University of Helsinki
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5 reasons students love the University of Helsinki

Zoom in on the south of Finland and you’ll find excellence in every sense of the word. Here lies Helsinki, the country’s capital and proud home to the globally-renowned University of Helsinki — an institution known for being an innovative centre of science and thinking. However, prestige aside, there’s more to it than meets the eye. 

While most students associate a university’s superiority with rigour or competitiveness, this institution’s doors are forthcomingly open to all curious minds looking to discover the power of knowledge for themselves. These fast facts prove its power to offer a student experience like none other:

It’s rich in history, yet fruitfully progressive 

Established in 1640, the University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest academic institution in Finland. Nonetheless, teachings are frequently developed in line with new discoveries – and here, there are plenty. After all, every teacher researches and every researcher teaches. Students are encouraged to join in on the merriment by engaging in various research-based activities throughout their studies. 

A well-rounded structure places the University among the 50 to 100 range in a majority of the world’s most prominent rankings, elevating it to the top 1% of the world’s universities. Currently, it consistently ranks among the top 50 universities in Europe and holds the first position in Finland.

Leverage knowledge to change the world

The University of Helsinki believes the power of knowledge can evolve attitudes, people and society for the better. Across academic offerings, a world-changing theme persists — each programme was designed to produce and distribute high-impact information capable of solving the world’s most pressing challenges. By choosing one, students immediately sign up to add value to the university’s impactful research efforts.

For example, recent studies have explored large-scale relationships between vegetation and climatic characteristics using machine learning; the logic that controls gene regulation in human cells; how ovarian cancer hides from the body’s immune system; and much more. 

All aspirations welcomed

Perspectives abound at the University of Helsinki. Around 24% of the research and teaching staff and a fifth of doctoral trainees and postdoctoral researchers come from outside Finland. Out of 31,200 students, 6% are international. Plus, the University of Helsinki receives more than 1,000 incoming exchange students representing over 60 countries annually and each arrives with a specific goal in mind.

To accommodate, the University offers a broad range of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees with teaching in English. Its 36 International Master’s Programmes cover Agricultural Sciences, Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, Food Sciences, Geography, Integrative Plant Sciences, International Business Law, Neuroscience, Translational Medicine, as well as Urban Studies and Planning, amongst many more. Each programme grants learners the opportunity to tailor their modules in line with their respective strengths and interests.

A safe, secure student experience

According to Mercer 2019 Quality of Living Rankings, Helsinki is the second safest city in the world — meaning international students far from home adapt to their new surroundings free of worry. With confidence, comes the urge to explore. Thankfully, there’s a lot to uncover on campus grounds.

The University of Helsinki’s student community remains active thanks to the countless events organised and hosted by its over 250 student organisations operating within the Student Union. Hence, all aspirants get to befriend like-minded individuals early on. Together, they have the time of their lives without ever having to blow budgets — especially since all students are granted access to affordable student housing, basic healthcare services, low-cost sports facilities and student-priced meals. 

A full list of campus attractions can be found here. Spoiler alert: there’s a botanical garden.

Stellar surroundings

The University of Helsinki’s four campuses are within 10 kilometres of each other. All easily reachable via public transport. However, that’s not all they have in common — all campuses are as beautifully positioned as they are accessible. 

Choosing Helsinki as a study abroad destination means relishing in one of the most liveable cities in Europe with a lot to boast — think a spectacular sea-facing landscape, historic architecture, tasty Nordic cuisine, charming country towns, expansive nature reserves and everything else a student could ever need to live life to the fullest on weekends.

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