Studying Abroad in Finland
Studying abroad and backpacking Europe are pretty much the top epitomes of student travel so why not combine the two with a student exchange to Finland?
While this small country of just over 5 million people is nestled in Northern Europe, it’s far from arctic tundra material. Fins are known for their hot saunas and claim to be the best karaoke singers in Europe. They’re also using their position as Europe’s technology centre to pursue research in high-tech green innovations like the sporty E-RA electric car.
As far as schools go (because I know that’s clearly your top concern when you travel), Helsinki is a great Finnish University town. HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences is a premier business school that takes students who want to study abroad from all over the world (including the US) every year. You can check out a full list of their exchange partners here. The University of Helsinki also has a study abroad program with a similar application process.
Both schools offer courses in English and most locals speak English pretty fluently; so don’t worry if your Finnish language skills aren’t even enough to order a Sahti (traditional Finnish beer). If you can, I’d suggest taking a Finnish language course though. It will help you get more in touch with the culture, and everyone back home will be impressed that you were able to ask for aAurajuustohampurilainen (blue cheese burger) without getting your tongue tied in several knots.
Once you get accepted, both universities have student housing in resident halls you can move into, or you can take the option of finding accommodations on your own. I highly recommend the dorm option though, as it will help you get to know the other students studying abroad, along with some locals.
Students studying abroad also have special student travel deals put together by the schools to Lapland, St Petersburg and Stockholm organised for them, to help get you to experience more of Europe (you’re most of the way already, so you might as well!) along with various sports, cultural and cooking events and, of course, some Finnish partying.
So start working on your karaoke skills, and get ready for an amazing semester studying abroad in Finland!
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