In this week’s episode, Petra and Jean discuss student life in Finland. Along with some nostalgic reflection on the positive experience of studying in Finland, your hosts dole out practical tips and advice to help your studies in Finland run smoothly.
The most important resource for students in Finland is the student card. You can either carry the Frank virtual student card, or you can order a physical student card. It is a good idea to order the physical card if you are travelling, as the Frank app may not be recognised in other countries. However, it is important to note that the physical card is only valid with a semester sticker given after you pay student fees. The student card will allow you to get a discount on train tickets, with as much as a 50% discount in the Helsinki area.
In addition to transportation discounts, students can enjoy low prices at student restaurants (€3.06 for a meal), other cafes and markets (typically 10%-15%), movie theaters, YTHS student healthcare facilities, and city gyms. You will also need your student card to register at the university gym (€60 for a one-year membership) and to use the school’s printing machines.
Student life in Helsinki boasts many other non-monetary benefits. Jean put it best: “I feel so privileged to have experienced education in a University in Finland because it is like no other!” For one thing, there is the friendly and collaborative relationship between students and teachers. While you may need to worry over formally addressing your professor with the correct title in other countries, you will likely be on a first-name basis with your professors in Finland.
Moreover, when your university asks you for feedback, you can rest assured that they will likely heed your advice! You do not have to fear retaliation for constructive criticism, and in fact this sort of dialogue is encouraged. Another benefit of attending university in Finland: you will not need to pay hundreds of dollars in course materials. In fact, you will likely not need to pay for any of them.
Finally, Jean and Petra discuss the university’s flexibility and prioritisation of student well-being. Petra reflects on the message given during student orientation that students should study, but should not forget to have fun. Finnish universities don’t just talk the talk. They also walk the walk with on-campus well-being workshops and the “goodies” program, connecting struggling students with trained assistants who can offer confidential help.
In order to support student mental health, many Finnish universities take a flexible approach to deadlines. It goes a little like this: deadlines exist, but they are often set with the students and they can be flexible. Even so, Petra was a deadline follower! She warns that taking advantage of flexible deadlines too often can lead to procrastination.
YTHS - Student Health Care