10 Reasons to Say YES to Studying in Finland

Oct 25 19

Still, doubt if you want to study in Finland? You just don’t know anything about this country.

What comes to your mind when you hear about Finland? Lakes, saunas, ice hockey, Santa Claus (Joulupukki in Finnish, try to say it with the first attempt), the happiest country in the world, one of the best education systems… Well, this is all true. However, it’s only the tip of the iceberg, especially if you’re a student in this country. Studying and living in Finland is the best thing ever that can happen to you. Don’t believe me? Well, read about my own experience in Finland!

Helsinki Cathedral

1. The Finnish education system in a nutshell

Let’s start with not the most amazing, but very important part of the Finnish miracle – education system itself. In Finland, the education system really teaches. You don’t just take courses, but you really master the subjects. It happens thanks to focusing on self-education: fewer contact sessions, more time to figure things out by yourself. And it really works because you should read and analyze instead of scrolling Instagram on a boring lecture (I know, you do it). In addition, the lack of contact sessions and a chance to take online courses make you very flexible. In Finland, you can combine studying with working/traveling/partying/add-your-own-option quite easy, without compromising academic performance. Some courses even not require passing an exam. It’s necessary to submit a final essay or some papers – and you are done.

My personal favorite thing about studying in Finland is the lack of subordination between students and staff. In this system, we’re all equal colleagues. In Finland, you can contact the majority of teachers simply by name and not use Mrs, Mr or Dr in emails. It greatly saves internal resources and time and creates a very comfortable educational environment.

Finnish universities offer a huge variety of programs in English, whatever you want to study. A convenient way to find the most suitable for you and not to get lost in the diversity of opportunities is to use Aplic.io for searching studying programs. The platform will help you make your choice and facilitate the application process a lot.

2. University facilities

Oodi, Helsinki’s new Central Library

As we already know, the education system in Finland includes a massive block of self-education. Finnish universities not only encourage you to study by yourself, but they also provide excellent opportunities to make the education process smooth and comfortable. All universities’ libraries are equipped with plenty of working spots with lamps and sockets, cozy deep chairs, huge soft puffs, on which, by the way, it’s good to sleep. Want to study in peace? Silent reading room at your service! Need to work on a project with fellows? Book a group workroom! Cannot understand how library searching-systems work? Take an hour of personal librarian assistance! Universities create all conditions to make studying pleasant and enjoyable.

Oh, a very important thing. When you study well, your brain makes efforts, so you have to eat well. In a university restaurant, you can take a whole lunch for 2.6€ with a student discount. Beautiful, isn’t it?

3. Hare! Squirrel! Oops, and bear…

Näsijärvi, Tampere, Finland

Finland is famous for its rich and handsome nature. Wherever you study, you’ll live within walking distance to the lake and forest. They’re here truly primeval and amazingly beautiful. Just imagine a huge lake, ancient pines, and crystal clear air. It’s great at any time of the year and always near you if you study in Finland. Finns jokes: why do you need a psychologist, if you can go into the woods? Indeed, a half-hour walk in the forest is like a meditation, which helps to cope with any stress.

And there are plenty of wild animals everywhere in Finland. Walking outside the city, you’ll surely meet a hare or squirrel, and sometimes you will see a deer. Rabbits and squirrels run confidently even in the city. Sometimes you feel like Snow White in this animal kingdom. And yes, it was a joke about bears. Or not. 😉

4. Northern Lights

Aurora in Tampere, Finland

Spring and autumn are special times in Finland – the aurora season is here! When the sky is clear, you can observe it in all corners of Finland, the northern the stronger. It’s impossible to forget your first Northern Lights. You are standing with your head up, and cannot believe that all these green and purple flashes in the sky are real. The lakeside is the perfect auditorium for aurora hunting. And if you bring your friends and a bottle of wine, a stunning evening is guaranteed.

5. Well-designed cities

The bad news: all cities in Finland, with the exception of Helsinki, are like twins. The good news: they’re organized greatly from the urbanistic point of view. There’s a clear structure separation, and at the same time, everything necessary is pretty close. Streets, shops, bars, clubs, transport stations are located just as they should be.

And these cities in Finland are flawless for cycling! Bicycle paths are everywhere around the city, and bicycle parking is near each building or public space. You no longer want to go by public transport, although work surprisingly good. Well, if only in winter: when it is -30 ̊C outside, the wind is slightly refreshing (yeah, and intensely invigorating). However, it isn’t a problem for many Finnish. The scarf higher – and on the bike!

6. Safety

Smartly designed cities and a high level of living in the country together create unprecedented safety. If you lose your wallet, you’ll get it back with a high probability. You can be calm if you forgot your phone in your jacket pocket in a cloakroom, no one will take it. And as a girl, I especially appreciate safety on the streets: you can be relaxed when going home in darkness (which, by the way, comes already at 5 pm in winter). There are no reasons to look around uneasily and shun every shadow – the most that threatens you is a frightened hare running across the street.

7. Finns know how to party

The most exciting part is here! Finnish students know what is a proper party, it’s a fact. A “standard” party set preparty+club also works here – but it is not that interesting, isn’t it? Finland has something special for you.

Sitsit party is the most Finnish party you can experience. There are served tables and chairs in a room, the place for each participant is assigned. Two Toastmasters lead the event. There are songbooks on the tables if you want to sing – raise your hand and the toastmaster will give you a word. You start singing, everyone supports. After each song, you scream “Skol” and drink. Feel like a Viking! “Skol” is “Cheers” in Swedish, they use the Finnish version “Kippis” very rare at this party for some reason. Sitsit is divided into 3 sessions with small breaks between them. You are not allowed to stand up and walk during the session, use your phone or talk when the song is going. If you do, you will get a punishment: public dancing on strange music, drinking crazy mixes or whatever comes to the minds of Toastmasters. It’s very difficult to describe this in a way unique party; you need to participate to understand. When you take part in the event for the first time, it seems super weird. But later, when you know the rules of the game, Sitsit becomes a very funny and special way to go out.

Another notable event in Finland is Appro. Basically, it’s a huge annual pub crawl which is organized in different cities. Literally, thousands of students come to the city, which hosts the event, and storm bars mentioned in the check-list to get desired stamps per drinks. Streets are full of people this night, and everyone including locals and police are sympathetic to what is happening. You can upgrade you Appro-level by collecting more stamps than the year before. The prize for this adventure and proof of your achievements is a patch for your overall (see clause 9).

If you decide to study in Finland, you’ll have a holiday that always surrounds you!

8. Woop Woop Vappu!

Vappu is an apogee of the Finnish skill to party. Vappu is a topic for a whole book, actually. I’ll try to be brief and informative. Vappu is a public holiday, which is celebrated on the 1st of May and dedicated to summer coming in the country. Vappu is the main student holiday, but everyone goes outside, enjoys the sun, drinks, and chills on grass – because everyone was a student. Parks and streets are flooded with people who are excited about the celebration.

Wappu (note different letter!) is almost a month before the 1st of May when people are ‘preparing’ for the main day, the party and participate in many other events daily. The atmosphere is very special: the holiday is in the air. Life really stops in many cities during the second half of April – even the university schedule is quite empty during these days. Vappu and Wappu are something that’s impossible to explain, and you need to experience it. For now, just Google it.

9. Overalls and patches

Overalls (’haalarit’ in Finnish) are a huge part of student culture. Every faculty has its own color for these special clothes, so it’s easy to identify your colleagues in a crowd. Students usually wear this fancy apparel on parties or special informal events, like Vappu and Appro about which you already know a bit. Technical students wear it with sleeves, others – with sleeves tied on a waist, like pants. Participation in school events, being a part of communities or attending parties allows you to collect patches, which are sewn to the overall. The more patches the cooler. Be active and show everyone who’s the boss!

10. Mastering the balance

After reading the article, you can think that students here are careless fast livers. Well, it seems, but it’s not true. They mastered combining all diversity of life, being active in social life and very successful in studying. Students in Finland know how to party, but also how to study. They are very responsible when doing group projects, they meet deadlines and write fruitful scientific work. At the same time, many of them work part-time, are active in student organizations, exercise regularly and build relationships. The ability to take everything from life is what you can and should learn from them. And you willy-nilly absorb it when studying at a Finnish university.

Bonus: freshmen dipping!
It’s an honor to be a technical student in Finland. Special freshmen should be dedicated to the student body especially! At the end of their first year, on Vappu day, all students and people of the city go to the river or lake to see how technical freshmen go to the water in their overalls. In different places it’s organized in their own way: for example, in Lappeenranta, they slide down the water from the chutes; in Tampere, students are divided into small groups, which are dipped into the river with a crane with a carrycot. Funny to watch, cool to experience – cool in all meanings 😁


As a person from another culture, I can agree that from the side studying in Finland can look like a big gamble. When you just enter the Finnish student culture, many things shock you, surprise, make you laugh or take your breath away. When you go deeper, when you start your study abroad experience, join the community, make friends, you can’t imagine how you lived without it. Like all other cultures, Finnish culture is understandable only from the inside. And I met no one who’d remain indifferent about Finland.

Want to try unforgettable study abroad experience? I feel you. Aplic.io will facilitate your first steps: find a study program of your dream and apply. Finland is waiting for you.

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