Donations make it possible for all the students to participate in student exchanges

International student exchange is an essential part of the studies of many students at the School of Business
Opiskelijoita kävelemässä vihreiden puiden alla
Photo: Aalto University/Roee Cohen

Approximately 60% of business students at Aalto complete a part of their degree studies in student exchanges abroad. For students doing their bachelor’s degree studies in International Business at the Mikkeli Campus, student exchange is a compulsory part of the degree.

The School of Business encourages its students to study abroad and support each exchange participant with a financial scholarship. This would not be possible without our donors. 

‘Over the years, we have received many kinds of donations for student exchange, such as Einar and Hanna Haapala’s bequest, a donation from Kauppatieteiden kandidaattiyhdistys and the long-term support of our student exchange programmes by the Gesellius Foundation (Stiftelsen Emilie och Rudolf Gesellius fond),’ says Timo Korkeamäki, Dean of the School of Business. ‘The experiences offered by student exchanges increase our students’ readiness to work in an international environment in a valuable way, and through that they also support Finnish society and business life.’

160 partner universities worldwide

The School of Business has approximately 160 partner universities around the world, from Africa to Europe and from America to Asia. ‘Every year, the world situation affects a continent or country in which students want to complete their exchange periods. For example, Hong Kong is one of the most popular destinations in Asia, but interest in studying there decreased as a result of the events in 2019. Based on the on-going application round, it seems strongly that interest in applying to Hong Kong has returned,’ says Sanna Huovinen-Kiuru, Planning Officer of Student Exchanges. 

School of business students have not lost their eagerness for international studies. On the contrary, despite the uncertainties, student exchanges are seen as an important part of studying and accumulating of work-related skills. ‘If there is unrest in one continent or country, students apply to other countries and continents. We strive to develop the network of partner universities according to the world situation and student demand,’ says Saila Kurtbay, Head of International Affairs at the School of Business. 

‘The pandemic made it more difficult to go on a student exchange when many countries were closed for that reason. For the academic year 2022–2023, a record-breaking 543 students applied for international exchanges. The most popular locations have usually been Italy, Australia, Singapore and the United States. For the first time in recent years, the unstable geopolitical situation has led to a significant increase in demand for European sites. Thus, we have engaged in new partnerships and have increased collaboration, especially with Italian, Portuguese, French and Spanish universities,’ continues Kurtbay.

Timo Korkeamäki is happy that the School of Business is able to financially encourage students to go on a student exchange abroad. ‘Most of the donations allocated to student exchanges have been invested in a recapitalisation fund, the proceeds of which are used for foreign exchange scholarships. I'd like to warmly thank every organisation and individual who has supported our international exchange programme. Together, we help students towards internationalisation and enable them to have memorable experiences around the globe!’

Supporting the international student exchange

At the School of Business, we encourage all students to become more internationally orientated during their studies by providing a grant to every student going on exchange abroad. By donating, you help our students gain important expertise, which is crucial for Finland’s competitiveness.

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