• What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Elena Petruk and I am from Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

  • What do you study?

I am studying International Business in XAMK but generally my specialization is marketing in ITMO University.

  • Why did you choose XAMK for exchange program?

I have been studying the short-term program in Aalto University and after that I went on the exchange in Italy. That is why, when I got the opportunity to go on exchange program in Finland, I immediately agreed due to these reasons: high level of education, closeness to my city of residence, different possibilities to gain experience in business sphere and meet new friends from all around the world.

  • What do you miss the most about Russia?

I miss Russian people, even though they may seem gloomy from the first sight, uncertainty of tomorrow, Putin’s New Year speeches and low prices on the bread.

  • How many countries did you visit?

I have already visited 16 countries: Belgium, Cyprus, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and United Arab Emirates.

  • What are your favorite things about Finland?

I like beautiful Finnish landscapes, innovative methods of teaching at XAMK and friendliness of the Finns. Besides, I fall in love with fresh pesto from Lidl (if you have not tried it, you should).

  • Who inspires you the most?

I am my own inspiration: I am very proud of everything that I have already achieved so far.

  • What is your passion?

I adore travelling, riding a horse and shooting.

  • What other places are in your bucket list?

I want to visit Japan, Australia and South Africa soon.

  • What are your plans after graduation?

Honestly, I want to continue studying marketing. Moreover, I would be happy to work on the production and promotion of new products and services that can become an inspiration for other people.

Interview by Elizabeth Akinlabi & Anna Ryndina