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Meri Varkila (21) from Helsinki studies Psychology in Oslo and has just completed an exchange programme at Utrecht University. Timo Suomi (23) studies Audiovisual Media Production in Helsinki and is to finish his exchange programme at the Utrecht School of the Arts (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten) shortly.

Meri: “After two and a half years of Psychology in Oslo I was ready for a new challenge. I chose UU because of its excellent reputation and besides, I was very curious about the Netherlands.”

Meri Varkila (21) from Helsinki studies Psychology in Oslo and has just completed an exchange programme at Utrecht University. Timo Suomi (23) studies Audiovisual Media Production in Helsinki and is to finish his exchange programme at the Utrecht School of the Arts (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten) shortly.

Meri: “After two and a half years of Psychology in Oslo I was ready for a new challenge. I chose UU because of its excellent reputation and besides, I was very curious about the Netherlands.”

Timo: “I was curious about what it would be like to study in another country. I chose the Netherlands over Portugal and Italy, because I thought people here would speak English better, which would make it easier for me to manage.”

Meri: “I took my Bachelor’s in Norway, because I wanted to study abroad but not quite so far from home. Now I am ready for a new challenge and that is why I have decided to register for Medicine in the Netherlands. That is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, and because in Finland it is even harder to get admitted, I am trying for it here now. At the moment I am cramming for the state exam Dutch as a second language, which I absolutely have to pass if I am to be eligible for enrolment in Medicine here at all.

Timo: “I am going back to Finland to graduate next year. For my final project I am going to produce a psychological thriller/horror movie based on a script written by two friends of mine.The story is about a man who is obsessed with photographing severe accidents. After that I am hoping to find a job in the Finnish film industry.”

Are there siginificant differences between Scandinavia and the Netherlands for students?

Meri: “I think the atmosphere with all these international students in Utrecht is really great. Besides, student life is much more prominently present than in Oslo. The student houses, -societies and – pubs make up an important part of the city.”

Timo: “As a student you enjoy much more freedom here. If you do not attend lectures no one cares, it is your own responsibility. I was also surprised to find that on completing a project we were supposed to evaluate and assess ourselves. I had not experienced that before, but it has taught me to be more critical of myself.”