International trainees for Finnish companies

Two thirds of the international university students studying in Finland are willing to stay in the country after their graduation. However, getting started in working life is not always that easy.

International emplyees at the Finnish IT-companyt Hot Chocolate

The higher education institutions in the Helsinki metropolitan area have joined forces to highlight the competence of international students by seeking out trainee posts for them. International students are ideal for companies where Finnish language skills and nationality are not preconditions for employment. The students bring language skills and multicultural competence to the companies and unlike many other immigrants, they are already well acquainted with Finnish culture and language.

“Some international students have no intention of remaining in Finland, but the majority at least considers it,” says Päivi Jyry, Project Coordinator from the HERA project, which is developing the international activities of higher education institutions.

”There’s a great deal of talk about employment-based immigration in Finland, but we already have quite a labour force reserve in our international students. There are 5,000 international degree programme students and if we include exchange students, the number increases to 8,500.”

The KVOTA project aims at getting the careers of international students rolling by offering companies trainees for 3 to 5 months. The first stage involves approaching international companies working on the Russian, Japanese and Chinese markets. During initial contacts in early June, approximately 20 companies said they were tentatively interested in student trainees.

“Scientific competence and international Master’s degree programmes in the biosciences, agriculture and forestry as well as environmental programmes and information science are the strong suit of University of Helsinki students. However, we should still advertise the competence of our Master’s degree programme students more clearly on the labour market,” says Päivi Jyry.

Further information on traineeship opportunities for higher education students in Finland >>
International Master’s degree programmes at the University of Helsinki >>

Text: Susanna Rautio
Photo: Helsinki Research and Education Area HERA

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

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