- The diversification of university studies brings flexibility to student life. Studies and an easy life in a small city are seamlessly intertwined in the daily life of Anni Viherä who is studying in a University of Applied Sciences to become an industrial engineer.
At first glance, the city seemed big.
In the seventh grade, Anni from a small region in South Savo called Juva travelled to Uusikaupunki to accompany her parents to their job interview and was not only very impressed by the streetscape of the seaside city but also ready to pack up her things and move in at that very moment.
“I thought I had already seen all small villages like Juva. And Uusikaupunki even had a Seppälä clothing shop and Hesburger,” says Anni who is now in her 20s.
It didn’t take long until the family of six packed up and moved across Finland to their new hometown. New school and new friends seemed very exciting to Anni, even though it took her time to integrate to the music class that had been together since primary school.
“In upper secondary school people dispersed and created new friendships,” says Anni.
Anni adapted to Uusikaupunki so well that even after the spring of matriculation exams, she was not in a hurry to leave. Of course, a boyfriend from the upper secondary school who had gotten a permanent job at the Uusikaupunki port was partly to blame.
“I did apply to study right away, but I guess studying for the entrance exams wasn’t my priority then, so I didn’t get in. I was quite happy to spend a gap year thinking about what I would like to do when I grow up.
The dreams about studying in the music, culture and teaching fields changed in one go, as Anni started exploring study opportunities nearby. Engineering gained more fascination, and a place in the industrial engineering study programme at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences even came as a surprise to Anni.
“I thought long and hard about studies in the field of music, but especially after the coronavirus, the uncertainty in the cultural sector made me rethink my options. I’ve actually been very pleased with the industrial engineering studies,” says Anni.
Music is still a dear hobby to balance studies and a part-time job. This autumn, Anni started singing in an Uusikaupunki women’s choir, D’ameni, and she sings to the accompaniment of her electric piano at home almost every day.
Uusikaupunki offers a good amount of activities and things to do for Anni, who enjoys a peaceful daily life.
“The leisure facilities here are great, and I particularly enjoy being close to the sea. Last summer, my boyfriend and I bought a small boat that we use to go visit the nearby islands. I have always longed to be by the sea. It creates a kind of feeling of freedom. That’s probably why I like it here so much.
The hybrid model for studies is very suitable for Anni. She likes to visit the campus occasionally, but she also likes to study at her own pace at home.
The remote workplace Messi has become her comfortable base in Uusikaupunki.
“Sometimes, it’s nice to go there to study and meet up with a few friends who are cramming for entrance exams.”
Anni, who started her studies a little over year ago, aims to get her diploma in a couple of years. It’s unclear what is going to happen after that, but a job in one of the many industrial companies in Uusikaupunki might be of interest.
“I’m starting to feel like a true Uusikaupunki resident. I am in no rush to leave this place,” says Anni and smiles.