Vanhan opiskelijablogimme arkisto löytyy alta. Saimaan ammattikorkeakoulun opiskelijoiden uusi blogi löytyy osoitteesta

This is an archive of our old Students' blog entries. Check out the new blog here:

Couldn't help coming

Good day to all reading this blog!

When you have a very eventful pastime and are involved in various kinds of activities, you don’t notice as the days go by. So didn’t I. I haven’t even noticed as the summer has flown by. Three months have passed in a twinkling of an eye. I never cease to amaze at how fast time goes by, and the recent moments are becoming nothing but memories from the past. Reflecting on it makes me reconsider my attitude to time and use it more effectively, still remembering that life is happening now, and we have to live the very moment.

The summer has passed. On one side, it’s a pity, as the light-hearted and carefree time has gone, and the study year is about to commence, which doesn’t bode well for students all over the world… On the other side, I have successfully completed all the courses at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, and I have my carefree time going on and exchange to Singapore approaching. Sorry to all reading this blog, if it hurts too badly, as you have a whole study year or two ahead :) 

Being honest with you, I have been missing Saimaa UAS and Lappeenranta very badly. Everything here has become somewhat dear and familiar to me: people, pleasant ambiance, beautiful sceneries, food, sports, cozy university campus and many more. Even though I don’t have any classes or any other purpose to go to the university, I was very much willing to come here for no other reasons, than to see my friends, to enjoy the atmosphere, and even attend some of the classes I have already passed! How strong should a student be missing his university that he starts to attend the lectures again! I could not resist the desire, so I planned my way, packed my stuff, and set off to Lappeenranta. Quite long and tiring road, but it’s completely worth it, as you arrive to Lappeenranta and it greets you with a wonderful sunny weather as you can see pictured below.

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I am planning to stay in Lappeenranta for a week or so. There are some interesting and joyfull events and activities taking place during my stay. I will attend those for sure and share it with you here in this blog. So for a deeper dive into the lively student life, follow the updates :)

Have a nice day and see you soon!


LUT Entrepreneurship Society

Hello everyone!

In this blog today I would like to introduce you another local society in Lappeenranta - LUT Entrepreneurship Society. No matter what major you have, or what degree you are pursuing - it would most probably be interesting to you.

LUTES is a student-driven entrepreneurship society based in Lappeenranta. Founded in 2010, it aims to help students learn about startup culture, as well as gives an opportunity to experience it first-hand. LUTES does not only introduce to entrepreneurship, but also facilitates in bringing students’ ideas to business. Its primary mission is to drive student entrepreneurship on a regional level. Together with other entrepreneurship societies and country level startup initiatives LUT Entrepreneurship Society aims at building a strong startup eco-system in Finland.

It organizes many events for students from both Lappeenranta University of Technology and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. Among some of them are Mini Bootcamps, each having its own business topic -  for instance, “how to find a business idea”. At these events you will have an opportunity to network with like-minded, meet new people, make friends, find a business partner, brainstorm on business ideas, as well as receive coaching from the more experience ones. Besides that, in cooperation with StartupMill, LUTES organizes Willi Idea competition, which is a grand affair for people in South Karelia. The event is seeking for new business ideas with great potential and international orientation, which can be implemented in South Karelia region. Participation is open to all everyone – both private individuals and business enterprises from South Karelia. If you have a business idea that you believe in, this event is a must for you. Not least interesting and useful event from LUTES is Summer Launchpad. It is a 10-week startup program taking place in Lappeenranta during the summer. The aim of the program is to provide 10 teams with the richest possible experience that will help them in developing their idea and starting their own business. Besides these events, LUTES is often visiting entrepreneurship events, seminars, as well as invites popular guest speakers!

If you would like to stay tuned on what is on, and know more about the upcoming events, follow updates on the LUT Entrepreneurship Society Facebook Page - Events are always exciting and interesting, so you would not want to miss them - they educate about startup culture, entrepreneurship and creativity, as well as create an enjoyable pastime in a company of like-minded people. All events and LUTES membership are free and open for everyone.

This is all for today.

Have a great day and see you soonJ

Professional practical training - summarizing the experience.

Good day to all!

In this particular blog today I would like to tell more about my professional practical training which I had during my last summer in 2016. The place for a practical training was a company named “Rigla” Ltd. I had my training in its headquarter in Moscow. The company was established in 2001. It is one of the biggest pharmacy chains in Russia with approximately 1700 drug stores in 47 regions as of 31.03.2016. It employs roughly 5000 workers, which are engaged in top management, sales, R&D, finance, marketing, graphic design, procurement, technical supply, warehouse management and many other fields. I was working there as a Network Development Manager.

During the given practical training I have performed quite a wide range of tasks. First things first, I got to know my co-workers, internship coordinator, company’s basic business operations, as well as familiarized myself with the functional department. It didn’t turn out complicated for me, as I was kindly guided and explained all the interconnections and main functions. For a second I was amazed at how numerous structural departments work finely with each other, as do gears in a gearbox.

After that I had to familiarize myself with major regulatory documents and company’s document automation system. Thanks to the following courses taken at Saimaa UAS: IT Tools, Enterprise Resource Planning and International Law and Contracts courses, it did not take me long to understand the software and the documents. Having mastered it to a moderate level, I proceeded to working with it. I had to draw up new documents and contracts, as well sort the existing ones by folders. The reality is that almost every big company has some kind of document automation system, so learning how to work with it was a very useful skill to gain. Next important task was to prepare rent agreement document packages and to check their completeness and order for submission to the relevant authorities. If any documents were missing, I had to contact lessor/sublessor and request the missing document to complement the package. It was very useful to learn basic regulatory documents and get a deeper knowledge of rent/subrent agreements. Besides that, I had to deal with correspondenceon the whole duration of the professional practical training: contacting lessors and sublessors on various matters from missing documentation, necessary repairs, outdoor advertisement, sending proposals, negotiating rental terms, asking for rent payments reduction etc. Dealing with business correspondence, communicating and negotiating were one of the most important skills that I trained during the practical training. Not least interesting and useful was getting acquainted to the feasibility study, which is conducted on each potential pharmacy location. It was really interesting to understand how all the Excel functions work and all the variables are connected to each other. Business mathematics and IT tools courses taken at Saimaaonce again proved to be very helpful. As another task, I was calculating penalties and informing debtors on the existence of unsettled payments. Adding to this, I was composing and filling in numerous payment receipts, which was some kind of a routine, but did give me good knowledge of payment receipt structure and content. Besides this, I was looking for new attractive locations to open a pharmacy, making contacts, photographing locations, counting traffic and collecting many other valuable information for the feasibility study.

As for a practice coordinator, I was once again blessed with a great one. During my practical training at “Rigla” Ltd., I received all the needed guidance, tutorial and all the relevant information on the company, work, as well as full access to numerous office facilities.Working environment was friendly and occupational safety was on a high level.

In my personal opinion, the given practical training was of great use for me. Diversity of the tasks performed has ensured noticeable broadness of the experience received. For the three months I have been working in the company, I have improved many valuable skills and gained new knowledge. I have acquainted myself with document automation system and learned many new business terms in Russian language. I have been working with great loads of business correspondence and took part in negotiation process. I dealt with rent agreements and even composed some of them myself. It gave me a deeper knowledge in legislation and contract matters. Not less valuable experience from the practical training was getting to know to the company’s feasibility studies. I was learning the main structural parts of it, sorting out formulas and interconnections of different variables. When the theoretical part of it was finished, I had an opportunity to practice it in reality. It has considerably enhanced by proficiency and structured my knowledge in this sphere.

Thanks to my wonderful practice coordinator, my labor input was exploited cleverly and considerably. My tasks were mainly interesting, non-routine, useful and practically applicable. If talking from the point of view of the practical training, the internship at “Rigla” Ltd. was a very good place. Its location is just perfect, as it helped to apply my previously received knowledge on practice and also helped to gain new knowledge and skills.

I would do a comparison between what I have learned in the UAS and what I have learned during the practical training. What I would like to say is that theoretical knowledge received at Saimaa UAS was very useful during the practical training. I worked with the contracts discussed at the course of International Business Law and Contracts. I used my IT skills received from the course of Basic IT Tools and IT Tools for Business in real business. I practiced writing business emails and worked with correspondence – the skills taught at the course of Business Correspondence, Communication at Work and Academic Writing. An important point to make is that the practical training has widened my knowledge in all the business spheres engaged. My attitudes haven’t changed significantly after doing the practical training.

As a short conclusion, I would say that the practical training has brought a very valuable and applicable experience, as well as gave an opportunity to use my previously gained knowledge.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon J

Learning foreign languages

Good evening to all!

Being not so motivated student at high school, I had to be constantly controlled and “guided”, as I would have most probably chose rowing training over boring textbooks or preparing for my extra English classes, if left on my own. It is not that my studying results were poor. On the contrary, I had a normal average between four and five on a scale of 1-5, where 5 stands for excellent, so all was not lost for me.

It was a summer before the last year of high school when I had some kind of enlightenment. I suddenly came to realize, that if I don’t come to senses and start studying really hard, all the hopes for entering university (the one that I wanted) shall be abandoned, and so shall the hopes for a bright future. It really set me thinking. One year left to prepare for all the exams – not so long, but better start late than never, right? J

At that time, I didn’t know for sure, whether I would apply to a Finnish University, or not. The final decision, as I very well remember now, was made on one of the evenings in an early August 2014. There was no hesitation on whether to apply to Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, but rather a hesitation on whether to accept the challenge. At that time it was a challenge for me. As you might understand, I did accept it. Looking back on that time, I feel that it was the right decision to take, the life-changing one.

My English teacher was quite surprised when I called her in an early August, asking for English classes to prepare for IELTS. Two months haven’t passed, since I was advocating for suspending English classes for the summertime, and now I am calling her and asking for the opposite. She definitely did not expect such a change in me.

I had one English lesson per week, but a great load of homework to do at home: essay-writing, listening exercises, as well as reading and speaking. I studied about three hours every day for several months, and eventually got my IELTS certificate with an overall band score of 7.0 (8.5 for listening, 7.5 for reading, 5.5 for writing, and 6.5 for speaking). It was my first important milestone one the way to entering Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, but still there was a lot of work ahead.

Looking back at that times, I could say that English language was some kind of a start in my life. It opened the door to Finnish Higher Education, which otherwise would have been unreachable for me. Now that I am student at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, I very well understand the importance of learning languages. Nowadays, knowledge of English is no longer that much of an advantage, but rather a must. I can see that more and more people around me are learning second and even third foreign language, and so can you! Besides field-specific language studies, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences provides elective language studies in Russian, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Finnish, English, and Swedish languages. Moreover, student of Saimaa UAS can enroll in language course at LUT, which makes your selection range even wider. As the degree of international student is very high in Lappeenranta, you can have a lot of speaking practice in almost any language, or participate in an “Each One Teach One” course. In order to strengthen you language knowledge, you can choose a country for an exchange or a practical training, where the studied language is a national one. This will give you an even higher language expertise.

Learning languages is extremely important nowadays, as we live in a multilingual world that is becoming increasingly globalized. Foreign languages can help you progress in career, gain awareness of other culture, as well as get an access to a huge pile of knowledge of other nations. Good that there is every opportunity for studying and practicing foreign languages while studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soonJ

The charming beauty of South Karelia

Good day to all reading this blog, and to all those not reading it too!

The weather in Lappeenranta is said to be not as summer-like, as it normally should be. When leaving Lappeenranta for my professional practical training, I must have taken the summer warmth along to Moscow, as the temperature rarely drops below +25 °C here.

During the last days of my stay in Lappeenranta, the weather was very rich in lovely summer days, and I managed to capture it with my phone camera. In this blog today I would like to share the passion that I have to the nature of beautiful South Karelia, pictured on the modest works of mine. I do not claim to be a professional photographer, so do make an allowance for the low resolution of my camera and the amateurish skills.

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There is no excuse for anyone to stay at home when the weather is like this. It is a criminal negligence, so to say. There was no excuse even for me, although I had four exams knocking at my door. Simply irresistible charm.

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Do take a bike ride or a walk. In doing so, you will most probably be rewarded with an even more beautiful view. I made this shot on my way to the university. A pleasant view to behold every day. Believe it or not, I never get tired of it. It is like a breath of fresh air.

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If you take just one turn off the beaten track, you might discover a sunlit meadow, at which you can walk, play sports, exercise or have a picnic with your friends.

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While cycling slowly on one of the numerous bicycle lanes, you will hear the wonderful birdsong that will accompany you all the way. Astonishingly, I rarely wake up to the sound of my alarm clock, but I am very much likely to wake up to the birdsong and the sunlight flooding my room. It is often so, and I need just a single glance to awake.

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One of the lovely mornings in May.

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You definitely would not like to miss the chance and take a bike ride or a walk along the shore of Saimaa Lake. The sceneries are spectacular! I know from my own experience that it is also a very good place for jogging. The forest paths and trails are much better for the feet than the asphalted ones.

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While on your way home, you might contemplate a wonderful sunset which will not leave anyone indifferent to the charming beauty of South Karelia.

The photos that you see in this blog are just a few of the many beauties that you can get to see here. Come and explore yourself, and you will definitely encounter the even more spectacular sceneries.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon :)

Student guilds

Hello to all reading this blog! J

Continuing the section of blog entries on active student life in Lappeenranta, I would like to write about a special format of student association, which you have most probably heard about. It is called a “Guild”.

Attached to almost each degree programme on our Campus, is a ‘guild’. They have various social activities and provide a lot of useful benefits.

The main student associations at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences are:

1. LaKOSTE ry - Lappeenrannan korkeakouluopiskelijat sosiaali- ja terveysalalta ry (

2. LapIO ry - Lappeenrannan Insinööriopiskelijat (

3. LapTOp ry - Lappeenrannan Tradenomiopiskelijat ry (

4. IMAKO - Imatran ammattikorkeakouluopiskelijat ry

These organizations, or guilds, are creating a positive environment on campuses, as students have organizations to belong to. In these communities, students can use their strength and feel empowered, as it is not only about having joyful and fun time, but also lobbying students’ interests and doing something useful, for example, cleaning forest and fields from dry tree branches.

The distinctive feature of the guilds’ members is that they are wearing outfits – colored overalls with various ribbons, symbolizing different events, in which the particular student participated or organized. Each of the guilds consist of a student board that regulates the activities of the organization.

To learn more about the upcoming events and how to get into the guilds, follow the links above.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon! J

Clubs on interests

No, no, no, and once again no!Studying in Finland is not mostly about drinking and having a not so sober pastime :D I deny it here openly, as there is such a prejudice among those who haven’t studied in Finland, or those who have failed to diversify their leisure. One of the causes of this misbelief, as I think, is that people are not so well informed. If only people new of the existing alternatives and were aware of the upcoming events, they would not have continued to insist on their point of view. Yes, I admit that booze is a part of students’ culture in Finland, but not more than that of any other country, as I can see from my personal experience.

At your disposal are all the means of pleasant pastime: from the well-equipped sporting facilities to the numerous clubs on interests, student guilds, thematic get-togethers, concerts, and many more to choose from – you just need to search a little bit more carefully.

With an aim to ease your search, I am starting a separate section of blog entries on how to spend your pastime. In the coming blog entries, I will write more specifically about student guilds, university sport facilities and major social events taking place at the university. In this blog today, I would like to tell you about numerous clubs on interests.

If you are a student at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, I would first recommend you to take a closer look at SAIKO, which is a university organization (students union) that works for the benefit of us, students. It arranges various kinds of events and activities to enrich students’ lives. It is an absolute must, I would say, to participate, or at least attend, the annual freshmen race. Beginning of the academic year is slowly approaching, and it means that next freshmen race is not that far away. I will certainly write about it here, as it is a very lively and cheerful student event. You can find more infromation about it from here:

Saimaa UAS’s students can also join LTKY’s clubs, which is The Student Union of Lappeenranta University of Technology. There are numerous active clubs, which are operating under the union. These clubs can make your free time way more interesting and fun, and new members are more than welcome! Here are some of the clubs that you can join:



More information on the clubs could be found here:

I hope that this blog was of at least some use to you and helped to find something interesting.


This is all for today.


Have a nice evening and see you soon! :)


Practicalities of studying

Good day to all reading this blog!

I wonder how quickly time passes by when your days are busy with work or studies. The end of second year studies was not so long ago. Next thing you know, it is almost August. It seems that my first day of studies at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences is so close, as if it was just yesterday. Next thing you know, two years have already passed, and there is only one left.

This time two years ago I was already a student of Saimaa UAS. The summer months were full of pleasant anticipations for the study year to start off, and mark the beginning of a new stage in life. As I was preparing for moving to Lappeenranta, time was flying by, and the month of August was already there bringing closer the day when I will eventually meet my groupmates and dive into a lively student life. It really happened fast.

A new study year is approaching very fast. For some of you reading this blog, this year is the first one. Therefore, it would be good for you to be familiar with some aspect of students’ life. For this purpose, I have decided “practicalities of studying” to be a topic of today’s blog entry.

Academic year

The academic year consists of three semester: autumn, spring and summer semesters. Each of the first two semesters consists of two study periods. The autumn term begins in August and finalizes just before Christmas. The spring term runs from January to May. The summer term starts in May and ends in August. You can see the Academic year calendar below:

academic year 2016-2017


Each of the degree programmes has a programme-specific detailed annual plan, which is called curriculum. These curricula could be found on the student pages of Saimaa UAS at > Studies > Shortcuts > SoleOPS. As I have already mentioned in one of the previous articles, SoleOPS is an online system for the planning of teaching.


European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard of comparing the study performance of students of higher education across the EU. Students earn credits for the courses they complete as a part of their degree. Depending on the degree programme, bachelor’s degrees comprise 210 or 240 credits. One credit is approximately 27 hours of work. Average annual workload is 60 credits, but you can increase the amount of credits by taking some extra courses or courses from the next year, if it is allowed.


If you ever fail an exam at your first try, do not fear an early expulsion from the university, as you have the right to two more chances to take a replacement exam. If you ever get a poor grade, you have one more try to achieve a higher one. It really makes students’ life easier and less stressful.


Courses are graded either “pass”-“fail”, or on a scale of 1-5, where 5 stands for excellent and 1 stands for satisfactory, but still is a pass. From my personal experience, grading is absolutely fair and unbiased, and students get the grade that they really deserve. For those of you who are planning to apply for Master’s degree after getting bachelor’s, I would strongly advise to keep your average grade on high level, as it is one of the selection criteria.


The necessity of attending courses is determined by the teacher at the beginning of each course. A course could have free and compulsory attendance, or could be fully taught online.

Enrolment for a study year

If you are a new student, and have already informed Saimaa UAS of your acceptance of the study place, you are then enrolled automatically. Please note that students must register as present or absent at the beginning of each school year.

Enrolment on study course

Students must enroll on study course via WinhaWille, which is a student interface to the WinhaPro student administration system. There will be an introductory course on this and other student interfaces in the beginning of your study year, so don’t fear it. It will come easy after some time.

Study support for students

Both Skinnarila and Linnala campus have their own student affairs office, from where students can get information about certificates of study, grades and student identification card.

The information provided in this blog is valid as of July 19, 2016. For more full and up-to-date information on practicalities of studying, please, refer to Saimaa UAS’s Official Web Page.

This is all for today. Hope today’s blog entry would be of at least some use to you.

Have a nice day and see you soon!

International environment and open-mindedness

Good day to all!

My exchange studies at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore are slowly approaching. It will not be long before I find myself sitting in a plane, which will take me almost 10000 km from where I am. Reflecting on the incredible journey that awaits me, I cannot refrain from saying: How huge and versatile the Earth is! It is a home for all of us. Despite the fact that we share one and the same home, we are so different and unlike each other. The world appears to be so multifaceted and diverse, that the realization of it takes my breath away.

We live in a world full of contrasts, which at times seem unconceivable. There haven’t been many of such contrasts in my life, but there is a simply one which never ceases to amaze me over the years I recall it. I am originally from a small town in Russia near the Russian-Finnish border. The town is called Sortavala. It is just 65 km from the border with our neighbor. The nearest and more or less populated Finnish town, Joensuu, is in approximately 150 km. The distance is relatively small to our measures, so Russians have always been very frequent visitors to the city of Joensuu, and so have I. These childhood trips of mine have always brought me some food for thought, and at these very trips I captured the contrasts, in which Russian and Finnish lives are so rich. What amazed me most during my trips to Finland is how multinational and multicultural their populations is, as compared to the one in my home town. I hardly ever got to see a foreigner in Sortavala, whereas Joensuu must have had all countries represented in its local population. It would not have been so astonishing to me, if the distance was not just 150 km! Just think about it – 150 km, and you are like in different world. For a ten-year-old me it was a real discovery. I think that it did change my perception of the world from something immense and boundless to a more interrelated, united and somewhat more close to me. If those people dared to move from one country to another and became more international and cosmopolitan, why could not I?  Without an exaggeration, it was a true mind-opening. As I was gradually realizing that the world is one whole, I started to think of studying abroad, and Finland was the first and the only country on my list.

As the years were passing by, and my high-school final year was approaching, I was more and more inclined to apply for studying at a Finnish University. So it happened. The final decision itself, as I remember now, was made on one of September evenings in the start of my high-school final year. Looking back, I feel that it was the right decision to take.

Now that I am a student of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, international environment is no longer a wonder or a novelty. It is the ordinary course of life here, and it is still truly amazing to me. Lappeenranta is a very international city, as Saimaa UAS and LUT are strongly internationally-oriented. Whatever period you come here for – full degree, one study year, or just an exchange semester – you will definitely appreciate the lively international and multicultural atmosphere here. You will most probably get to study and work with people from all over the world, who can later become good friends of yours, as it is the true in my case. As soon as you made a friend in some other part of the world, you can go there for a study exchange or a practical training as a part of a degree program! Isn’t it a fantastic opportunity? You have all of it and much more.

It might sound pathetic, but it’s true: the more I study in Finland, the more I get convinced that the whole world is open for us. You can be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want to do, and you should not necessarily be bound to some geographic location. We are the people of the world, and we have every opportunity to arrange our lives the way we want them to be.

I would like to finalize today’s blog with a quote:


This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon J

Country with the highest standard of living

Hello everyone!

No major changes have occurred to me, and I am still writing to you from Moscow, where my professional practical training takes place at a company called “Rigla”. I love it very much here, but more often it seems to me that the two study years at Saimaa UAS have not simply passed, but have left a noticeable trace. The weather is said to be not summer-like at all in Lappeenranta, and the lively student life has slowed down, as all the scholars have left the city for home, exchange or a practical training, as I did. Nevertheless, the more I spend outside Lappeenranta, the stronger is my desire to go there. I think that Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, and, of course, Lappeenranta have won a separate place in my heart. I feel that I start missing the pleasant and situating atmosphere of the city, spectacular natural sceneries, my place, and, of course, the university. Good that I have made a lot of photos before my departure, so that I can live out to the day in September when I will eventually visit Lappeenranta.

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While being away from Finland, I do take a notice of all the differences between the places of my destination and Finland. There are quite many of them, as my destinations vary widely. One evident difference which strikes the eye is the difference in the standard of life. Nowadays, people no longer get surprised that Scandinavian nations score highly in the index of social progress. A recent study by the non-profit organization Social Progress Imperative has served as another proof of high living standard in the Nordic countries. I was not surprised at all that Finland took the first place in a list of twenty countries. No, you haven’t misheard. Finland is officially a country with the highest standard of living. If you ever came to Finland, haven’t you noticed that by yourself?

For you to better understand, Social Progress Index comprises three main indexes, and Finland scored highly on almost each of them:

1. Basic Human Needs (medical care, sanitation and shelter)

2. Foundations of Wellbeing (quality of education, access to technology, and life expectancy)

3. Opportunity (personal rights, freedom of choice, and general tolerance)

From my point of view, it is very much the truth. It was, by the way, one of the reasons that my parents so strongly advocated for studying in Finland, and I am glad that I chose for what I chose. I truly enjoy living in Finland, as there are all the necessary conditions for studying, sport and leading a very pleasant lifestyle. For this I would like to thank Finland, as it is a very hospitable country, and a very beautiful one.

Lappeenranta harbour

Let’s now get back from the hearty wishes to the topic of today’s blog, as it would never end  Another fact, which is of particular interest to me, is that Finland ranks at the top in education and skills! According to the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, the average student in Finland scored highest in reading, literacy, math and science. In other words, it is the top-performing country in terms of the quality of its educational system. What a pleasant fact to know, when you are studying at a Finnish University and pursuing a bachelor degree which is recognized across the EU-countries.

All in all, it is very pleasant to realize that I get to study in a hospitable country which has the highest quality of life, such a beautiful nature and a very enjoyable ambiance.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon!

Lappeenranta Academic Library

Good day to all reading this blog!

What do you think are the main drivers of an educational process? From my point of view, they are teachers, study materials and the corresponding technical equipment to facilitate the learning process. I have already touched on the latter, so the reader should have already got a basic idea of it. Continuing the theme, I have decided university study materials to be a topic of today’s blog. In particular, I would like to tell about the basis of Lappeenranta city academic life – Lappeenranta Academic Library. I have already referred to it many times in my previous blogs, for it is one of my favorite parts at the university. It is not only an excellent service, but a very cozy place. The library also serves as a European Documentation Center.

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Lappeenranta Academic Library middle and upper floors

The library is a joint one for the Lappeenranta University of Technology and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. It provides an extensive collection of literature titles and journals, as well as library services in different specialist fields for researchers and the general public. While being the core of the alma mater in its traditional sense, the library does not neglect to implement innovations that significantly facilitate the use of the library and contribute to the seamless flow of an educational process. If you would like to know how technologies work in this case – continue reading this blog.

Books and journals of Lappeenranta Academic Library are catalogued in the Wilma database. With the use of simple search function in Wilma, you can search for the shelf location or the availability of a known resource, or do a literature search of a subject which interests you.

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Books are in an alphabetical order grouped by topics and fields of study. If you have any problems finding necessary book, library assistants are always there to help you.

Besides books, there are also other materials to read in the library. You can, for example, find latest newspapers and recognized scientific and business journals like The Economist, Bloomberg, and Financial Times.

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As soon as you found what you needed, you can loan the book using the borrowing self-service, which speeds up the process notably.

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Borrowing self-service

If you haven’t found a book on the topic you need, which is quite improbable, you can also search among the Lappeenranta Academic Library’s eBooks. The library has single e-books as well as large e-books collections. You can read them online in your web browser, or download to your device or computer. You can even use the e-books collection by remote access, when you are on holidays or off for an exchange. All the e-books the Lappeenranta Academic Library has purchased can be found in the Saimaa UAS’s Nelli-portal. Besides e-books, Saimaa UAS grants you online access to an even more extensive collection of newspapers and journals.


Besides all the imaginable study materials like books, journals, and newspapers, library provides various equipment for students’ use: computers, scanners and printers. If you need a quite space for studying and working, you can also find it there in the library, as there is a silent floor and several rooms for teams and thesis writers. I think that a student could not desire a better place to study.

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20160908 122612I am sure it would be interesting for you to know: for the two years that I have been studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, I haven’t bought any course book, except a few for a Finnish Language and Culture series of courses (we had four Finnish courses in total). It was necessary to buy (or borrow from someone) those ones, as almost any language course implies that a student reads and does exercises in his/her course book. Without it, the course would have been incomplete. As for all other courses, students can find all the necessary books and study materials either in Lappeenranta Academic Library, or in an electronic form in a library’s online depositories. It is a very considerable advantage, given that one academic book could cost up to 200 e. Imagine how much it could cost, if one had to provide him/herself with all the books. It is, actually, the case in some other countries, which significantly adds to the spendings on education. So good that Saimaa UAS and LUT spared its students from such expenditures.

In my opinion, Lappeenranta Academic Library is the edge of student’s dreams. It has an extensive collection of literature titles and journals, as well as all the services and infrastructure to facilitate convenient and effective learning. While being so, it remains to be a cozy place with a lovely atmosphere.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon! :)

No stress

Good day to all reading this blog!

It is almost two years that I am studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, and I very much love it here. Studying, however, might be not so pleasant for students in other countries of the world. As weird as it may sound, in some countries, students could have already got their first grey hair by the second year of studying at a university, as studies could be very stressful there at times. I would hardly believe this could be the case at a Finnish University, as the education process is organized in a way that such critical, stressful moments have no preconditions to arise. If still any of such arise, teaching and administration staff is doing its best to track them down and eliminate.

In this blog entry today I would like to express my modest opinion on how Finland secures that its education is least stressful while still remaining one of the most successful in the world.

Student-teacher interactions

If you are a foreign student coming to study at a Finnish University, there is one peculiarity that you will probably need time to get used to. Whereas in some countries power distance between the teacher and the student is very high, as it is, for example, in Germany and Russia, the situation in Finland is absolutely different. Studying environment is pretty much informal. It is common that you call teachers and university administration by their first name, and not by their academic degree or whatever. I don’t mean that you can treat a teacher as a friend of yours – not at all. Being polite and respectful is a precondition for any effective communication. The interaction between a student and a teacher is very important in developing a student’s academic self, motivation, as well as to encourage achievements. In my opinion, higher education in Finland is developed to serve this purpose.

Finnish teachers are always ready and willing to help you with all the questions which might arise. They tend to be very communicative, and are always open for questions, comments, discussions, and everything else that might help improve your understanding and their way of teaching. If you ever get to study at a Finnish University, you will notice that there is a plenty of surveys and feedback forms to improve the quality of teaching and student satisfaction.

For the two years that I have been studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, I have never heard a teacher shouting or even talking to students in a raised voice. Humiliation or insults have never taken place in a classroom or outside it.

Objectivity of evaluation

One of the Finnish teachers’ qualities that, to my opinion, cannot be questioned, is that they follow the principles of objectivity, transparency and impartiality in their assessment of students’ achievements. There is no place for prejudgment, personal preferences or anything else which undermines the credibility of the education. If you have any questions or doubts regarding the grade for your exam or assignment, you can easily ask for clarification of why that particular grade was given to you. Your teacher will schedule an appointment, at which you can ask all the questions and go through the work of yours, as well as receive the comments on grading.


If you ever fail an exam at your first try, do not fear an early expulsion from the university, as you have the right to two more chances to take a replacement exam. If you ever get a poor grade, you have one more try to achieve a higher one. Even if, after all, you fail the exam, you can take it next year. It really makes students’ life easier and less stressful.

Support from tutors and degree manager

Another great feature of Finnish educations is that students are not left on their own during their studies. Class tutors and degree managers are doing their best to ensure that students progress well enough in their studies, that they are not stressed and are involved into the student society. For this purpose, tutors and degree manager organize group meeting and personal discussions with students.  If it happens that you experience some problems with your studies, you will receive help and advice from your degree manager on how to plan your studies, so that you would be able to earn the necessary amount of ECTS credits.

In my opinion, the combination of open student-teacher interaction, objectivity of evaluation, reexamination opportunities and support from tutors and managers, Finnish education presents a very comfortable environment for studying.

This is all for today.

Take care and see you soonJ

Educational technologies make studies way more convenient

Good day to all reading this blog!

I wonder from time to time: “What a truly convenient and comfortable time we are living in. Our lives are way easier than that of those who, let’s say, lived a century or even a half ago.” In my honest opinion, it has mainly become possible due to the rapid advancement of technology, which continues to increase its presence in our lives. It is facilitating, assisting or even substituting people in their daily activities. You can see its contributions in almost any field: communication, construction, medicine and many others. At such times, technology cannot be disregarded, as it plays a very important role. So does it in education. There is no such university ranking which does not take into account educational technologies, as they largely predetermine the quality of teaching and learning. For this reason, I would like technology to be the topic of today’s blog entry. In particular, I would like to write about the educational technologies that accompany and assist students of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences along their study path.

Saimaa University of Applied Sciences has several platforms and applications, which are commonly used by all the students, no matter what their degree specializations are. Whether you are an engineer, tourism hospitality or international business student, you will most probably get to use five of the following tools: MS Office Outlook 365, Moodle, WinhaWille, TimeEdit and SoleOPS. There is one more, which I have not mentioned intentionally. It is for sure one of the most powerful tools that Saimaa UAS’s student will have at his/her disposal during the studies. It is the common library of Saimaa University of Applied Sciences and Lappeenranta University of Technology, which certainly deserves a separate blog entry to be written about. I will devote one of the next blog articles to the library, which I strongly adore for its extensive collection of literature titles and journals, both in print and electronic format, as well as well-equipped and cleverly-managed study space and the cozy fatboys I sometimes rest on.

“You are such a hardworking student, Aleksei! Whenever I ask you, you are always in the library!”

Me be like:

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The aim of this particular blog is just shortly introducing the applications and platforms previously mentioned. Not instructing on how to use them, as Saimaa UAS’s students have an introductory course on all of them at the beginning of their studies.

From the student’s point of view, I could say that the given applications strongly facilitate studying process. How exactly? Continue reading and you will find out.

MS Office 365

It provides free collaboration tools for students, faculty and university stuff. A functional and convenient e-mail service plus an extensive pack of MS Office applications that you can install on up to 5 of your devices.



Moodle is a learning management system, which is used for blended learning, distance education, flipped classroom and various other purposes you will later be acknowledged to. It can be easily customized - both by the teacher and the student, so that it would fit your their needs to the most. One of the main spheres of application is the creation of private websites with online courses. I have personally enjoyed the benefits of this system for the last two study years, and I could say that it really makes study process more effective and convenient. For instance, a student has an access to all the study materials and exercises on the course he is enrolled to, so you can access them anywhere and anytime, given that you have an internet connection. Convenient, right? The system also enables students to upload their exercises, open discussions and to follow study progress.



No more student’s record-books on paper. It is the 21st century now! WinhaWille is an intranet service that allows Saimaa UAS’s students to check their personal data, credits and assessments that have been recorder in the credit record. Besides this, WinhaWille is used for course enrollment. Depending on your study efforts, WinhaWille will either bring you joy, or sadness J Your study progress can be accessed anytime and anywhere, given that you have an internet connection.


No more study timetables on a paper. It is the 21st century now! With TimeEdit you can find timetables of groups, courses and teachers, as well as reserve a room or some equipment. You no longer need to go the university or ask your friends. With TimeEdit it is a matter of just few mouse-clicks.



Course contents and requirements, annual plan for an academic year, elective studies, contents of a degree programme, curriculum – all of these and many more could be accessed through SoleOPS platform.

Altogether, these programs form a very convenient student interface, which enables an ongoing communication and uninterrupted study process, as well as facilitates access to all the necessary study information.

There are, of course, more degree-specific computer programs for different fields of study, but the aim of today’s blog was to write about the ones which are commonly used by Saimaa UAS’s students. 

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon! J

What it costs to be a student?

Good day to all reading this blog!

These days I often catch myself recalling on my study years at Saimaa UAS. It seems that I start missing the university, the studies and the lively student atmosphere. In such moments, shots of spectacular sceneries of South Karelia are as a ray of sunshine to me.

spectacular view for the blog


“Higher education is totally for free in Finland – both for EU citizens and non-EU/EEA students” – I was telling my father approximately three years ago, when I was applying for studying at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences. “No tuition fees at all - neither for bachelor, nor master degree studies” – I went on to explain. “The main items of expenditure are accommodation, food, transportation and some side spendings”. – I concluded.

“How is that possible? Check once again. You must have mistaken” – my father replied with a faint note of incredulity in his voice.

“No, I know it for sure” – I continued to stand for my point.

“How do you know that?” – he wondered.

“I know it from two good Russian friends of mine, who have been studying there for two years now. Both of them are pursuing bachelor degrees in International Business in English, and they pay no tuition fees.

This conversation could have continued for long hours, if I didn’t eventually find an official website on Finnish Higher Education and pointed on a corresponding clause there. My father simply could not believe that a high-quality higher education in an EU-country could be totally free of charge for foreign citizens. It was hard to grasp it for a person, who, as a businessman, learned from his own experience that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, and that quality should be paid for. That clause on the website was a partial refutation of the principle.

I studied hard to prepare for the entrance exams, and I succeeded in it. It turned out that I was right, and the higher education was for free in Finland, and it has been for free until recently, when the Finnish government decided to introduce tuition fees which will concern non-EU/EEA degree students who start their studies in English-taught Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in August 2017 or after that. The fees, however, will not concern those non-EU/EEA students who have started their studies before autumn 2017.

In this blog today I would like to make a short overview of the major costs associated with studying in Lappeenranta.

Tuition fees

As for Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, the annual tuition fees for students in Bachelor’s degree programmes is 4300 e, for students in Master’s degree programmes 5100 e, and 3100 e for double degree students. Even now that the tuition fees are introduced, it seems that they are considerably lower in Finland than in many EU-countries. Moreover, Saimaa UAS has developed a scholarship scheme, through which students apply for a scholarship to cover the tuition fees at the same time when they apply for Saimaa UAS. Scholarship is either full or partial, and covers 50-100% of the tuition fees. The main criteria are student’s performance and compliance with the university rules, so if you are a hard-working student, you might get a partial or full scholarship. For more detailed and up-to-date information, please, refer to Saimaa UAS’s official website.


Most of the students in Lappeenranta are renting apartments from Lappeenranta Area Student Housing Foundation (LOAS). Depending on the number of rooms, location, condition of an apartment, and whether it is furnished or not – price varies from 260 euros to 500 euros per month. Understandably, studio apartments are most expensive, whereas a room in a three-room shared apartment might cost you just 260 euros per month. The apartment that I used to live in was a shared two bedroom one – it cost me 278 euros/month. The price included all the utilities, usage of furniture and an Internet access. Besides this, a tenant has an access to a laundry room with several washing machines and one-two dryers and an additional room with heating for drying.

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My place.


There are, basically, four options of how to get around Lappeenranta: walking, cycling, public transport and your own car. Cycling costs will solely depend on whether you have a bicycle and the corresponding maintenance costs arising from its usage. As for public transport, a student can purchase a bus card with an unlimited travel for 40 euros per month.

For the two years that I lived in Lappeenranta, I never bought a bus card, as my house was in a walking distance from the university and shops. However, you might sometimes need to get to the city center, which is not that close, so you will probably choose bicycle or bus over walking 10 km.

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My one and only favorite mean of transport.


Understandably, food costs are largely dependent on personal preferences. The least expensive food stores are Lidl and Prisma. Not so expensive are K- and S-Market. If you don’t feel like cooking, you can eat at the university canteens, which I very much adore. I spend about 300-350 euros per month on average.

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Eating at a university canteen. Simple but very tasty and nourishing.


One of the things that I so much love about Finland, is how properly it equips sporting facilities, while still making them affordable. It seems that a student has every opportunity to lead a healthy lifestyle in Finland. You can either jog on a forest path and contemplate a lovely view, or swim in a local swimming pool (3,5 e per visit; subscriptions are way cheaper), or buy a subscription to a gym (from 20 e per semester to 60 e per month – it solely depends on your preferences). There are also various group sports classes, martial arts and many others. You can find more information about it on the following website:

I think I have covered the main costs of living in Finland. There are, of course, costs arising from partying and having a pleasant pastime, but it is solely dependent on your preferences, and there is no sense in making estimations.

This is all for today.

Have a day and see you soon!

Not memorizing, but understanding

Good day to all reading this blog!

For many of my compatriots, studying at a higher education institutions at home is very much associated with memorizing and keeping in mind a vast amount of information from many different fields, which, in some cases, may be not so directly related to their major field of study. Too often it results in a luck of motivation and exhaustion, as students burn out due to the backbreaking workload at a university. For them, summer is like a mirage, an oasis in a desert to have some rest, and it later turns out that the whole summer was spent to recover and to gain strength for the upcoming year, while it could be spent in a more productive way.

The effectiveness of such education process, which leaves its students feeling drained of energy and motivation, seems questionable to me, as students do not get more interested in their subjects, but rather become less receptive and more apathetic to the incoming information.

In my honest opinion, clever workload management is one of the factors that predetermine the effectiveness of any study program. It is also very important to arouse and stimulate interest. This, in turn, will motivate students to explore and learn more and more of what is interesting to them, and will not eventually get them burned out. Speaking from my own experience, I can say that Finland has managed to organize is well. For example I got very interested in macroeconomics and management after the courses called “Global Economics and Finance” and “Analysis of Financial Statement”. To explore more of these subjects, I have an extensive e-library at my disposal and two great books, which were discarded by the Lappeenranta Academic Library and given out to students.

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The previous study year didn’t leave me exhausted or burned out, so I have a lot of energy during the summer to work, write blog, do sports, and study the subjects which are of particular interest to me. There is also time for all of these during the whole study year, as university does not take all of your personal time, and leaves some for leisure activities.

As I see it, education is about understanding how things work, and not learning them by heart, as we have computers to remember for us. For this purpose, studying at a Finnish University of Applied Sciences is organized in a way, that students get the understanding of things and processes.

In today’s modern world, where the amount of information is immense, it does not seem possible to memorize every piece of information that your subject covers. Therefore, besides understanding, it is very important to be able to work in groups and seek for the right information. These are absolutely important skills. One proverb says: “If you want to go far – go together”. For going together, you need a group, a team. Another wise proverb says: “He who owns the information, owns the world”. If you get to study at Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, you will have both of these skills practiced heavily. To be honest, they have proved to be very useful on practice during my basic and current professional practical training.

What I absolutely love about studying here at Saimaa UAS, is that it is not all about learning by heart, but more about understanding things, working in projects and seeking for the right information.

This is all for today.

Have a nice day and see you soon! J


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