University of Tampere was our final destination of the campus tour. On the same day there was the entrance examination for potential students of programmes conducted in Finnish. The application process is slightly different comparing to international degree programmes offered by our member universities. For instance, there are no entrance exams for international students; the selection is based on previous academic performance, motivation letter and English skills. Therefore, there is no compulsory need to come to Finland from your home country beforehand, because all required documents should be submitted electronically.
The tour had started in the main campus of University of Tampere, then we moved to another building by crossing the bridge called "Putki" (The Tube), which connects different parts of the campus. It is heated during the winter and chilled during the summer, so students do not need to go outside, when they come from one class to another.
Welcome to #oasisutafi! The purpose of this place is to make students' routine a bit relaxed between the classes. There they can play games with classmates, prepare for lectures, read magazines, or even have a quick nap, if they are lucky enough. It is free of charge and available on first come, first served basis.
Do you know this lovely creature, which is called Moomin? It is one of the main symbols of Finland! “The Moomins are the central characters in a series of books and a comic strip by Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson.” This museum is a hidden gem for Finnish citizens and tourists: besides the opportunity to experience the interactive content, see sketches and get familiar with the characters, all materials are translated and can be perceived in 6 languages!
Our next stop was Taitokeskus — Tampere Center for Skills Training and Simulation. There the medical students have a unique opportunity to apply theory into practice and use robots, which can breath, cry, speak and mimic heart beats instead of using real people for learning purposes. Professors also create the scenarios by controlling “the patient", e.g. articulate symptoms or feelings to imitate the real-life situations. It helps students learn from these imaginary situations based on a real life context, without the involvement of a test group.
Taitokeskus is a modern concept of the Eco-house: in this sustainable building water and light work automatically and only when personnel needs it. Everything is organized in a very neat way and in right order to avoid mixing the wrong biological samples and to provide students convenient studying conditions. We even could not visit some labs because we were supposed to wear special equipment and follow strict instructions! However, we were very happy to have this unforgettable experience and insights.
All of the universities we have visited during our campus tour have PhD opportunities, while students are not obligated to complete their Bachelor and Masters in the same campus. PhD studies are free of charge in Finland for everyone. Doctoral students are in equal positions regardless whether they are employees of the university, or whether they are part-time or full-time students. At the moment Finland University works mainly with Masters level studies, but you can learn more about PhD degrees in Finland here.
It is not a secret that Finnish education system differs a lot from others. We brainstormed the ideas with Williane to compare it with other countries, and here are the crucial points:
- There is no strong hierarchy between professors and students: the last can always ask for advice regarding the subject or outclass topic;
- Professors might be flexible about deadlines, if students ask it in advance or have a proper excuse;
- The advantages of tutoring system: every upcoming student has a tutor, i.e. a student volunteer, whose main mission is to help students to adapt to Finnish environment as fast and smooth as possible;
- Students can include optional courses, so-called elective studies, to complete their degree and these courses can be related not only to the major programme, but anything in what the student is interested in. It often also possible to take courses at other universities and include them in your degree;
- There is always a second chance for students who fail an exam; in fact, there are three attempts, and if the student fails all of them, they need to take the class once again next year. In other words, students cannot be excluded because of failure;
- All study equipment is innovative and ready to be exploited by students. Outdated tools or methods are never used;
- Students have a supervisor, who helps to coordinate the study process and makes student life go smoother. Thereby, if students have any issues, they can ask supervisors for help;
- The international programmes are always taught in English, which makes it easier for exchange students, who come to from all over the world. However, all students have a right to learn Finnish in the language classes without paying extra;
- Every campus has a Student Union, which provides information regarding all students benefits, including dormitories, travel discounts, student lunches and etc;
- There is a free healthcare system in the universities, which covers the basic needs, but also more serious problems can be serviced with student-friendly costs;
- Finnish education system supports its student to keep a healthy lifestyle and offers gym or sport clubs memberships in university’s facilities for free or at least at a reasonable price.
In addition to this list, there might be some other universities’ perks organized on local level. However, there is no doubt that the strenghts overweight any weaknesses here, and we strongly recommend you join us next year!
Learn more about studying in Finland
Finland University serves as a gateway to one of the finest Finnish multidisciplinary Universities on offer. If you are interested in studying in Finland and would like to find out more, there's good news: the downloadable Finland University guide provides a quick starting package of how to apply for international master’s degree programmes and scholarships in the member universities of Finland University.
Interested? Download the guide and learn more!