Why Finland?


The beautiful bay in Lammassaari. The nature in Helsinki is stunning.

During my presentation about Aalto University and my student life in Finland, one participant asked, “Who do you choose Finland instead of the United States?”

Why Finland among other countries? First of all, Finland is the happiest and the most stable country in 2018. Before that, she has been on the top 10 list constantly. Secondly, Finland has the world-known first-class education. Thirdly, I am curious that how a small country can achieve so much.  

A huge difference between US and Finland is how the nation provides education for her citizens. In the United States, higher education is a very expensive product and consequently so many students bear significant student loans. As a result, some have to quit the chance to cultivate their talents through universities because the economic burden is too huge.

Finland is one of the most equal country in the world and a open society with low level of corruption.I believe that free education and how Finland support their students through the path in the higher education has contributed a lotto form a equal and happy society. Education in Finland is a fine tool for everyoneto expand their future choices, discover the unknowns and reach the best potentials.

In Finland, the government and the society is working together to cultivate the individual independence of the young generation. If young people choose to continue education after 18years od, they will receive student benefit, including 80% of rent (up to 400 euros) and 240 euros of monthly allowance as long as they take more than 45 credits every school year. “No one is left behind” is not only the education principle in Finland but also what the nation tries to provide equal opportunity for every citizen to achieve the best of them. Parents don’t need to save tons of money to secure the chance for children’s college fund like UK or US. Every young person can afford to go to universities or vocational institutions after high schools if that’s what they want without severe economic burdens.

As for international students, there are benefits as well. The student housing is at least 50% cheaper comparing to the market and the government subsidizes the student meals, each one costs only 2.6 euros. While the school or universities in US started to set up food banks in the campus years ago, because students come to school starving to save money for their education. 

The more I understand Finland during my first year of study here, the more I believe it’s the best choice I’ve ever made. While the most powerful countries are getting less and less stable, All I want to learn if how the social spirit inside Finland have transformed this small country and make its achievements world-known.Eventually, it comes down how much effort they put into education.

How is the life here generally in Finland? Just one simple fact, in Helsinki, the traffic jam starts from 3:30pm. Then it is back to normal around 5pm while the rest of world not even getting stuck on the road yet. The balance of life and work is not a myth here, it is a daily proof. That’s what I want for my future.

So, why not Finland?

Hsiao-Pei Liao,
Creative Sustainability, Design