University of Helsinki: Enriching degrees in the happiest country in the world
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University of Helsinki: Enriching degrees in the happiest country in the world

You can easily come across international students who are stoked about their decision to study at the University of Helsinki. It’s a pretty big university and one of the oldest in Europe, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Keep reading to get the lowdown on what students today think about studying at one of the best universities in Europe.

For individuals like Ana, a master’s student in Global Politics and Communication, and Debby, who is pursuing a master’s degree in microbiology and microbial biotechnology, it was the prestige and guarantee of quality education that drew them to the University of Helsinki. Debby was attracted by the course curriculum, whereas Ana (who is Portuguese) benefits from free education as Finland is part of the European Union.

As Finland’s largest and oldest academic institution, the University of Helsinki has been the chosen school by many influential figures including four Nobel laureates. Since its inception in 1640, the university has grown and now has 40,000 people in its academic community enlivening its 11 faculties and four campuses. It is guided by three core duties: producing research of a high international standard in all fields; every teacher does research and every researcher teaches; and being a responsible social force, an advocate of science and scholarship, and a valued partner.

Beyond its history, noble missions and impactful degrees, it’s just a fun and fulfilling place to be at. “The reason I came to Finland was because I heard that it is the happiest country in the world,” says Chinese student Zhi Yi . “Also the major provided by the University of Helsinki is really great. I chose food sciences as my master’s degree and I like it because we study the story of food from farm to table. I’m a foodie, so I like everything related to food.”

Offering a wide range of degrees that can all be adapted according to your goals and interests, the University of Helsinki has an interdisciplinary Bachelor’s Programme in English — the Bachelor’s Programme in Science — as well as 35 international master’s programmes and 33 doctoral programmes.

It is also one of the top research universities in the world, with impressive projects funded by the European Research Council (ERC). In fact, many students come all the way to this institution to learn from the multi-published educators. “I came to Helsinki for several reasons,” says master’s student in European and Nordic Studies, Luiza . “First, they have the only programme in European and Nordic studies. Secondly, the professor who wrote the article on which my thesis is based is also based here.”

Degrees at the University of Helsinki are broad, allowing students to tailor their experience to their individual interests. “My favourite course is feminist research in politics,” adds Ana. “Obviously it is an extremely relevant topic and the teacher strived to make every lecture different and interesting. On top of the normal readings and essays, we also got to experiment and write poetry, and create a playlist and a collage.”

Students are often impressed by the school’s helpful staff and resources. “I think one of the best things about the University of Helsinki is the non-hierarchical and non-discriminatory approach,” says Luiza. “After every lesson, I could go to the teacher and talk about my issues, worries and questions, and they would always find time for me and answer them in detail. I think that was very nice of them.”

Sometimes, this supports starts even before an international student has arrived on campus. “The challenge I faced was during the application period. Collecting the country-specific documents, especially for Pakistan, was a little difficult,” explains Human Nutrition and Food-related Behaviour master’s student Haleemah . “I overcame it by contacting the student ambassadors on the chat.”

As one of the world’s top 1% universities, the University of Helsinki manages to give students the best of both worlds: a quality education and a great student life. Top this off with impressive housing and the many joys that come from a well-equipped campus, and you have the ideal launchpad for future changemakers to thrive.

To start or carry on your higher education journey at the University of Helsinki, check out their programmes here.

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