Mikko Härkönen

Finland

Coming to Estonia...
I heard about this Master programme from CIMO (Centre for International Mobility) in Finland. Since the programme is new and unique worldwide, studies are in English language, there are lots of visiting international lecturers, and the programme supports my previous studies in Tourism and Hospitality Management I got hooked up and decided to apply for it.

Before coming here...
Honestly, even though I come from Finland I had never visited Estonia before starting my studies at Pärnu College. It might be due that I come from North of Finland and when travelling looked up for destinations further out. I knew that Estonian language is pretty similar to Finnish, Lennart Meri was the first president of independent Estonia and some famous sportsmen such as Erki Nool, Marko Märtin and Andrus Veerpalu.

Student life in Estonia...
I would say that the biggest difference has been within the unique approach of our study programme. During the first semester we made several study trips to places such as Viljandi Cultural Academy, Tallinn and Saaremaa. We have visited several Spa Hotels in order to understand how the businesses are actually running. The study trips have been rewarding and educating. Also we have had the chance to have in our campus several international lecturers who are true specialists on their own field. Pärnu is rather small town and as Estonians say “Pärnu is sleeping during the winter”, so as an international student you have to be active yourself to organize things to do on your free-time.

Studying in Estonia...
Estonia is the seventh country where I live abroad. For me as a Finn, it has been really easy to adapt to the Estonian culture since it is pretty similar to Finland and I have not experienced any culture shock. I am sure the Master\'s Programme degree gained abroad will benefit me in the future.

Best things that have happened to me in Estonia...
When I was looking for the internship placement abroad in Spa Hotels I noticed that the managers have been really welcoming and interested about our programme since it is really focusing on this specific field. The future will only tell, but so far looking good.

I would tell others...
There are great opportunities in Estonia whether you are looking for Bachelor or Master level studies. The living costs are student friendly and you will widen your horizons when living abroad!

My degree programme is...
Tourism, Leisure, Wellness, Spa, Management, Sustainable, Unique, Study trips, Creative, International.

While being away from my home country, I miss the most...
I do not really miss Finland since it is so near! Well, if I have to think of something, I miss observing the Northern Lights since this year they are really active – hehe!

Studying is in Estonia is an international experience...
Before coming to do my Master studies in Estonia I have been on exchange to Spain, Portugal and Kyrgyzstan, Central-Asia. It is a great opportunity to learn a new language, learn from the different cultures, you learn to laugh to yourself after you confront some awkward or funny situations, and you get to know lots of new people!

My future plans...
Just going with the flow! Looking forward for different opportunities within Tourism business!

The last thing I want to say...
Ulkomailla kokemus kannattaa aina, lähditpä sitten Viroon tai minne päin tahansa maailmaa! Kielitaito, elämänkokemus ja maailmankatsomus avartuu! Ei muuta kuin tsemppiä ja rohkeutta ottaa uusi askel elämässä kohti uusia seikkailuja ja kokemuksia!

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