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Building a Bright Future in the Happiest Country: Syed's Ambitions

31.10.2023 13.36
Photograph of Syed.

Syed Ajim, a 27-year-old student at the University of Tampere, is visiting Helsinki for the first time. Originally from Bangladesh, Syed had previously studied in Korea and was amazed by how few people there were. Now, the scale has shifted once again - Helsinki feels truly spacious. His experiences in Finland have been positive. As a master's student in Public Policy Analysis, Syed appreciates the Finnish quality of life and the freedom of the academic culture.

Syed arrived in Finland in August 2022. Finland's reputation in quality of education, innovation and research caught Syed's interest when considering a place for further studies. He already had friends in Finland whose experiences he could rely on. 

Now, after almost 10 months, Syed's experiences have met his expectations. 

"University life and the academic culture here are incredibly flexible, and people are friendly and helpful. I have studied in Bangladesh and Korea before, and the experience here is truly different. For example, most courses allow you to retake exams up to three times. This eases the pressure on students," Syed explains.

Application Process

Initially, Syed got advice from his friends who were already studying in Finland. He also gathered information from and the Finnish Immigration Service’s (Migri) website. He found the information easily accessible, and additional assistance was available through Migri's service channels. 

However, there was a minor hiccup in the application process when Syed mistakenly calculated the wrong start date. He emailed Migri, and after clarification, he received a new decision on his residence permit.

 "I was so happy and surprised. I thought once the decision is made, it cannot be changed. Luckily, I thought wrong." 

According to Syed, the whole process took about a month, and things progressed smoothly. Syed also thanks the Finnish immigration process in general. 

"I've gone through immigration in other countries, and I have to say Migri was very helpful. Just ask whatever you have on your mind, and they'll guide you forward."

Life in Finland

In addition to his studies, Syed works as a shift leader in inventory management company and is getting acquainted with Finnish working culture. His experience has been good, and he feels like he's learning something new every day. 

After graduating, Syed hopes to work for the Finnish government. this is why he plans to focus on studying the Finnish language more seriously in the future. However, Syed also praises the English language skills of Finns. 

"People speak really good English here. It was a surprise after Korea, where the language barrier was significant. Practically everything can be handled in English in Finland."

Based on his future plans, Syed seems eager to build his life in Finland. 

"Finland is one of the best places to study and live. Perhaps that's why it has been chosen as the happiest country in the world."

Building a Bright Future in the Happiest Country: Syed's Ambitions


FACT: Residence permit on the basis of studies

  • A student who is not a citizen of the EU needs a residence permit if they come to study in Finland for more than 90 days.

  • The residence permit is granted for the entire duration of the studies.

  • In 2022, 8,383 residence permits were granted based on studies.

  • A student can obtain a residence permit if they come to Finland as a degree student, an exchange student or a student in special and additional education.

  • In the application, the student must prove that they have sufficient funds to live in Finland and cover tuition fees. They also need a health insurance.

  • The residence permit can be applied through the Finnish Immigration Service's Enter Finland online service.

Funden by the European Union: Next Generation EU.

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