“You have been offered a study place.” These words mark the beginning of a new era in life. Student life is an exciting journey filled with learning, growth, and opportunities. Starting your studies often means a significant life change, and many students move to completely new cities to pursue their education.
At the beginning of their studies, students may find themselves in very different life situations. There are first-timers, career changers, and those who have already been working for a long time. So, there is no one right way to be a student and live the student life. While experiences vary greatly among different students, there are a few things that most students can expect when starting their higher education:
1. New People and Friendships
Higher education provides an excellent opportunity to meet new people and build lasting friendships. Orientation programs and student events offer chances to get to know other students and at the same time build networks and find like-minded individuals. So, definitely consider participating in orientation week activities and other events organized by student organizations.
2. Diverse Studies and a Wealth of New Knowledge
Higher education offers a wide range of courses and study modules – you don’t have to limit yourself to the offerings of just your own faculty. You can expect to study diverse subjects and may challenge yourself in new ways. This gives you the chance to delve into your own areas of interest and gain knowledge beyond your chosen field of study.
3. Independence and Responsibility
Higher education requires more independence and taking responsibility for your own learning. You have the opportunity to plan your own study program and choose courses that align with your goals. You also need to manage your own schedule, complete assignments, and progress in your studies.
However, you don’t have to do it all alone; you can take advantage of the resources and support offered by the educational institution. You can also receive a lot of support from your fellow students for your studies and well-being. The key is not to hesitate to ask for help when needed.
4. Intensive Studies and Workload
Higher education can be demanding and require a lot of effort. You may encounter larger volumes of study materials, tighter schedules, and more challenging assignments. It’s essential to be prepared to commit to your studies and put in the necessary work to succeed.
5. Opportunities to Develop Skills and Gain New Experiences
Higher education offers plenty of opportunities to develop skills and gain new experiences. You can participate in student organization activities, volunteer work, research projects, and exchange programs. Through these activities, you can grow in many aspects and build valuable experience for your future.
6. Self-discovery and Growth
Higher education is also a time when many students gain a better understanding of themselves and their goals. Studies and student life offer opportunities for self-discovery, personal growth, and development. You will take away a vast amount of new experiences and cherished memories from student life, so keep an open mind.
Starting Your Studies – Checklist
Usually, universities organize orientation week right at the beginning of your studies, so you don’t have to figure everything out by yourself beforehand. During orientation week, new students receive information about university services, study programs, and student life, so these events should not be missed.
However, make sure to take care of the following tasks before starting your studies:
- Accept your study place (no later than July 14!)
- Register as present at the university or university of applied sciences.
- Pay the student healthcare fee to Kela.
- Apply for student financial aid through Kela’s online service. If needed, you can also apply for general housing allowance.
- Start looking for a student apartment well in advance. You can also check private rental markets, especially if there is a queue for student housing in your city.
- You can probably activate your user account for the study system in advance. Check your own institution’s instructions.
- Check if Tuudo is available at your institution. If it is, you can download Tuudo during the summer and explore the app beforehand. Log in to Tuudo using the credentials provided by your educational institution.
- Make sure you have all the necessary tools and devices for your studies. However, don’t stress too much – you’ll have plenty of time to take care of any necessary purchases during orientation week or after!