Veterinary student Katriina considers helping her peers as her life goal
Mia Heta Katriina Ikäläinen is a veterinary student from Oulu, Finland. She has been living in Jelgava for several months and is studying at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies. Katriina's life experience, hobbies and enthusiasm are admirable, as is the story of how she came to Latvia and what she plans to do in the future.
Katriina has a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Finland and she is an animal nurse. Her interests are related to clean, sustainable and safe food, as well as active lifestyle. She is involved in various sports - running, skiing, snowboarding and mixed martial arts. In addition, she loves to travel and Katriina's goal is to travel the world without creating a carbon footprint. A love of different cultures and travel has allowed Katriina to take part in an exchange program in Namibia, living in the village where she was the first European to visit the village.
Before studying at LLU, Katriina worked in veterinary practice in Finland, where, as it turned out, one of the veterinarians was a graduate of LLU. It was she who recommended Katriina to study in Jelgava and it was not long before Katriina decided to move to Latvia.
“Jelgava is an ideal place to study because it is a clean, beautiful and peaceful city. Every student is perceived as an individual. The teaching staff devotes time to students, delves into them, respects them and provides a lot of practical advice,” says Katriina. She is satisfied that she has chosen an international education, as it will provide an opportunity to build an international career and also to establish new contacts.
The student talks about the chosen profession very enthusiastically. Currently, she tries to visit the faculty's Small Animal Shelter at least once a week to go for walks with dogs. She also helped her friends and relatives adopt two cats and a dog from this shelter by taking the animals to Finland.
Citing the biggest differences between the education system in Latvia and Finland, Katriina emphasizes: “In Finland, student groups are larger and universities have fewer teaching staff. LLU lecturers are in close contact with students, respond quickly to e-mails and it is easy to communicate with them.”
Katriina does not yet have specific future goals and she is open to the opportunity to stay in Latvia after graduation, where she is already looking for a summer job. Her main motivation in studying veterinary medicine is the desire to help animals and people who cannot afford to cover the treatment of their pets. Students plan to get involved in educating people: "I truly believe that my purpose in life is to help others."