Student Stories

Emma is a first year student in the Swedish-speaking class teacher education. 

Emma has always been certain that she wants to become a teacher. She applied to the Finnish-speaking Teacher Education at the University of Helsinki twice before there was a chance to study in her own mother tongue. When Emma applied for the third time, a new Swedish-speaking Teacher Education was about to start for the first time at the University of Helsinki. She got in at the first attempt. It was clear for Emma that she wanted to stay in Helsinki and she didn't want to apply elsewhere. 

- Helsinki is the best university in Finland and the University of Helsinki is ranked high on the lists, Emma says.

The Swedish-speaking class teacher education started in autumn in 2016. Therefore, there are only 37 students in their first year of studies at the moment. In the small student community everyone knows, motivates and helps each other.  Emma has been very happy to notice that there is a lot of cooperation between the Finnish- and Swedish-speaking students and in the future there will be even more. Emma believes that this cooperation is also important in maintaining the bilingual society. 

- We are colleagues after all. In the future as well, Emma says.  

Emma wants to work with things that are important for her and others. She believes that a teachers have a good possibility to participate in creating a better society. Emma had previously worked as a school assistant for two years. Therefore, she's already familiar with working in schools. 

Returning to study after a few years of working has been a challenge for Emma. However, according to Emma the studies have been just challenging enough. Even though Emma has only studied for four months, she has been able to observe and even to hold their own class. 

"What has really surprised me the most is how well I've actually managed!"

The best part about studying is meeting new people and discussing with many different people. She enjoys speaking about academic themes with likeminded people.

Emma likes the fact that the class teacher education also opens up also many other opportunities as well as a career in teaching. Even though Emma has always wanted to teach she is now also open for other opportunities. She could also see herself as working as a headmaster for example or at the Finnish National Board of Education. 

The Faculty of Educational Sciences offers a lot of opportunities to learn and network also outside of studies. Emma believes that it is important to be active in different student functions.

Emma wants to give one piece of advice to new students: Don't just study! There are so many things to do in the University alongside studies that will also be useful for your future.


Jesse is a second year student in kindergarten teacher education.

Jesse previously studied cultural history at the University of Turku. However, during his first year of studying he started to rethink his choice of study. Jesse wanted a more practical career where he could work closely with people and considered becoming a class teacher or a kindergarten teacher. At the time he was living above a kindergarten which helped him to choose his study track. By observing the daily routines of the kindergarten he became more interested in the job and working as a kindergarten teacher started to seem like a natural choice. 

From his friends Jesse had heard many good things about Helsinki as a student city and about the Faculty of Educational Sciences. His friends had praised the facilities, community and the quality of teaching, and Jesse has been very happy with his choice to come here. 

The motivated and friendly students and the professional and enthusiastic teachers are the best thing about Jesse's studies. He finds that the most challenging thing has been to find the study methods that work for himself. -Everyone learns quite quickly what works for themselves, though!

The studies are an interesting combination of arts and crafts, practical learning and important theoretical studies. - The practices at field kindergartens have reaffirmed the thought that this is the right career for me, Jesse says.

"It is great to be a part of this group!"

Jesse advises that it is worth being active right from the beginning. The active subject organisations offer many things to do. Jesse advises that you should be active from the first moment. - Your own student group is the community that will carry you through the studies even if you're struggling. It's also the community that will support you in the work life, he wants to remind. 


Sanni is a second year student in general and adult education.

When Sanni was younger, she always wanted to become a teacher. During her gap year, however, she became even more interested in general and adult education. She was still very interested in educational sciences, and the field of general and adult education offered widely different career opportunities. Still Sanni has been very surprised of how broad and varied the field of general and adult education actually is. She even says that she was "mindblown" during her first year of studying. 

The most challenging aspect of the studies has been how to manage her time. Being active at student organisations keeps her especially busy. However, that has enabled her to get to know many different people, which has been one of the best things about studying education. 

- The student community at the Faculty of Educational Sciences is open and warm. My own year group is especially warmhearted and lovely.

Sanni finds it difficult to find only one memorable moment, but there were many events to remember especially during the first year of studies. 

"The whole time of studying here has been the most memorable time of my life"

Student organisations offer many trainings that are useful for working in the future. Sanni says that she has learned a lot in the training sessions. 

Sanni believes that the best advice she can give to a new student is to be active in student organisations and other functions. If you are interested in internationalization, the faculty offers many opportunities. Sanni encourages anyone to get involved in different activities to do with internationalisation, such as tutoring international students or participating different events.