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Support from the teaching team and a quality internship help international students integrate into Finnish society

A group of Nepalese students have started their studies in Hospitality management & service design at Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Espoo, this autumn. A high-quality internship and the support of the teaching team are critical factors on the way to adapting to Finnish society.

Mika Vitikka from Laurea, project expert for the degree programme and tutor teacher, is delighted with the motivated group of 15 students who wanted to come to Finland to study for a degree in the field. The study programme has decided to help the students as much as possible in everything that will help them integrate into Finnish society and feel more comfortable in their new country of residence. One important factor is seen as helping students to find a high-quality internship as part of their studies. Dialogue and cooperation between the company, the student and the university is also seen as crucial. A helping hand has also been extended to the spouses of students to help them find a job in Finland. 

- Student well-being and satisfaction increases the enjoyment of studying and the willingness to stay in our country after completing their studies. This is, of course, in the common interest not only of the school and the student, but also of Finland as a whole. One of our most important tasks, alongside our day-to-day teaching activities, is to help students find quality traineeships. Fortunately, we have a reliable partner who already has extensive experience of the local culture and is therefore able to help them to integrate into society," Vitikka sums up.  

The experience of the company is an advantage for the student 

This week, the students met with the staff of their upcoming internship placement at the Factory restaurant chain. Factory is one of the key partners of Laurea. The Finnish-owned chain, which operates in the capital region, employs 145 people in 19 lunch restaurants. In addition to Laurea's teaching personnel, the students were met by Matti Karvonen, CEO of the restaurant chain, who has years of experience working with Nepalese people. He knows how important a good first training experience can be for a future career. 

- We already have Nepalese people working in our restaurants, many of whom have progressed with determination to become managers. In my experience, they are highly motivated and reliable workers who also pick up the language very quickly. I am happy to help international students join our community. We want to be part of creating a new culture of cooperation between students, the university, and the company. 

Sandesh Bhandar, who listened with excitement during the meeting, had a smile on his face. The student, who came to Espoo from Kathmandu, is amazed at how much the Finnish teachers help them with the practical aspects of their studies and with the adaptation to the new country. Bhandar, who worked in tourism in his home country, said he chose Finland as his study destination because of the high level of education and the reputation of its happy people.

- I wanted to study at a university of applied sciences because of its practical approach. Since arriving here, I have noticed how much the teachers have helped us to settle in. The internship at Factory is also a big opportunity. We are lucky that all this has been arranged for us," said Bhandar.


Sandesh Pandar and Purnima Sauden were discussing with Mika Vitikka and Matti Karvonen. 


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