“The teacher identity developed beside the researcher identity” — The Coolest Teacher Ever 2022 Jukka-Pekka Ranta highlights the importance of motivation

A lecturer of mineralogy and geology, Jukka-Pekka Ranta, was chosen to be The Coolest Teacher Ever of 2022 by the Student Union of University of Oulu (OYY). Ranta focuses on the role of motivation and interesting education methods in his teaching. Jukka-Pekka Ranta’s badminton games for the evening almost went off the rails when he heard […]

A lecturer of mineralogy and geology, Jukka-Pekka Ranta, was chosen to be The Coolest Teacher Ever of 2022 by the Student Union of University of Oulu (OYY). Ranta focuses on the role of motivation and interesting education methods in his teaching.

Jukka-Pekka Ranta’s badminton games for the evening almost went off the rails when he heard of being chosen as The Coolest Teacher Ever. He was primarily grateful for students’ support which he also has earned previously via geosciences’ student organization as well as the An Apple for a Teacher -event.

“Geology is, all things considered, quite a small field of study in the university, but it is great that students are active on that level”, Ranta thanks.

Ranta’s career to become a researcher and a university lecturer was still hazy before he started his studies. First working as a bartender, he intended to study psychology but ended up studying geology in the end. Ranta started his studies in 2008 and graduated with a Master’s degree in geosciences in 2012.

“Since the first lecture, I realized that this was for me”, Ranta reflects.

After his university studies, Ranta worked in Lapland roughly for a year in ore excavation. Afterwards, he started his work on a doctoral thesis in 2014. Since that point, teaching has been a part of his career. The doctoral thesis was finished in 2018 after which various postdoctoral research work led him to become a university lecturer in 2021.

Even when working on the doctoral thesis, Ranta did not think of himself as a teacher. The teacher identity developed stronger only during the past few years on the university’s pedagogical studies. Ranta thinks that people come to work at the university primarily as a researcher.

“The development of the teacher identity in the university is a bit different compared to basic studies since most people do not work here primarily as a teacher. Teaching is the small print in the job agreement.”

Practicality and students’ responsibility are vital

In teaching, Ranta highlights practicality and student’s own responsibility in how effectively a student learns something.

“New tools and more student-centered teaching and learning have just during the last few years emerged stronger.”

“Teaching is the small print in the job agreement.”

New teaching methods have helped Ranta to become more practical. For instance, digital workspaces, gamification and inspecting rocks via 3D models have provided new perspectives on standard lectures and study diaries. However, their use has to be relevant for learning.

“One must pay attention to not use them just for the sake of their tools. There must be a purpose for using a specific one.”

In his courses, Ranta emphasizes his background as a researcher and teacher as an influence on what courses he has enough substance knowledge to organize. While pondering their structure, Ranta especially wonders about the responsibility of the teacher.

“During the courses, I started to think about the responsibility that we teachers have. We train such people that have sufficient skills and expertise in work life.”

Nevertheless, the student’s own responsibility is an especially important aspect that the teacher can influence only by so much. Therefore, Ranta thinks it’s important to get the student excited early about their studies so that their hunger for knowledge stays in Master’s studies and long after that.

“I hope my own inner motivation and excitement also reaches the students. It is especially important to get the basic course students new to geology interested in it.”

Approachability and understandability benefit

The voters described Ranta as an easy person to approach and understand and for having great expertise. Ranta recalls his own studies when he felt tense to approach a professor’s or a teacher’s office.

Ranta thinks that his flexibility in courses is a reason for being seen as easy to understand. For example, he may spend some time revising basics if the students have forgotten something essential. Additionally, listening to the students and utilizing various education styles play an important part.

In addition to other researchers, Ranta has also embraced several traits from his own teachers and tutors in his teaching. Each of them have left their mark on Ranta.

“In my courses, I often exhibit similar traits, expressions or maneuvers from my old teachers which is amusing to notice.”

Regarding his expertise, Ranta deliberates whether he can evaluate it alone on a larger scale. He thinks that people in professional work often encounter an impostor syndrome: the difficulty to realize one’s own achievements to be fully earned. Despite this, Ranta’s motivation and passion differentiate him with his studying methods to be a unique teacher.

“The courses where one sees a lightbulb lit above the students’ heads are the best.”

Students’ realization rewards the most

The courses that combine practicality and theory are Ranta’s favourites. He mentions an example, Petrology, in which students explore the characteristics of stones and their formation processes on a macro- and microlevel. In these types of courses, Ranta finds the students’ realization of the discussed topic to provide the best feeling.

“The courses where one sees a lightbulb lit above the students’ heads are the best.”

Ranta faces many kinds of students in his courses. Some students are more motivated than others. Even in difficult cases, he strives to motivate the students’ course work via his own excitement. An important point is to find the core idea and to reflect the course work on geology and as training for the real world.

In the future, Ranta wants to continue his current work in the academic world as a researcher and a teacher as well as to develop his own substance knowledge in mineralogy and ore geology.

“Regarding the education and the development of geosciences, there is still a lot to be done.”


  • Jukka-Pekka Ranta
  • University lecturer since 2021
  • Responsible for Oulu Mining School’s degree programme 2019-2022
  • Doctor of Philosophy 2018


  • The Coolest Teacher Ever 2022 was awarded in Annos 63 annual celebration 25.2.2023
  • Any student at the University of Oulu was able to suggest any university teacher in any educational field to receive the award for The Coolest Teacher Ever.
  • Selection criteria included the ability to inspire, professionality, being easy to understand, explanation of course goals, paying attention to students’ needs, flexibility and a versatile use of grading methods
  • The award was given for the seventh time. Previously the award was given to Elina Niemitalo-Haapola, Katja Sutela, Vesa-Matti Pohjanen, Oliver Jarde, Matti Niemelä and Matti Kangaspuoskari
  • The decision was done by the board of the Student Union of University of Oulu on 26.1.2023

Jere Laitinen

Oulun ylioppilaslehden toimitusharjoittelija. Opiskelutaustaltaan kokenut ainejärjestöaktiivi ja opiskelijavaikuttaja sekä innokas pelaaja ja kokkailija. 

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An unforgettable studying experience in Finland doesn’t guarantee a career here

Pursuing a higher degree in Finland is indeed an attractive and promising prospect for foreign talent. Why wouldn’t it be? The Finnish education system isn’t one of the best for nothing. This plays a major factor leading many students to also consider a career in their respective fields in Finland. Speaking of personal experience, as […]

Pursuing a higher degree in Finland is indeed an attractive and promising prospect for foreign talent. Why wouldn’t it be? The Finnish education system isn’t one of the best for nothing. This plays a major factor leading many students to also consider a career in their respective fields in Finland.

Speaking of personal experience, as I have studied both in my home country and in Finland, the difference is quite noticeable. In many countries, the students are forced to memorize a massive amount of information, and then take exams based on their ability to recall that information. They could get good grades, but if you ask whether they learned anything, it probably wouldn’t be much.

That’s not the case in Finland. During my studies here, I’ve never felt any kind of pressure from teachers. They have always been supportive and flexible. They’ve also made sure to design the assignments in a way that the student would actually learn from them, rather than rotely memorizing.

The exams were never a verbatim copy of what the teachers taught in the classroom. I think their purpose was to ensure that the students were paying attention. Even if you failed, you would get a second and third chance to make it right, which kind of takes a load off the students’ mind.

I think it is great that the system was designed to give second chances since you can never really know why a student performed badly in an exam. Another positive aspect is that second chances aren’t just in exams, but in the courses overall. During one of the courses I took, I remember being just a few points away from the next grade. To help with that, I negotiated with the teacher to do some additional work to get those points.

Some courses offered alternatives for passing them, like writing an assignment or taking an exam. In the case of a student not doing well in an assignment, they can choose to take the exams, and vice versa. Such alternatives can be found listed in the University of Oulu’s Policies for the Recognition of Learning, for example. So, to those of you who are studying in Finland at the moment, you’ve come to the right place.

However, if you’re seeking a career here after that, I would advise you to think again and do your research.

Many of the foreign students coming to Finland want to stay here and pursue a career. But how useful is it to bring foreign talent here? Foreign employment has been promoted widely through frequent career fairs and workshops, but nonetheless, a lot of the talent goes to waste.

I know many people, myself included, who graduated here, but are unable to secure employment with their Finnish degrees for one reason or another. The most common example of such reasons is the “insufficient language skills”. As a person who speaks Finnish well enough, I don’t think that’s a good reason.

In many cases, we are rejected for no apparent reason, or are simply “ghosted” by the employers. We never get invited to interviews, and we always get the standard rejection message “Thank you for your application. We have received many great applications, but you were not selected this time”. Because of that, we lost the motivation to seek meaningful careers, and by that I mean careers corresponding to our education and acquired skills through that.

We had to settle for menial jobs like cleaning, paper delivery, and food delivery, just to live day by day and meet our financial obligations. I honestly see no sustainability here in terms of ensuring that these foreign job seekers get to contribute to the Finnish job market in their respective fields.

A master’s thesis written by Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi from Lahti University of Applied Sciences talked specifically about unemployed immigrant graduates from Finnish higher institutions. In his work, he indicated that 58% of the participants in his surveys said that they haven’t met their career expectations in Finland. Furthermore, the study showed that 56% disagree on the fact that the job market is welcoming for internationals, and 28% strongly disagree.

Onwutalobi also highlighted a very critical point, which was in regards to the factors that helped in securing employment in Finland. A very small percentage were able to land jobs through applying or through career services (7% and 11%, respectively), while a total of 77% got their jobs through networking or personal reference. Employers say they are open to foreign employment, but are they? If a foreign student can’t even land an internship with these employers, or simply an interview, how can they land a job?

A very important question needs to be asked; are international jobseekers not needed, or not wanted?

We unfortunately have heard of true stories regarding discrimination and injustice experienced by people with not just one, but two or three degrees and a proficiency in many languages, including Finnish. This leads many to believe that the latter is to be true: international job seekers are not wanted. Of course, there are some success stories by people who have made it, but that does not mean that the issue is nonexistent.

If highly educated foreigners involuntarily see a need to deliver food and newspapers, rather than working in their respective fields, then there is a major issue. Many individuals, Finnish people and foreigners alike, have highlighted this issue on a plethora of social media platforms, most notably on the employment-oriented LinkedIn. Hence, the issue’s existence is being acknowledged widely. However, has it been addressed sufficiently? Has there been extensive efforts to alleviate this issue?

We have yet to be proven wrong, but I sure hope we do.

Moaadh Benkherouf

A master's student in Northern Tourism at the University of Lapland, with a background in Environmental and Civil Engineering.

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Life in 18 Square Meters: A Uni Student’s Experience with ADHD During Distance Learning

When we think about educational accessibility, we often consider our own experiences of whether or not we feel fully included in educational activities. The realities of distance learning have made the burden of coping with daily life difficult for university students, but even more so for many with special educational needs.

Otso started his studies in Autumn 2020. He had realistic expectations from the beginning. 

“I knew university studying would be hard. High school was hard, middle school was hard, and I assumed it would only get harder.” 

He made a plan to take it easy for his own sake; pacing himself with his studies, especially now during the pandemic. Otso recognized that it would be challenging. Still, he didn’t anticipate the amount of difficulties he would experience with remote teaching in reality. The lack of routine, fewer lectures, more assignments, next to no face-to-face teaching, no clear schedules, and broken sleep patterns are some of the main struggles of distance learning life for him.

The amount of distractions at home has been the most frustrating part of distance learning for Otso. He describes seeing the sun rise and set from his window. He watches the people drive by in their cars, going somewhere else. 

“With face-to-face learning, there are fewer things to take my attention and distract me.” 

Studying from home without a real-life social context – one person,  a screen, and distractions – makes distance learning particularly challenging. Otso points out that ADHD makes it difficult to read and focus. He thinks this gets overlooked and is often “seen as just a wild little boy’s problem, which it is not.”  

Positive Social Pressure

For Otso, working together with others makes a great deal of difference. “Working in a group gives me a sense of urgency and motivation and mutual accountability – positive social pressure.” He feels that Zoom breakout rooms are something, but the social connection that creates the ‘right sense of pressure’ is just not there. “I remember at the beginning of term when it was easier to meet up with classmates and we’d get together with a few people. I was proud of myself for how much I got done then”, he reflects. 

In addition to doing coursework together, the emotional and social support from classmates is significant: “Our class  has been really great about that. There have been lots of crying emojis on our class Whatsapp group and probably real crying behind them.”

He values the great job his classmates have done in being there for each other and being non-judgemental even in hard times.

So far, Otso has also had positive experiences with university teachers being responsive and flexible during distance learning. However, he proposes that teachers could reduce the workload and offer tasks on a schedule that are less open-ended. 

“Distance learning gives more flexibility, but for me that is a big no.” 

A routine helps Otso remember to take care of himself and manage time effectively. “It really helps keep me focused when there is a specific time to do things: eat, work, move.”

He remembers a seminar at the beginning of the term handling life skills, goal setting, and motivation. Otso thinks that being coached on the importance of these things is not enough if you don’t have a routine to keep the motivation going. In particular, for students beginning their studies and for students with special education needs this is a vital tool that can make all the difference in learning.

“Having a routine in general helps with #adulting too,” he jokes.

Is the University doing enough?

Otso feels that the university has offered some help when he sought it out. He was referred to a psychologist and offered some adaptive learning support.

“I got a paper saying that I had the right to turn in assignments later and was allowed some flexibility by adapted assignment return dates.” 

Still, he doesn’t want to speak for everyone.

“To be honest, I don’t know enough to say whether the university has done its best for special education needs learners in general”. He states that, “being a self- advocate was important in making sure I got help and took it.” There may be students who suffer and do not have the tools or knowledge that they need to be proactive and get help.

Despite Otso having a positive experience in getting support, he describes having feelings of being wrong or weird when struggling with distance learning.  He started his studies this academic year and the combination of being new to the university and not meeting expectations has been a heavy burden to carry. 

“My self-esteem has definitely been affected. I’ve been dealing with depression again because of it. Generally, the distance learning situation has affected my overall physical and mental health.”

Due to the difficulties, Otso is taking the spring semester off and delaying studying until autumn. During his leave he has continued developing his teaching experience by substituting when possible.

Looking forward towards the autumn term he has feelings of optimism and realism. “I hope that everything goes back to normal, but in reality I am feeling that it will be hybrid at best.” 

As the interview comes to an end in Tellus glass box number 4, he says something many remote studiers can relate to. “Thanks for giving me a reason to leave my flat… All of 18 meters squared.”


The student-led education event, Burning Questions 2021, featured a workshop on Special Educational Needs provision during distance learning. Participants offered their recommendations for better practice from the student and teacher perspectives.

The number one recommendation from the student perspective was simply: Ask students what works best for them. 

Continuing the dialogue between students, university teachers, and administration about what works and what doesn’t work will help make distance learning more accessible to all. 

Self-advocacy skills were seen by many participants as vital – even more so during distance learning – and they should be taught. 

Minimizing the cognitive burden of distance learning can be done by aiming to make it as close as possible to face-to-face learning. 

Empathy, differentiation, and more training are some suggestions participants made for teachers/lecturers. 

Time before and after online lecturers for informal discussions can contribute to student well-being and motivation. 

Finally, peer support groups and guidance for making an effective daily routine can make learning more accessible for special education needs learners as well as for all students.

Anna Heumann-Kaya

Intercultural teacher education student. Amateur Yogi and professional Humanist. Believes written word is the spice of life. Twitter: @AnnaHeumannKaya

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The University of Oulu is investing in international students – new career guidance service and events this year

The University of Oulu has decided to improve its Career Counseling and Employability Services by creating a new position specializing in foreign talent. Two of the reasons for this new service are an increasing number of overseas students enrolled in the degree programs and the new public trend Finland of tapping into international talent already located in the country.

At the beginning of the academic year 2020–2021, the University of Oulu extended its Career Counseling and Employability Services. More specialized support for international students will be provided by Angela Suorsa. She is  the new International Student Career Guidance & Employability Designer at the University of Oulu. 

As a result, there are now two Career Services Specialists at our University. The first is Outi Tolonen, who will focus on local students. The second is Angela Suorsa, who will be offering career guidance for international students and researchers and support in their post-graduation job hunt. 

In practice, the new service aims to offer students with international background guidance tailored to their specific needs. The service helps with job seeking, job marketing, integrating into working life, supporting thesis and traineeship placement opportunities finding. 

This year’s timetable is already booked with some exciting events, like the new Oulu at your service event this week.

What are the particular attributes of international talents, and what are some of the challenges they face?

According to Angela, job hunting is different for international students compared to local students.

“Although their international background could be used as a strength in their application, many fail to present their competencies in the application documents properly.” 

For example, a common mistake made by international talent is that when mentioning their work experience from abroad, they fail to offer a clear picture of the company and the work tasks. 

Finnish employers can evaluate the job seeker’s experience from the same country because they are familiar with the education, the expected skills, the working conditions, the legislation, and the requirements. However, it is challenging for local employers to know everything about education systems around the world. They might also not be familiar with the companies in the international arena where students have gained their working experience. As a result, it is more challenging to relate to them and their background. 

“Therefore, the employers do not find an answer to the question: What can he do for my company and me? Nor can they answer the question: Do I need him?”

Nevertheless, cultural differences in job hunting and work mentality play a role as well. While a lengthy CV is considered an advantage in some countries, the Finnish employer won’t read one longer than 1–2 pages. The Finnish custom of addressing superiors by their first name might feel extremely impolite for people who worked in companies with a strict addressing etiquette. 

“Two years are not enough”

Since the international Master’s level programs last two years, a significant challenge identified by Angela is that students usually do not have enough time to properly educate themselves about the local job market and create a strong professional and personal network.

“When applying for a Master’s Degree, international students already have a more precise idea of what career path they would like to follow. They might also have some work experience. Still, they might have different values and weaker networks, which means they need additional support upon graduation, compared to the local students.”

For the future, Angela would like to see supportive programs developed in close collaboration with the city of Oulu and the regional employment office (Te-toimisto). Such programs could connect the international students directly to the local working market and even help establish contact with the employers on behalf of the students during and after graduation. 

Also, more emphasis on the sense of belonging of the international student is needed in the future. The feeling of being valued and worthy will encourage them to be more active in creating their career path and taking part in events designed to help them.

What opportunities does Oulu have to offer to its international talent? 

According to Finnish law, the municipalities, like the City of Oulu, are responsible for developing an integration plan for refugees and immigrants. This usually means offering language courses and basic education. 

However, as Angela points out, there is a risk that the highly skilled immigrants and university graduates fall outside of the municipality’s integration programs and the free support services that come with them.

As a result, they are not eligible to receive services such as one-year-long intensive Finnish language courses, employability guidance, familiarization with the health care system, or assistance with the paperwork related to other practical dimensions of day to day life in the community.

This can be perceived as a discouraging factor by international talent because they lack the Finnish language skills that would allow them to access more services, as well as an overall understanding of the Finnish systems and society upon graduation. 

Oulu at your service (20.01.2021)

The University of Oulu’s Academic Affairs and Counselling Services are organizing an event. The event is being held together with the municipality on the 20th of January at 14.00. Oulu at your service aims to improve the visibility of the services that the City of Oulu has to offer to international talent.

Oulu at your service is an online event for all international students, researchers, alumni, employees, and their families. 

During the event, you will have the opportunity to find out more about the municipality’s public transport and library services, daycares and schools, Finnish language courses, well-being, health, leisure, and entrepreneurship name a few – basically, all the essential information for a newcomer to Oulu. 

You can ask specific questions in the chat and get answers from experts in different fields during the webinar. You can also send your questions in advance to and get your questions answered during the event. You can find the detailed program here and the registration form here.

Anca M. Catana

Education student, theater enthusiast, nature lover. Curious, spontaneous and ambitious, open for new challenges.

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Tools and tips for the academic year that I wish I knew as a freshman

Studying is hard work, but the right equipment will make it a lot easier. In this article, Anca M. Catana shares her experiences and gives tips for successful student life.

There are things that will make studying a lot easier. Some of them might be obvious, but others not so much. Here is a list of things to consider, heading into the new academic year as a student. 

A planner

Coming straight from being a high school student, or from a job with a regular schedule, or from a parental leave with a very irregular schedule, the need for a planner might not be so obvious to you at this point. But once the courses get rescheduled, the assignments pile up and your free time gets crowded, you will definitely feel the immediate necessity of such an item. Luckily, there are several options regarding planners and I have tried them all. 

Online calendars. They are ok, but not great. I’ve been using online calendars as a back-up/complementary calendar to my paper planners, but never exclusively. The biggest advantage is that it’s always there, so you can easily book a date. The downside is I feel it easily gets more crowded than it actually is, and you might just “lose the track of time” if you ran out of battery.

Standard planners from supermarkets or book stores are for you if you just want to keep up with your lectures, assignments and student events, but are not the most hyper-busy type of student. Inexpensive (compared to other paper counterparts), ready to fill-in, with tons of design options to choose from, you just couldn’t ask more from a basic planner.

A personalized planner made-to-order. This is the option I chose for the upcoming year. If you can’t find your soulmate amongst the tons of ready-made planners, you can definitely create one fit for your taste and needs. The biggest downside: it is much more expensive than the standard one. Of course the production and shipment also take extra time. But if this doesn’t stop you from ordering one, you can finally become the organizing freak you were always meant to be!

Bullet journals. Some fall utterly in love with them. I love the time and money I save by not using one as my planner. If you have the time and inspiration to fill in a layout every single month/week/day and the money to spend on all the fancy accessories, go for it! After having a horrible time with a bujo last spring, I decided to opt out from using it as a planner this year, but I still bought a basic one (and the most basic accessories) for, well.. journaling. So I can keep all my 100 year-plans and 1,000,000 euro-worth ideas neatly in one place.

Writing tools

It’s a no-brainer. You’ve been buying writing tools since pre-school. But if you are one of those who fancy using a fountain pen, you might reconsider your choice, since the ink is very difficult to come across in the Finnish bookstores. 

Pencil and eraser. They never fail. I’ve seen people going through their uni years with only just that. So if minimalism is your way, just get your pencil and eraser (borrow the sharpener from your classmates when needed).

Erasable pens. If there’s something that I totally loved from my bujo adventure, that’s the erasable pens. When I first discovered them, I had a Eureka moment. How did I manage to survive some 15 years of education without ever using one is a mystery for me. But now, I can’t go anywhere without them. You need them in your life, too!

A laptop

This is another one worthy of “duh”. The point I wanted to make is that, when choosing your laptop, especially as a freshman, it is not a good time to get stingy. Do yourself a favor and go for a proper one. You will need it like air, because you need a tool that can keep up with you as well as your Zoom lectures.

A bag that fits your new laptop, if you are a minimalist. If not, you probably need a bag that is sporty, a bag that is more fancy, a bag that can resist a winter storm… and the list can go on and on. But really, you need some reliable ways of carrying your laptop around (or just go for a desktop instead), so the rain, snow and cold of Finnish weather won’t ruin your precious.


Get all the discount apps/cards/coupons you can get your hands on (Tuudo app, Pivo app, student sticker). Now life in Oulu ain’t cheap, but over time, with a bit of diligence, you can save a fair amount of money by paying a close eye at all the offers available. There are student discounts for meals in university’s restaurants, bus card discounts, drinks, pizzas, movies, hairdresser, you name it, so you can spend the money on things that really matter (that laptop, I’m telling you).

A thermos

A reusable cup and/or a thermos and a water bottle. The winters are dark and cold, and coffee is your best ally ( we welcome tea-drinkers in our club as well). Do yourself (and the world around you) a favor and buy a reusable cup for when you need to run with your coffee from one place to another. A thermos will save you some nice money in the long run if you choose to bring your coffee from home. (It might not work that well if you like your coffee milk. As I learned, it starts tasting funny after using it for a few weeks). 

If you are going to follow your studies exclusively from home, nothing compares to a sip of hot coffee (yes, or tea) enjoyed outside by the fire on a freezing day!

A plan

While a planner will help you deal with day-by-day stuff, it is important that while in the midst of stress and rush, or the enthusiasm of a new academic year, you don’t let the big picture get completely out of sight. 

The beginning of a new academic year is a good moment to draw the big lines regarding the following semester and year. Think about your academic objectives and work life related objectives. 

If I learned something after four years of studies, is that you simply don’t have time to do everything you would like to do. You can’t take all the courses with catchy names, visit every event and fare, be involved in all the societies and organizations, while keeping healthy relationships and having a balanced lifestyle which includes lots of rest.

As an example, during my first semester as a freshman, I focused on the compulsory studies, and on the second one, I focused on studying Finnish. During my second year I decided to focus on my personal life and family, while during my third year I focused on catching up with all the school work. Last year it was all about gathering different experiences and networking.

Bonus tips

While this is not directly related to the studies, what I personally think works wonders for your well-being and time management is a fitness tracker. 

For example, if you decide to study using the Pomodoro technique (look it up if you don’t know it), you can set the countdown right from your wrist, so you won’t have to pick up the phone every time (and get tempted to check the notifications). 

A fitness tracker will let you know how little you moved around if you studied remotely, so it will motivate you to go for an evening walk or jog. It will also track your sleep, so when you will feel exhausted, you will know if you just need extra sleep, or it’s another culprit (lack of D vitamin for example). 

Finally, you should be able to set different alarms/notifications on your wrist, For meal times, or breaks or what not. The only one I don’t recommend is the morning alarm, it doesn’t work for me. And I am the one who never snoozes a morning alarm. 

An app and notifications blocker. The smartphone is a great tool for every student and an absolute must. But if you tend to get too distracted by it, particularly during lectures or study times, an app and notifications blocker might save you from lots of headaches and stress, and will make the study time significantly shorter and more efficient.

A multi subject notebook. You can go through your university years without touching a single notebook if you like. But if you are like me and remember stuff better when you write it, or get distracted by the laptop (aye for both!), a multi subject notebook might be great for you. Even if you do take notes during classes, there won’t be that much to write that you can fill-in a whole notebook for each course, and we don’t want to waste no paper, do we? Plus, it will be easier to prepare your bag if you just need to use one notebook everyday, instead of digging amongst ten different ones.

And finally, as your student career progresses I wish you good luck!

Anca M. Catana

Education student, theater enthusiast, nature lover. Curious, spontaneous and ambitious, open for new challenges.

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Vulcanalia arrives to Teatria again – the party is being improved through feedback

The traditional opening party of the academic year Vulcanalia is being organised again in autumn 2020. The place is the same as last year, Club Teatria.

TEKSTI Petra Uusimaa

KUVAT Jenna Tajakka

Read this article in Finnish.

Even though last year’s Vulcanalia was advertised as the last event of that kind, the opening party will be arranged again this autumn. According to Student Union of the University of Oulu (OYY) Event Producer and Associations Specialist Katariina Sarja, the evening party will be organised again in Club Teatria. The party will take place on the 9th of September.

This year’s evening party is the 26th Vulcanalia. Last autumn’s party took place in Club Teatria and it was sold out. The performers were OYY’s choir Cassiopeia, Teekkaritorvet and rap-artist Pyhimys.

“Last year’s Vulcanalia was advertised with the thought that it would be the last of its’ kind,” Sarja says. Back then the idea was to organise the next opening party with the collaboration of OSAKO, The Student Union of Oulu University of Applied Sciences, that is moving to Linnanmaa’s campus this year.

The situation has changed from the last year and the evening parties will be organised separately. Sarja tells that OYY consulted with OSAKO but the workload of the moving year made it impossible to organise the evening party together.

Feedback taken into account

As with the last year’s party, Vulcanalia is arranged in Club Teatria.

“Teatria in Oulu is good location for indoor events. There is plenty of room for a lot of people and it’s also an excellent property for this sort of event,” summarises Sarja. 

According to her all the parts of Teatria work well; there are enough bathrooms, bars and large cloakrooms. 

Sarja says that she can’t confirm the price of the tickets yet, but continues that the planning process is well underway. She also wants to keep the performers a secret.

Sarja tells that they got all kinds of feedback from the last year’s event.

“We have been praised for how the Vulcanalia concept has been developed in recent years”, says Sarja. 

This year the constructive criticism has also been taken into account.

“The biggest change this year is that the party will continue longer in Teatria and there won’t be separate afterparty,” tells Sarja.

Therefore the afterparty won’t be organised in a club; the party will continue in Teatria. According to Sarja with this change it is made sure that everyone can party until the morning without standing in long waiting lines.

Vulcanalia has been arranged both indoors and outdoors. Before Club Teatria, the event took its’ place in Areena Oulu. First time the event was organised in 1995, front of Rauhala. After Rauhala it was moved to Kuusisaari and then to Möljä. 

Some of the former performers have been Anssi Kela, Musta Barbaari and Redrama.

You can look back to 2019 Vulcanalia through our photo gallery.

Petra Uusimaa

Tieteiden ja aatteiden historian maisteri, jonka mielestä mikään ei ole parempaa kuin kuppi tummapaahtoista kahvia ja hyvä kirja.

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