Vietnamese IB student Tho Le dreams to stay and work in Vaasa where people are friendly and speak very good English. Before that she wants to raise awareness on circular economy in Vietnam.
Finland: A land of equality and pleasantly cool climate
In Finland, people like to joke about the weather. It is referred to as extreme conditions, freezing temperature and darkness that sucks the life out of everyone. Summer is often said to be the “short season with less snow”, which is an example of Finnish sense of humor.
For Vietnamese Tho Le, Finnish weather seems pleasantly cool.
– In many Asian countries, over 30 degrees centigrade is normal. The hotness is terrible.
Tho had heard about snow before she came to Finland. One of her dreams was to experience snowy winter herself.
– My Finnish friend took me skiing and ice skating and it was great!
Tho moved to Vaasa, Finland in 2018. She studies International Business at Vaasa University of Applied Sciences and likes the studying atmosphere.
– Finland is very popular among Asian students because studying is not your whole life. In Vietnam, for example, you must study so hard it is not good for your health. And in the end, it is not even that efficient since you never get to rest.
Everyone has a voice
One of the things that has impressed Tho Le is Finnish knowledge and practice in circular economy. In Finland, the goal is to recycle as much as one possibly can.
– This is something I would like to bring to Vietnam as well. Environmental issues are global, and that is why we all have to participate in solving them.
Tho is planning to move back to Vietnam for a while but dreams of finding a permanent job in Finland.
– The atmosphere in working life is very nice. People are equal and can speak up without fear of discrimination. In Finland, you don’t have to push your mood day in and day out.
Tho also likes how almost everyone in Vaasa speaks English. This makes it much easier for foreigners to fit in.
– I heard that Finns are silent, but I think they just prefer to be with family and friends. People are friendly and I have friends here, so I don’t have to be alone.
Events give perspective
In November, Tho attended STHEC which stands for Smart Technology Hub Ecosystem Challenge. The two-day online event was a hackathon-type challenge organized by Energy Academy, a network of local and global companies, universities, and universities of applied sciences.
In Tho’s team there were members from VAMK, Aalto University and LUT University.
– The other ones were engineering students, and we had to organize everything online. It was very interesting to innovate a whole new public transportation system to Wärtsilä Smart Technology Hub but at the same time it was the biggest challenge I have ever faced.
Tho and her teammates won the prize for the best innovation with fresh and “a little crazy” idea for an airway inside a city.
– We had a lot of solutions for one challenge, so we needed to communicate, discuss, and have good team spirit.
STHEC was a good experience for Tho who is social and has attended other events as well. For example, she is part of the marketing team for HARVEST, a business students’ organization in Vaasa.
Lately she has also become one of the international student ambassadors for VAMK, so you might find her posts and insights about Vaasa on social media!