”Oulu is a help­ful place for inter­na­tion­al stu­dents, and peo­ple are nice”

Kiran Pandit riding by bike

Kiran Pan­dit came to Fin­land in 2008 and com­plet­ed a Bachelor’s Degree in Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness at Oulu Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sci­ences (OAMK). He is a chair­per­son of the board of Pin­tames­tar­it, and he has been work­ing with them for 13 years now.


My name is Kiran Pan­dit, and I’m from Nepal. I came to Fin­land in 2008 to study for a Bachelor’s Degree in Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness at Oulu Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sci­ences (Oamk) and grad­u­at­ed in 2012. It’s been a while.


I got to know about Fin­land from the Finnish embassy back in Kath­man­du, Nepal. They were look­ing for inter­na­tion­al stu­dents to come to the coun­try. When I fin­ished high school in Kath­man­du, I was look­ing for where to go after­wards for my high­er stud­ies.
I went to ask the Finnish embassy what the oppor­tu­ni­ty was about, and the advice was excel­lent. They showed me how to apply to dif­fer­ent poly­tech­nic uni­ver­si­ties to do a bachelor’s degree and said that after a bachelor’s degree,

I could apply for a master’s pro­gramme also. The edu­ca­tion was free, but oth­er hous­ing accom­mo­da­tion and oth­er basic need, we must arrange our self. I decid­ed to give it a try. When the col­lege sent me the accep­tance let­ter, every detail was there, includ­ing how to get to Oulu from Helsin­ki and that there would be a tutor to guide you. It was very nice because they give you a com­plete roadmap and tell you how to apply for a res­i­dence.

I got a room at PSOAS, which is the stu­dent res­i­dence in Oulu. They have so many dor­mi­to­ries and hous­es for stu­dents there, and I got a room at Välkkylä.

Kiran Pandit


It was quite dif­fer­ent when I came here the first time. It was sur­pris­ing that every­thing was nice and clean. Also, there were few­er peo­ple.

I came by train from Helsin­ki to Oulu. Back home, there’s no train, so I had nev­er been on a train. It was nice expe­ri­ence.
In my first year, I got a house-clean­ing job. The work involved organ­is­ing and the kinds of house­hold clean­ing I used to do back home. At home, my par­ents taught us how to clean our room prop­er­ly, how to man­age it and how to clean when­ev­er you eat. My employ­er was impressed by my work, and she referred to her hus­band who has this com­pa­ny Pin­tames­tar­it.

I did an intern­ship at the same com­pa­ny where I work now, and I also did my bachelor´s the­sis for the same com­pa­ny. While I did my train­ing, I told them that I could write my the­sis for this com­pa­ny. When I asked if they had any top­ics, they told me that I could help pro­mote the com­pa­ny as eco-friend­ly. The com­pa­ny does roof restora­tions, and they want­ed to mar­ket the fact that they use eco-friend­ly mate­ri­als and recy­cle the waste that comes from the restora­tions. I com­plet­ed my the­sis, and it was approved, and I think it’s still some­where in the uni­ver­si­ty library.

I’ve been work­ing for this com­pa­ny for 13 years now. We had some tur­bu­lence in the com­pa­ny and some twists and turns. At that time, I took over the com­pa­ny with our friends. We planned, and we know this busi­ness very well because we’ve worked there for many years. We made a good pro­pos­al, applied for tran­si­tion, had the right paper­work, and agree­ments were made in 2017. We changed our busi­ness oper­at­ing mod­el, which will give ben­e­fit the com­pa­ny and work­ers, more impor­tant the good qual­i­ty of our work.

I am chair­man of the board of Pin­tames­tar­it. I super­vise sales, con­duct the qual­i­ty inspec­tion, over­see how the work’s going and if there are any records or recla­ma­tions from the cus­tomer, we try to fig­ure it out why they are not sat­is­fied by our work.

Kiran Pandit


In sum­mer­time, you can go to the beach area and small lakes where you can swim, which is very nice. Sum­mer in Fin­land is beau­ti­ful. Wher­ev­er you go, it’s nice. Now, it’s a beau­ti­ful time because the sun is always there.

For exam­ple, you can go to Nal­likari Beach if you walk for less than half an hour, and the sur­round­ings are beau­ti­ful. You can rent a boat there in sum­mer. There are also some con­certs dur­ing this peri­od, and you always see peo­ple smil­ing and laugh­ing.
You can also take part in win­ter activ­i­ties. I tried ice fish­ing a few times, but it’s real­ly cold. You have to be patient, stay and wait, and that’s not good when it’s minus 25! One thing I haven’t tried is down­hill ski­ing.

Kiran Pandit


Basi­cal­ly, just be who you are, try to learn about the Finnish cul­ture, try to get involved and hang out with your Finnish friends. Then, you will adapt to the sur­round­ing envi­ron­ment, and you will become more famil­iar with the Finnish peo­ple. When you inte­grate and learn about the cul­ture, there won’t be any prob­lems. You’ll make mon­ey. Learn the cul­ture and slow­ly inter­act with peo­ple, try to search and don’t be shy to try any­thing. It’s just like you start; from there, you grow step by step
I can say that the Finnish peo­ple are shy, but when you start to have more inter­act with them, they’re not shy any­more.

My school­mates and I used to par­ty and hang out togeth­er. Every­one was friend­ly, very coop­er­a­tive, and help­ful, and our teach­ers were also nice. I remem­ber one teacher from our school who was very cool and sup­port­ive.

I think you can sur­vive eas­i­ly. Try to learn the lan­guage; it will help a lot. When I came, I didn’t know any­thing, so it was a lit­tle bit dif­fi­cult. But when you try to work, com­mu­ni­cate with some peo­ple, and learn some basics lan­guage and they will help. Your friends can cor­rect you, and slow­ly, it gives you con­fi­dent, and you start to speak. Learn and copy and try to inter­act with peo­ple; it’ll help a lot and you’ll get it. I say to who­ev­er comes to Fin­land, take at least one year to study the lan­guage.

After grad­u­a­tion, I applied for a master’s degree and was accept­ed by Uni­ver­si­ty of East­ern Fin­land. I stud­ied my master’s degree on Inno­va­tion Man­age­ment. At the same time, I was doing our busi­ness I couldn’t give full time to my stud­ies still my master’s the­sis is left. Maybe this year I´ll try to com­plete my master’s degree.

This is my sto­ry. I go back home every year on hol­i­days. I got mar­ried, and my wife is from Nepal. She moved here with me in 2019, and we’ve just had a son. He is three and a half months old. She’s a cer­ti­fied nurse, and now she’s on mater­ni­ty leave.
I think Oulu is beau­ti­ful, small, and very help­ful place for inter­na­tion­al stu­dents, and peo­ple are nice. Your friends and col­leagues will help you, don’t hes­i­tate to ask. If you are look­ing for job or place­ment your uni­ver­si­ty will guide you or go to employ­ment office. Try to cre­ate your net­work, which you will need the most.

Text: Déb­o­ra Oliveira
This arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished at oulutalenthub.fi

Kiran Pandit

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