I came to Finland from Italy to attend my doctoral studies in philosophy in 2016. My research focuses on political and social philosophy as well as the study of critical sociology. My road to my PhD research in Finland started with me meeting my supervisor at a conference/work shop in Italy. That’s how I found out that there is huge academic activity here in Finland regarding the topic I was interested in and I also learned that getting funded here was easier for that specific philosophical field. After meeting Arto (Corrado’s supervisor), I tried to find more information regarding the Finnish university system and the Finnish funding system.
After living in Finland nearly 5 years, I’ve learned that the academic life here gives your good opportunities at every level.Corrado Piroddi
I found out that the hybrid system, in which you have not only the funding provided by the university as a job position but also funding provided by private foundations, seems more efficient than the Italian system that is based, on the contrary, on university funding. The distribution of research funding is more favorable here if we consider that not only STEM research gets the lion’s share of the money available but research in humanities also gets proper attention and it is well-funded, at least compared to Italy.
I have been here for four years and I have realized that, in my opinion, the social and public sphere is still well functioning according to some social democratic principles. I would say that the system of benefits and public support to citizens as well as foreign students and workers is more efficient and effective compared to my home country. While living here, I have noticed that a person with my type of academic and professional profile still has a large set of opportunities in terms of academic work after their doctoral studies. I think that here in Finland, it is still possible to build up an academic career, e.g. post-doc research. Since staying in the academia was my original plan, I had been thinking of continuing my academic career elsewhere but I have come to realize that it is possible to do it here. After living in Finland nearly 5 years, I’ve learned that the academic life here gives your good opportunities at every level.
I recommend other foreign students get plentiful information regarding bureaucratic issues and functioning of the Finnish welfare and academic systems in terms of student or unemployment benefits and the funding within the academic system. I would also emphasize that the academic system here is less formal; it is less “traditional”. Here, teaching remotely and the use of technology in order to support your education is very common and efficient, so the students have to be ready that the teaching style could be very different from where they come from. Here, it is goal-oriented and more pragmatic.