Prospective Degree Students

”Student exchange is a priceless experience”

Elisa Niinimaa graduated in 2011. She works as an airport service officer in check-in and ticket sales at Tampere-Pirkkala Airport. During her studies Elisa spent four months in Seoul, South Korea as an exchange student.

Your motives to choose VAMK? I have always been interested in travelling and different cultures, and after working a year in Spain I thought I could make tourism part of my professional life, too. What motivated me the most was that I could take the whole degree in English. I moved to Vaasa from Tampere, since I wanted to see something new and Vaasa seemed like a nice town with an international atmosphere.

Your experiences of practical training? I got my professional practical training credits from the Finnish ground handling company, Airpro Ltd, at Tampere-Pirkkala airport. My duties were checking in the passengers and verifying travel documents, gate duties and working in info and reservation desk. I have worked for the same company ever since. The second internship took place in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. I worked in a hotel as a receptionist for five months. It was not easy to learn a new job in a foreign language but it was totally worth it and the experience gave me confidence to work again abroad.

Your opinion of the degree programme? The Finnish employers are aware of the knowledge that the degree offers to students, and the English degree is appreciated. In my studies the best courses were in the specialised professional studies in tourism, some entrepreneurship courses and my exchange studies. At Kyung Hee University I learned more about tourism as an industry as well as world tourism and different cultures and religions.

The best memories of the studies? The first year was memorable when our international student group was getting to know each other and everyone was supporting each other like a big family. Also, the practical training abroad and student exchange are both dear memories. The food, pop culture, tourist attractions, different cultural events and nightlife in Seoul are definitely worth to try!

Your plans for the future? At the moment I am looking for a job abroad. However, I do not see it impossible to study more tourism in the future.