Clarification: Kouvola to Helsinki – Why Leaving the comfort of proximity?

Features, Kouvola, student story

Vol. 26, Issue 20, 22 March 2024
In the previous article titled “Kouvola to Helsinki – Why Leaving the Comfort of Proximity,” we aimed to provide insight into the growing trend of moving to the capital region despite the comfort of being close to the university and tried to look at some factors which play a role in that. However, we recognize the importance of addressing certain points that may have been unclear or require further elaboration. This clarification article aims to provide additional context and detail to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.
Undoubtedly Kouvola is a better option for a university student as Kouvola provides low-cost accommodation, the comfort of being close to the universities and an environment that is perfect for students. We understand that as a university student, living in Kouvola can be beneficial for students in many ways. In our previous article, we may not have explicitly defined some of the factors that the city of Kouvola can work on to improve the quality of student life in Kouvola which can positively affect the retention of the students in the proximity of Kouvola region which also can be beneficial for both students and the people/ businesses in the area.

There was never a question about the services and the facilities the city of Kouvola provides for both its residents and international students since it has provided nature-friendly geolocation with low-cost living conditions. Our previous article may have focused more on comparing the facilities provided by the city of Kouvola with the facilities provided by the capital region, potentially overlooking the importance of having a “quality” service when it comes to accommodation. It’s crucial to highlight that accommodation plays a major part in student well-being and their ability to focus on their studies. Although Kouvola has many free locations, there’s a question of the quality of accommodation options available for students. Less amenities, old-fashioned buildings with very old equipment (bathrooms and kitchen) and insufficient heating are some of the factors housing companies can improve easily to ensure comfortable living in Kouvola that will affect the student life in Kouvola positively.

We understand that improving public transportation is not without its challenges and trade-offs. For instance, increasing the frequencies may be difficult due to less profitability and other operational conditions for transport companies but allocating accommodation for students near supermarkets or in the Kouvola city area can reduce the hassle of spending 2-3 hours just to purchase day-to-day items which could also increase the comfort of saving time for students and that can positively affect their life.
Additionally, local businesses and companies can contribute to the retention of students in the region by supporting XAMK University in their endeavours to get training/ employment positions for their students which also can enhance the retention of international students in the region. We have witnessed the effort that the university has put into getting training/employment positions for its students which is highly appreciated by the students in Kouvola.

improving social conditions such as the inclusivity of international students/ their spouses in the current workforce, reasonably addressing the language barrier… etc takes time and collective effort. In our previous article, we may not have sufficiently emphasized the effort and steps that the city of Kouvola has taken toward the initiative of inclusion of international students and their families into Finnish society.

In conclusion, while our previous article aimed to provide suggestions to improve the conditions of student life in Kouvola which benefits the students, Kouvola region and Finland, we recognize that certain aspects may have been oversimplified or omitted. This clarification article seeks to address these shortcomings by providing additional context and nuance to enhance understanding. Moving forward, we believe that through improving the quality of accommodation, strategic changes and improved social engagement in the matter, Kouvola can retain students in the region which can be beneficial for Finnish society as a whole.