Cooperation between HAMK University and Kosovo


HAMK University of Applied Sciences  has a diverse group of peers with various international backgrounds, one of them being Kosovars. From a well-accredited lecturer and staff member to International Business and Electrical and Automation Engineering students, Kosovars have found Finland and HAMK especially a suitable environment to advance their academic profile. As below you can read more about it.

Mirlinda Kosova – Alija (HAMK Lecturer)

  • Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
    • My name is Mirlinda Kosova – Alija and I am originally from Kosovo. Currently I am working as a solution specialist at HAMK University of Applied Sciences. I am also a part time lecturer in teaching web services to the bachelor students of Information Technology degree program. I have been working at HAMK for 15 years now and I have been living in Finland for 25 years. Furthermore, I have a Master Degree in Business Administration and attended Pedagogical Studies. Except my working life, I am also married and a mother of two sons.
  • What inspired you to work towards increasing the collaboration between HAMK and Kosovar students?
    • My origin was my main drive that pushed me towards creating such project. The potential that our Kosovar youth has was my inspiration. The original aim of mine was to channel such potential in advancing and creating more opportunities regarding the educational field. At first, I started developing this collaboration from 2009 and it is still on going.
  • From your experience, what would you say is the biggest challenges for the Kosovar students studying in HAMK?
    • The main challenge when coming to Finland I would say is the Finnish language. However, through personal dedication and extracurricular courses the students can overcome such challenge. Continuing on, another challenge is the difference between the educational systems. In Kosovo, the education base is mainly theory and not much practice. Whereas in Finland we have, more project based studies rather than more theory. Thus, I would say the Finnish language and content oriented studies are the main difficulties but with time, both are easily managed.
  • How satisfied are you with the working environment in Finland?
    • For me it is a bit difficult to compare the Finnish working environment with other countries, because I have only worked in Finland. Nevertheless, I love my job because of the motivating environment and the exciting challenges. It drives me to constantly aim and achieve higher goals. In addition, another benefit is that the working conditions are very appropriate.
  • What would you consider the main difference to be between the educational system in Finland and Kosovo?
    • I have not been living in Kosovo for over 20 years now but I try to keep myself informed. One aspect that I do not like is that the teachers are too authorized. Meaning that I would like to see more cases where the teachers consider the students more like their colleagues. Where the teacher and student relationship is not as strict.
  • Is there anything you might want to add that I might not have asked?
    • I would like to give the Kosovar students a message: to encourage them to study, but in the same time have fun and make it an adventure in its own. Your university time is where you grow as a person and form yourself as an intellectual. So pay a lot of attention to your study path and the opportunities presented. Furthermore, if you want to continue living in Finland after your studies, focus on learning the language! That is a crucial factor to smoothly integrate yourself into the Finnish working life and culture. For closing words I would say, be positive and invest in your future!


Bulza Krajkova (Electrical and Automation Engineering Student)

  • Why did you decide to study in Finland and at HAMK?
    • I decided to study in Finland because it is one of the best countries that is leading the world in education.
  • Has the engineering program offered by HAMK met your initial expectations?
    • Yes, I expected an international environment, practical work and studies, and what I did not know to expect was the opportunities career wise that would open up during the studies.
  • Has studying in English presented any difficulties for you?
    • It has not so far.
  • Have you participated in any projects in cooperation between HAMK and any organization in Kosovo? If so, could you elaborate a bit more about it?
    • Last summer, I worked as HAMK Ambassador in Kosovo where I got to present HAMK in many high schools. Additionally, I served as a mediator between SMART-CENTER and HAMK. As a result of that now future students can find extra information regarding HAMK in Smart Center.

  • Are you currently completing your work placement? If so can you tell me a bit about it?
    • HAMK requires to finish 6 months of work placement before graduating. Therefore, last summer I have done two months as an intern at BONEVET in Kosovo. And this was possible through the agreement between HAMK and BONEVET which makes it possible for students at HAMK to work as interns in BONEVET during summer.
    • Currently I am working as an intern in Genano which is a company that designs and builds air purification systems in Finland. I have found this work placement through HAMK as well, when the company came to present at our campus.
  • Was there a big culture shock coming to Finland from Kosovo?
    • Yes because Finnish culture is so different from my culture. I had to get used to the cold weather, lack of sun, food, and Finnish traditions. But once you get to experience all of this, you start to appreciate it.
  • As an international student from Kosovo, how difficult was it for you to integrate into the Finnish culture?
    • At first is difficult but when you get the hang of it, it’s quite simple and it’s a unique experience.
  • What would you consider the main difference between Finland and Kosovo to be?
    • Life quality and safety.
  • Is there anything you might want to add that I might not have asked?
    • I would just like to add one more thing: even though Finland might be an expensive country for students who come from Kosovo, it is possible for students to self-finance themselves during their studies since there are many work opportunities in Finland. A lot of students from Kosovo who came to study here achieved to do so.


Gent Thaqi (International Business Student)

  • Why did you decide to study in Finland?
    •  Finland has a great reputation regarding its educational system. That is the first aspect that attracted me to apply at HAMK. While in high school, I was looking at universities that offered degree majors in English. When I did more research, I was impressed by HAMK’s International Business program. It offered not only theory based learning but also project implementation that put that knowledge into practice. Thus, I made my choice.
  • Has the business program offered by HAMK met your initial expectations?
    • Yes, it has met and surpassed my initial expectations. During our very first year, we were challenged with carrying project that tested our skills. One of our very first project was International Day, where we as a class came together to organize a full diverse and entertaining program. Where we showcase all of the nationalities that are part of our class and its history and traditions. Later on we had more project such as Award Ceremony, International Christmas Market etc.
  • Has studying in English presented any difficulties for you?
    • No, not at all. My background in high school had prepared me well enough. Also the teachers are very cooperative, where they are more than happy to help you throughout any lessons. Their English is very advanced, where we learn a lot from them not only in the academic field but language field as well.
  • Was there a huge culture shock coming from Kosovo to Finland?
    •  In the beginning the weather is what shocked me the most. Back in Kosovo we don’t tend to have such of cold winters, and it took some time for me to get used to it. Other than that, there weren’t many of difficulties.
  • As an international student from Kosovo, how difficult was it for you to integrate into the Finnish culture?
    • I am a very outgoing person, so it wasn’t as difficult. I am interested to talk and create networks. Thus, from the beginning I tried to integrate first with my classmates and then with the community. It wasn’t difficult I would say, because the people in Finland are very calm and understanding. They made it very easy for me to feel welcomed.
  • What would you consider the main difference between Finland and Kosovo to be?
    • The main difference as I mentioned before I would say it’s the weather but also the use of the sauna. I knew that saunas were very common in Finland but I was quite surprise when I realized every apartment has at least one Sauna. Schools, gyms and other institutions as well.







Leave A Reply