International scope and cooperation

International scope

Linguistics is by definition an international field. Language capacity is a feature common to all human beings, and the objective of linguistics as a science is to study both the universal background of language as a phenomenon and the global diversity of languages as expressions of social and cultural heritage.

The programme Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age is international in several ways:

  1. The programme functions in English and accepts international students from all countries
  2. The programme recruits students representing a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds
  3. You are encouraged to study and master many languages from both the practical and the theoretical points of view
  4. You are encouraged early on to get engaged in documentational and typological field work among speakers of sparsely documented languages in various parts of the world
  5. You are encouraged to use the opportunities of international exchange that the university offers

The programme has a high international profile and all teachers have wide international contact networks. At the University of Helsinki, linguistics became international already in the 19th century. Finland is a country where, in particular, ethnolinguistics and field linguistics were developed and practised much earlier than in most other European countries. Some of the regions where Finnish ethnolinguists have been active include North and Central Eurasia, the Near and Middle East, East Asia, South Asia, and Africa. This tradition of field-work-oriented linguistics is today carried on by the HALS (Helsinki Area and Linguistic Studies) research community. At the same time, the more recent fields of linguistics, including phonetics, language technology, and typology, have developed their own international profiles.

Cooperation with other institutions

The programme has active contacts with other language-related study programmes within the university. If you are technically oriented, courses or modules in Computer Science are recommended. 

Via Flexible Study Rights (JOO) agreements, you can also take suitable courses at other universities, such as Speech and Language Processing at Aalto University.

Many members of the teaching staff are well connected with linguistics and language technology programmes in other Nordic and European universities as well as worldwide. You can also attend summer schools organised by other linguistic programmes in Europe, given that these studies have been accepted in advance.

Some courses in linguistic corpus methods and language data management are offered by or in co-operation with the FIN-CLARIN consortium, whose national coordinator and support team are at the University of Helsinki. FIN-CLARIN provides resources and services for language researchers through Kielipankki, the Language Bank of Finland, maintained by CSC – IT Centre for Science. FIN-CLARIN is part of the European research infrastructure called CLARIN ERIC.

The language technology side of the programme in particular has close cooperation with technology companies and other businesses. The teachers and students of the programme also interact widely with other institutions, both in the public sector and NGOs.