How much money do you need to study in Finland?

For many applicants, the financial aspect is the most important. I decided to summarize the living costs of studying in Finland. How much is the rent? Food, transport, visa?

I will not include tuition fees here. Please, check yourself whether you have to pay those. If you do, you might get a grant and end up not paying any.

This is what you get for lunch for 2.60€. A glass of milk, bread with hummus, rice with chicken in curry sauce, salad, beans. You can get more, I just don’t eat so much 🙂

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How to survive the winter in Finland?

The water is frozen in the winter.

All my family and my friends in Taiwan are concerned that I will be freezing into an icicle when the snow season starts in Finland. Well, their concerns are not nonsense, considering that the lowest temperature during the winter time in Taiwan is only about +6°.

I thought I would be wearing much more here than what I used to in Taiwan. Actually, not that case. It’s still three layers, but certainly all the clothes are selected to fit the cold climate in Finland. For me, the first layer is the most important one, a fitted long-sleeve T-shirt with quick drying function. The second layer is usually a sweater. The last layer is a proper waterproof winter jacket. In the cold climate, waterproof wear is crucial from head to toe. Helsinki is quite a windy city. The wind can make one feel much colder than the real temperature. These three layers can get me through even -15°.

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Does everyone really speak English here?

“Oh I would love to move to Finland but I can’t. I do not know Finnish.”

 

That is a bad excuse! English is more than enough.

If you go to the countryside, things might be a little different, but in the cities, you basically do not need Finnish at all. Nearly 20% of the students at Aalto are not Finnish. Considering only Masters students, the number is much higher. In practice, this means international events and parties almost daily!

-20 degrees outside but so pretty!                         21 Jan 2019, Aalto campus

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Happy New Year

New Year fireworks in Senate Square.

Last night I went to see the New Year Eve’s show in the Senate Square. When I arrived around 11pm, it’s easy to walk around the crowd and reach a nice position in front of the stage. Comparing to my past experience in Sydney and Taipei, to be able to get a great view, one needed to be there hours before the fireworks started. Only until the fireworks was done, everyone was leaving the square, I experienced the most crowded moment in Helsinki. For the first time, I was pushed around by the crowd in Finland.

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Fight climate change in Aalto – Climate-Kic summer journey

Aalto organized team-building activities in Nuuksio National Park. Journey 10 participants and coaches enjoyed a nice vegetarian dinner and the beautiful view.

This summer was filled with joys, excitements and inspirations because of the five-week summer journey organized by EIT Climate-Kic. I met students and experts who share the same passion to mitigate climate change, the biggest challenge we face nowadays. 

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Make Friends for Life. Change the Game.

“I was warned that Finland is cold and people hard to make friends with. First one was true, but the second one – not at all. Finns just have their own way to open up. In the end, they will build an authentic relationship with you.”

– Manuel Barrantes, Friend of Finns & Creative Sustainability student

Get more than a degree at Aalto University. Application for Master’s programmes 3 Dec 2018–11 Jan 2019 and for English Bachelor’s programmes 9–23 Jan 2019. Find your own programme and apply.

 

Pole dancing at Aalto!

When I was a kid, I did rhythmic gymnastics like any other Russian girl. At some point, I had to quit and go for education rather than full-time sports career. Long story short, I came to Finland and started studying at Aalto.

I was looking for gymnastics-related sports activities on campus and came across the Otanko Pole Dancing Association. The classes are taught in English/Finnish by Aalto students and alumnis and one must only pay 15 eur per year to be a member.

Pole dancing? Should not be too difficult. I gave it a try.

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My Volunteering Experience at Slush 2018

Have you heard of Slush? If no, let me tell you that Slush is one of the biggest conferences in the world for startups and investors in technology field which takes place in Helsinki, Finland. Two days of intense networking with over 10,000 separate meetings are also accompanied by speeches from the most successful world-class entrepreneurs, panel discussions and pitching competitions with hundreds of thousands of euros as prizes.

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Master’s studies as the bridge to working life

Especially after spending time in the corporate world in between studies, it is easy to start prefering it over academia. Although student life has its advantages, sometimes the corporate world simply seems to provide more challenges to tackle in a concrete way every single day. This is one of the reasons I opted for the dual degree combining the CEMS MIM with another Master’s program from Aalto University School of Business.

In short, the CEMS MIM program builds a bridge between university education and working life. The curriculum offers multiple elements where students are provided with the opportunity to work together with corporate and social partners on real-life business challenges.

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Encouraging women to go for tech

Less than one third of scientists and engineers in Finland are women. In the EU Member States, only Luxembourg has less female engineers than Finland does. The number of female doctoral graduates in Finland is growing every year. However, there are still three times less female PhD graduates than male ones. This needs to change. Companies and universities should encourage female high school students to go for a career in technology.

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