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Studying and Living in Finland LUT Alumni Experience by Aisulu Harjula

English in Finnish Higher Education

I would like to share in this post features of higher level education programs in Finland taught in English.

Master’s programs in Finland are taught in English. At least at LUT all Master’s programs are in English.

Courses I studied at there were both Finnish and international students. If there are more Finnish speaking people than English speakers in a course, the course is taught in English anyway. So professors have high level of English when they teach. They have good grammar and speak right. Maybe with some Finnish accent but it doesn’t disturb understanding. It’s rare but possible to meet a professor who’d better teach only Finnish students. Majority of professors that I met speak perfectly.

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Besides courses there are many events at university like panel discussions with businessmen and experts, workshops with professionals (for example CV writing) and practical sessions on topics like healthcare or career. Usually these kinds of events are always held in high quality English. And when you need to use any services at university like library, canteen, health care, psychological help, etc, they are all available in English without doubt.

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Majority of Finns I’ve ever known speak English (but young Finns say that they are shy to talk English because they are afraid to make mistakes. In my opinion they underestimate themselves). I felt comfortable when communicating only in English in Finland. A bus driver, a restaurant cleaner, any salesperson in a shop can easily talk to you in English.

In practice people communicate in Finnish with each other. Finns use own language to communicate in a classroom. When I studied part of my Master’s program with LUT in English in Russia (in the Graduate School of Management of Saint Petersburg State University) we also communicated with students in classroom in Russian. But the courses and assignment were always in high quality English.

About The Author

Researcher at LUT, Master of Economics, LUT & GSOM Saint Petersburg State University. Focus on Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability. Background in natural sciences.

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