Inclusive study programmes and generous scholarship policies brought Huy To to LAB

Huy To
Twenty-year-old Huy To has been studying at LAB since 2018. He came from Vietnam to Finland to study Tourism and Hospitality Management at LAB Lappeenranta campus.

"Back in the time when I was still a high school student, I had always wanted to study overseas. I spent a great deal of time searching for possible options. I did some research about Finland and found out that this country would fit me well because of its pure air, nice people, and high-quality education", Huy begins his story.

Huy searched for the best school options online mostly. "LAB, or at that time Saimia, was well-reviewed by many alumni," he discloses. "A school with inclusive study programs and generous scholarship policies sounded very appealing. Now, after a couple of years of studies here, I can honestly say that my study journey couldn't be better!" 

After two years of stay, Huy To finds Finland an excellent country for him: thanks to the clean and pure air, he feels a lot healthier than back home, where air pollution was a lot higher. Huy regards that Finnish people are quite hospitable and helpful. Moreover, the fact that Finland is a well-organised and punctual country makes it easier for a foreigner to adapt to a new culture.  

Studying at LAB

During the two years Huy has been studying at LAB, he has participated in various courses and projects. "I have, for example, organised a pop-up restaurant, come up with a business plan, arranged a hotel fair, and designed a service for a case company under the guidance of the teachers," he says.

Intercultural communication courses equip students with cross-cultural knowledge, helping students tolerate and respect cultural differences. It is also possible for students interested in language acquisition to regularly develop their polyglot capacity with many language courses. 

A versatile and diverse study curriculum coupled with multiple international activities make studies at LAB inclusive.


Huy remarks that he was selected twice to participate in a project facilitating the development of rural tourism. Last year it was held in Lithuania. This year he was chosen to partake in a Latvia project, but unfortunately, it was cancelled due to the unexpected Corona crisis. 

The cancellation also occurred with the double degree exchange at Southern Oregon University in the USA that he was one of the two students to be nominated for this year. Despite the setbacks, he remains optimistic: "The teachers, lecturers, and professors are very competent and willing to assist students whenever difficulties crop up. I have been greatly motivated by that." Huy smiles.

Be proactive and create your own possibilities

This year, while scrolling down Social Media, Huy came across Dash hackathon. He registered himself because the idea of creating an innovative and novel design or service seemed appealing. He and his randomly selected teammates produced a winning concept of augmented reality (AR) way-finding application for shopping centre visitors. Citycon, the company they made their design for, commented that the proposed solution was feasible and temporal and created value for multiple stakeholders. "It was also interesting to realise when we listened to other teams' pitches that we had already thought of and discussed other teams' solutions before that", Huy recognises.

"I strongly advise students to grab opportunities to broaden horizons and develop skills. The opportunities are not necessarily related to courses; they can be extracurricular activities, real-life projects, intensive programmes, exchange possibilities or placements", encourages Huy. He believes these are great ways to widen your network, build up your CV, and do personal branding.

"LAB teachers are great study counsellors and can give you a lot of sound advice based on your skills and interests. If you're stuck at some point, I believe our teachers are more than happy to help."

Next step: more studies and perhaps an internship

So, what about your plans after graduating from LAB, Huy? Have you given any thought to that yet? "I plan to study GMAT to prepare for a master's degree," he explains. He has also been thinking of an internship since it is a perfect option to enhance the expertise and gain work-related experience at the same time. "And since I have plans to have a career in Finland one day, I think I need to hone my Finnish language skills," Huy ends the interview with a smile.


Text: Karoliina Åman

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Bachelor of Hospitality Management

The Degree Programme in Tourism and Hospitality Management prepares you to provide high-class, innovative services that customers today require. It helps you to build a solid foundation for a successful career.