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Esther Kreutz-Hassinen

Esther Kreutz-Hassinen

Project Coordinator, Union of the Baltic Cities

Keep your precious traditions, but don’t forget to adapt to the future.

What did you study at ÅAU and when?
I studied Environmental policy at the Institute for Public administration. I came in spring 2005 (Johanna och Otto Beltzner fond) and wrote my master’s thesis in 2007.

What does ÅAU mean to you?
ÅAU is a place I like to remember, it was my ”home base” when I first came to Finland and when I returned 2 years later, my contacts through ÅAU were there to make me feel at home again. My time at the university has connected me with the topic and area that I am still working in today, without my studies here I would not have ended up in the Baltic Sea Region cooperation. ÅAU means also many traditions, sitz parties, choir concerts and other student traditions.

Åbo Akademi University has existed for 100 years. Why should it exist for at least another 100 years?
ÅAU needs to exist for at least 100 more years because it is so unique, so traditional yet modern. It´s one of the few places in Finland for Swedish-speaking people as well as foreigners who want to learn and study in Swedish. And it’s located in the best city of Finland.

What has ÅAU given you?
ÅA has given me a lot: an inspiring place to study, new angles of my research and new topics for my thesis. It gave me many new friends from all over the world, with whom I am partly still in contact. It gave me a rich cultural and social life during my time as an exchange student with events and happenings.

Last, but least, through ÅAU I found my current job which made me stay in Finland and also allowed me to travel abroad for a conference, where I met my husband. So, in practice, my whole life in Finland started at ÅAU and without coming here to study, I would not have what I have now!

Your greeting to the 100-year-old Åbo Akademi University
Dear ÅAU, stay as you are and keep on developing! Keep your precious traditions, but don´t forget to adapt to the future. Be open and welcoming to all those who want to learn and hopefully you will get back from those you inspire in their lives.

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