Finland is known for its unspoiled natural scenery, vast areas of lakes and forests, saunas and the midnight sun as well as for clean modern cities showcasing great architecture and design and a rich variety of cultural activities. A world leader in technology (think Nokia cell phones), Finland has one of the highest standards of living in the world. You couldn’t ask for more in a study abroad destination!
- The OECD ranks Finland’s education system as #1 in the world. Its highly developed university system offers a wide range of courses in English for international and Finnish students.
- Support for students who wish to pursue internships is offered at most sites.
- Coordinators in Finland are especially supportive of international students and arrange for interesting orientations.
- Upon arrival, all students have access to a Finnish Friend who can help them integrate at the university.
- A Friendship Family Program enables students to experience the culture off-campus.
The Åbo campus is the main campus at Åbo Akademi University and offers a variety of academic fields including the Arts, Social and Political Sciences, Natural Sciences and Technology. It is situated within walking distance from the city center and offers a wide range of student activities for both Finnish and international students. The campus is relatively small which creates a close-knit, familiar atmosphere.
This program would be suitable for students that are ready to be abroad, but would still like some of the academic services that a U.S. college provides. It is a good choice for someone that is a world traveler OR has never left their hometown.
Experiences of Former Students
WHAT PAST STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY
Jess Deleconio, Spring 2012 student from Roanoke College
To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:
Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up. Direct options may have an additional cost (see a financial section for more information).
Åbo (Turku in Finnish) is a bilingual city of approximately 180 000 inhabitants situated on the southwest coast of Finland, right at the mouth of the Aura river which cuts through the city. It is the oldest university town in Finland and was the capital of Finland until 1812. In addition to Åbo Akademi University, there are many other higher education institutions such as the University of Turku and Turku University of Applied Sciences, which means it is a lively student town. The city offers a wide variety of cultural experiences, such as museums and music, dance and theater events, as well as sports activities.
The Åbo campus is the main campus at Åbo Akademi University and offers a variety of academic fields including the Arts, Social and Political Sciences, Natural Sciences and Technology.
The academic year runs from early September to late May. Åbo Akademi University uses a two-term system with four teaching periods (two in each term).
Åbo Akademi University comprises 3 divisions and 12 departments, offering bachelor, master and doctoral studies: Arts, Education and Theology, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Technology.
COURSES TAUGHT IN ENGLISH
Åbo Akademi University is the only Swedish-language multidisciplinary university located outside of Sweden. It comprises 12 departments offering bachelor, master, and doctoral studies in the following divisions: Arts, Education and Theology; Social Sciences; and Natural Sciences and Technology.
Academic Environment and Teaching Style
For the courses at the Abo Akademi University - Abo Campus, please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm. Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.
All courses/modules may have prerequisites. Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it. Be aware of these limitations.
Language Courses: Beginner- to intermediate-level Swedish and Finnish available. Prior knowledge of Swedish or Finnish is not required. The number of contact hours per week/course is 4 hours, and the courses run for a whole term.
Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system.
The orientation program covers registration, the study system, introduction to computers and library resources, tours of the university area and town, Finnish history and society, health care, the student union, student life, registration for language courses, academic advising sessions, etc. Please see Exchange Student Information for details and program.
There are a number of student organizations at the university that international students are also welcome to join. Almost every subject/department has its own student organization, and there are also various sports clubs and organizations for different types of interests. They organize excursions, parties, sports activities, competitions etc. The student union also plans events for their members. Students can also use the gym on campus, take part in different classes like Zumba, Pilates, and salsa, or use the facilities of other gyms in town for a small fee or for a reduced price. The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) organizes trips and other events for international students. For example, they organize several trips to Lapland every year, and have also made excursions to the Åland Islands; Stockholm, Sweden; as well as St. Petersburg (and Moscow), Russia.
|Housing and Meals|
ISEP Exchange students receive a housing stipend to pay for single rooms within shared student apartments off campus. The Student Village Foundation of Turku offers several housing options. Please see here for more information. All rooms have bathrooms and access to cooking and laundry facilities. Students are provided with a monthly stipend for meals.
For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week.
Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 programs:
Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of January 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.
You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.
Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.
Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.
For Questions About the Initial Application Process:
Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office