Here they are: IH Oulu ambas­sadors!

Pavani, Sara, Edurado and Jun are International House Oulu ambassadors 2023.

Pavani, Sara, Edu­ra­do and Jun are Inter­na­tion­al House Oulu ambas­sadors 2023. Get a glimpse of their thoughts!

Sara Saroukhani, Iran

Sara Saroukhani smiling at International House Oulu

“Hel­lo every­one, I am Sara, from Iran. I came to Oulu in Novem­ber 2020 to pur­sue my master’s degree in Indus­tri­al Envi­ron­men­tal Engi­neer­ing. These past two and a half years in Oulu have been filled with excit­ing moments and chal­lenges, all of which con­tributed to my growth and made my time here tru­ly enjoy­able. Now, I am so hap­py to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to share not only the great expe­ri­ences in Oulu, but also the valu­able insight and knowl­edge I´ve learned along my jour­ney with you all.

A lit­tle back­ground of why I decid­ed to Study at Oulu Uni­ver­si­ty! I hold a bachelor’s degree in Mate­r­i­al Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing in my under­grad­u­ate. As my bach­e­lor’s the­sis was main­ly relat­ed to the envi­ron­men­tal field, I dis­cov­ered a pas­sion for address­ing envi­ron­men­tal con­cerns through engi­neer­ing solu­tions by work­ing on impact­ful projects. I select­ed the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu because it pro­vid­ed me with a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to fol­low my knowl­edge from my bach­e­lor’s and com­bine them with sus­tain­able chal­lenges with­in the mas­ter’s pro­gram.

Study­ing in Oulu has grant­ed me a vari­ety of oppor­tu­ni­ties that extend beyond mere aca­d­e­m­ic growth. For instance, after a year study­ing in Oulu, I had the chance to par­tic­i­pate in the Eras­mus Exchange pro­gram in Barcelona, Spain for one semes­ter, and spend an amaz­ing time there by expand­ing my con­nec­tions, improv­ing my soft skills, and learn­ing the impor­tance of han­dling the bal­ance between fun and study/work! Addi­tion­al­ly, dur­ing my intern­ship and master´s the­sis at Oulu Uni­ver­si­ty, I could work on mean­ing­ful projects which equipped me with valu­able knowl­edge and skills to pave the way for a career I am pas­sion­ate about. Cur­rent­ly, I am work­ing as an Envi­ron­men­tal Engi­neer at KONE.

Final­ly, what I like the most about liv­ing in Oulu, is the remark­able sense of peace and being in a safe envi­ron­ment that could be embraced in every cor­ner of the city, far from any unnec­es­sary stress­es. Enjoy­ing nature through­out the year and hav­ing high stan­dards of liv­ing are the oth­er impor­tant rea­sons for me. It is worth men­tion­ing here, as we all might know, chal­lenges are always out there, specif­i­cal­ly when you come from a dif­fer­ent cul­tur­al back­ground! How­ev­er, it is pre­cise­ly these chal­lenges that dri­ve my pas­sion as an inter­na­tion­al house ambas­sador to share my expe­ri­ences and show with you the amount of the dif­fer­ent oppor­tu­ni­ties that are sur­round­ing you, here in Oulu. Togeth­er, let’s embrace these chal­lenges, engage in mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sions, and learn from each oth­er!”

Pavani Nir­ma­li­ka, Sri Lan­ka

Woman smiling at International House Oulu.

“My name is Pavani, and I am a 27-year-old who has been liv­ing in Oulu for the past 8 months.

Cur­rent­ly, I am study­ing the Finnish lan­guage. As part of my jour­ney to inte­grate into Finnish soci­ety, I have also start­ed vol­un­teer­ing at Val­ota­lo and the Red Cross.

What I tru­ly love about Oulu is its cul­tur­al diver­si­ty, stun­ning nature, and the count­less oppor­tu­ni­ties it offers to its res­i­dents. The city has pro­vid­ed me with a vibrant and sup­port­ive envi­ron­ment to grow and explore, and I am eager to con­tin­ue dis­cov­er­ing all that it has to offer.”

Eduar­do Acos­ta, Colom­bia

Man smiling at International House Oulu

“Hey every­one! I’m super excit­ed to tell you a lit­tle bit about myself. I’m a doc­tor­al researcher at Oulu Busi­ness School, and my research is all about the Cir­cu­lar Econ­o­my and Blockchain tech­nol­o­gy. Basi­cal­ly, I’m try­ing to fig­ure out how we can make things more trans­par­ent as we tran­si­tion to a more sus­tain­able future. It’s a pret­ty big deal, and I love being part of it.

When I’m not nerd­ing out about research, I’m all about sports. I love play­ing and watch­ing foot­ball, bik­ing, pad­dle, kayak, swim­ming, and hit­ting the slopes for win­ter sports like ski­ing. Liv­ing in #Oulu for two years has been amaz­ing for my sports addic­tion, and the city is the per­fect place for it too! The bike con­nec­tions are unre­al.

Oulu is hon­est­ly one of the coolest cities out there. There are so many cul­tur­al options, and the peo­ple here are so friend­ly. I real­ly feel like I’ve found my hap­py place. Plus, the mix of locals and inter­na­tion­als is amaz­ing. You get to expe­ri­ence Finnish cul­ture at its finest, but you can also enjoy all the cool stuff oth­er cul­tures bring, like food, sports, and oth­er activ­i­ties.

Work­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu is a dream come true. I get to play around with all sorts of cool and inno­v­a­tive ideas for a more inclu­sive and sus­tain­able future. It’s pret­ty awe­some to be part of such a cool insti­tu­tion and work­ing on some­thing that mat­ters.”

Jun Naka­mu­ra, Japan

Jun Nakamura smiling at International House Oulu

“Hi, my name is Jun, and I am from Japan! I have been here as a master’s degree stu­dent at Oulu Busi­ness School for 9 months. I was in Oulu as an exchange stu­dent at Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu dur­ing 2019–2020, and I love the com­fort­able­ness of the city, espe­cial­ly the com­bi­na­tion of nature and people’s pas­sion here. Hence, I decid­ed to move here to con­tin­ue my study.

I am study­ing Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Man­age­ment at the uni­ver­si­ty and have learned inter­na­tion­al busi­ness from a vari­ety of per­spec­tives, such as entre­pre­neur­ship, inno­va­tion, strat­e­gy, and multi­na­tion­al enter­pris­es the­o­ry. From those per­spec­tives I am inter­est­ed in how Oulu’s inter­na­tion­al city rela­tion­ships, like the rela­tion­ship between Oulu and Sendai, Japan, can affect local com­pa­nies’ actions.

Cur­rent­ly I am a board mem­ber of the Finnish-Japan­ese Soci­ety of Oulu a.k.a OSJY, and organ­is­ing events to intro­duce Japan­ese cul­ture to peo­ple in Oulu. At the uni­ver­si­ty, I am cre­at­ing mate­ri­als and videos for intro­duc­ing Oulu for inter­na­tion­al stu­dents!

I love Oulu. Oulu is for me com­fort­able to stay, and become myself. Sur­round­ed by nature, pas­sion­ate peo­ple, and an inclu­sive envi­ron­ment, I feel won­der­ful to be part of the city. #Oulu gives us inter­na­tion­al peo­ple a lot of oppor­tu­ni­ties for net­work­ing and sup­port­ing their lives. For exam­ple, Vil­la Vic­tor is one of the oppor­tu­ni­ties for me to learn Finnish lan­guage and expe­ri­ence cul­ture! I am real­ly excit­ed to talk and con­nect with peo­ple! Feel free to reach us and chat togeth­er!”

Stay tuned for more excit­ing sto­ries about our ambas­sadors!