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FINLAND - ISEP University of Jyvaskalya

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!

Established as a teacher training college in the 1860’s, the University of Jyväskylä is a top-ranked university characterized by a high level of technological sophistication, active international cooperation, and teaching that is constantly developing to meet the challenges of future professions. 

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.

Learn more about the University of Jyväskylä here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  

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).

Location

Jyvaskyla, located in the blue-lake district of Finland, some 170 miles north of Helsinki, is a lively and compact city in a beautiful setting of lakes, ridges, parks, and forests. It offers a great variety of cultural and sporting events, such as the annual Summer and Winter Arts Festivals, the Alvar Aalto Symposium, Graphica Creativa, the Neste Rally Finland, museum exhibits and an ongoing variety of plays and concerts. Jyvaskyla is an ideal city for sport and physical recreation: there are more than 200 different venues for sport and leisure activities, and a wide choice of maintained trails and recreational facilities within walking distance.

Academics

The university has received national and international recognition for teaching and research carried out in its fields of expertise, including evolutionary ecology, human development and risk factors, nuclear physics, nanosciences, and sports sciences.

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.

COURSEWORK

Intercultural Studies, Social Sciences, Education, and Business studies are recommended for exchange students. The university also offers a Summer School in Human Sciences including themes related to management, counseling, and leadership. Early and Primary Education majors who are native speakers of English have a possibility to do a non-paid traineeship in a day-care center. 

Students typically enroll in 7-10 classes per term which average to 20 hours in class per week. A term runs for 15 weeks.  Students must take 30 ECTS credits to earn 4 Lake Forest credits.

See: Courses in English for exchange students 

Download the “Instructions for choosing courses” from the Courses link for detailed instructions.

LANGUAGE NOTES

The university offers free instruction in Finnish as a foreign language during the year at elementary, intermediate and advanced levels. A pre-exchange Finnish course is offered in August (not included in the ISEP benefits; free tuition; the cost of room 190-260 EUR, the board: 150-190 EUR). Language Courses: Beginner- to intermediate-level Swedish and Finnish. Finnish courses for international students are divided into five levels, and after completing the fifth level students may continue on to the Finnish Language & Culture Program. 

Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system.

Student Life

Established as a teacher training college in the 1860’s, the University of Jyväskylä is a top-ranked university characterized by a high level of technological sophistication, active international cooperation, and teaching that is constantly developing to meet the challenges of future professions. Total enrollment: 15,000 (1000 international students). There are three main campus areas: the Main Campus (conveniently located in the city center), Mattilanniemi Campus on the shore of Lake Jyvasjarvi, and Ylistorinne Campus on the opposite shore of the lake and connected to Mattilanniemi by a bridge. 

The university has received national and international recognition for teaching and research carried out in its fields of expertise, including evolutionary ecology, human development and risk factors, nuclear physics, nanosciences, and sports sciences. In addition to high academic standards, the university provides comprehensive services for international students, including an arrival service, a student tutor system, and orientation and friendship family programs. 

ORIENTATION

A 3-4 day orientation includes: a general introduction to the University and its premises; an introduction to student associations; an introduction to services of the student health care center; information on the sports activities; an introduction to the University library and Language Center; an introduction to the computing services; visits to the departments; briefing on issues related to Finnish society and culture; and free time activities (e.g. a Sauna evening). 

ARRIVAL INFORMATION
A Finnish tutor can book an Airport Taxi for you after you have informed him/her the arrival time of your flight to Jyväskylä.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

The Student Union of the University (JYY) offers a wide range of services and free time activities related to culture and sports (e.g. monthly get-togethers, baking courses, sports events, movie nights, concerts). The international students have the opportunity to travel e.g. to Russia and Lapland in the trips organized by JYY.

The University of Jyväskylä offers one of the most diverse and exciting sport and recreational programs in the country. The sports opportunities range from spinning, wall climbing, and snowboarding to the more traditional skiing, aerobics, squash, tennis and different ball games.

Housing and Meals

ISEP students are housed in Kortepohja Student Village or KOAS apartments, both of which are two miles from campus. Apartments have two or three study-bedrooms with a kitchenette and bathroom. Free internet access is available in the apartments. A monthly meal stipend is provided which can be used to prepare or purchase meals. 

Financial Information

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:

Budget Item

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$23,160

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost

TBD

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

 TBD

ISEP Fee due on Stage 2 Application

 $325

ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance (estimated, $90/mo)

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP

 $360

Additional Meals

 $800

Estimated Airfare

*Students placed on ISEP Exchange may be eligible for up to $750 airfare award

 $1,400

Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)

 $1,100

Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses

 $3,985

Total

TBD

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

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office
    847-735-5231
    aolson@lakeforest.edu