- Finland, officially known as the Republic of Finland, is ranked number 12 in the world with a score of 7.618 out of 10 in the quality of life index established by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The Reader’s Digest also puts Finland at the top of the list of 141 nations ranking according to a combination of factors that include air and water quality, respect for biodiversity, greenhouse-gas emissions, with social factors that include gross domestic product, access to education, unemployment rate and life expectancy.
- The country has a total area of 338,424 square kilometers or 130,596 square miles. In the latest estimate in 2016, Finland had a population of 5.5 million spread at a density of 16 inhabitants per square kilometer or 40 inhabitants per square mile. The country has 187,888 lakes and 179,584 islands. It is one of the few countries with post-glacial rebound meaning its surface area expands annually at a rate of 7 square kilometers or 2.7 square miles.
- Finland borders Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east and Estonia to the south. It is part of the European Union.
- Finland has two national languages, Finnish and Swedish, as well as officially accepted minority languages that include Sámi, Romani, Finnish Sign Language and Karelian. Immigrant languages include Russian, Estonian, English, German, French, Somali, Arabic, Chinese, Kurdish, and Albanian. Among the immigrant languages, the top three most used are English, German and French.
- 9% of the population speak Finnish, 5.3% speak Swedish, and approximately 1900 people speak Sámi.
- Finland experiences both a maritime and a continental climate due to its geographical location. In the northern part of the country, the winters are long and cold, while the summers are hot but brief. Meanwhile, the southern part of the country has milder winters and pleasant summers. The far northern portion of the country experiences Polar Nights, where the sun never completely sets during winter for almost two months. During winter, the average temperature drops to -4 degrees Celsius between December and February. The coldest month of the year is January when temperatures often drop to -15 degrees Celsius. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Finland was in 1987 when it dropped to -34.3 degrees Celsius.
- Finland is considerably colder than other countries, with the weather varying significantly during the four seasons. As such, international students must arm themselves with the appropriate clothing.
COST OF LIVING
- Finland consumer goods including, groceries, transportation, utilities, and restaurants are 3 percent more expensive those in New York City. Meanwhile, rent and mortgage expenses are 60 percent lower relative to the same city. The local purchasing power is almost the same as that of the US.
- International students need to budget for €700-900 per month, or €6720 per year to cater for everyday expenses like food, accommodation, travel, insurance, etc.
- Finland ranks number 13 among the preferred nations for international studies. However, the country offers only some programs in English. This fact brings the country down a notch on the list of preferred countries by international students. Studies show that the primary factor being considered by international students in selecting an international school is the language of instruction.
- The higher education institutions are small enough to operate functionally and efficiently. They are all internationally oriented with unique regional features, and one can choose between very different study environments ranging from larger urban campuses to closer-to-nature campuses.
- From autumn 2017, tuition fees were introduced for non-EU/EEA students. As a result, the minimum tuition fee charged for an English-taught degree is €1500 per year, and the average tuition fee charged across the different universities is €10000-16000 per year.
- Students from EU/EEA countries do not pay tuition fees.
BENEFITS OF STUDYING IN FINLAND
- Finland has one of the best higher education and training systems in the world.
- Finland is also the most innovative country in the world.
- Finland provides a very conducive study environment for its students. The air is clean, and the country is peaceful. Also, essential commodities are readily available.
- All Finnish universities that admit international students are now required to have a scholarship program for students of non-EU/EEA countries. Every university thus has its own scholarship system.
- There are scholarship options available for gifted students, offered as full or partial fee waivers, or performance-based refunds. Non-EU/EEA students with excellent academic performance are therefore eligible to apply for any of these tuition waivers.
- External programs like Erasmus Mundus also help to finance studies. This particular scholarship covers participation costs, a living allowance, travel costs and insurance.
- A non-EU/EEA student must prove that he/she can support his or her living costs while in Finland for studies. The required sum of money is €700-900 per month or €6720 per year.
GENERAL APPLICATION PROCEDURES
Before you fill any form:
- Note that you must apply to the school before you apply for a scholarship, i.e., apply to a certain program that a school in Finland.
- Get all the details on the course you wish to apply for, including duration, the location of the university, admission requirements, living costs, etc.
- Make sure you meet all the requirements for the course you are applying for.
- Do not be in a rush to settle for a program, instead browse through the available options before you make a decision.
The application process for a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree is the same, i.e.:
- Select the degree program
- Look for scholarship options
- Check the entry requirements and deadlines
- Apply online. Note that there is no application fee. Check if there is provision for scholarship application at this point.
- Attach all supporting documents
- Do the entrance examination
- Await notification from the University of your acceptance into the degree program
Below are two examples of scholarship opportunities that you can apply for.
a) Bachelor’s Scholarship
Tampere University of Technology (TUT)
- TUT is a sought-after collaboration partner among the business and scientific communities, as it is an institution at the leading edge of technology.
- This university produces top-notch graduates who use their expertise to influence different sectors of society.
- TUT has a generous scholarship program for fee-paying students from non-EU/EEA countries. As such, international students are provided with high-quality and affordable education.
- The scholarship program is in two parts, the TUT academic excellence scholarship, and the tuition fee waiver.
- The Academic Excellence Scholarship
- This scholarship is awarded to up to ten of the most talented applicants. Recipients are entitled to a full tuition fee waiver and a living cost allowance of €7000 per academic year.
2. Tuition Fee Waivers
- These scholarships cover 50% or 100% of the tuition fee. Majority of the TUT scholarships fall in this category. Application for this scholarship is done at the same time as the application for the degree program. As a result, bachelor’s degree students can receive a tuition fee waiver on admission. Tuition fee waivers are awarded for the full duration of the course (3 academic years for a Bachelor’s degree).
b) Master’s Scholarship
University of Oulu
- The University of Oulu has risen to the challenge of internationalization and introduction of tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students by assigning a significant amount of money for tuition scholarships for 2018.
- Most importantly, the International Master’s Scholarship Scheme provides scholarships for academically talented international students studying for a 2-year International Masters Degree.
- The scholarship is a tuition fee waiver that covers either 85% or 100% of the tuition fee, depending on the program.
- Applicants apply for this tuition scholarship at the same time they apply for entry into the Master’s program.
- The two scholarship categories are:
- The 85% Tuition Fee Scholarship for Oulu Business School Programs
- This scholarship covers 85% of the tuition fee for a 2-year Master’s program in the Oulu Business School International Master’s Program
2. The 100% Tuition Fee Scholarship
- This scholarship covers 100% of the tuition fee for a 2-year Master’s program in all International Master’s Programs, except those offered by the business school.
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