Study at Aalto

Get to know Finland and Aalto

Finland’s excellent reputation in education, combined with a wide range of courses offered in English, makes Finland and Aalto University an attractive study destination for international students.
A guy peeks from behind fresh green birch branches. Photo: Aalto University / Unto Rautio

Regarding Finland’s high scores in international comparisons in education, Aalto University is no exception with its excellent rankings worldwide. With a unique combination of technology, design and business courses, most of them offered in English, Aalto is an excellent study choice for international students.

Boasting the largest technology hub of the Nordic countries, Finland is a world leader in information technology, business, design and many other academically centred fields. At Aalto University, you will definitely see how important technology, creativity and startup culture are for the Finnish people. We are known for our world-class engineers, tech gurus, architects, designers and artists. 

An aerial image of Helsinki shore.
As a place to study, work or raise children, Finland is hard to beat. The safe environment is one reason why Finland is ranked as the Number One Country in the World, according to a study by America’s Newsweek. Photo: Kari Ylitalo / Helsinki Partners

Come as you are

Some think Finns are a little strange, in a good way. Yes, it's true. We host the world championships in swamp football, take a dip in icy water in the winter, are fanatics about saunas and have the most heavy metal bands per capita in the world. Finland is the home of the Moomins and Angry Birds. And Santa Claus, of course.

On the other hand, Finland is renowned for its sensibleness and practicality. We top international comparisons in education, equality, safety and quality of life. People can be trusted and everyone is taken care of.

Nature plays an essential role in the daily lives and identity of Finns – it’s never too far from your doorstep even in cities. Finns and visitors alike love the Baltic Sea, the archipelago, lakes and forests that offer the chance to hike, cross-country cycle, ski or run – and freely pick berries and mushrooms.

Characteristic for Finland and its nature are the four seasons, and we are especially known for our winters abundant with snow and cold weather. The cold can seem intimidating, but fortunately, the Finns know how to build houses that keep warm and toasty during the winter. You, too, will quickly embrace the attitude that surviving the outdoors is merely a question of dressing up in the appropriate clothing. Still, in the depth of winter, even the simple task of leaving the warm comfort of your home can take sisu. Sisu is a Finnish word that refers to a special quality of resilience, courage and grit, that enables Finns to push through even the greatest challenges. And luckily, our summers of midnight sun and autumns filled with colour counterbalance the cold and dark winter. 

Nature plays an essential role in the daily lives of Finns

    Cottage in snowy forest in Finland. Photo: Natura Viva / Helsinki Marketing.jpg

    Finland’s countryside is blessed with vast expanses of forest and over 180,000 picturesque lakes. Hidden amongst this beautiful natural setting you’ll find over half a million cottages. Photo: Natura Viva / Helsinki Partners

    A big crowd of people at the Havis Amanda statue in Helsinki

    At the turn of April and May, it becomes hard to miss the white caps and the colourful overalls and jackets. This is a clear sign that Wappu (May Day, Labour Day) is fast approaching, which for many students, is the most cherished celebration of the year. Photo: Jussi Hellsten / Helsinki Partners

    People enjoying a summer night in Helsinki.

    Long nights let you enjoy every bit of the Finnish summer. The days are at their longest in the second half of June, when the sun stays above the horizon for 19 hours. Light summer nights are a perfect setting for late-night gateways. Photo: Mariia Kauppi / Helsinki Partners

    Orange maple leaves surrounding a beautiful scene of the Helsinki coast

    As autumn approaches, it’s common for a Finn to go wild with berry and mushroom-picking. Everyman’s right allows you to pick the bounties of nature almost in any forest in Finland. A cherry on top of the cake; you get to enjoy the spectacular colours of foliage, or “ruska”, as we say. Photo: Yiping Feng and Ling Ouyang / Helsinki Partners

    Living in Finland

    While Finns are hard workers, we also value our free time and good quality of life. According to the 2020 Social Progress Index, which measures the quality of life in three dimensions of social progress: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity, Finland is the 3rd best country in the world when it comes to quality of life. Finland is also one of the safest places in the world, and in 2017 the World Economic Forum report even rated Finland as the safest country in the world. Furthermore, the 2019 Work-Life Balance Index listed Helsinki as the best city for work-life balance and the third-best in gender equality.

    Many believe that these comforts come with an expensive price tag, but it is only true to some extent. Contrary to popular belief, living in Finland, and especially being a student in Finland, comes with many benefits. Many services are funded by taxes which makes them cheaper for the residents compared to many other countries. Furthermore, different student benefits bring down the cost of living for both Finnish and international students. Student benefits range from virtually free healthcare to affordable student housing and discounted public transport, student lunches and sports facilities.  

    Can't get enough of Finland? Read more!

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    How Finland creates the best student/life balance in the world

    Student life is not all about studying and Finland has figured out how to tackle this challenge

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    High taxes, higher rewards: How Finland ensures a high quality of life

    Finland has some of the highest tax rates in the world — what do citizens get in return?

    People sitting in front of a cottage after a sauna

    Why summers in Finland are magical

    Midsummer, midnight sun and a fresh mindset. Finland provides students with the perfect setting for summer relaxation

    The photo shows a man and a reindeer greeting each other in a wintry environment.

    5 reasons why Finnish winter is crazy cool

    Finland’s winter weather can be extreme, but it doesn’t have to stop students from having fun

    Two Aalto University students sitting under a big oak, drinking coffee and talking.

    Studying at the Aalto campus

    Aalto's main campus is an ideal environment for living, studying and leisure. Find out what our beautiful Otaniemi campus has to offer to its student community.

    Study at Aalto
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    More than the degree | Aalto Blogs (external link)

    Blogposts by Aalto Squad student ambassadors. Read all about student life and studies at Aalto University!

    Studies Published:

    UniPID Virtual Studies Course Catalogue 2024-2025

    UniPID and its member universities offer a study module (formerly called "minor programme") in development studies titled Sustainability in Development for students who want to incorporate global challenges and sustainable development into their degree.
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    A! Walk-Nature connection: Walk, pick, discuss

    The afternoon adventure on Lehtisaari offered more than just a walk in the forest; it sparked conversations about renewed appreciation for the simple pleasures of life and the beauty of the Finnish wilderness...
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    Campus for people, plants and pollinators

    The Otaniemi campus nature is managed with respect to biodiversity and the characteristic species of habitats.
    The picture shows the School of Business students Liina Röyskö and Kerttu Lammi in front of the school's main door.
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    Online AI course could boost study equality

    Students at the School of Business believe that mastering Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be beneficial for both academic success and career prospects, as AI becomes increasingly integrated into daily life.
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