Moi! My name is Kelly Keodara. I am from the United States. I have been living in Tampere for 2.5 years now. I came to study for my Master’s degree in Media Education. I chose to come to Tampere because it had the only university that offered a Master’s program that I wanted to pursue. And Finland is renowned for having one of the top education systems in the world! With a background in broadcast journalism and passion in education, I was looking for a combination of the two — in which I found at Tampere University.
There were no real challenges for me, as I arrived with an open mind with no expectations, and I took every opportunity that I could. This really helped me integrate into the culture quite easily, by stepping out of my comfort zone and meeting Finns. Of course, there is a language barrier sometimes, but for the majority, if someone couldn’t speak English, I have never had an issue communicating by other means. Everyone is so friendly and helpful, so that I am very appreciative of.
Since completing my studies, I have had the opportunity to work for Finnish tech companies as a Marketing Communications Specialist. I intend to stay in Finland a bit longer to experience life outside of the university as a working professional. I also plan to master the lovely language of Finnish (as best as I can).
I have had very positive moments in Finland, creating wonderful friendships and relationships here. What I value most is the quality of life in Finland. This includes, and certainly not limited to, life-long education, safety, honesty, tranquility, and my favorite, the sauna. Finland has been voted by the United Nations as the happiest country 2 years in a row for good reason.
Arrive with an open mindset and your time in Finland will truly be enjoyable and totally worth it.
My advice for future generations who come to study and perhaps live in Tampere is: step out of your comfort zone. Go out and meet the Finns. They are quite friendly I assure you! Learn the language. It’s not difficult, just different. And taste the mustamakkara, you can always down it with a strong Finnish beverage. Arrive with an open mindset and allow yourself to be exposed to new opportunities — and your time in Finland will truly be enjoyable and totally worth it.
Tervetuloa! We warmly welcome you to Tampere.