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Admission Requirements for Study in Finland
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Why study in Finland?
Creative And Innovative Study Programs In Finland For Effective International Education
Being located in the northern part of Europe, the country of Finland is the world’s top most cultivated regions. Climate, culture and the pursuit of higher education are features that have brought Finland into the world map of international students. The lure to live in a safe environment and in quiet country side, with stress on personal growth through academic and professional education in a cultural mix is what Finland has to offer to its international student community.
It is a member of the European Union, representing the Nordic community where equality in wealth is the driver of the society. Host of some very good sightseeing places and UNESCO listed World Heritage sites this country has become a favorite destination among students from a variety of regions.
Why study in Finland
- Although education standard is quite high and disciplined in Finland, students can experience activities and enjoy their stay. There exists a civil society which is well networked and is transparent. Since the culture of Finnish people has food items of paramount importance with potato, fish, vodka and coffee consumed regularly, the international students will never run out of menus to titillate their palates.
- Finland is a global leader in information technology and various world famous companies, which is also reflected in the education system, with stress on innovative mindset and sufficiency in investments in education.
- The key features in the education system in Finland are quality, efficiency, equity and internationalization. Everyone is provided with an equal opportunity for education, irrespective of the country, gender, economic background and language.
The Finnish National Board of Education looks after the higher education in Finland. Because of a well maintained higher education system in the country, there has been a substantial growth in the knowledge and development of the country.
- Higher education system in Finland is having dualistic model
– Universities which promote research and scientific learning
– Polytechnics which promote professional higher education and applied R&D which are also known as universities of applied sciences.
- In total there are about 16 universities which are operating under the Ministry of Education and provide the students with Bachelor’s, Master’s, licentiate and doctoral degrees.
- Polytechnics offer the students, only bachelor’s courses extending from 3.5 to 4 years and master’s degree of 1 to 1.5 years. Students can pursue master’s degree in universities of applied sciences if they have complete 3 years of work experience after completion of their bachelor’s degree.
- All the degrees are under the rule of credit points as per the ECTS or European Credit Transfer System. In a single year of study, the students are usually required to obtain 60 ECTS.
- The universities in Finland have their independence to select the international students and most of these conduct their entrance examination for admissions.
- The education system in Finland is divided into semester systems with autumn semester starting from August till December and the spring semester extending from January to July.
- For the bachelor programs, the students are required to have a 12 year academic higher secondary education in their country. Finnish or Swedish language proficiency is required but for English language courses, they can produce the score of English proficiency tests of IELTS or TOEFL. Students will also have to pass an entrance examination.
- For the master programs, the student will have to show the marks and certificate transcripts for the last 16 years of education. English or other language proficiency tests are to be passed and the students can show IELTS or TOEFL tests.
- For admissions into the applied sciences universities, there is requirement of 3 works work experience to get admissions in the master’s courses.
- Any other criteria for eligibility are to be assessed from the particular university website or by contacting the international office of that university.
- Although, the entrance exam in the written form is to be appeared for the Finland undergraduate courses, the entry into master’s programs is through direct academic merit of the students from their previous qualifications. Detailed account of the entrance examinations can be received from the administration office of the respective universities.
Students need to first select the course that they want to pursue by looking at the database of English language programs.
Since the requirements might vary with the universities and the programs, students are required to check with individual universities about the exact requirements in terms of documents, fees and the time of application.
- Most of the universities are accepting online applications or can be applied to the university directly while the doctoral courses require the students to send in their applications directly to the universities. Many universities with masters programs also have their admissions through the Universities Admissions Finland application service.
- There is one application period per year in most universities and since autumn semester is the starting of the year, students will have to apply before this term starts. Polytechnic admissions are also usually in the time of Autumn semester. Exact date of application might vary depending on the university, the institution therein and the course.
- Further information on the method of application can be obtained by visiting the sites for the individual universities.
- Students can send in their applications by a joint application system in which more than one, up to 4 programs can be simultaneously applied.
- The documents required for accompanying the applications are
– English proficiency test score,
– school or college leaving certificate,
– English translation for educational documents,
– motivation letter showing the interest for pursuing higher education in finland,
– passport photo,
– copy of a valid passport,
– reference or recommendation letter,
– and all these copies should be certified by the notary.
- First thing that the students need to do after receiving their consent letter from the universities is to apply for the student resident permit, if they wish to continue education or are in Finland under exchange programs and they belong to non-EU countries.
- The application for visa has to be submitted before the students arrive in the country. A special thing about the visa application in Finland is that the students need not submit any residence permit fee because these permits are meant as financial securities. These residence permits or visas are to be processed by the Finnish Immigration service.
- Possession of an insurance health policy is very much essential for applying the visa or residence permit.
- The initial application has to be done in the Finland embassy in host country. Renewal can be done in the police station in Finland, when the visa is about to expire.
- If students have got a short term visa, then they will have to go back to their own country in order to get the long term visa or student residence permit.
Cost of study and living in Finland
- Tuition fees are charged only in a few masters’ degree program while there are no charges for the non EU students for the bachelor’s or master’s programs. Students should therefore check with the individual universities about the charges that are usual for the international students.
- General cost of living in Finland is quite high, but is equal to those of other European countries. It is during the application for the student residence permit that they need to show that they have sufficient funds of at least 500 Euros for a month. This show has to be done every year because the student residence permit is required to be renewed every year.
- Monthly expenses in Finland can be approximately 700 – 900 Euros which might vary according to the place and course of study as well as depends on the lifestyle of the student.
- Although working during the study period is allowed to the extent of 20 hours per week, it is usually difficult for the foreign students to obtain jobs if they do not talk or understand Finnish or Swedish.
- Becoming a part of student’s organization can be a good option as these allow the students to get their way around in the country and also avail various discounts through the Finnish Student Card facilities. These cards are usually obtained from the student’s union in each university.
Those higher institutions, which are having a tuition fee, are also providing the scholarships. These are known as the institutional scholarships.
- CIMO scholarships are available for the international students who want to pursue higher education at the doctoral level and PhD courses. Under the organization of CIMO are other scholarships such as Finnish Government Scholarship Pool, Scholarships for Kindred peoples, and scholarships for masters’ level degree students for Finnish language and for the researchers.
- Another famous scholarship program is that of the Erasmus Mundus master’s programs.
- Also, the host country has been known to sponsor their students to the various programs in the universities and this is known though the medium of the host country, before the students embark on their studies.
- Flubright scholarships are aimed at students who arrive in Finland by cultural exchange program which is support by the private organization.
Apart from these, there are many other funding and scholarship programs, which the students can know about by enquiring at the admission offices of their respective universities. These are forthcoming from public universities, private people and from world funding agencies.
Being rich in culture and ethics and a beautiful work environment, students can surely think about getting absorbed in various companies and organizations in the country, without any hassles and worries. The education system and the history of Finland are well recognized. Companies are eager to recruit the passing out students from these universities as they want to capture the best brains, before they go back to their own regions or some other companies.