Studying in Rovaniemi - expectations and reality

If I’m being completely honest, I must say that I was a bit terrified when I decided to move to Rovaniemi. I was moving 800 kilometers away from my parents, home and friends. I also had a few prejudices against Rovaniemi and Lapland in general. Needless to say, these prejudices turned out to be wrong immediately  when I first got here. Now I'm going to share some of my expectations about studying and living in Rovaniemi and how them really turned out to be.

The winters are cold. Don’t get me wrong, the winters are cold. When I moved here almost two years ago, I was excited for the very first winter in Lapland but at the same time I was waiting those minus degrees a bit nervously because I'm not really a fan of cold. Having now experienced two winters in Rovaniemi I must say that winters in Lapland are awesome! There is just so many fun things to do! You can go for example skiing, driving with a snowmobile, skating, hiking, walking on the beautiful Kemi river’s ice, snowboarding, almost everything!

A Small city and not much to do.
 Oh, how terribly wrong I was. In addition to all those things I listed above, there are just so much fun things to do in Rovaniemi despite of the season. Even though Rollo is not so big of a city, there are still as many student parties and events as you want to participate in. On top of all student events there is also a lot to do for a culture lover: museums, theaters, concerts, art etc. My favourite place is Arktikum, an arctic museum and science center. I can guarantee that the student life here is magical and fun, and definitely something different compared to southern universities. 

Reindeers EVERYWHERE. I’m a little ashamed that before moving here I thought that Rovaniemi is just full of reindeers and you see them on daily basis. Although there is more reindeers in Rovaniemi than there is citizens (fun fact) you don’t necessarily see them if you spend most of your time in the city. If you really want to spot them, you should go a little further away from the city and head to fells. Did you know that reindeers are not wild animals but they always have an owner? 

Rovaniemi is a city for tourists, not students. SO WRONG. Normally (especially in the winter) the city is crowded with tourists from all over the world. There are so many events and organized activities because of the tourists, and students get to enjoy them too. Have you ever visited Santa's Office? Have you ever seen reindeer racing? Have you always wanted to spend a night in a glass igloo? Here you have a chance to try these things together with your friends from school. Besides, because there are two big schools, University of Lapland and Lapland University of Applied Sciences, there are thousands of students here every year. I have absolutely loved this compact community that we have here and my opinion is that Rovaniemi is perfect city for a student. 

If you have a chance to study in Rovaniemi even for a little while, I think you should definitely take it!

- Vilma, faculty of law


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