Below you find a presentation of different kind of services available for international students at higher education institutes (HEIs) in Turku.
We have grouped the services, programs, events and resources into seven main groups:
- Personal Career Planning
- Group Career Coaching
- Mentorship & Ambassador programs
- Internships, project courses and camps
- Info events and employer visits
- Job-hunting resources
- Groups and organizations
We have also made a recommendation at which phase of your studies the different services might be most fruitful for you, and also how useful the service might be, depending on if you plan to stay in Finland after graduation or not, and/or if you want to get a regular job or plan to start your own business.
We hope the information will be helpful and further your career. We have made an attempt to include all relevant services, although we have left out services that are not commonly available for all students, i.e. services only offered to students at a specific HEI. There are probably some services lacking, some seizing to exist, other new ones emerging.
Please contact us at polku(at)abo.fi, if you want to revise anything in this list.
CAREER AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Personal Career Planning
Personal Career Guidance
Most Higher Education Institutions (HEI:s) in Turku provide the possibility to have a personal Career Guidence discussion. This is a very good way to get a better general picture of the Finnish labour market and what your competence, interest, personality and experience is suitable for. This is a good start to plan and/or get ideas for your future career.
Simulated job interviews
You can do a mock-interview at most HEI:s to get a better understanding what employers in Finland usually asks and what they are interested in knowing about you.
CV-clinics/help with writing CV:s and/or application letters
You can get help with how to write a CV and/or an application letter, usually at CV-clinics that are organized regularly by the HEI:s. There you can get individual help with your application documents.
In some of the HEI:s in Turku there is a possibility for you to do a personality profile assessment, which helps with self-understanding, how you prefer to work and therefore a better understanding what kind of job tasks could be suitable for you. If and under which circumstances you are able to do this assessment differs a bit from institution to institution. Contact your own institution to get more info if/how you can do the assessment.
Most Higher Education Institutions (HEI:s) in Turku provide personal Career Planning services. Exactly to what extent, and what kind of services are provided differs a bit from institution to institution. Please contact your own institution below for more info
Personal career planning is relevant under all phases of your studies, and regardless of if you want to have a ”normal” work in Finland after you complete your studies, transfer anywhere else or be entrepreneurial. Personal career guidance with a career counsellor, , and personality profiling, is often most effective if it is carried out before you are too long in your studies, even if it of course can be effective in the end of your studies as well. Simulated job-interviews and help with how to write your application documents is most useful for you if you are searching for a job in Finland, even if many of the hints&tips you can get from this are general and works worldwide.
Group Career Coaching
Career Planning Coaching (Find Your Career)
This is a program where you will get a better understanding of what Finnish employers’ value, where vacant positions can be found and how the labor market works. The career coaching will also, among other things, help you identify your own possibilities, interests and skills. The coaching is web-based, takes around 2 months to complete and can be carried out parallel to your other studies. The Find Your Career Coaching is coordinated by the universities Career Services, contact them for more info when the next round starts.
This coaching is most useful for you if you are a bit further in your studies, but not at the brink of graduating. You can make use of the coaching regardless what your future plans are, but you will get the most out of it if your plans are to search for a job in Finland.
Mentorship & Ambassador programs
Mentorship programs are a great way to get more information about the Finnish labour-market, people to network with and peer-to-peer discussions. There are many different mentoring programs available, most HEI:s in Turku have one and also some subjects have their own (although in most cases they are carried out in Finnish or Swedish), please contact your own HEI or own subject for more info on these. There is also a low-threshold common POLKU Mentorship program carried out in English open for all students in Turku regardless at which institution you study at. In this program you can get some information about the Finnish labour market through the experience from international alumnies that already have some experience from Finland. The program is built around a few experienced mentors that works together with a group of mentees. Each mentor is primarily responsible for his/her own group, but there are also personal meetings with mentor/mentee, as well as meetings where all the groups come together to share their experience.
For more information: POLKU Mentorship program
The Student Ambassador Network of South-West Finland aims at supporting the internationalisation of the region through its international talents. The goal of the program is to make South-West Finland more international and a well-known place to do business, study and live. Your mission as an Ambassador is to promote the region as a business environment, study and tourist destination to your home country and you are expected to market the region through social media, articles, blog posts, pictures and videos and by attending public events in Finland and abroad.
The mentorship programs are useful for throughout your studies, but perhaps you get the most of it towards the latter part of your studies, and if your plans are to stay in Finland, be it as a worker or entrepreneur. The ambassador program is mostly suited for you who are in the end of your studies, and regardless if you plan to stay in Finland or transfer abroad after finishing your studies.
Internships, project courses and camps
One of the best ways of getting the competence and experience that the Finnish labour market are asking for, is getting practical experience from the labour market by having an internship period. In universities of applies sciences an internship period is normally included in your formal studies, and usually the teaching staff there will help you with finding a suitable internship position. In the academic universities however, an internship position is usually (with a few exceptions) not formally included, even if you in most cases can be awarded study credits for such a period. Whether it’s formal or not or if you get credits or not is however not that important in the eyes of most potential future employers, the important thing being that you have gathered some real work experience during your study period, regardless if the job has been an internship position, a summer job, a part-time job or some other type of real-life work experience. There are some specific internship positions being offered to students at the different universities, but as a student at a Finnish university you can also be eligible for an Erasmus+ internship position, to be carried out in another EU country (not Finland), or then you can of course also find an internship position by your own. Apart from these, if you are studying something IT-related at ÅAU or UTU you might also be eligible to sign up for the TUCS Internship program.
- TUCS Internship program
- Erasmus+ program
- Internship adds for UTU students
- Internship adds for ÅAU students
Projects for employers
There are many ways for students to get practical experience from the Finnish labour market, one being doing a commission for a company or another institution during your studies. Many subjects, especially in the universities of applied sciences, have this included in the curricula. Project Aces is a special project program where you do a genuine project in cooperation with a client. What is special with this program in relation to most other project programs is that this is carried out in multidisciplinary teams with students that might be from different HEI:s, the program being open for all HEI students in Turku regardless where and what you study. The project is carried out during the course of a couple of months, and can be carried out on the side of your other studies. During the program you will gather practical experience and team work skills for the future working life.
A few courses also offer content that are comparable to doing commissions for a client, even if there are no real-life client present. The ICT Showroom course is open to students from ÅAU, UTU and TUAS, whilst the Turku Game Lab program is open to students from UTU and TUAS.
Innovation camps are regularly organized by different actors and are usually suitable for you regardless of exactly what you are studying. These camps are usually carried out during the course of maximum a week, most often being only 24 or 48 hours long. The Challenge Turku Innovation Camp are usually organized twice per year and open for all Turku HEI students.
Student organization Boost Turku organizes a lot of activities concerning entrepreneurship, innovation and intrapreneurship. Apart from those interested to start a company of their own or otherwise to get involved in the start-up scene, you can surely benefit from many of Boost Turkus activities and their startup programs even if you are primarily going to be looking for a “normal” job. As Boost Turku says themselves: “Boost is an entrepreneur society that encourages young students and entrepreneurs to make their dreams come true”. SparkUp, facilitated by Turku Science Park Ltd, is a startup community where they have brought together know-how and services for startups and entrepreneur-minded persons in Turku region, while the NY StartUp is an innovative national startup program.
Internships, projects and camps are useful for throughout your studies, and regardless what kind of job you mainly are targeting and where you plan your career. Practical experience from real job-life and/or real cases gives you a lot for the future and as a rule-of-thumb you should at least get one such experience before you graduate. Innovation camps and startup programmes are a great way to get introduced to the entrepreneurial world, but gives very good experience to you even if you are not planning to be an entrepreneur yourself.
Info events and employer visits
Working in Finland events
“Working in Finland” -events are usually organized twice per year. In the beginning of the year there is usually a seminar with people from different organizations and alumni’s telling about the labour market in Finland, from the perspective of international students. In the autumn there is a more practical “Working in Finland” event where you for example can get your CV checked and a photo taken for your CV, get tips about your LinkedIn-profile, go to a simulated job interview or talk to professionals at different stands. The target groups for the events are international HEI students in the Turku vicinity and the aim with the events are to give information about the Finnish labour market and the culture how to apply for a job or be entrepreneurial in Finland. The working in Finland –events are normally organized by the Universities’ Career Services and Student Unions in Turku. More info can be found at the “Working in Finland” FB-page.
Labour-market centered info-events for international students
These are sporadically organized by the Career Services units of the HEI:s but can also be arranged by a subject, an alumni organization or other institution. These can range from in-house experts sharing their expertise or external labour-market professionals who visits the campuses to share their insight to direct employer presentations. Usually these events are marketed at the Career Services web-pages.
Employer visits are sporadically organized by different institutions in Turku, mainly by the Student Unions and Turku Business Region. Employer visits are usually carried out in groups of 10-20 students, and gives a good insight into what employers value and in a best-case scenario also gives a possibility to find a future employer.
Info events and employer visits are suitable for everyone throughout your studies. Here it is more about the content of the event/visit, is it something you are interested in your potential working field? It is however good to remember that your expertise might be needed in a field that you do not necessarily consider your own. Also, it is good to remember to check the possibilities on the market in good time, and not only leave these opportunities to get the “lay-of-the land” to the last minute just before you graduate. For the more entrepreneurial mind-setted these events and visits also offer a good way to get to know the market, even if you are not interested in the event/visit with the purpose to get employed.
Internship/thesis assignments/summer job offers
There are many portals where you can find job offers, internship positions, thesis assignments etc. Most HEI:s have a site where you can find these offers, the Aarresaari-portal in particular is specifically targeted at those studying or graduated from an academic institution. Apart from these listed below, there are a lot of private job-portals that you can find yourself on the net.
- Job adds for UTU students
- Job adds for ÅAU students
- Public employment and business services
- Jobs in the government
Self-study info & videos
You can find different info-packages concerning how to live and work in Finland. These can be very useful for getting to know the local (work)culture as well as legal and practical issues.
These resources can be of great use for anyone, regardless what you study and where you plan to do in the future, even if focus here are on the Finnish working life.
Groups and organizations
There are of course a lot of different groups and organizations in Turku with work-life related services for international Students, a few of them listed here below.
- University of Turku
- Åbo Akademi University
- Turku University of Applied Sciences
- NOVIA University of Applied Sciences
University related organizations