“I like that we’re constantly encouraged to perform our own research, to discuss the possibilities and ideas… I like the independency in choosing the topic of my assignments and planning my time.” – Olga Marta Winkiel, International Study Programme in Law, Class of ‘19
Since its 2010 establishment, the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) has rapidly forged a reputation as a globally-elite higher education provider. On top of being named among the world’s leading universities under 50 years old, UEF has held a firm position with the world’s most influential ranking bodies for the last five years.
At the start of 2017, Forbes placed the profession of law at number three in the Top 25 Best-Paying Jobs for Women right now, shining a light on an a career that promotes equal opportunities and maintains gender equality. And with the BBC further citing legal degrees to be the among the most profitable graduate routes all-round, students of UEF Law School look forward to a compelling future ahead.
From Trial Lawyers to Tax Attorneys, Judges to Chief Legal Officers, Law Firm Administrators to Law School Professors; these roles can provide a lifetime of progression and a healthy wage. A measurable reality is that recipients of globally-relevant law qualifications go on to make substantial contributions to their nation’s economy once their experience is applied back home.
Most students who pursue law at UEF enter with at least a vague idea of what they hope to achieve, but what is it really like to spend a day as a UEF law student?
“The main difference between my morning routine at home and here is that in Poland, I need to wake up and get ready much earlier due to the fact that the university is located further away, and also because traffic is usually heavy at this time,” says Olga Marta Winkiel, a student of the International Study Programme in Law at UEF. “Also,” she adds, “the first day the snow appears, the average time can even double.
“Here, I do not have to worry about that because the campus is closer and so I don’t have any trouble getting in every morning. There are nice roads where you can ride a bike, minding the cars only when you have to cross the street. In the city in which I used to live in Poland, I would have to use the crowded, busy street half the time to get anywhere by bike.”
Victor Leon de Prada is a fellow overseas student at UEF Law School, currently in pursuit of a Bachelor’s qualification in the discipline. Originally hailing from Spain – a country known for its friendly people and a generally warm, summery climate – Victor could not get enough of the Finnish winter; a season that runs from November all the way through to spring. During these cosy winter days, he wraps up warm before venturing onto campus, donning the essential, sturdy boots as he treks on through the snow.
“Like almost every day, I usually go to the university cafeteria to have something for breakfast – Carelia or Café Aura,” the student explains. “For me, a cup of coffee is mandatory, and also, I like my coffee with something to eat, like cinnamon rolls!”
Once the morning hunger is well and truly banished, Victor makes his way to his first class – International Water Law, one of his programme favourites.
“In this class we comment and discuss the topics given to us by our professor, and this is the thing I enjoy the most about the course, because it makes the methodology of the classes more interactive than others,” he says. “The teacher is also really kind and such an expert on themes of the subject. I also get the chance to meet and discuss with wonderful people during this class.”
After her 20-minute cycle to the campus, Olga locks up her bike in one of many dedicated areas before heading to her class in Russian Legal Culture. She loves the depth and uniqueness of this subject, benefitting from the programme’s broad scope of research information and growing from the teacher’s encouragement for her to express her informed opinion. “We are also given good advice on topics for our assignments,” she adds.
“If there is a small break between classes, I usually go and eat something with my friends in the university canteen…I usually hang out with international friends from the Law School but not always, because I also spend time with students I’ve met that study different courses; for example, at language cafes.”
In her spare time, Olga generally prefers more intimate social events she can attend with her close friends, but that’s not to say she doesn’t enjoy the more lively student activities. “When it comes to a hotspot for partying, I would say go to Bepop. It’s in the centre, close to the Riverside where many students live, and on Wednesdays the prices are really attractive.
“If I have some spare time and the weather is nice I go biking,” she adds. “The nature here is stunning and peaceful and there are a few places you can go – like, for example, Utrasaari – where you can get off the bike and walk in outstanding scenery… This is something I find wonderful – you really don’t have to go far to enjoy the fruits of nature.”
It is clear that life for students at UEF Law School is rich with vibrancy and opportunity. International students love the support and guidance offered, also relishing the blend of urban and rural life on offer in their well-deserved breaks from the books. While it is clear that international applicants will not fall short of things to do in their pursuit of law at UEF, the quality of life experienced here is also paramount to success, promising an unforgettable study experience that always has something more to give.
“It’s hard for me to name the thing I enjoy most, because there are a lot of great things about being at UEF,” Victor explains. “For me, it’s probably the experience itself; you have the opportunity to meet new, wonderful and interesting people. You improve your English a lot, you have the chance to enrol in a lot of interesting courses with teachers who are very good at their job, and also they are accessible – there is a real relationship between students and teachers here at UEF, and that’s something that’s really appreciated.”
“Student life here is absolutely dynamic, you don’t have time to get bored, and, in my opinion, going abroad to Finland was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life,” he concludes. “I can strongly say that I don’t have any regrets.”
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