Riina from Finland: studying Business Management at campus Kongsberg

Riina besøker Nissen VGS

Heard about SKAM? The Norwegian series is inspiring more people to study in Norway, and Riina is one of them! Click here to read about Norwegian culture and people compared to the Finnish, about metal bands and of course; SKAM.


My name is Riina, I’m 23 years old and from Vantaa, Finland. I’m studying Business Management here in USN, at campus Kongsberg.

I come from Metropolia University of Applied Science where I study Business Administration, concentrating on Digital Marketing.

Here in USN I’m taking four courses, which are Innovation and entrepreneurship, International Management, Business Modeling and Strategic Management. They are all interesting, but my favorite is definitely International management. In that class we learn to know how to work with different people from different cultures and especially how to deal with major differences between cultures and avoid the worst misunderstandings. We talk also about ethical issues in international business and much more.

Riina in the north of Norway, standing next to the sea

There were a few reasons I wanted to study in Norway. First of all, I’ve always been interested about Scandinavian countries. I had also visited Norway a few times before and fallen in love with its unique nature, so I hoped to get spend some more time out there during my exchange.

This is also my first time to living abroad and actually my first time living alone, so I did not want to go anywhere too far away from home, so the culture shock wouldn’t be too bad. Everyone in Norway also speak very good English, so that was one reason.

I’m also a big fan of Norwegian TV-series. Nature adventures, SKAM, other drama-series for young people. I’ll take it all! It’s been nice to get to watch all the series straight from NRK, right after they come out instead of waiting them to come to Finnish television. These series also made good promotion for the country and got me thinking how it would be to live in Norway by myself, leading to this point that I really am living and studying here even though when I first started my university studies year and a half ago, I was sure that I won’t study abroad!

I’ve had really good time here in Norway. I’ve got some new friends from other international students and got to know also a few Norwegian students through school projects. I haven’t actually been feeling home sick at all and almost everything has been really smooth. Norwegian culture and people are really similar than Finnish, so it’s been easy for me to adapt. We Finns are also a bit shy with new people and need a bit more personal space than people from Central-Europe, but when you get to know us, we are actually nice and genuine people, just like Norwegians!

Something I am really proud of my home country is that many really successful and famous metal bands come from Finland and actually Finland has the most metal bands per capita in the world. As a huge metalhead, I think this is a really cool thing.

Kongsberg during sunset

For the future, it would be really nice if there was some kind of tutoring for international students by Norwegian students here in USN. It would help us internationals to get to know the places and each others as well to get know Norwegian students a bit better, because now we are communicating with locals pretty much only in the classes. I can say from experience, that tutoring gives much joy also for the tutors themselves, because I myself am a tutor for incoming exchange students in my school in Finland and it have been a real pleasure to get to know new people and get new friends from all around the world.

All in all, I’ve been enjoying my stay in Norway and I’m happy that I still have almost two months here before I have to go home.

-Riina Honkanen


Here you can read more stories from exchange students at USN.


Riina Honkanen from Finland
Home University: Metropolia University of Applied Science

Study programme in Norway:

Business Management at campus Kongsberg