Jamaican Daniel Kelly, a former student at Wolmer’s High School for Boys, is the first student from the island nation to attend Finland’s prestigious Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK). Kelly will pursue a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Automation Engineering. He said that traveling to Finland represents the “biggest step I have taken outside of my comfort zone,” but that he does not regret it. Kelly’s favorite thing about studying in Finland is the “abundance of nature.” The country has “pretty birds, clear lakes, fresh pure air, and amazing people,” he said.
Kelly has been studying science – physic, mathematics, and chemistry – in Jamaica and ultimately developed a passion for engineering. In his fascination with machines, he wrote programs that instructed them to perform tasks and watched them come to life. He researched potential higher learning resources and found that Finland has the best education system. HAMK stood out from other schools because of its focus on practical application of knowledge. He also liked the way the university was structured and the degree course he is now following.
Kelly said his teachers were very supportive and that there is a lot of equipment and laboratory resources available to students. The teachers never tire of answering his questions, but do not provide direct answers; instead, they guide him to find solutions for himself. In his courses, he receives both theory and practice, and testing is done after students learn the required content. He enjoys waking up every day and joining with people from many different countries in the university environment.
Kelly says life in Finland is “very good.” Consumers receive good value for their money when they go shopping, so it is very affordable. Finland is unique in how clean it is, he noted, and the people have shown him “nothing but love.” He has never experienced an incidence of racism from the local Finnish people.
When asked to advise future international students, Kelly recommends applying to a desired program as early as possible to ensure getting a spot. They should apply as soon as they receive information about the process. Additionally, if considering coming to Finland to study, he advises packing a lot of warm clothing and to prepare for cold weather in the winter. International students should also keep an open mind and not arrive with preconceived ideas about Finland.
“Just be ready for what will come your way. Have a positive mindset that it’s not going to be a bad experience. Get ready to experience the best education system in the world!” Kelly said.
Photo Danny Kelly