I’ve never understood the taxpayer funding the learning of foreign students while there are plenty of its own citizens go without.
No jobs, aid or hope: Foreign students face uncertain future in Finland
Finland has recently tried to woo foreign students, but what happens when classes go online and the economy shuts down
Disrupted classes, a dire shortage of jobs and an uncertain future — students in Finland are grappling with the debilitating effects of the pandemic on their lives.
Some of the worst-hit are international students struggling to sustain themselves on a tight budget. Summer and part-time jobs are often crucial to help cover expenses, but such opportunities have largely disappeared this year.
“I have been laid off from my cleaning job in March. I couldn’t afford to pay my rent for the month, fortunately, the student housing board said I can delay payments by a month or two. Most jobs I applied for expect me to know Finnish,” Mohammad Hasan from Bangladesh, a student in the Master´s Degree Programme in Education and Learning at the University of Turku.
Left with no other option, Hasan said he has applied for a pea-picking job at a farm, 16 kilometres from Turku. Seasonal farm workers often end up making long commutes and doing hours of back-breaking work for low wages.
According to the Finnish National Agency for Education, as of 2017, there were over 20,000 foreign students studying a complete degree course in Finland, 75 percent of them from non-EU/EEA countries.
While Finnish students get grants, housing allowance and government-backed loans, these so-called “third country” students have to fund their living costs and shell out hefty tuition fees.