Kouvola to Helsinki – Why leave the comfort of proximity?

Exchange view, Features, Kouvola, Other, student story

Vol. 26, Issue 19, 15 March 2024
As we are moving towards a milestone of our academic journey, marking the completion of the first year of studies, we can’t help but notice the absence of a considerable number of students from the degree program which begs the question “Why?”.
In a nutshell, one could simply say that the main reason for this is due to getting job opportunities from the capital region and although it is true, several other reasons are discouraging students from staying in the Kouvola area.

Kouvola, though the city is well equipped with the commodities and conditions for international students, armed with quality and recognized educational institutes like XAMK and LUT which play a pivotal role in attracting international students. Though Kouvola has the potential to be an educational hub in Finland due to its nature-friendly atmosphere and low cost of living, it is struggling with retaining international students in the area due to the quality of accommodation, services and certain social conditions.
The role of a well-functioning public transportation system plays a huge role in retaining international students in the region as well. Though the municipality and the relevant organizations have tried their best to serve the region by having an uninterrupted public transportation system, limited availability and lesser frequencies of the said services are discouraging students from staying as Helsinki offers a quality public transportation system compared to Kouvola.

Helsinki, the capital city of Finland has emerged as a global hub for international students not by just offering a unique blend of high-quality education and cultural richness but also by creating a welcoming atmosphere where the city has embraced an English-friendly environment, making it easier for international students to adapt. The approach towards an English-friendly environment gives enough time to learn the Finnish language while creating an inclusive atmosphere for students from around the world.

In conclusion, the city of Kouvola can attract and retain more international students if they facilitate quality accommodation which ensures that students have a comfortable and safe place to live. This is essential for their well-being and ability to focus on their studies. Accessible transportation options save time and reduce stress allowing students to focus more on their academic and personal pursuits which can facilitate the integration of international students into the local community. Living in well-maintained housing and being able to easily travel around the area encourages students to explore their surroundings, engage with local culture and build connections with both fellow students and residents.