He wished he had taken a few more courses in Finnish


Alumni Peter Aziati´s Finnish learning journey

Peter Aziati, a determined student from Ghana, embarked on a journey to pursue his dreams of acquiring a master’s degree in international business development in Finland. His determination and focus on his goals helped him accomplished his studies. However, little did he know that his journey would not be an easy one, as his story has a turn where he also pursues a bachelor’s degree in International Business at Hämeen Ammattikorkeakoulu (HAMK).

Peter first applied for the master’s program at Lahti University of Applied Sciences, and he discovered that the application process was taking longer than expected. With his ambitions still burning bright, he made a bold decision to take matters into his own hands. In 2015, he began a second bachelor’s degree in international business, Business Administration, at HAMK while waiting for his master’s program to commence.

Despite the time constraints, Peter showed a remarkable level of resilience and perseverance. Along with his part-time job as a cleaner, he managed to carry on with his studies, even during the summer, where he would focus on doing courses for his bachelor’s degree. His unyielding spirit would ultimately pay off, as he completed his bachelor’s degree in 2019.

Peter’s master’s program at Lahti University of Applied Sciences finally took place from 2016-2018, where he excelled in his studies. However, he soon found that understanding the Finnish language was a challenge when he first arrived in Finland. Although there were a couple of Finnish language courses available at the school, they were insufficient to even practice outside with other people. Moreover, as his studies were in English, it made learning Finnish even more challenging. Looking back, he wished he had taken a few courses in Finnish to accelerate his learning process.

As fate would have it, Peter was able to practice speaking Finnish with locals during his job in Hämeenlinna. He registered in the Unemployment Office as a job seeker in 2020, where he requested the opportunity to learn more Finnish. Finally, in 2021, he began the Immigrants Integration Program, which was designed to teach the local language and offer the opportunity to learn about Finnish culture and work styles through internships during the studies. Peter has completed four internships since he is in the last stages of the program.

Through the Immigrants Integration Program, Peter’s language skills have improved significantly, though he admits that he still has much to learn. His understanding of the Finnish language is better than his speaking or writing skills. However, he is determined to continue perfecting these skills over time now that he can carry on conversations.

Peter’s journey to Finland is a testament to his unwavering determination and resilience in the face of adversity. He is an inspiration to many immigrants who strive to achieve their goals despite the challenges they may face. According to Peter, international students must look for Finnish language centers in order to start learning Finnish language from the beginning of their studies. He added that they should also try to create a link with professionals they encounter along their way, so that it helps them create their career paths. His success story is a shining example of how hard work and persistence can lead to achieving even the most challenging aspirations.

Dear HAMK International students/alumni, if you are interested in sharing your experience of learning Finnish language while studying at HAMK, please contact Talent Boost mentor at qingyang.li@hamk.fi.

Anoush Salazar, alumni of International Business at HAMK (2018-2022), specialized in digital marketing & business analyst, intern at HAMK Talent Boost from March 20 to April 14, 2023.
Qingyang Li, Talent Boost mentor from HAMK

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