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Get to know Finland and Aalto
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.