Studying in Finland: 5 tips for starting your studies

It is really exciting to be starting a new chapter in your studies and your life! But, moving to a new country can also be a little nerve-wracking. You definitely want to make sure that you make the most of your time studying and living in Finland. Here are 5 tips that can help make your first semester studying in Finland the best!

airplane at sunset

1. explore your new city

Once you have gotten situated in your new home, the best thing you can do is explore where you are going to be living during your studies! You are in a completely new city, so it’s good to know where the basic facilities are like your nearest grocery store, the university, and everything else useful. But, beyond that, this is your chance to enjoy the local attractions. This doesn’t have to be done in a matter of days. You can spend the entirety of your study program getting to know the city!

Play tourist in your city! Find local attractions and tourist spots around the city. You may be surprised by how unique all Finnish cities are, and how much there is to discover! While you’re studying in Finland, try to take a study break at least once a week to go for a walk and just explore! This can give a different feel for where you will be living and make it feel a little bit more like home.

View of river in Turku

2. get to know your classmates

Don’t be afraid to make the first move when you have a chance to meet your classmates! Introduce yourself and spark up a conversation! Finnish cities are full of students, both local and international. Your classmates can offer one-of-a-kind support during your studies in Finland. Not to mention, friends make studying a lot more enjoyable! Who better to explore your city with than someone also new to it!

If you can, try to connect with some of the older students as well. These students can offer priceless advice that can help make the transition into Finnish university studies virtually seamless. They will also happily answer any questions you may have! But, keep in mind that everyone’s experiences are different. So, remember their advice, but also keep an open mind and experience things for yourself!

students studying in Finland wearing overalls

3. Connect with your profesSors

Your professors are an incredible resource you shouldn’t be afraid to use, especially during the first semester. Your professors want you to succeed, so if ever you have concerns or questions don’t hesitate to go to them. Professors have a different perspective from past or current students on studies. Therefore, they can offer insights the students cannot. Quiz your professors! You might be surprised by what they reveal!

Finnish professors like to build informal relationships with their students. Some have even found that their professors feel more like their friends than teachers! You might even find some of them attending school events! Even if you prefer to keep a professional relationship with your professors, you can always ask them questions and get unparalleled support from them during your studies.

4. Attend LoCal and schoOl eveNts

This tip goes hand in hand with the previous ones. When you are starting out in a new country and a new city, it’s good to get to know the culture. And, the best way to learn about the culture is by taking part in local events. Cities will organize cultural events like markets, sporting events, and so much more. These are a great opportunity to get to know the locals and discover more about your new home while you are studying in Finland. Student groups and clubs will also organize events throughout the year for students to attend. These events are the best way to meet and get to know your classmates!

Facebook is the best platform to find out about different events taking place! Keep on eye on events happening in your city and at your university! Step out of your comfort zone and try something new during these events and immerse yourself into the culture!

5. Don’T forget to take Time for yourself

Beyond starting your studies, making friends, and acclimating to your surroundings, it is essential to remember to take time for yourself. It’s always important to practice self-care and allow yourself to decompress after experiencing a lot of new things. You can make your experience a lot better by listening to your health and not overexerting yourself. Try to do something just for yourself once a week!

Starting university isn’t always smooth sailing. So, sometimes just staying home taking a nap and watching movies to rest and restart can do wonders. It’s okay to feel stressed or anxious, in fact it’s normal. This is a period of change and it can get overwhelming. You don’t have to experience everything during these first months, so take time for yourself to ensure the experiences you have are the best!

view of the sea from the park while studying in Finland

For more tips on starting your studies in Finland, here is a great post-arrival checklist! And, check our other blogs to find out more about living and studying in Finland!

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