Student-Author: Gagandeep Singh (India)
at Emotional Management of International Business Complexity course 1 – Spring 2022
Finland is a country known for its well-designed educational system and best universities in the world. Historically Finland is known for its academic excellence with its education system rooted back in the 16th century. Students from all over the world reached Finland with high hopes to experience and enjoy its best education system. There are a number of factors that play a role in selecting Finland as an education destination. Quality education, Universities’ reputation, and political and economic stability are the main factors. Everything looks good but the story has turned, despite being a world-class education system students face a number of challenges after reaching Finland which affects their emotions. Being an international student almost every student face challenges but things are more difficult for non-EU students. Education in the land of happiness is a ‘‘Journey of emotions’’. Starting from happiness students face Fear, Anger, Sadness, Surprise, and Disgust emotions throughout their stay in Finland.
Happiness is the first emotion that students experience. Selection to a world-class university and the happiest country in the world definitely an enjoyable moment for students from all over the world but traveling to a new country, and new community brings a sense of fear also. But the nice people of Finland, and the lovely environment helps to reduce fear emotion.
Renting an Apartment- Finnish system provides an option to rent an apartment from the home country. But there is a long queue of applicants and the process take about four months in some cases which leaves a sad emotion for applicants.
Registration at the population department (DVV)- After reaching Finland registration at the population office is the first thing every student needs to do. Here comes the surprise emotion. The most advanced nation which relies on technology for almost all the daily work takes almost 2 months to register a new student in their population database. In Finland, all services like banking, health insurance, student facilities, transportation card, and postpaid mobile services only came into effect if someone is registered with the population office. Without registration, new immigrants feel like a person without any identity. It is a surprising thing, even a developing country like India does not take such a long time. Everyone needs to take an appointment for registration and even these appointments are not available for one month after the appointment process takes almost two months for final registration. It is really a surprising moment for a person coming from a developing country.
Rigid Banking system- After completing the process of population office, here comes the second challenge which brings disgusting moments for an immigrant along with surprising emotions. Finnish banks do not entertain people without the Finnish language, even if they speak English, they directly refuse to give appointments to open bank accounts without a translator. Students with limited financial access are unable to take services from translation services agencies because they do not accept cash and students do not have bank accounts in Finland to pay them. The situation become very critical and disgusting here. There are no extra services available for non-EU students. The situation becomes more complicated when it comes to paying house rent because housing agencies also do not accept cash and bank accounts are still not open without translators. Somehow students managed to open a bank account with the help of their Finnish classmates, neighbors, or people from their community already living in Finland.
Weather- Next comes the weather challenge. In the world of the internet, everyone can search the information about almost everything. Students are also aware of the Finnish weather through the internet but no one can understand the real situation without experiencing it. The weather is very cold, especially for the person coming from Asian countries because the difference in temperature is huge. It triggers different emotions in different people. For some people it is an enjoyable moment, for some, it is a fear or disgust or anger, or a mix of emotions.
Language- The next challenge for the international student is the language barrier. Almost everyone in Finland knows English but prefers to speak in Finnish. Finns relate it to nationalism. Social life in Finland becomes very limited if someone does not know the Finnish language. It again emerged a mix of emotions, but definitely, it is not an enjoyable emotion.
Cultural Difference- Experience a new culture is an enjoyable moment. Students can enjoy the rich culture of Finland. But again, for some people, it is a bit challenging situation to adapt new culture. Moreover, there is a huge difference between Asian and European cultures. Some people again develop a mixture of emotions that includes enjoyment, surprise, and fear. Finland is a multicultural society and it respects all the cultures of different parts of the world. It makes things easy for students to adapt new society effectively.
Non-availability of jobs- The most difficult and disgusting situation for students is when they realize that there is no job available for the non-speaking Finnish language. Almost every job has a Finnish requirement. That creates frustration and ultimately results in anger for international people.
The silence- Coming from most populated countries in very less populated countries is also a challenging situation for students. Finland is a very silent country with most of its parts covered with forests and snow. There is silence everywhere, on the other hand, countries like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are very populated and people there enjoy a big social life. Students feel alone here with very less social life. Even some people suffer from depression due to silence. Asian people need to do workouts to adjust to the new society.
The Education system- The next challenge that students face is the new type of education system. The grading system in Finland is very different from Asian countries. Students must adjust to the new system immediately. It also creates mixed emotions.
At last, we can say that every student experiences a journey of emotions while staying in Finland.
Singh, G. (2022). Personal experience