A semester at Humak — insights from international students

Cultural management Erasmus students at Oulanka national park.

Every semester, Humak University of Applied Sciences welcomes a new group of international students. In this story, three cultural management students tell about their experiences of living and studying in Finland.

The most recent group of Humak’s international cultural management students finished their Erasmus exchange last December. Among them was Lara Knigge from Germany, who spent the autumn semester in Turku. She enjoyed Humak’s methods of teaching, which she found familiar to her studies back home.

”I am grateful for the whole experience. I met new people, explored new places, multiple countries and their history… I am simply amazed of just how much fit into those three months”, Lara says.

The most memorable studying experience Lara had was a module that focused on the Finnish language and culture. The coursework included multiple excursions to the diverse cultural sites of Turku, with topics ranging from medieval history to art and theater.

Lara feels that the semester in Turku enhanced her ability to approach challenges in the future.

I think I now have a better idea of what kind of working style is good for me. In general, I have a clearer picture of what I need in order to achieve my personal best, without stress getting in the way.

Lara Knigge cultural management
Lara Knigge from Germany says that the lecturers and tutors at Humak made her feel very welcome.

A Semester in Korpilahti

A few years ago, Véronique Vermeylen from Belgium spent an autumn semester at the Korpilahti campus. She says the best thing about her exchange was meeting Finnish people, although she would have hoped for a bit more interaction between the locals and the international students.

Véronique appreciated the hospitality of the Humak UAS staff.

”The people teaching at Humak were so amazing. They really tried their hardest to make us feel at home. I also really liked the fact that they connected us with a local family we could visit. We really had fun together”, Véronique says.

When asked about the most memorable moments Véronique had during her stay, she says that there were too many to count. However, she mentions a trip to Lapland as an experience that will stay in her heart. In general, she enjoyed her time as an exchange student.

It’s always nice to be pulled away from your comfort zone and to be yourself in a whole new international setting. It’s extremely valuable to have conversations with people from all over the world, to widen your perspective in life. I really treasure it!

Cultural management students Lien and Veronique
Lien Hendrickx and Véronique Vermeylen from Belgium enjoyed their time in Finland. Photo: Véronique Vermeylen.

New Perspectives

Lien Hendrickx, like Véronique, is also from Belgium and studied at the Korpilahti campus. Lien came to Finland because she had always been intrigued by the Nordic countries. She also wanted to improve her English proficiency.

It was Lien’s first time living in a foreign country by herself, and the first time she worked in an international environment. The experience of living in Finland during winter made her more self-reliant and aware of her cultural origins.

”I learned how to motivate myself and pick myself up when winter was kicking in and I needed some sun and energy. I also learned that my Belgian way of seeing things isn’t always necessarily the best way or the only way to see things”.

Lien says that studying cultural management at Humak taught her how to coordinate events in a way that considers all aspects of the production. She appreciated the opportunity to immerse herself in a different culture.

I find the Finnish way of life inspiring in so many ways. Studying there was an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my days.

Further information:

Header photo: Véronique Vermeylen.

Thumbnail photo: Lien Hendrickx.