Tag Archives: masters

Back to school in the land of the lakes

For those that have read my blog from the beginning, my first post was about me harping on the education system. So, funny thing but, I’m hitting the books again come September:)

I’m taking a two year Masters program in Corporate Environmental Management…. in Finland.

So, at the end of August,  I’ll be jet-setting to what looks like my home town (northern Ontario) to settle down in the small city of Jyvaskyla.

As soon as I mention the move, a lot of people are just like “Wow….why Finland?”

I’m sure a lot of you are thinking the same thing right now, so I thought I should share with you some of my reasons:

  • I love the program
    • Corporate Environmental Mgmt is what I’m passionate about
    • only 26 students – 14 different countries, spanning every continent
    • i get to learn Finn – smart language to learn considering only 5 million people speak it and all of them are either in Finland or Northern Ontario….
    • good education system
    • good city -small with an urban feel (home of the famous architect Alvar Aalto) and about a quarter of the population are students.
  • I love the country
    • Finland is surrounded by lakes and forests – I’m a country kid and although I love the city, I’m excited for the fresh air and clean water
    • I’m a quarter Finn – my grandma would be proud:)
    • I love saunas (pronounced “s ‘ow’ na”) and I miss having them (another Northern Ontario thing)
    • Finland is #1 in sustainable development ( just take a look at all of their first place rankings…quite impressive really
    • the food is great – rye breads, lots of fish, fresh veggies
    • one of my best friends lives in Helsinki
    • I’m close to a Ryanair airport which means I can travel anywhere for pretty cheap
  • AND….
    • IT’S CHEAP (pretty much free)
      • no tuition fees (no kidding)
      • no books to pay for
      • 80 euros for my student union fee
      • a bachelor apartment (22.5 m)  costs about 250 euros all inclusive (with internet, cable, sauna etc. 🙂
      • a lunch at the university costs about 2.5 euros and that’s for hearty meal of rye bread, veggies and fish etc.

So, there you have it, my reasons for going back to school.  It’s a beautiful country (definitely one of my favourites in Europe),  and an amazing deal. There are no tricks:  it’s not because I’m Finn, not because of any scholarships etc.  that I get a free masters education. Finland is just a welfare state that  even looks after its foreigners’ education. Almost incomprehensible eh?  If you’re sitting there right now going… “oh my god, I want to do that.” Do it now  because I think they’re closing the door next year.

There are plenty of other reasons for moving to Finland, but I’m sure they’ll come out in future posts.

Of course I’m going to miss Ottawa, especially on days like this. I’m sitting outside,  on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in July (not too many of them so you’ve got to cherish them!) I’ll miss the people, the neighbourhoods, the market etc. But, I’ll be back. It’s only a two year program and I’ll be back in the summers. (Kind of funny, I’m moving to Finland to live in the darkness (so close to arctic circle that I won’t be seeing the sun all winter) but when I can finally soak up the vitamin D in the summer, I’ll be back in Ottawa).

Anyways, thought I should let my readers know my whereabouts so that when I start blogging about saunas and the total darkness, people won’t be completely shocked.  I’ll most likely be blogging on environmental/social issues while there and I’ll make sure to write about my travels around Europe as well. (Last year was western Europe so this time I’ve got to do the East).

If you have any questions about the program, Finland,  feel free to ask.

Cheers and enjoy the beautiful Sunday afternoon.

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