Text: Alexandra Karaseva | Pictures: Alexandra Karaseva and Jiayi Teng
Jiayi Teng is an exchange student from Qilu University of Technology (China). He came to Saimaa University of Applied Sciences to study International Business.
“Studying process at Saimaa UAS is very different than in my home university. In Saimaa UAS we combine theory and practice on the lessons. Every subject is very practical and I know how to apply the knowledge acquired here to my future job”, Jiayi notices.
“The big disadvantage for me is that living in Finland is quite expensive, when compared with Chinese prices. However, I get an experience, which is priceless – international experience”, says Jiayi. He is living in the LOAS student apartment with three flatmates: Italian, Russian and German. “We often hold international dinner parties. By the way, my mom owns a restaurant in China, I learned a lot from her. I love cooking so much, I was even given a nickname here – “Chef-Teng”! I guess I would not be able to meet so many inspiring foreigners if I were in China. I have learned a lot about the cultural differences and my English has improved significantly. This would definitely help me in my future career”.
Teng celebrated his 21st birthday with his Finnish family.
As the best involvement to the Finnish culture, Jiayi considers participation in a “Meet a Local Family” programme, which brings together international students and South Karelian Families. “I was very lucky to become a member of such a supporting and loving family! We met almost every week and spent a lot of time together. They showed me Lappeenranta, and helped me with settling here. We enjoyed cooking together, for example, we baked traditional ginger cookies for Christmas. I learned a lot about Finnish traditional meals, while I taught my Finnish family how to use chopsticks and shared some Chinese recipes. We also did sports together - my Finnish “brother” taught me ice-skating! However, the most wonderful thing they did for me was organizing my 21-birthday party! My Finnish “mother” baked me a birthday cake, I felt that she was treating me like I were her own kid.”
I learned a lot about Finnish traditional meals from my Finnish family, says Teng.