As one of the safest places to live, with one of the best education systems in the world, Finland is an appealing destination for students.
1. High quality of education
Finland’s HE system was rated third in the wold for government expenditure on higher education as a share of GDP by Universitas 21 Ranking 2019, based on the overall stability of the economy and of graduates’ abilities to secure employment (download the full report here).
In terms of the performance of individual academic institutions, Finland ranked 9th in the world behind countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark. For these reasons, Finland is an appealing choice for many prospective undergraduates. Add to this the fact that Higher Education is free for EU/EEA students and it isn’t difficult to see why it would be a tempting destination for those looking to continue their educational journey on foreign soil.
Finland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. According to the Safe Cities Index 2017 (full report can be found here), Finland ranks amongst the safest countries in the world, with a safety rating of 6.65: 1.31 points higher than the UK and 1.66 points higher than China. This is an important factor to consider, particularly if this is the first time you have spent an extended period away from home.
Another significant benefit of studying in Finland is that language barriers are minimal for ex-pat students, with most Finns speaking fluent English. That said, an important part of studying abroad is experiencing other cultures, so it is advisable to learn some basic phrases in either Finnish or Swedish (the two main languages spoken) in order to fit in with the locals or simply to impress friends and relatives back home!
4. Landscape and climate
Finland is known as the Land of a Thousand Lakes and is a country of undeniable natural beauty. With dense wooded areas juxtaposed with large expanses of water, Finland offers breath-taking vistas and a varied terrain to explore when taking a well-earned break from your studies. It also has distinct seasons that offer contrasting weather. The climate is warm and temperate in summer, with average temperatures of between 20 and 30 degrees, and icy cold during the winter months with bone-cracking temperatures as low as -20. This variation in temperature means that Finland boasts a broad range of activities for lovers of the outdoors. During the brief but pleasant summer months, you can socialise with friends at the beach and during the long winter months you can go skiing and snowboarding, or even pay a visit to Santa himself in Finnish Lapland!
It seems an odd thing to focus on, but saunas are an integral part of Finnish culture. When you consider the fact that on average, a Finnish person attends a sauna once a week, it’s clearly something that prospective students need to incorporate into their schedule. Saunas are said to release toxins and relax muscles. This calming pastime could be the perfect remedy to the stresses of academic study, though you might wish to give the customary icy plunge bath afterwards a miss!