 0

The Most Embarrassing Pictures :)

What is the purpose of these surroundings? It’s to put us into a small culture shock and to check how we understand the Finnish sense of humor! [...]

February 27, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Living and accomodation 0

The calendar. Time counting in Finland.

Have you noticed a specific Finnish way of counting time and putting events in your calendar? It is quite widespread in Finland and hard to ignore! [...]

February 19, 2015 Aisulu Harjula General, Studying, Work 20

Happy Valentine’s day!

From Finland with Love. What is love in Finnish culture.. ? [...]

February 13, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General 0

A Reason to Fall in Love With the Winter

Winter is a best time to have fun! [...]

January 30, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General 0

Happy New Winter!

What do you feel about 2015? [...]

January 6, 2015 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General 0

How to deal with specific issues and get right information in Finland

It is common in Finland that important public information remains invisible. Want to get any information easy and fast? Here is a solution. [...]

December 19, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General, Studying, Work 0

Attitude to work in job market and job search

I’m surprised that Finland is a country where active people are appreciated, valued, seem to be successful and it brings good results to them! Introverts find it difficult to live here, people who tend to complain and are lazy don’t have enough chances to find a job after graduation. Nothing will [...]

December 7, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General, Studying, Work 0

A way of thinking: Succeed in any project

Subjective views to deal when completing a degree and becoming a real graduate. Things to deal to succeed in projects. [...]

November 25, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Studying, Work 2

Thesis writing II. Hints for Motivation & Logic Structure

Keep on moving and progressing with your thesis! Our mind is powerful 🙂 Big courage to all students who pursuade a degree! ))) [...]

November 12, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Studying, Work 1

Thesis writing I. Lessons learned

A Master’s thesis is a main student project, it’s time and efforts consuming, it requires a frequent and stable attention, and a clear vision of what has to be done. Here are lessons and tips that I’ve opened for myself while writing the thesis. [...]

November 3, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Studying, Uncategorized 1

Announcement of posts

Here is a new schedule of the blog and announcement of following topics! [...]

October 3, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General 0

These weird Finns in your Welcome Package

Let’s talk about people’s behavior in Finland you are not used to seeing. Finns have a different way of communication. [...]

September 20, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General, Student services 8

Small things make us happy

I’ve learned to enjoy every day I spend here. [...]

September 11, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Student services 3

Setting yourself in Finland

These pieces above are not glamour beauty magazines. They are representative booklets which contain useful and important information about projects at our university. I’ve became a representative of a Master’s program which I’m enrolled to. Maybe you can appear on a cover too! [...]

September 3, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General, Student services, Studying 0

Time to sum up

I’ve spent two semesters and one summer in Lappeenranta, and I can say that I haven’t regretted that I’ve come to Finland. [...]

August 25, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Uncategorized 0

When we succeed even during holidays

Wow, I think we have succeeded! [...]

August 18, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General, Studying 4

One of the best summers in my life

I’ve just spent one of the best summers in my life. In Finland. [...]

August 7, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Events, General, Studying 1

The Finnish sauna. Part 2. Customs and oddities.

Have you ever thought why do saunas exist in Finland? [...]

July 24, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Living and accomodation, Student services 8

The Finnish sauna. Part 1.

Sauna is an important part of culture in Finland and it has its own customs. [...]

July 17, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Living and accomodation, Student services 1

World Cup 2014. When dreams come true.

Germany became the winner in the World Cup [Dream big, act quick and focus.] [...]

July 9, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Events, General 1

Different countries, different teachers

I continue to describe differences in study approach in the countries where I’ve studied. This time I would like to share thoughts about student-professor relationships. [...]

June 30, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General, Studying, Work 2

Summertime Finland

“I’ve got this summertime, summertime Finland”, Adele might have thought to paraphrase her lyrics a bit. Finnish summer is cool and sometimes the weather doesn’t hesitate to show its sadness. [...]

June 23, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Events, General, Studying 2

Different countries, different students

I had opportunities to attend different European universities as part of my international exchange programs. Now from my experience I would like to describe the different study approaches in different countries.I graduated from high school in Kazakhstan. We have good universities in Kazakhstan but I’ve never studied in any of them. I’ve been living [...]

June 16, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Culture, General, Studying 6

Friendship of nations and language learning

I was glad when I got to know that we can learn foreign languages at the university as much and as many as we want. In many cases schools usually offer limited opportunities but here you have a freedom of the choice. [...]

June 9, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Ergonomics and facilities, Student services, Studying 1

Financial services for students in Finland

Money matters: What you should know about payment culture and student banking [...]

June 2, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Culture, Finance, Student services 3

Meal matters: Finnish food and students’ offers

It was interesting to get to know opinions about Finnish meals and student offers from different prospective. I went to our canteen and asked a restaurant chef to say us something about food for students. [...]

May 19, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Uncategorized 2

Winter in May: Time to check your health!

We all know that our health is like a rechargeable battery which has its own lifecycle. Health care is one of the most important aspects of life if you plan to stay in Finland for a long time. Changing seasons, unpredictable weather and probably different medical treatment systems: there are important things to know! [...]

May 5, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General, Student services 1

International spring events and the longest Wappu

Now it’s the time of many currently ongoing funny events because of the May Day. As we all know, it’s the international Worker’s Day but the Wappu May Day is also an ancient spring festival in Northern countries, and this year the celebration lasts for about two and half weeks. [...]

April 28, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Uncategorized 0

Travelling from Finland: Saint Petersburg

There are many chances to go for exchange or to be enrolled in a double degree program in Finland. I’m a double degree student. My primary school is located in Saint Petersburg and I’d like to describe some experience in this blogpost. [...]

April 21, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Events, General 2

Funny stories from students in Finland

Maybe you are really interested to listen to the voice of current students about their experience in Finland. Here you are! [...]

April 14, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General, Studying 0

Student Housing Foundation: LOAS

Last week we dealt with students experience concerning living in the student apartments. This time I’d like to present to you an interview with service director of Lappeenranta Housing Foundation (LOAS), Joonas Grönlund. [...]

April 7, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General, Living and accomodation, Student services 0

Living in Finland: accomodation and apartments

Maybe you have asked yourself 100 times “What kind of living conditions are in store for me in Finland?” Don’t worry. Finnish student apartments are quite comfortable and modern. And almost every occupied building in Finland has a sauna. Sometimes, even living flats have saunas inside them! But let’s concider [...]

March 31, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Ergonomics and facilities, General, Student services 0

What makes studying comfortable: library services

There are many students facilities available in Finnish universities. Finnish higher education system is designed in the way that there are many student facilities that make studying enjoying and convenient. Today’s topic about library services at LUT. [...]

March 21, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Ergonomics and facilities, Student services, Studying 0

Student guilds and seasonal activities

Probably every university in Finland has student associations, they’re called guilds. Their members are students who wear outstanding outfits – colored overalls with many different ribbons. What do guilds do and why? [...]

March 10, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Events, General 0

Green Finland

It is cold and dark yet the whole of Finland tries to keep green even in the winter. Green economy and green growth: what kind of associations do you have about this country apart from the darkness and silence? [...]

March 3, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Ergonomics and facilities, General 0

Skills from the beginning: Finnish 1. Suomen tunti!

I’m going to write about practicing Finnish language and experience attending the class. Every international student in Finland can start studying language as part of integration process aimed to reduce culture shock. [...]

February 24, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Events, General, Studying 6

What is Finnish PhD studies: a typical studying or a real work?

Let’s take a Finnish example of postgraduate education process… [...]

February 17, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Studying, Work 15

Professional habits of Finns at work

Today on Monday’s post based on material of workshop “Applying for a job in Finland” I’d like to show some outlines I learned from it and reveal curtain of professional style in Finland! What is to be professional in Finland [...]

February 10, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Uncategorized 3

A startup conference and volunteering

Today I’d like to tell about a large European startup conference and volunteering. [...]

February 2, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Events 3

Find your favorite place to take a breath at LUT

Long days of studying when courses are running up, and we all human need to have convenient place to take rest or make a break. Not hiding my feelings, I found university facilities “extra right” for this purpose. Saturday’s post is more about pictures. I wonder who is the designer [...]

January 25, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Ergonomics and facilities 5

Beginning of the semester and studying related issues

Since the semester has already started I’d like to describe moments of studying and registering at LUT generally. Some of them I found really outstanding and not ordinary. [...]

January 18, 2014 Aisulu Harjula Studying 4

Happy New Year – Happy New Term!

Happy New Year and the winter holidays: Christmas and Epiphany, and congratulations with the beginning of new spring semester! Hope, this semester is going to be interesting, productive, and useful for every one of us. [...]

January 11, 2014 Aisulu Harjula General 3