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Why did you decide to study abroad?

I wanted to experience something entirely different from my home town where I lived for 17 years of my life. So, after graduating from High School in Russia, I decided to go to Finalnd (Helsinki), which is somewhat close to Saint-Petersburg, but totally different in culture and way of life..

Tell us about the program you went on

I decided to study BBA in International Business at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki. Education in Finland is free fro everybody. The one just have to go through entrance examination and interview aaaand wow- you're a student!
Entrance exams are very competitive, but its hard to prepare for them in the same way as American students prepare for SAT. Written part is more on common knowledge, while interview is about your attitude to life,  your goals and plans.
When you are admitted, you can apply for student housing, which is not really like a student dorm, but more like normal flats. There are a lot of these "dorms" around Helsinki, and most of international students live there, as the price is more affordable than in the private market.

How did you pay for your study abroad experience?

Since education itself is free, it is a good thing for those who cannot finance education. My mother helps me with financing my life expenses.

What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?

That living abroad is completely different from traveling abroad. :)

Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?

Surprisingly, yes. It happened several times and I learnt to be protective over myself, when needed and never let other people suppress you.

How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?

I feel that I gained that much, that I would not gain during my whole life in my home country, Living and studying abroad  opens your mind. I have collaborated with people of more than 40 nationalities, of course its amazing both personal and professional experience!

What was the most memorable moment of studying abroad?

For me that was and is meeting new international people. Making friends and networking.

How was the entertainment and nightlife?

It depends whether you area a degree student or an exchange student,  how many courses you have and whether you work&study at the same time :)

What advice do you have for students thinking about study abroad?

Definitely do it!

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