Finland is one of the highest-ranked countries in terms of happiness and standards of living. Its education system is well-acclaimed and is known for its great attention towards academic excellence and research activities. Finnish universities are among the most highly rated universities in the world and only accept those with an exemplary record in academics and extra-curricular. However, you may think that the biggest challenge is over once you make into a university, but you are farther from the truth.
The real deal is after you make it to a university because you have to prepare to move to a whole new country—and that in itself is a life-changing decision. Any international student will have to acquaint himself with the things he should expect during his residence. For starters, he may want to begin with the 6 things/tips that are mentioned here in the article.
- Accommodation facilities
Our accommodation choices are based on our lifestyle and budget. Consider these two before you decide to decide because Finland is expensive and a wrong decision can hurt you. You can find on-campus residential facilities that could be shared or single. Also, you can get a flat in case living on-campus is not your thing. However, it is suggested that you consider having flatmates to split your bills with. You will save a huge chunk by having flatmates.
- Grab the local language
Finland is known for its English language skills, however, its society transacts in two languages predominantly, Finnish and Swedish. You should consider learning the native lingo regardless of your course being conducted in English. This is well-settled that one can understand a country and its culture and lifestyle better by learning the language. Not only you will be able to transact in society properly but also assimilate into it. Well, it will make you feel less homesick.
- Get the health insurance
Do not wait until the last moment to get health insurance. In Finland, it is mandatory to pay up the Student Union membership fee. The purpose of this fee is to make you eligible for accessing the benefits of the Finnish Student Health Service. The Finnish Student Health Service allows students to avail of a range of medical benefits in the areas of oral health, mental health, and general health. Most of the services offered under it are free of cost, however, there may be certain exceptions. Other benefits hereunder include online appointments, remote consultations, self-assessment of health, and whatnot.
- The weather
The climatic conditions in Finland range from cool to cold. During spring, the weather is still chilly but you can make do. However, winters are long and very cold which means that you will have to bring along a lot of winter essentials to keep yourself warm and cozy. Finland is snow-clad during winters. If you are up in the north, then winters will be longer and colder. There is an intermittent raining season but is short and moderate.
- Traveling in and around Finland
Finland is a highly developed country and has maintained an advanced and extensive transportation network that connects you to regions within. The Finish Rail network is spread-out and well-connected to most regions of the country and is a faster means of transportation than others available. If you are traveling by rail, it is advised that you get the Finnrail Pass which offers unlimited travel for a limited number of days every month.
Other than railways, you can find buses and trams running across cities and towns, with trams being the most popular form of transportation for intra-city travel. Some ferries sail across lakes in certain regions.
- Saving money on food
Food takes up a large share in our budget and we must consider saving as much as we can on it. One way to do that is to eat at canteens in Finland. Government-supported canteens are widespread and offer healthy food at discounted rates. There are even vegetarian options available in many of these canteens. Also, you should consider cooking food for yourself instead of doing a take-out. Supermarkets run discounts throughout the year so keep a watch! Also, make sure you flash your student ID wherever you go to purchase food. Restaurants, cafes, and other food outlets extend discounts to those with these cards.