Logo

Tampere Ambassador: Kubilay Kağan Özkan

Where are you from?
I’m from Izmir which is most western, third biggest and very historical city of Turkey right across to Athens and island Chios on the Aegean Coast where people are modern and smile happily.

What would you like to tell about yourself?
I would like to start with how I ended up in Tampere first as most Finns ask why Finland. I was first Erasmus exchange student in Tampere between August 2013 and June 2014. It was not easy to adapt the life here at the beginning but this challenge was much more rewarding than any other experience I had in my life.

I was completely out of my comfort zone and discovered myself in very different aspects. At the end, I did not want to leave this place as I got very used to the culture, friends and life. I had promised myself to come back in the future. Now I am here again as a master’s student this time and would like to stay longer after my studies.

I am passionate about nature, travel and photography. I have dreams of changing the world. My heart is beating with a love for environmental sustainability with an entrepreneurial mind. I enjoy learning new things and meeting new people. Storytelling and sharing knowledge has become my recent hobby.

What makes Tampere special for you?
I think I love Tampere because it has a great compact size. It is neither so big nor so small, just the perfect size. I am not a big city fan and as a nature lover I really enjoy living in Tampere. Being close to nature is something I value a lot here. I like the feeling that I can get to forest within a few minutes. I can have my personal space and silence when needed. Life is simply so easy, I don’t know how to tell this but it’s just easy life.

Student culture and life is unique in Tampere in my opinion. Maybe not only in Tampere but in generally I love the environment friendly mind-set of people in Finland. Last but not least, I am a big sauna fan and enjoy going to public saunas of Tampere by Nasijarvi and experiencing avanto during winter. There are a lot of spaces and various activities for people to do in all seasons.

Tell about your professional activities?
I am a business professional with techy mind and creative and social personality. I’m currently studying industrial engineering and management at TUT and graduate of management engineering from ITU. My major is international sales and sourcing thus, I’m looking forward to connecting businesses between Turkey and Finland mainly but also the region. I can help companies with business development, market development, marketing and sales. I also aim to invest in tourism and food sectors in Tampere one day with starting up an ecotourism and/or edutourism company and a vegetarian restaurant maybe. I am also a photographer enthusiast for many years and trying to produce content by blogging and vlogging about my life in Finland.

What is your involvement in international activities?
Whenever there is an international activity in Tampere, I am most probably there. I have been also tutoring Erasmus students at TUT. I am also trying to promote Finland in Turkey and trying to be the contact person for Turkish who is interested in Finland. I am taking part in Tribe Tampere community and want to make Tampere more international.

What is your mission as a Tampere Ambassador?
As I have already mentioned, one can guess that I will promote Tampere as a great place to study and live. Also, I would like to drive more visitors to the city and promote it for doing business and investment.

What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
As far as I know Tampere is the fastest growing city in Finland now. Thus, I believe there is a lot going to happen. All the new services and investments are going to bring more and more benefits to the well-being of society living in Tampere hopefully. I believe in the vision of becoming leader of smart city for Tampere and looking forward to being part of this achievement.

Kubilay Kağan Özkan