Financial difficulties

International students’ financial difficulties were mentioned as one of the biggest worries of the teaching staff in the VALOA workshops of the universities.

Most international students are not eligible for financial support from KELA or the social services.

Financial difficulties can affect the student’s ability to study, if his/her energy is spent in trying to find work, money, or a solution to the hunger problem. This situation is even harder for students with families. There are cases where teachers have invited students to eat in their home or have bought food for the students.

Students’ financial problems affect many caring teachers as they try to help the students to survive. The marketing materials of study programs could also include information about the living expenses in Finland. Although our educational system is free, living expenses are high and job opportunities for the non-Finnish speaking population can be scarce.