Shaira Banu

From Nepal to Finland – A Practical Nurse Program Graduate’s Journey

When Finest Future was joined by representatives from STEP Education in Finland, they shared details of their Practical Nurse Program, as well as what students studying a vocational education with them could expect in terms of accommodation and opportunities. 

But what is life really like for an international student studying the STEP Practical Nurse Program in Finland?

We heard from Shaira Banu – a graduate of the STEP Education Practical Nurse Program at the Pieksamaki campus. Originally from Nepal, today Shaira lives and works as a nurse in Finland. 

When Shaira embarked on her journey with STEP she didn’t have a whole lot of knowledge about the program, and just hoped to test her language skills with the application. She didn’t expect to be offered the opportunity to move to Finland – for free – to continue her education.

Shaira Banu
Shaira Banu spoke of her experience studying the STEP Practical Nurse Program in Finland

Shaira said that throughout her years of study the lessons were well-organized and student-friendly. She received support from her professors and teachers and didn’t feel pressured by them – this is in stark contrast to studying in Nepal, where students are responsible for their own learning with little support. Shaira went on to state that she wasn’t interested in furthering her education in Asia due to the pressure placed on students there.

During her internship, Shaira had an instructor, a supervisor and other colleagues in the workplace supporting her learning. She explained that not having perfect Finnish language skills wasn’t always an issue either – “Even though I made a mistake in Finnish, my clients and colleagues were open to supporting and helping me with this”

Simulation Class
A Simulation class in the Practical Nuse Program at Pieksamaki campus

Living on the Pieksamaki campus, Shaira was provided with free accommodation in a location that she loved. The town was interesting to her and provided great opportunities for her to explore the local areas, experience cultural events and travel around Finland. 

“The journey has taught me a lot, and I’ve got a lot to give. I am not only a nurse, I’m also a human. The most important is that I’ve learned about empathy in this experience”.

Shaira currently provides care for disabled adults and the elderly, which she describes as a very diverse working environment. She learned the value of empathy in her work from the Finnish people, and how open-minded, forgiving and encouraging they are.

She never once doubted that she would find employment after completing her degree. “All we need is a willingness and the job is always easy to get” – even in her current employment, she was offered the job with an immediate start after just a 15-minute interview. 

Of course, every country has its inevitable downsides. Many consider Finland’s harsh winters to be one of the country’s downsides – but not Shaira. To her, the warm and welcoming indoors made the cold and dark outdoors manageable. “The people are very kind and friendly that you never feel that cold inside your heart”.

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Wintertime in the Finnish capital of Helsinki

How Can I Join the Program?

Head to the ‘How to Apply’ section on our Vocational Program page and contact any partner in your country to begin the process!

Alternatively, or if your country is not listed, you can contact us directly by emailing  

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