The majority of students at the Finnish LAB University of Applied Sciences are at the moment Vietnamese. The university’s strong campaign to promote themselves in Vietnam has been very effective and a Vietnamese community has even formed in the university’s home city of Lappeenranta, Finland, Yle writes.
One of the Vietnamese residents of Lappeeranta is Amy Truong who came to Finland to study at Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology. Here she also met her Vietnamese husband Thinh Truong. The couple now owns a café where they serve traditional Vietnamese Boba Tea (bobble tea) to the local Fins and Vietnamese. Running a café was a very new experience for both Amy and Thinh.
“Entrepreneurship has given me the opportunity to really step out of my comfort zone and do things I enjoy,” Thinh explains.
Even though the process of making Boba Tea is very challenging and can take up to two hours the couple is still very satisfied with their work. “It doesn’t feel hard because we are proud of our product. We want to do as best as we can,” Amy Truong says.
The couple is part of a bigger group of Vietnamese people who have made the trip to Lappeenranta to study. Now, these young students make up a Vietnamese community in Lappeeranta.
Amy Truong came to Lappeeranta in 2015 and since then 244 young Vietnamese students have arrived. Some of them have already graduated. Amy herself came after seeing a friend who had already made the trip talk about life in Finland.
“The quality of Finnish education is well known in Vietnam. Many Vietnamese people who study in Finland advertise for studying on social media. On Instagram, I saw my older friend talk about her life in Finland, so I already knew something about the country,” Amy tells.
Besides social media campaigns, the university has also attracted students on special marketing trips to Vietnam where the personnel meets students and their parents to talk about the qualities of studying at the university and how it actually works.
“Personal relations are very important in Vietnam. The fact that the parents just meet our representatives for a short time creates a personal relation to them,” Milla Laisi-Wessman, who is the Director at the Business unit at LAB University of Applied Sciences, says.
At the moment, there are 120 Vietnamese students at the Lappeeranta-Campus who have started studying between the years 2017 to 2021. Most of them study business, tourism, or international trading.