Sender Ajaya Kumar Vemulapati
When Indian students plan to study abroad, the universities they are considering are usually in the UK, US or Canada. In recent years, however, applicants have seriously begun to explore more specialized subjects as an alternative to higher education – with the emergence of Scandinavian countries.
With its beautiful nature sites and top universities, Finland is fast becoming a popular choice for Indian students. While they have to contend with a cold climate and plenty of snow, cultural experiences and access to high-quality education are more than worth it.
Founded in 2010, Aalto University is one of Finland’s leading public research universities, offering various bachelor’s and master’s programs in the fields of technology, design and business management. The university has more than 12,000 students in its six schools and has an impeccable reputation in the country.
Its campus is located in Otaniemi, Espoo, about 10 km from the center of Helsinki – a city not far from the Finnish countryside, which has become a center of technology. Helsinki is an exciting place to live today, and foreigners can accommodate more and more foreigners and a lively home environment. The best part is the incredible architectural delights: everything from contemporary art museums to newly opened cultural libraries.
The department united three large Finnish universities: the Helsinki University of Technology, the Helsinki School of Economics and the School of Art and Design. QS World University Ranking 112 – Ranked 9th in universities founded less than 50 years ago – Aalto is celebrated worldwide for its unique curriculum.
The Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture is one of the world’s most prestigious design schools and the School of Business. It focuses on both theoretical knowledge and real-life experience.
Most of Aalto’s programs are in English and the student-teacher ratio of the classes is 9: 1. Students are encouraged to customize the modules and participate in multidisciplinary projects. The faculty is world-class and focuses on producing cutting-edge research, rigor that is transferred to the classroom atmosphere.
Campus life is extremely dynamic, with numerous events and clubs on topics such as heavy metal, extreme sports, the Japanese language, or bird watching. Students are invited to volunteer at SLUSH, one of the world’s leading entrepreneurship events. Aalto also hosts Europe’s largest hackathon.
The tuition fee is 12,000-15,000 euros per academic year and the cost of living is about 800 euros per month. However, the University offers merit-based scholarships to international students with either a 50 percent or 100 percent fee waiver. It is interesting that programs in Finnish or Swedish are also free for non-EU citizens. With a residence permit, students can also work up to 25 hours per week during the semester.
International students succeed in Aalto and make up more than 45 percent of the student population. The university offers Finnish language courses to help them settle in, and it even has counseling services to combat possible cultural shocks. The Indian student community is probably the largest foreign student community in Finland, especially after the memorandum signed between Aalto and the Indian IIT, which encourages increased educational cooperation.
Once the degree has been completed, Finland allows the student permit to be extended by one year for job search or starting a business. Those who speak the local language have much easier access to the labor market, so Aalto students are strongly encouraged to speak Finnish. The Aalto Career Service Center helps students find job opportunities or plan for their careers. More than 94 percent of graduates get a job within a year or become an entrepreneur, and the rest tend to find another academic program.
Students who love outdoor activities enjoy themselves in Finland. In summer you can hike around lush forests and lakes – the land is often called the land of thousands of lakes. Finland for the rest of the year is a winter wonderland with numerous activities, such as cross-country skiing, northern lights, snowshoeing and sledding. Of course you can also take a ferry to Latvia, Estonia and Stockholm. Finland’s geographical location and stunning scenery make it an ideal place for students who want to get to know each other.
The Finnish government sought to create a new kind of university in Aalto, where innovation is a priority and students from different disciplines come together to solve wide-ranging global issues. Aalto manages to create an atmosphere of cooperation. Studying there should be an enriching experience for young people in India who want to experience a different culture.
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