This autumn I started a new period in my life as I entered the long-awaited world of higher education in the Metropolia Business School. I was very excited to start my studies, after having spent my gap year making sandwiches at a particular fast food restaurant. What made the situation even more exciting was that the studies were going to be entirely in English.
Even though this was not my first time studying in English, this autumn has had its challenges. I believe it has to do with the fact that the level of education in universities of applied sciences and universities in general is naturally a lot higher than in upper secondary school. When you begin your studies in the third degree, it is easy to go with the mindset that yes, you have always done well in your studies so what would change now? The reality might then hit you in the face when you realise that all of a sudden it takes a lot more effort to actually succeed while trying to take in all the new information. Even if you were mentally prepared to do this, what makes it challenging is that it is all happening in English.
Learning new information in a language that is not your mother tongue is always a bit different compared to learning it in your native language. It helps when it is possible to make connections between the new information and the things you have learned before. However, during this autumn there have been many new topics that not everyone is familiar with. Learning these topics requires patience and a lot of work to be put into. However, when this has been done, the results can be quite satisfying too.
The expectations have been very high throughout the semester. There has been a lot of pressure to do well. During times when the struggle has been real, it has been comforting to know that everyone is more or less in the same situation. In this reality, the moments of success become sparks of joy that you can share with your friends and this is what makes it all a hundred per cent worth it. I have found the bond between the students who study in English to be so strong that I would never change it for anything else.
Written by Aino Honkanen