Kansainväliset opiskelijat Suomessa

Sabina Lech


This paper attempts to characterize international students in Finland. The author points out that Finland has recently become more popular among foreigners who decide to study abroad at university level. The research was conducted during the author’s stay in Finland on Erasmus+ student exchange programme so the information presented in the work is mainly based on the author’s own experience. The government’s statistics as well as work of other researchers have also been used. The definition of an ‘international student in Finland’ has been presented as an introduction to the research. It is a person who does not have the Finnish nationality, nor lives in Finland permanently, however has the status of a student of a Finnish university. To give an overall picture of the group in question, the author presents various statistics. She divides groups of international students into two categories: the first one consists of students who directly enrolled at a university in Finland, and the second one – of students participating in exchange programmes. The number of international students enrolled at a university doubled between 2008 (number of students: 12 596) and 2017 (20 362). Most students come from Eastern Europe and Asia (Russia, China, Vietnam and Nepal). The growth has been observed among the Erasmus+ student exchange participants as well, however it is proven that Finland is not the most popular choice when it comes to exchange programmes. The author analyses conversations with international students in Finland and presents their characteristics. International students decide to study in Finland to improve their language skills, both Finnish and English, they do research on Finland or they want to try out the Finnish way of living. When it comes to study programmes a large number of people choose the Finnish language and culture as a major but due to the poor Finnish language skills it is not possible for international students to attend classes for Finnish native speakers. Therefore, they attend the Finnish language courses for foreigners. The most common problem international students encounter is cultural assimilation. The lifestyle in Finland is completely new to some of them, and the difficulty of the language restricts the contacts. Moreover, international students attend courses designed for foreigners and they do not get to know Finns, which strengthens the feeling of solitude in a new society.
Author Sabina Lech (FL)
Sabina Lech,,
- Faculty of Languages
Other language title versionsInternational higher education students in Finland
Publication size in sheets0.3
Book Wojan Katarzyna (eds.): Obszary fennistyki: język, kultura, naród: tom wydany z okazji 100-lecia niepodległości Finlandii, Studia Północnoeuropejskie, no. 6, 2019, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego, ISBN 978-83-7865-829-0, 346 p.
Keywords in Englishstudents, studies, education, sociolinguistics, linguistics, sociology, Finland
Languagefi fiński
Score (nominal)20
Score sourcepublisherList
ScoreMinisterial score = 20.0, 05-02-2020, MonographChapterAuthor
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