Finland, a country without pollution or crowd, but with an innovative and sophisticated atmosphere, sounds almost imaginary. It has been rated as one of the safest, happiest, most eco-friendly, and most stable countries in the world, and is well known for its high-quality education. A relatively small country with so much to offer is bound to be an interesting study-abroad destination. It’s not an exaggeration to say that studying in Finland will, quite literally, be life-changing for you.
All Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences are state-recognized. The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council audits the quality management systems of the higher education institutions regularly.
Experience Finland and the quality of Finnish higher education.
If you want to make a true change in your life, and reshape your academic path and career, studying in Finland is the way to go. The experiences you will go through here will, without a doubt, be the most memorable in your life. Don’t believe us? Ask anyone who has ever gone to study abroad, either for a full degree or an exchange.
One of the most enjoyable things about studying abroad is getting to know a completely foreign culture. You will be learning the ways of the locals and gradually integrating in their society. You will meet people from all over the world, creating a wide network of valuable contacts. What is even more precious, is that you will learn more about yourself. Being in a new environment mirrors all your strengths and flaws. And what is more enjoyable and rewarding than finding new aspects within yourself that you have never noticed before?
Finnish Education. What about it?
While many countries in the world are worth exploring and traveling, Finland is, on top of that, one of the best places for studying and personal growth. Finnish education emphasizes equity, which is explicitly mentioned in the national core curriculum. To reach equity, Finnish schools make sure that all students have equal opportunities to schools with the same quality. There is no ranking among schools in Finland. Students go to schools that are closest to their home and when they get older, they choose the university based on their interest of studies and preference of the city. (Further reading: Finnish Education in a Nutshell)
Finnish education also focuses on learning for oneself, problem solving, and self-development. Finnish schools, starting from early childhood education, are preparing their young learners not only for the world, but for the learners themselves to live a life that is meaningful to them. Each child has his/her own individual plan as they grow up. Schools are not a place that celebrates competition. Instead, schools are a nurturing and warm space that builds each unique individual into the best version of themselves. Unlike many other countries that measure students as a young age, there is no national evaluation during basic education. (Further reading: Why Finland has the best schools)
Living in the 21st century, the rapidly changing society challenges citizens in this current era to develop in a very different way than people in the past. In order to position yourself and to live to the fullest, lifelong learning is a capacity that you should own. Finnish education is designed for this purpose. A step into Finnish schools, you will notice that students are learning for themselves, not for the parents or teachers. They are motivated and willing to learn not because they are told to by others or because they need to get a good grade, but because they really want to. There is no dead end in the Finnish education system. Anyone who has previously studied in a vocational track can always study in more academic-oriented schools, and vice versa.
Finnish education is the foundation of the society, and Finnish education is built upon the trust from the society as well. Teachers in Finland for general education are required to have a master’s level, and the whole society trust the schools and teachers will bring out the best in the students. Based on the trust, the teachers embrace high level of autonomy in lesson planning. Without pressure for taking exams, teachers can truly design the lessons according to each group professionally. (Further reading: Highly trained, respected and free: why Finland’s teachers are different)
The same concepts from Finnish basic education extend to higher education. While the Finns of your age have been benefiting from this education system their whole life, it is not too late for you to have a taste of it now.
A Day in the Finnish University
You will soon be guided to experience a typical day in the university in Finland.
Are you ready? Put on your imagination hat and here we go!
Summer just ended and schools have started. You turn off your alarm and wish to linger for a while in your cozy bed. Still, you get up. You draw the curtain and notice that the world has greeted you with another autumn morning: the wondrous colors of autumn foliage. You let the scene set in as you prepare your morning coffee, just like so many other Finns do (Did you know that Finns drink more coffee than any other countries by consuming 12kg per person per year?). You leave your room that is still filled with the bittersweet aroma. You meet some of your neighbors in the hallway. Maybe a couple, a Finn, or another international student just like you. You make your way to the university, crossing the streets where drivers will always slow down and let you pass. You look around and find no hustle and bustle. No traffic! You see the trees have turned auburn, and the ground carpeted with russet leaves which you cannot help but step into them and kick a few of the crispy leaves up. You feel like a child a gain. And very soon you arrive at the campus.
Depending on the university, campus buildings might be in different locations and sometimes you have to cross a road. Make sure you are in the right lecture room on time. Finns appreciate punctuality. For example, take a look at the bus schedules. It tells you the exact minute when the bus will arrive. Classes always start at quarter past. (Further reading: Finnish customs)
Now, you are in the classroom. Pick a seat that you like. The teacher comes in and after a few greetings, the class starts. You will expect some lectures, some discussions, some group work, and some individual presentations. You can raise questions, discuss with the teacher various topics, from subject related issues to how you wish the class will run. The low hierarchy between teachers and students teaches you to treat yourself as one of the novice researchers in the university. You can choose almost all courses you are interested in, and there is always room for you to discuss with the teachers how you will participate in the class. You enjoy a great amount of freedom in the university and thus you are also responsible for your own learning. You are expected to make your own study plan, but don’t worry! You can always find a staff member to assist you should you have any questions.
Your stomach starts to make a few embarrassing growling noises, reminding you of lunch time. With a couple of friends, you head to the school cafeteria to get a nice warm meal. Students in Finland can enjoy meals from the schools around the whole country with the price of 2.60 euros. A meal includes drinks, salad, a main dish, and two slices of bread. There are also vegetarian choices to meet everyone’s need.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with some of the most common Finnish foods. Another sign of low hierarchy in the school culture that might surprise you is that students and staff often sit in the same space for lunch. Don’t be surprised to see one of your teachers coming to get the same food as you.
After a hearty meal, you and your friends have decided to look for a space for studying. The library is a good and safe choice, but besides that you can find a variety of spaces for both self-study and group discussions. There is indeed an option that feeds your need. Finland has been an active player in innovations and entrepreneurship. One of the biggest startup events, Slush, is originated in Helsinki, Finland. On Finnish campus, you will easily find creative and fun areas for brainstorming and projects. Who knows? Maybe you are the next Angry Birds creator (Yes, Angry Birds is from Finland)! Schools are meant to be fun and to inspire creativity, and you can see clearly from schools in Finland at all stages.
You have had a very fruitful academic day. To keep yourself healthy and happy, take some time for a nice sweaty workout regularly. Join the campus gym with a very decent fee. Another option to relax yourself and release some stress is to enjoy sauna. Saunas are accessible almost everywhere. For a country with 5 million people, it is estimated that there are two million saunas in Finland, in city apartments, gyms, and cottages. Studies have shown health benefits of saunas.
Student life is colorful. Now you get a very brief idea of what it is like being a student in Finland. In addition to all the student benefits you will get in meals, accommodation, and transportation, what you will gain in your courses and daily life is even more rewarding. In a new environment and new country, leave your stereotypes and prejudice behind. There might be cultural shocks. Face your fears and uncertainties. You will tumble and break, but you will heal and learn to stand up again. You will grow and thrive into a better version of yourself. And this is exactly what Finnish education aims for: A lifelong learner. An individual that maximizes his/her best potential.
Edunation is here to make everything easier for you, not only before coming here, but also during your stay.
This is where Edunation steps in. Edunation is determined to help you shape your future to its utmost potential and aid you in developing a successful career. We strive to provide the study programs that best fit your wants and needs. We believe that everyone has a chance for a change and a change for the best.