Finnish exchange student chooses PSU for a second time 

Jenna Hiekkavirta, of Finland, was beginning her semester exchange at Pittsburg State University in Spring 2020 when her semester was cut short due to the pandemic, and she had to return home. 

Now, two years later, Hiekkavirta has returned to finish what she started, and experience a full semester at PSU. 

“I had been waiting for my exchange semester for a long time, so when it was cut short due Covid-19, I knew that when it was possible, I would like to come back here,” she said. 

Hiekkavirta is on exchange from the University of Jyväskylä, where she is pursuing her graduate degree in Computer Science. Now a university of 14,000, it shares something in common with PSU: it has its origins as a teacher training college, founded in 1863. 

She knew she wanted to come back to Pittsburg because of the opportunities she had, and how welcoming the community was. 

“Studying here is a wonderful opportunity for me to live and travel in the United States and also people are so nice and welcoming here,” she said. 

Hiekkavirta said there are many new students compared to when she was last here, but that she is enjoying her time back on campus. 

“I have made a great number of new friends and somehow this place feels like a second home to me,” she said. 


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