“Studying here develops me as a person and as a coach”, says Derek Read, second-year student at Haaga-Helia Vierumäki campus

22-year-old Sports Coaching and Management student, Derek Read, has had a great time studying in Finland with a year-and-a-half still to go. The transition here from his home state of Colorado has been easy because of the warm welcoming people and similar opportunities for activities, especially ice hockey.

Derek Read
Student testimonial

Derek ended up studying at Haaga-Helia through meeting previous students and also talking to people in the world of hockey connected to Haaga-Helia’s Sports Coaching and Management programme.  

–  Their helpfulness, experiences and knowledge that they shared with me really made me want to come and experience this for myself and it's been fantastic so far. 

Deciding to study abroad might not be an easy decision for everyone – you might not know the culture or the people you are going to study with. Nevertheless, Derek’s experiences have been great. 

–  The people here, they make it very easy. They're very welcoming, very excited to have you here and really helpful, so for me it has been a great experience, Derek says.  

– What surprised me about the Finnish culture was just how warm and inviting it is. I felt that everyone was so welcoming and helpful and just willing to share their knowledge and share about themselves. It was a big surprise to me and a pleasant one, he continues. 

Develop yourself as a person and as a future professional

Studying at Haaga-Helia has given Derek a lot of tools and knowledge to succeed in his future profession. 

– Studying in the Sports Coaching and Management programme has given me a lot of confidence. This is a great place to learn how to explore and find new information and really develop yourself as a person and as a coach. 

Besides studying, part of being a student at Haaga-Helia is also to learn who you are. 

– The person I was when I came into the program has completely changed and grown so much. What really surprised me about studying here in Finland is just how much they care about the individual development of the students. This is a place where they really focus on your area of interest and help you achieve what you want to achieve and get to the places you want to go. 

Haaga-Helia provides world-class facilities and teaching methods 

Vierumäki is also the official training centre of the Finnish Olympic Committee. The first two years of the studies include intensive studying at the Haaga-Helia Vierumäki Campus.  

– The facilities are world-class, and the teachers are experts in what they teach. They're willing to improve and learn also themselves, so it's more of a learning partnership with the student. They give you tools to explore and learn on your own, Derek says. 

– I think that's been a really great addition to my learning, he continues. 

Derek has a few words to people who are thinking about studying in Haaga-Helia. 

– Just go for it. It’s worth your time and effort. For me it has been great to experience the international culture of the programme but also the multi-sport culture of the programme – you learn so much from every perspective. 


Do you want to study in Finland and create a successful career path in the global sports world? Apply to Haaga-Helia!