Hello, Maggie here again! today I have summed up things I appreciate when being a student in Finland:
My vegetarian lunch at Hanken costs 1.58 euros every day. Sure, cafeteria food will always get old, but in a city as expensive as Helsinki I really appreciate the ease and affordability of getting lunch on days when I am busy studying.
I have bought exactly one book through my whole master’s program. That was my Swedish book, and it lasted me a whole year of Swedish classes. The books which I need for other classes are always available at the library. It is not always the most convenient, but it sure beats what I was paying for textbooks back at home (often hundreds a semester).
Students here complain about this fee sometimes, but it is only 125 and I think there are a lot of student benefits which arise out of these fees in terms of available activities and lobbying for student rights. I definitely get my money’s worth out of student discounts in a year. I may be biased due to my involvement in Masters’ Committee, since our funding comes in part from these fees, but I still think it is reasonable.
This one is a double edged sword. I really appreciate being able to retake an exam because it takes some of the pressure off of the first time and allows you to do better if you studied incorrectly. I think being able to show your best work and be graded based on that is a really good philosophy. However, then there is a pressure to retake if you do not get the best grade, rather than accepting your fate. I have retaken exactly two exams, and if you are willing to study it is worth it, but sometimes it is just easier to accept how you did.
For both years I have lived in HOAS housing in Rastila and it has been a great option for me. It is a bit of a commute from campus, but with student prices for the HSL card (worthy of being its own point on this list) it is worth it. I live with two roommates. During my bachelor’s I shared the same size bedroom (now on my own) with another person, and had to share the bathrooms and kitchens with everyone in the building. Besides, this apartment is much more affordable than any dorm room I ever lived in.