Feeling at Home in Lapland: University Students’ Perceptions About Place Attachment.

Lauri Oskari Lantela, Pilvikki Lantela, Madoka Hammine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


In this article, we examine how students perceive Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, as a location and study the properties that enhance students’ place attachment. Many students attending the University of Lapland come from parts of Finland other than the north, or from abroad, and leave Lapland after completing their studies. The study period represents a brief passage in the overall lifecycle of a student that begins with them arriving at Rovaniemi with different orientations and mindsets. The research aims to investigate the different forms of attachment that students develop for a place. The data were collected by means of empathy-based stories and analysed with the help of a theory-led content analysis. The characteristics that helped the students feel at home were the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the university, friendly nature of the Rovaniemi people, the small but, nevertheless, lively city that that has an international vibe, scenic natural locations, recreational activities, and the possibility to build meaningful social networks. Some of these themes were repeated in the negative accounts, wherein the attachment was hindered by the distance between loved ones, distances between the city, the lack of public transport, and the problems resulting thereof.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLapin elinvoima
EditorsLeena Suopajärvi, Seija Tuulentie
Place of PublicationRovaniemi
PublisherLapin tutkimusseura ry
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-9327-74-7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2017
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesActa Lapponica Fenniae

Field of science

  • Sociology


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