Valeria Gasik

Finland

Coming to Estonia...
I was looking for a master program which would connect the dots of my previous studies – marketing, communications, graphic design and new media. I wanted to study in Europe and in English. The closest one to my preferences as well as surprisingly to my home country was IMKE (Interactive Media and Knowledge Environments) in Tallinn University.

Before coming here...
I had my prejudices. Until then, Tallinn was a place for a quick visit, I did not know much about it. The country exceeded my expectations and I love Tallinn: there are so many great people and so many cultural events. Plus you can live on a student-friendly budget!

Student life in Estonia...
I do not see so many differences between Finland and Estonia. I guess the main deviations are mostly in the contemporary approach of the IMKE program itself. We do for instance most of our tasks openly online, posting essays to our blogs instead in to some closed internal system. I also enjoy how things work in the administrative level: one always get a quick answer to any question.

Studying in Estonia...
For me the most important academic outcome would be to achieve not just a degree, but a real, practical knowledge with novel, up-to-date theoretical data. I am sure that this will happen, our programme is very engaging. From personal aspects the best outcome was to get to know all the wonderful local people as well as international students here in Tallinn. I found many new great friends.

Estonia in general...
I am thrilled to see how much this small country has achieved in such a short period – there are definitely many things I can bring back home and learn from. Tallinn’s blooming start-up atmosphere, helpful and encouraging student community as well as town’s rich cultural supply have had a big impact on me.

I would tell others...
Studying and working as a part of our diverse and smart student community had taught me a lot. It is quite admirable how local students help international students in many ways, both with academic questions as well as with adopting to the Estonian life. Okay, perhaps adaptation is a slightly exaggerative term in this situation, my hometown is only two hours away. What I mean is that one does not have to be alone – there is always something going on and things to do.

My degree programme is ...
New media concepts, digital culture, ethics and laws in new media, interaction and interface design, knowledge representation, locative technology and various practical projects.

I miss the most...
I do not feel homesick because Finland is not far away.

I like to study here...
I can’t find any reasons why one should not study abroad at some point. It gives you courage, better insight in another culture, flexibility, power and skills to react on surprising situations and mind-quakes, greater ability to work with people with different backgrounds, fluent language skills, new ideas, out-of-the-box experiences, best memories, new friends... I can continue the list for ages.
My current studies are happening close to my home, but I’ve also lived elsewhere abroad before. I recommend it to everyone!

My future...
I want to work with NPO’s, start-ups and small businesses, travel, meet new people and perhaps study further for PhD.

The last thing I want to say...
Päätös on maailman vaikein asia. Kaikki mitä tapahtuu uskaltamisen jälkeen on loppupeleissä helpompaa. Parasta on kun myöhemmin muistelee itseään lähdön kynnyksellä ja miettii, kuinka oikeassa sen suhteen olikaan. Toivon kaikille mielettömiä, eläviä ja rikastavia muistoja – Estoniassa ja muualla!