When you think about top destinations for international students Finland is not a country that comes to your mind. This is because Finland appears rarely in the news and Pakistani students generally do not know much about the country.
The trends are changing however because now students have more information about relatively unknown destinations like Finland. Many students are heading to Finland for higher studies because of its high-quality education system and high visa acceptance ratio. Finland is a part of the European Union and is among the most prosperous countries in the world.
1. Top Finnish Universities
Finland might be a small country but its education system ranks among the best in the world. The global top 500 universities ranking features many Finnish universities. Helsinki University located in the capital is ranked 74 in the world.
The University of Turko has a ranking of 301-400 and Aalto University has a ranking of 400-500 in the world. Considering Finland’s small population (approximately 5.5 million) these statistics speak volumes about the high education standards of the country.
2. Finland’s Education Philosophy
Finland’s education system is based on unconventional principles compared to the rest of the world. The country’s policymakers have devised a strategy that focuses on the individuality of every student rather than traditional rote learning. Students are trained to work in groups and focus on the betterment of society instead of being overly competitive or materialistic.
University curriculums focus on teaching practical skills instead of mere theoretical knowledge. Students are expected to put the interest of society before their own and make ethical choices in challenging conditions. All of these aspects make the Finnish education model one of the best in the world.
3. Research Opportunities
Finnish universities offer excellent and high standard research programs. Innovation and research are considered integral parts of the learning experience. Doctoral programs offered by Finnish universities are very popular among international students because of the research opportunities available.
4. Choice Of Program
Finnish universities offer a wide range of disciplines for undergraduate and graduate degrees. These include chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering and technology, medicine, social sciences, and public policy. You can choose any program according to your aptitude and area of interest.
5. Application Process
Applying to a Finnish university is a relatively easy and rapid process. You have to choose your preferred subject and university. After completing your documents you can apply to any university. The university will verify your documents and application.
If you fulfill all the requirements then you are granted admission. After securing admission you can apply to the Finnish embassy for a student visa.
6. Visa Acceptance Ratio
Finland has one of the world’s highest visa acceptance ratios. In recent years the number of rejected visa applications stood out at 1 or 2 per cent which is very low compared to other developed countries.
7. Method Of Instruction
Universities offer programs both in Finnish and English language. You can easily find a program taught in English in your preferred discipline. Studying in Finland will give you the chance of learning the Finnish language which will improve your communication skills and enable you to understand the local culture better.
Education is free in Finland for students from the European Union. Students from countries that are not part of the European Union have to pay tuition fees. The expenses are not very costly and you can fund your education by working part-time jobs.
You can also apply for a scholarship which will cut down your tuition expenses. Some scholarships are funded by universities while others are funded by the Finnish government.
Most universities have student accommodation. The charges are nominal and affordable for an average student. You can also get private accommodation on rent if you don’t want to avail of university housing facilities. The monthly rent of private accommodations depends on the area and size of the apartment. Generally, it is between 600-800 euros per month.
Helsinki is the most expensive city while Tampere and Pori are considered affordable options for international students.
10. Working Opportunities in Finland
There is no restriction on International students from working part-time jobs. You can get a job which suits your interest to fund your expenses. According to government surveys, the most common job in Finland is the sales assistant. Employment options are also available in the health sector and private businesses. Students can also apply for permanent residence if they are offered employment after completing their studies.
Working hours are less than the world average and salaries are considered very good. Labour laws are in line with international conventions and they are strictly implemented by government agencies.
11. Finnish Economy
Finland is considered among the most economically prosperous countries in the world. Despite its small size, the country enjoys high standards of development. Poverty levels are among the lowest in the world because of social welfare programs run by the government.
Living standards and facilities are comparable to any western developed country.
12. Local Culture
Finnish society like the other Scandinavian societies puts more emphasis on the physical and mental well-being of an individual instead of adopting a materialistic approach. There is a marked difference between corporate ethics in countries like the USA or Uk and Finland.
The balance between work and leisure is encouraged in Scandinavian culture and there is no concept of interruptions related to work outside of business hours. Finnish people are considered as reserved and polite. Foreigners are treated as warmly as guests. World surveys rank Finland as the happiest place in the world.
13. Individual Liberties
Finland is a democratic country. There are no restrictions on personal liberties and freedoms. You can comfortably practice your religion and culture without fear of persecution. Racial discrimination is actively discouraged and is a punishable offense under the local laws. Freedom of expression and dissent is seen as important pillars of society.