From Teh­ran to Oulu – The Ins­pi­ring Path of Sara Sarouk­ha­ni

Sara Saroukhani

Sara stu­died her master´s degree in Envi­ron­men­tal Engi­nee­ring at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu. She is cur­rent­ly wor­king in KONE as a mate­rial specia­list in Espoo.


I’m ori­gi­nal­ly from Teh­ran, Iran, and my jour­ney to Oulu began back in Novem­ber 2020 when I deci­ded to pur­sue my master’s in envi­ron­men­tal engi­nee­ring here.

Fin­land had always been on my radar, and after explo­ring various mas­ter’s pro­grams, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oulu felt like the per­fect fit for me. It’s been an inc­re­dible oppor­tu­ni­ty to explo­re my favo­ri­te field whi­le embracing all the amazing things this city has to offer.


First­ly, let me sha­re a bit about myself. I comple­ted my Bac­he­lor’s in Mate­rial Science and Engi­nee­ring in Iran, whe­re my pas­sion for envi­ron­men­tal issues spar­ked my inte­rest in cont­ri­bu­ting fin­ding solu­tions in this field. This was basical­ly the main rea­son why I cho­se envi­ron­men­tal engi­nee­ring pro­gram.

Out­si­de of aca­de­mics, I enjoy playing music, the Ira­nian instru­ment cal­led san­toor, and playing fut­sal as sport. Also, I can desc­ri­be myself as someo­ne who is adap­table, acti­ve, and always open to lear­ning new things.

Adjus­ting to a new envi­ron­ment wasn’t easy ini­tial­ly, but I belie­ve that the­se traits sig­ni­ficant­ly aided me in navi­ga­ting the chal­len­ges of sett­ling into Fin­land. Won­de­ring about how the­se cha­rac­te­ris­tics hel­ped me? I’d love to sha­re my per­so­nal expe­riences with you!

Sara Saroukhani


Upon recei­ving my admis­sion in Oulu, I was eager to know more about the city, uni­ver­si­ty, and gain a bet­ter unders­tan­ding of stu­dent expe­riences. I recog­nized the inva­luable insights that con­nec­ting with fel­low stu­dents could pro­vi­de, given their first­hand expe­rience of what I was about to start soon. Lear­ning about the uni­ver­si­ty ambas­sa­dors, who sha­red their expe­riences, beca­me an ini­tial point of inte­rest for me, pri­ma­ri­ly through Oulu Uni­ver­si­ty’s Ins­ta­gram account. I found it fasci­na­ting that stu­dent ran the uni­ver­si­ty’s social media, it ins­pi­red me to reach out to a few ambas­sa­dors who kind­ly sha­red help­ful tips.

When I arri­ved in Oulu during the chal­len­ges of COVID, I rea­lized the neces­si­ty of acti­ve­ly sha­ping a posi­ti­ve envi­ron­ment around me, the­re­fo­re, I tried to get invol­ved in various acti­vi­ties and even applied to beco­me a uni­ver­si­ty ambas­sa­dor myself! It was a fan­tas­tic tran­si­tion from see­king help to being a source of sup­port for others. This expe­rience not only hel­ped me make friends but also taught me the impor­tance of being proac­ti­ve in networ­king and self-impro­ve­ment.

”It’s crucial not to lose hope and be con­sis­tent in job searc­hing.”

During the first year of my mas­ter’s pro­gram, my pri­ma­ry focus was on the ambas­sa­dor pro­gram and my interns­hip at the uni­ver­si­ty. Until I recei­ved an email from the uni­ver­si­ty regar­ding the Eras­mus exc­han­ge oppor­tu­ni­ty, I hadn’t taken it serious­ly. Howe­ver, on the last day of the applica­tion dead­li­ne, I deci­ded to apply, and surpri­singly, I was accep­ted to stu­dy for a semes­ter in Barce­lo­na. It tur­ned out to be one of the most inc­re­dible expe­riences of my life, and I am immen­se­ly gra­te­ful to the uni­ver­si­ty for pro­vi­ding me with this oppor­tu­ni­ty.

The majo­ri­ty of my second year revol­ved around comple­ting my mas­ter’s the­sis and acti­ve­ly applying for jobs. After seve­ral months of searc­hing, I was for­tu­na­te enough to get a job. I’d like to high­light the chal­len­ge that inter­na­tio­nal stu­dents, especial­ly due to lan­gua­ge bar­riers, face in fin­ding a job after gra­dua­tion. Howe­ver, it’s crucial not to lose hope and be con­sis­tent in job searc­hing.


I tho­rough­ly enjo­yed my time as a mas­ter’s stu­dent in Oulu, pri­ma­ri­ly due to the beau­ty of natu­re that sur­rounds the city. The peace­ful sur­roun­ding pro­vi­des a sen­se of tranqui­li­ty, peace, and safe­ty. The uni­ver­si­ty hosts a mul­ti­tu­de of diver­se orga­niza­tions and acti­vi­ties, pro­vi­ding a lot of oppor­tu­ni­ties to meet new people and explo­re fresh expe­riences.

Moreo­ver, based on my expe­rience, Oulu is dedica­ted in enhancing the strengths of its inter­na­tio­nal people and stu­dents´ per­so­nal and pro­fes­sio­nal deve­lop­ment. For example Inter­na­tio­nal House Oulu, Mul­ticul­tu­ral Cent­re Vil­la Vic­tor, Bloom… The city offers nume­rous oppor­tu­ni­ties that can faci­li­ta­te your growth in your cho­sen path. It’s essen­tial to remain proac­ti­ve in see­king out the­se oppor­tu­ni­ties and con­nec­ting with the right indi­vi­duals who can gui­de you along this jour­ney.

The vibrant landsca­pe of Oulu is tee­ming with pos­si­bi­li­ties, awai­ting tho­se who are wil­ling to acti­ve­ly pur­sue them.

Sara Saroukhani