Finland might be associated with the place for winter holiday in the opinion of most people but it is not limited to that only. The country is a member of the European Union and it represents the Nordic democracy and employs equality as the important driving force. It enjoys the most advanced education system due to valuable investments in education and original mindset. Equality refers both to national and international students in terms of study.
Higher education in Finland
Information is exploratory. For accurate information, refer to the official website of the school.
Among the distinguishing benefits, that the country can boast regarding international student programmes are the following:
The quality of education level and recognition of Finnish credentials. The education system in Finland is aimed at acquisition of practical skills. That means that upon introductory theory the students are taught bother theoretical and practical matters immediately at production sites or at practice workshops which are based in the territory of universities. By the way, on account of effective approaches introduced by the Ministry of Education of Finland and use of only state-of-the-art equipment, the future professional acquires the experience which will be actual and requisite at this time. Due to that, the tertiary education acquired in Finland is recognized as one of the best in Europe and thus, it is reasonable that the Finnish university graduate is quickly offered promising and well-paid job irrespective of the destination country.
Friendly attitude to foreigners. The country employs the policy of collaboration with all education centers worldwide regardless of the quality level thereof. This positively affects study policy for international students to be equal with that for the natives.
Affordable tuition fees. When it comes to Bachelor education, this is fully sponsored by the government which means is provided for free for all students.
Options to choose the study language. It is obvious though that national universities prefer accepting students who show interest in study in official country languages, that is, Finnish or Swedish.
Herewith, the Finnish government along with the university management clearly realizes that the Finnish language is extremely complicated to learn and therefore all education curriculums offer classes for English-speaking students. However, these group students should have a good command of Finnish to learn it in the first two semesters since all tertiary education institutions aim to welcome graduates to stay in Finland for further work.
Options to work during study. As compared with a range of countries, an international student may work during study process, which is good to reduce cost of living.
Options to get Bachelor’s degree within 3 years not 4. Because education process in Finland is 70% practice-based, these facilities set different requirements to students against other tertiary education institutions. The student is obliged to get particular credit points to have the Diploma and in case of academic progress, the student can obtain credit points in the required amount for three years of study.
To the point, if the applicant’s English skills are not up to the level demanded, he/she is offered to attend English prep courses at some tertiary education institutions since the skills should be up to the level. These classes target not only colloquium speech. They are competent enough to introduce elements of games and discuss topics in the target language, participate in seminars. Such language proficiency courses are under strict control of the Ministry of Education in Finland. The only thing that is worth mentioning is the short-term period of courses: it is total 25 hours per week. However, the expectations are high since language classes are taught by only English-speaking professoriate.
Enrollment procedure in universities of Finland
Prior to enrollment, the applicant should be clear with the university of destination but since the application form is addressed to the National Joint Admissions System, the applicant may specify up to four majors at several universities which increases the chance of admission. The application form should be submitted:
From January to mid-February for Bachelor’s level programme
From March to mid-April for Master’s level programme
The application form should be completed in English language. The documents to submit also include a copy of the document to certify elementary school graduation (Leaving certificate), transcript with scores and a valid TOEFL or IELTS test score. By the way, all submission documents should be also translated into English language.
As it is seen from above, diplomas play a role for enrollment. The applicant that is eligible for university admission will be requested to pass exams. The applicant should be thoroughly prepared for that. Those who apply for Master’s degree are asked to submit a copy of qualification paper with the supplement and in some particular cases, documents that evidence on experience in the sphere of major.
Academic degrees in Finland
Despite the fact that Finland uses two-tier tertiary education system, graduates might be awarded a diploma that proves on the following:
Bachelor’s Degree. As it is described above, the academic period lasts for three to four years and is completely free. This is probably the case why predominantly most native citizens prefer to get their Master’s degree. Scholarship is not provided for bachelor’s level programme students though practically every high education institution has its own recruiting agency in place to help the student find a job.
Master’s Degree. The study period is 2 years though the university may require work experience of up to 2 years for some qualifications. This makes most bachelor degree students proceed to work to gain experience and return to further education later on. In fact, this is the only academic level in Finland to be paid by all students. Scholarships for Master degree students are not provided as well as for Bachelor-level programmes though some private funds might offer the amount up to 500 Euro per month to a student.
Doctoral studies (PhD degree or PhD-level visiting research period). Whereas the two-level system does not allow this degree, it is available and is fully aimed at research activities in students. It takes four years to study after the Master’s degree. This is the only degree that is widely awarded with grants and scholarships. These are paid by universities as the wage for research work. The highest amount for the student makes 1000 Euro per month.
List of documents to get a Student Visa in Finland
Upon successful entry exams, the student needs a student visa to study further. It is issued by the Embassy of Finland in the home country of the applicant. The following documents should be submitted to get a visa:
A letter of acceptance (in fact, a copy of the letter in electronic format is appropriate to be convenient to avoid travelling back and forth to get it).
A bank statement to prove the amount of 6720 Euro per year that is the minimum wage amount. The applicant is eligible to invite his/her family to the country. In case of under-age children, the additional amount of 450 Euro per month should be available per each child.
An application form completed and a valid foreign passport.
Two photographs (black and white are appropriate) sized 47x36 mm.
Documents to evidence on the education degree acquired.
Insurance policy. It is to be noted that is the study period takes less than 2 years, the insurance cover should make 100 000 Euro, and if more, that is to be 30000. This difference is due to the fact that the person who studies for more the 2 years in the country is considered as the permanent resident and may take advantages similarly as the native citizens.
330 Euro. This amount is required to consider the application form.
In case the student takes his/her children to arrive in Finland, the following should be submitted:
Original of the child’s birth certificate.
Consent to taking children that should be properly notarized and translated into English, Swedish or Finnish language.
To the point, if the student is under age, the consent to travel might be signed by one of parents.
That’s interesting to know that Embassies of Finland are overloaded in summer and autumn periods and thus, it is better to arrange for visa as soon as the applicant receives a letter of acceptance. A student visa is issued for one year period and can be prolonged by the Police Department in the territory of the country.