How does it feel like to study in the country where the educational system is regarded as one of the best educational systems in the world?
Personally, I do not like to compare, if anyone or anything is better or worse than the other, or to assume if either is the best or the worst. Especially, when it comes to the topic of educational system, which involves many more things than just looking at some stereotyped pieces of information which go viral on the internet these days, the situation is much more complicated to be summarized without taking into account all the possible aspects.
For example, one thing I have been asked frequently is about the homework policy in Finland. From my observations, most of the students do have homework, even the 1st or 2nd graders, but it is independently achievable, so the children can finish it by themselves and have some free time for something else.
However, however, if you ask me, based on my personal feelings and experiences, I can just say that being a teacher student in Finland has been a totally life-changing experience for me, in a very positive way.
Now, more questions might come up… Why? What makes being a teacher student in Finland so special? Am I just over-exaggerating because I am a student here?
Instead of giving a super long (and boring) explanation, I have summed up the experiences and opportunities I have been given so far in my study journey as a teacher student in Early Language Education in Intercultural Communication (ELEIC), University of Eastern Finland:
- Attend lectures in which learning content is research-based, open discussions are strongly encouraged and feedback always welcome (sometimes even obligatory!)
- Participate in educational seminars which are arranged locally, or organized cooperatively by the home university and international partners
- Co-plan and co-teach with international colleagues at the University Teacher Training School, which in my case is a kind of experimental school, under the supervision and guidance of Finnish teacher mentors, who are experienced language teachers themselves
- Exposed to a real Finnish school environment, witness the system and interact with students and school administrators, plus surrounded by amazing nature
- Visit, observe and involve in lessons which are child-focused, practice-based and innovative
- Organize a multicultural/culture-related event in schools
- Discuss and arrange educational (or non-educational) events based on my personal interest, ability and flexibility, with local organizations such as the City Library or other non-profit organizations
The above-mentioned examples are based on my own experience. So, please remember that the situation might vary in each programme, university and city and the experience is unique to every student in Finland.
Finland University serves as a gateway to one of the finest Finnish multidisciplinary Universities on offer. Its member universities are all among the top 2% universities globally, with a unique learning environment designed to get the best out of every student. 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!