“One of the best decisions I ever made”

Kuvassa opiskelija Beatriz de Moura Figueiredo
Hello! My name is Beatriz and I’m from Brazil. I previously studied graphic design for two years back home but left to start my studies here in Finland and at the LAB Institute of Design and Fine Arts. And that was one of the best decisions I ever made.

“I liked LAB’s perspective on design right away”

Even though I loved my university back home and learned many valuable things there, design was taught to us in an academic and theoretical way. I wanted a more practical, functional, and hands-on view on design. I also really wanted to know a new country and be immersed in a different culture. So, I started looking for opportunities abroad. Finland caught my eye right away because it felt so unique, and I didn’t know much about it.

I searched for information about Finnish universities and really liked LAB’s perspective on design as it was aligned with my own view. And what came to the LAB’s entrance exams, they were super fun to take part in. The tasks were challenging but in a good way! I really enjoyed the interview stage because I got to meet and talk to my future teachers. Through the tasks, interviews, and meetings, I got to know more of LAB and see that it was a good fit for me and vice versa! 

During the application period, I also participated in a few other entrance exams from other institutions in and outside Finland. When the acceptance letters came in and I had to decide, the choice was clear because the teachers and staff from LAB were by far the most helpful and approachable throughout the application period.

Less bureaucracy than expected

Moving from Brazil to Finland was a bit intimidating. Flying alone from far away and then having to figure out how to get from the airport to Lahti and then to my apartment. But I saw it as an adventure. It also felt so exciting to jump into a whole new chapter of my life! This was during the end of summer, so I got to enjoy a lot of swimming and exploring Finnish nature before the classes started.

Overall, there was less bureaucracy than I expected. I initiated the moving process as early as possible and now I see that was a good thing because I had ample time and peace of mind to sort everything out. I didn’t have to wait very long to get an apartment and immigration was easy because of my European citizenship.

Differences in studying style

From my point of view, studying here gives the student a lot more freedom of choice than back home. I feel more responsible for my own journey and student experience. I also feel like the work-life balance is very appreciated over here. I don’t often feel stressed or overwhelmed. I have time not only for studying but for sports and hobbies as well.

I’m studying at the LAB Institute of Design and Fine Arts and have absolutely loved my studies so far. One of my favorite courses was working in CAD where we learned the basics of Rhino 3D. It was a fun experience because it was challenging yet rewarding to create 3D models. In my opinion, the course had the perfect balance of teacher guidance and independent work.

Plenty of leisure activities and cultural differences

I love how many activities there are available, and I try to participate as many as possible. I go to the gym, play volleyball, and go to most of the events and parties! For an example, the LiiKu Appro (sports and culture) was a highlight of the year! It was so great getting to try out all the different sports and visit museums in Lahti. These events are a nice way to meet other students from abroad too!

Coming from Brazil, I noticed the culture differences here in Finland. Brazilians are commonly thought of as loud and talkative and in comparison, Finns are for sure a little quieter, although they can be more open than one might assume (especially in sauna).

If you’re thinking about studying in Finland and LAB University of Applied Sciences, I’d say go for it! LAB has a modern campus with cool machines, up to date equipment and talented people who help your ideas grow. Coming here was one the best decisions I’ve ever made. Finland has surprised me in many ways and this whole experience has thought me so much about life, design, and myself.