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Talent Tampere Tampere Ambassador Kateryna Zabolotna
Country of Origin

Ukraine

Country of Recidence

Finland

Where are you from?
Currently I live in Nokia, but originally, I am from Chernivtsi – a city in the Western Ukraine on the border with Romania.

What would you like to tell about yourself?
At the moment I am a master`s degree student of Teacher Education at the University of Tampere. I love travelling, trying local food, can`t live without music and in my free time I play badminton and basketball. I am also a huge fan of travel photography and like to “get lost” in the city where I live – just to explore it anew and find new interesting details I haven`t noticed before.

What makes Tampere special for you?
Tampere was the first city I visited back in 2015, when I met my boyfriend. I fell in love with it at once – yes, the city looks quite industrial, but the relaxing atmosphere and comfort are the things that make Tampere a very attractive place for living. It is not a megapolis, but it contains everything one needs for a comfortable life and all of it is situated quite conveniently.

Tell about your professional activities?
Right now, I am in the middle of my master`s studies in which I focus on teacher`s professional development and training, second language acquisition, language education, digital education. My first bachelor`s degree is in English Philology, so I am a huge fan of Linguistics. In 2014-2015 I studied as an exchange student at Graz University in Austria, where I concentrated on neurolinguistics. I have also been participating in Lithuanian language courses in Lithuania.

Apart from my research and study interests, I work part-time as a translator and content writer for a legal company based in Lithuania. They deal with Human Rights, and I am very passionate about this issue as well, especially when it comes to international criminal law, extradition, and violation of human rights.

Within my BA program, I have also undertook teacher training which qualified me for teaching English and World literature in primary and junior high schools.

What is your involvement in international activities?
I have an extensive experience of studying and a network of academic connections in Ukraine, Austria, Lithuania and Finland. My degree program is designed for international students, so it is a very good chance to meet people from all over the world with whom I have common interests.

Together with Tymur Babkin, another Tampere Ambassador, we are working on a school project, a so-called pen-pal club, that would enable kids from Ukraine and Finland (and perhaps other countries as well) communicate with each other, share their daily activities, explore the differences between their cultures and maybe make friends for the rest of their lives. I am also involved as a research assistant in an international research project in education at UTA.

What is your mission as a Tampere Ambassador?
I would love to promote Tampere as a place for studying. Higher education in Finland is on a very high level, and is valued for its flexibility, freedom of choice, research basis and opportunities. In the light of creation of Tampere3, I would really want to show how great it is to study and research in Finland and encourage young people from my country make the same decision I once made – and apply for studying here, as well as to encourage academic professionals from Ukraine to establish new connections and cooperations with the Finnish universities.

What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
International Master`s Degree programs offered by the local universities are a great step towards internationalization of Tampere. I believe that in the future, the field of education in Tampere will become even more internationalized, more opportunities for internationals will be created in terms of employment in the academic field, and more foreign talents will be attracted to come to Tampere for research and academic work.

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