Interviews

Samuel Laukkanen

"NEFU is a qualitative federal university"

Samuel Laukkanen found out about NEFU by chance while traveling in Yakutia, and now he plans to write and defend a thesis. The postgraduate student talks about why he likes science and how he learned Russian.

Samuel Laukkanen 

Please tell us how did you come to Yakutsk? Why did you choose NEFU?

I dreamed of entering a post-graduate course in Finland. But I did not find a good program where I wanted to study in Finland. Once I traveled to Yakutsk - Ingrian Finns live in the capital of the republic. I wanted to see them. When I was in Yakutsk, I visited NEFU. There I asked about post-graduate programs. The International Relations Office showed me various programs where I could study. I liked the program "Chemical Technology" and I decided to enter this program.

 

How can you describe NEFU for foreigners?

NEFU is a qualitative federal university. There are individual people in Yakutia. The teachers are good and helpful. The level of research work is high.

 

How did you overcome the language barrier? What do you find most difficult when learning Russian?

The Russian language is very different from the Finnish language. I began to study it when I was studying in Ulan-Ude. There, the teacher did not speak neither Finnish nor English. Even other students from China and Mongolia didn’t speak much English. The only option was to communicate with other people in Russian.

Then I continued to study Russian for another year in Yakutsk. But at that time, my level of Russian was already good that I could communicate with other people in Russian.

 

How can you describe the locals? How do they differ from the people of your country?

Finns and Yakuts are similar. Maybe it's because I have the same paternity. The fact is that both peoples belong to haplogroup N. It may also play a role that we are northern peoples and not as hot as southern people.

In Finland, people think of Russia as an exotic country. And this is exactly true. In Russia, you can see different cultures in one country.

 

Can you imagine that you stayed to live and work in Yakutia?

Yes, I can. In fact, I plan to return to Yakutsk in the fall to write and defend my Ph.D. thesis.

 

Tell us about your research interests. Why did you choose this subject?

We study polymer composite materials in our laboratory. My research work is to develop new materials from polytetrafluoroethylene and layered silicates.

I do science because it's just interesting. There are always some problems that must be solved. You can look for solutions in the available literature, communicate with colleagues or use your imagination.

 

Photo: from the archive of the postgraduate student

Samuel Laukkanen, graduate, postgraduate student of NEFU Institute of Natural Sciences