Study abroad in the Nordic countries and experience a different way of learning in the student centered environment
If you're thinking about studying abroad, then one location that you should absolutely consider is studying in the Nordic countries. As well as affordable tuition fees and a great quality of life, these countries offer a distinctly student-centred approach to teaching. Here are just a few reasons to study in the Nordic countries:
NORDIC COUNTRIES HAVE WORLD RATED INSTITUTIONS
Despite the relatively small populations of the Nordic countries, they have a large number of educational institutions that are ranked among the best in the world. The QS World University Rankings, for example, is an index of the best regarded universities in the world, and it consistently features a high number of Nordic institutions. This includes institutions like Finland's University of Helsinki, Sweden's Lund University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Denmark's University of Copenhagen, all of which ranked within the top 100 universities in the world. The Nordic countries have particular strengths in science and technology, with many specialist universities of applied science which are renowned for their teaching in engineering and other technology-related subjects.
A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE TOWARDS TEACHING
If you're accustomed to a traditional teaching environment in which one teacher lectures to a passive class, then you'll find a different and exciting approach in the Nordic countries. There tends to be more of a focus on interactive learning, with class discussions taking up as much time as traditional lectures. Also, you will not find a situation where undergraduate classes are most often taught by PhD students or outside lecturers, as can be typical elsewhere in Europe or in the States. In the Nordic countries, even undergraduate students have a lot of contact with professors, and students take an active part in interacting with senior academics. There tends to be a less rigid hierarchy in Nordic institutions, with an aim towards an egalitarian education for all. It's not unusual for students to have friendly bonds with their professors, and for professors to make themselves available to students who are struggling or those who want to chat in more depth about the subjects they are learning.
A MORE RONDED EDUCATION
Too often, students feel like they have to focus exclusively on book learning and exam taking, as if that were the main aim of their studies. Not so in the Nordic countries. There is an emphasis on extra curricular activities as much as on traditional learning, aiming to produce students who are well rounded and have a broad variety of skills and interests. Taking part in groups like sports clubs or hobby clubs can be an excellent way to learn skills like teamwork, leadership, and organisation, which can be just as useful in your career as knowledge of particular academic fields. And even in class, there is a focus on group work and co-operation as well as individual work. For those who want to work in industry, Nordic universities often have close co-operations with businesses to teach students the skills that they will need to work as well as to succeed in academia.
COURSES ARE AVAILABLE IN ENGLISH
You might think at first that studying in a Nordic country would be difficult if you don't speak the local language. And languages like Finnish have a reputation for being extremely challenging to learn! But the good news is that many universities in the Nordic area offers courses in English, and the majority of the people who live in these countries speak very good English too. You can get by just fine as English speaking student. For example, there are around 100 undergraduate courses which are taught in English in Sweden alone, and as many as 900 master's courses. In Denmark, you'll find even more courses in English, with around 700 degrees available.
SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS
Part of the strength of Nordic universities is the support that they offer to students, in order to put their egalitarian principles into practise. For example, in Sweden universities will help students to get health insurance for low rates, so even foreign students can have the same access to affordable healthcare that locals do. You'll also find that many restaurants and bars offer discounts for students, so you can be well fed while you learn. And if you do want to learn more of the local language, most universities will provide free language classes to support you. All this, and tuition fees are generally cheap or even non existent!
If this sounds good and you want to learn more about studying in the Nordic countries, come and have a look around our site , StudyNord.