The Master’s Programme in Economics at the University of Helsinki provides high-quality education in the field of economics in a unique Nordic setting. The Department of Economics is well-known by top-ranking research and professional professors in time-series econometrics, macro- and microeconomics and in game theories.

PhD candidate, Min Zhu, came to Finland from China eight years ago. We asked what made her choose to study Economics in Finland.

“The most important reason why I applied to the Department of Economics at the University of Helsinki is really because I wanted to look what Nordic countries look like. Finland is a very attractive place to study, because it’s a totally different culture compared where I come from. The study culture also differs positively from the US or the UK. Moreover, the Department of Economics has very prestigious professors, who specialise in time series and international economics, which I was interested in,” describes Min her choice.  

Study without language barriers

Min Zhu studied 2.5 years for Master’s programme and is now a PhD candidate. Her research interests include international trade and development economics, with a special focus on emerging markets.

“Basically I’m using company and customs level data to analyse how trade liberalisation affects behaviour at the company level, whether trade liberalisation makes a company more productive, more international and whether they are hiring more people or making more profit. Economics matters a lot to, for example, how well general state policy or the pension system goes and effects our daily life,” she explains.

The atmosphere in the Economicum-building in the city of Helsinki is very international and open. All the lectures are in English. Professors and other personnel speak fluent English, so students abroad won’t face any language barriers.

“We have a very vibrant environment at the campus: discussions and research among professors and students. You can always contact your professors and ask for appointments. They are more than happy to help and give you support. It’s very important for students“,

Min says and thanks her supervisor, Professor Tapio Palokangas.

There are lot of other social activities, too. All students majoring in economics at the University of Helsinki are automatically members of KTTO, a student’s association, which organises different kinds of events from company visits to student parties.

Great career opportunities

Min Zhu is finalising her studies in two months at the beginning of next year. She is currently looking for a job with the help of her supervisor. There are many career options for graduates, for instance in the industrial or private sector from consulting to research.

“It’s quite easy to get a post-doctoral fellowship in another country. The Finnish labour market in the field of economics is very thin, so unfortunately I need to explore options also elsewhere. If I could, I would like to stay in Helsinki,” Min says and before highlighting: ”I highly recommend students to come and study Economics at the University of Helsinki and experience Finnish culture”.