In this blog post, our student ambassadors share their tips on how to apply successfully to our member universities within the application period."Be honest in the application. Do not exaggerate what you did or copy others’ application because the admission team can clearly tell which information is not genuine. Also, your experience and achievements are important but what you have learned from those is more important to the admission team, so focus more on that. Attach a recommendation letter from a former professor or colleagues, even if it is optional. By this way, the admission team will have a clearer knowledge about you and that might impress them.
Study the institution that you are applying to carefully and pick one thing that you are most impressed with, then mention that in the application. This shows the admission team that you actually care about the institution and are interested in what they are doing."
Uyen Nguyen, Msc student in English Language and Culture at University of Eastern Finland
"My personal advice is always the same: prepare all documents in advance, otherwise you might face with some challenges and miss the deadlines. Usually something comes up that may take longer than expected and it would be a pity if you miss the deadline because of some unexpected paperwork. Keep in mind that you need to pass the language test to prove your English language skills, and the results’ announcement also might take some weeks after test completion.
Personally, I was surprised that in Finland admission offices always want the original documents or some official copies, which is also quite expensive if you send them from abroad. Therefore, it is worth to plan the budget in advance."
Justine Kenzler, MSc student in Global and Transnational Sociology at University of Tampere
"Read the admission guidelines carefully. Scroll to the bottom of the page as every piece of information is helpful. Make sure to double check the documents needed to be enclosed with the application.
Pro tip: I made an Excel sheet for this purpose. The sheet served as a database for the documents, admission requirements, fees and scholarship info for several targeted universities. Later, while submitting the applications, you can also use this database as a checklist!
Contact the current students at the targeted universities using Facebook groups or LinkedIn to know the insider info about matters related to student life. University websites would never show the negative points about the place but current students or alumni can help you get a better picture.
Make sure you put in a good CV alongside your application. Give it a thought and make a one-page long CV but omitting irrelevant things and showcase your best achievements only. No second bests like: runners up in XYZ competition, volunteer at ABC.org. These experiences add to your personality but should not be added to your CV.
Work hard and try to get a good TOEFL score. If your score is above 115/120, it really matters!
Try to get recommendation letters from your bachelor thesis supervisors or managers in case you worked previously at a company. Good recommendation letters make your scholarship case much stronger."
Aayush Jaiswal, MSc student in Chemical Engineering at Åbo Akademi University
"Have a goal in mind and know what you want, e.g. what type of programmes you are looking for, what is your interest, why you would like to pursue the degree.
Start preparing early so you can go over enough programmes and find the most suitable one for you. Take the time to look at the structure of the programme to see if the content is really what you would like to learn and think about how it's going to enhance your employability and research skills.
Take the time to navigate your way through the website of the department to see if any research groups are interesting to you. Google about the country, university, programme to get more information and experience shared about it.
Motivation letter is the essential part to showcase yourself and link the things on your CV of how your experience helps you to succeed in your future endeavor. If you have a goal in mind (career plans in industry or academic), mention and explain those as well. If you find interesting research groups, mention it in the motivation letter to show that you have done your research."
Li-Hsin Chang, MSc student in Bioinformatics at University of Turku
To sum up, the collection of all required documents takes time and you need to do this in advance to meet the deadline. Pay attention to details: some universities claim specific documents, while other do not, so it is a good idea to use a database, such as Excel sheet to list there all compulsory documents you need to send and then use it as a checklist. In your application, be natural and do no exaggerate: ask your supervisors for help to create the perfect CV with all your prominent achievements.
Hope these tips as well as our How to apply page will help and see you in study year 2019 in Finland!
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, the downloadable Finland University guide provides a quick starting package about how to apply for International Master’s Degree Programmes and Scholarships at the member universities of Finland University.
Interested? Download the guide and learn more!