Pursuing personal goals 

Opportunity to study and live abroad was my number one goal: when I was 14 I clearly understood that it was a right path for me and started to improve my English. At the same time I researched potential places, where I would love to go.

Those days, Finnish education was not really popular or I probably just did not meet people from there, who could have shared their experience. But on my last school year I met a couple of guys in my home city, who had just been accepted to Finnish universities and they introduced me to all the benefits.

We kept in touch when they finally moved to Finland and I was really impressed by their stories: study syllabus created by your own, modern university campuses, beautiful nature, bicycles as the main transport and features of Finnish mentality. As a result, there was no other choice, but to apply there.

City center in Kuopio


Moving to Eastern Finland

When I moved to Kuopio I was only 18 years old: I was admitted to the business programme just after graduation from high school in Russia. The main reason I chose Kuopio was proximity to my home city: in fact, it was my very first time to move from my homeland, which of course might lead to stress and homesickness. Luckily, it took only 7 hours by car to travel from my Russian home to my new, Finnish one.

Another reason was good infrastructure: airport and railway stations in Kuopio, which made it easier to travel within and beyond Finland.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the charm of nature, because Kuopio is a lakeland harbour town. In fact, it is the largest Lake District in Europe, which attracts tourists from all over the world.


Puijo tower


First impression

It is important to mention that I had never been to Kuopio before I moved there. All my knowledge consisted only of friends' feedback and googled images.

After 7 hours of driving I was extremely happy to bring all my stuff to my new accommodation: a small room in a student dormitory, where 3 more people lived. I was impressed by the convenience of Scandinavian design: everything inside our flat was quite new and cozy!

After settling down and unpacking my stuff I decided to explore the surroundings, and my expectations about “bicycle-as-the-main-transport” were proved: everyone prefered to use them instead of public or private transport in the small town, and by everyone I mean people from the early childhood to elderly ages.

Another thing that impressed me during my first days were modern university campuses. They were literally as the ones I had seen in foreign movies: big and comfortable libraries, spacious classrooms, student cafeterias, where lunch cost around 2 €, hobby clubs, and many more. In essence, Kuopio is a student town, including four universities and plenty of colleges, providing everything students need.


Study in Kuopio


Kuopio International Student Association 

...Or ESN KISA was introduced to all freshmen during our first weeks of studying. It is a local meeting platform for international and Finnish students, with a goal to make time in Kuopio as fun and memorable as possible.

It offers plenty of activities: movie nights, smoke sauna, trips to Lapland and Stockholm, Christmas parties, international food festivals, karaoke nights, and board game nights. Due to the wide range of activities, the organisation helps satisfy the hobby needs of each student and helps them to adapt in new environment faster.

Fun fact: ESN KISA has bear mascot called Otso, and he has his own Facebook profile. Would you like to experience student life in Kuopio with Otso? (Yes / definitely yes).


Bear Mascot Otso


Gastronomy perks

Due to the fact that people can visit the International food market and many street food events in the market square during summer time, enjoying delicacies from Savo region, European Region of Gastronomy 2020 title was recommended to be given to the Kuopio Region.

You definitely need to participate in SATOA international food festival, Kuopio Wine Festival, which gives traditional wines and foods the local touch of Savo, or “Kalaryssäys” fish market event where you can try Finnish delicacies, such as freshly smoked salmon, or fried vendace, and much more. Strongly recommend you to have this tasty experience!


SATOA festival


Contribution to the future

Certainly my time in Kuopio did not only consist of partying, cycling and experiencing Savo cuisine, but also completing a Bachelor programme and conquering career opportunities. There were always ups and downs, but they were definitely worth it.

What did the life in Kuopio give me during those fleeting 3 years: an unforgettable experience of moving abroad and starting my adult life, language practice, my first work opportunity, new friends all over the world, and massive luggage of knowledge that I can use for my self-development and further studies.

Do you want to have the same experience? Then apply now!

Apply to University of Eastern Finland

Today UEF, Kuopio campus, offers 8 Masters programmes in various disciplines. Take your chance and apply next year:


Learn more about studying in Finland

Finland University serves as a gateway to one of the finest Finnish multidisciplinary Universities on offer. If you are interested in studying in Finland and would like to find out more, there's good news: the downloadable Finland University guide provides a quick starting package of how to apply for international master’s degree programmes and scholarships in the member universities of Finland University.

Interested? Download the guide and learn more!

Download your Finland University guide 
Daria Chikunova
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Daria Chikunova

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