New Student Ambassador Program attracts international talent to Finland

Current issues
Study in Finland has launched a Student Ambassador Program, involving international degree students studying in Finnish higher education institutions. Student ambassadors represent Finland as a study destination to prospective applicants interested in higher education.
Kuvassa Study in Finlandin opiskelijalähettiläät.
Study in Finland student ambassadors: Angela Mutai, Khin Phyu Cyn Kyi, Iman Baramaki, Linh Bui, John Reis, and Lola Rubio Alberca.

The idea behind the Study in Finland Student Ambassador Program, launched in January, is to enhance Finland's visibility as a study destination and to attract enthusiastic international students to Finnish higher education institutions. Student ambassadors share their own experiences of living and studying in Finland and respond to questions from potential students.

“Our student ambassadors' student life can easily be followed on our social media platforms, such as our YouTube channel and Instagram account. The ease of use and wide reach of social media enable new students interested in Finland to access the information we provide. In addition, our ambassadors can be reached through the chat feature on our website”, says expert Avnee Garg-Kaljunen.

Student Ambassador program started smoothly

The Finnish National Agency for Education's Study in Finland team started the Student Ambassador project in the summer of 2023. The recruitment process for student ambassadors opened in November, with over 110 interested international degree students applying for the position.

From among the qualified applicants, six student ambassadors were selected for the year 2024 based on pre-tasks and interviews. The student ambassadors who started in January come from Kenya, Myanmar, Iran, Vietnam, Venezuela, and Spain. The selected student ambassadors were divided into three groups, each responsible for specific activities.

“The work of the student ambassadors has started smoothly. They have produced quality content for our channels and published inspiring blogs about student life on our website. The ambassadors have actively engaged with potential students through the Unibuddy platform we've adopted”, says expert Samuli Repo.

A key task for the student ambassadors is to increase awareness among foreign students about studying in Finland and, consequently, encourage them to apply.

“One of my weekly tasks is to respond to inquiries from students around the world and write blogs about my studies and experiences. This way, I can share as much information and experiences about studying and living here as possible”, says student ambassador Linh Bui.

Student ambassadors' personal experiences form an important foundation for the program

Many international students applying to Finland share similar concerns. Student ambassadors are commonly asked about study plans, admission requirements, application procedures, scholarship opportunities, and living costs in Finland.

“During the application phase, I found a lot of information about studies on university websites and from admissions offices. However, when I was accepted into the program I applied for, I was overwhelmed by the fear of moving to Finland. How will I find accommodation, navigate local public transportation, or handle other practical matters?” says Bui.

The student ambassadors' own experiences of studying in Finland and moving to the country form an essential foundation for the entire program's operation. Building networks, making friends, and adapting to a completely new environment are themes that those who have lived in the country for a longer time may not even consider. Moving to a new country can bring about unexpected situations.

"I come from a tropical country where summer lasts almost year-round, so experiencing severe cold and heavy snowfall for the first time when I moved to Finland was quite an experience. Additionally, I've been amazed by the generosity and honesty of Finns. I've received support from all the schools I've attended and the workplaces where I've worked," says Bui.