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Many foreign students want to stay and work in Finland

Offering an internship to international talent is a good gateway to multiculturalism in a company
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Photo: Aalto University / Mikko Raskinen

Aalto University School of Business works hard to ensure that our foreign students are also well employed.

‘We are happy that the work we and many other parties are doing has been successful, as foreign experts are now finding employment more than they used to. It has also been nice to see how many employers have begun to consider whether excellent Finnish-language skills are still necessary in all work tasks,’ explains Jonna Söderholm, the Head of External Relations, including Corporate Relations and Career Services, at the School of Business.

The School of Business has increased its student numbers in accordance with the objectives of the Ministry of Education and Culture. In the application process that ended in January (18 January 2023), the total number of applications to Aalto University's English-language bachelor's programmes increased by 20 per cent from the previous year. The two fully English-language bachelor's programmes (Economics and International Business) at the School of Business received more than 2,700 applications. Slightly more than 10% of our bachelor's and master's students come from abroad to study in Finland.

As the School of Business and the entire Aalto University are working hard to promote the internationalisation of the university, we are also aiming to help foreign students to find employment in Finland and not leave immediately after graduation to utilise their studies elsewhere. Our country suffers from a shortage of experts, and many foreigners are eager to stay and work in Finland, so it is good to keep them in mind when recruiting new experts.

Timo Korkeamäki, Dean of the School of Business, explains that Aalto has several ongoing projects to promote the integration of students from abroad into Finnish working life. ‘Our programmes receive a large number of talented students from around the world every year. As an internationally visible high-quality business school, we have a special opportunity to attract future experts to Finland and thus also support Finnish society.’

‘A quarter of international students in Finland are studying at Aalto University, and they graduate from the exact fields which have a shortage of experts in Finland. At Aalto, we invest a lot in developing the working life skills of international students through, for example, language teaching, mentoring, offering working life courses and organising recruitment fairs. It is worth keeping international students at Aalto in mind when you need motivated experts,’ says Provost Kristiina Mäkelä from Aalto University.

Diversity and new perspectives for the company from hiring an international intern

The School of Business has been working with large companies for a long time, and many of them are already recruiting our international students. The opportunities of small and medium-sized organisations to recruit foreigners are still untapped. The school is currently collaborating with the Finnish Business School Graduates to share information about these opportunities and to encourage SMEs in particular to hire foreign students as interns.

‘The challenges posed by language barriers are understandable, especially if all activities are otherwise in Finnish. In that case, hiring a foreign student for a fixed-term placement could be a good way to try out how work can be carried out without a shared mother tongue,’ Jonna Söderholm encourages.

By hiring an international student, your company becomes more diverse and gains new, innovative perspectives that, according to research, promote the competitiveness and success of companies both in the foreign market and in an increasingly international Finland. According to a study conducted by Business Finland, increasing the share of international employees also increases the company's turnover. A foreign student will not only bring their competence to the work community but also knowledge of the culture of their country of origin, which can promote the development of business in new market areas.

In addition, small and medium-sized enterprises, non-profit organisations and state organisations can apply for a subsidy from the School of Business for the salary costs of an international student if necessary.

Hire an international student from the Aalto University School of Business for an internship

Hire an international student from the Aalto University School of Business for an internship

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Aalto University students doing group work, sitting at a table with their laptops and notebooks / photo by Aalto University, Aino Huovio
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