Finland may be quiet, but it is never boring and not that cold – at least according to Naureen.

A semester abroad in Finland is a real attention grabber in your CV and all the more interesting if you are actually from Tanzania like Naureen Gamdust. At the age of 19, Naureen moved from Africa to Germany to complete a bachelor’s degree in International Management on the English Trail at ISM Dortmund.

Haaga-Helia University in the small town of Porvoo was not simply a random choice – Naureen was looking for a stark contrast to her home country and a first-class education system. And she was not disappointed. Like ISM, Haaga-Helia University focuses on small groups and personal contact between students and teaching staff – being on first name terms is perfectly normal in Finland. “I was also fascinated by the lecture rooms. A few are very traditional, but the majority of them boast a very individual design, partly without tables but with large beanbags. The atmosphere is very relaxed.” Naureen was particularly impressed with the way the visiting students were welcomed by those from Finland. Since they attended all the courses together, the guests were immediately part of the group.

In addition to wonderful excursions in Finnish forests and a breathtaking ice hockey game in Helsinki, the highlight for Naureen was actually a course task. “Event Management was my favorite course, as we were allowed to organize the graduation ceremony for 200 students. It was great fun to gain such practical experience and I now realize that I want to work in this sector.” You should definitely be prepared for a lot of group work and a manageable night life. Naureen is still happy with her decision: “During this period I learned to be more open to new ideas and experiences, to work better in teams and to adapt to other cultures and ways of working. The time in Finland has even made me more confident.”

Curious? Read the full interview with Naureen on the ISM Blog.