For the International Student

Vaasa International Talents

Are you an international degree student at one of the higher education institutions in Vaasa?

Are you interested in getting your foot into the door of Finnish working life, but would appreciate some tools to enable that?

Then you might want to apply to the next round of the programme!

As an international degree student in Vaasa, you will be equipped with must-know facts about Finnish and local working life and its expectations on job applicants and employees.

The programme provides you with competence development knowledge and tools of different kinds. It further provides possibilities needed to develop Finnish working-life skills and to connect with companies and other actors within the region.

The aim is to help the students to integrate into the Finnish job market and establish themselves in the region after graduation.

Interested in knowing about the pilot round of the programme?

Students from University of Vaasa, VAMK University of Applied Sciences, Novia University of Applied Sciences, Åbo Akademi University and Hanken School of Economics participated in the pilot round of the programme.

Key Take-aways from Programme Participants

"Impactful programme, engaging speakers, and amazing fellow talents. All in all, a truly rewarding experience."

"I am thankful for the professional development that the programme provided me and for all the inspiring people I met during this period!"

"This is a great programme for international students to step into the Finnish working life. Many opportunities start here, and lovely people meet here."

"Thanks so much for this valuable program. I really enjoyed it, and appreciated all the efforts you put into it!"

“I am proud that I joined this program! It was the key for me to develop.”

“The programme turned out to be wonderful and exceeded my expectations.”

“It is a great initiative in Vaasa! I wish it had started much earlier.”

“Very beneficial programme for international students in Vaasa. Hoping for it to be long-term”.

"Great programme for networking"

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Photo credit: Tareque Mahmud

Competence development

  • Skills for Finnish working life part of the programme is common for all participants. It equips the participants with must-know facts about Finnish and local working life and its expectations of job applicants and employees. This part kicks off in early 2022 and continues during the spring term. It will include:
  • Guest lectures on different topics
  • Individual coaching
  • Feedback on your job application material
  • Simulation of a job interview
  • Group discussions
  • Assigned tasks that will support your personal and professional development

The time investment needed?

  • Typically, each lecture will be 2 hours in length and will be arranged on Wednesdays from 16:00 - 18:00. The estimated required time investment in the mandatory lectures and individual coaching is approx 20 hours. In addition, you will need to reserve time between sessions for keeping a journal of your learning and for work on your job application materials and other related assigned tasks. We wish this part of the programme to be interactive and iterative so that we can learn from each other. You are expected to participate in at least 80 per cent of the sessions.

Group or individual mentoring

  • This will be offered based on the indicated needs of the selected programme participants. Since the availability of mentors is a prerequisite, we cannot guarantee that all students’ wishes can be met. However, by actively participating in the mandatory part of the programme, you will get the tools and support to help you find your own mentors.

Connections to working life

The following activities will vary from participant to participant,

  • internships and partial funding for these
  • thesis work
  • job shadowing
  • company visits
  • other types of networking possibilities

We cannot guarantee that you will get any of these possibilities through the programme since they will be dependent on the needs and availability of the working life actors. What we can guarantee, however, is that by actively participating in the mandatory part of the programme, you will be able to find your own connections to working life actors. Amongst other things, if you manage to find yourself an internship position that fulfils certain criteria, the programme will financially partly support your internship salary.

For whom?

To be eligible, you need to

  • hold a valid residence permit in Finland or have a Finnish citizenship
  • be an international degree student in one of the following programmes, alternatively, you have graduated from any of the programmes since May 2021.

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 University of Vaasa

  • Master’s Degree Programme in Finance
  • Master’s Programme in Industrial Management
  • Master’s Degree Programme in International Business
  • Master’s Programme in Industrial System Analytics
  • Master’s Programme in Smart Energy
  • Master’s Programme in Strategic Business Development



VAMK University of Applied Sciences

  • International Business, Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Information Technology, Bachelor of Engineering
  • Project Management, Master of Engineering
  • International Business Management, Master of Business Administration



Novia University of Applied Sciences

  • Bachelor of Health Care, Nursing
  • Bachelor of Beauty and Cosmetics, Beauty Care
  • Master of Business Administration, Digital Business and Management
  • Master of Engineering, Automation Technology
  • Master of Engineering, Industrial Management and Engineering
  • Double Degree Programme in Energy Technology



 Åbo Akademi University


  • Master’s Degree Programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research
  • Master’s Degree Programme in Teaching and Learning
  • Master’s Degree Programme in Advanced Practice Nursing



 Hanken School of Economics 


  • Master’s Degree Programme in Marketing and Management.

When and how to Apply?

Please check the first section above, under Instructions: How To Apply


  • 25 students will be selected to the programme.
  • Seats will be reserved for students from each higher education institution.
  • The programme reserves the right to select the participants.
  • The final selections will be made within December. All applicants to the programme will be informed once the selections have been completed.
  • Please note that incomplete applications will be discarded.

What we expect from you

We expect the selected participants to

  • attend at least 80 per cent of the “Competence development – Skills for Finnish working life” sessions
  • keep a learning journal throughout the programme. At the end of the programme this journal will include your personal reflections and insights related to what you learn during the lectures, discussions and coaching sessions, etc.
  • complete other related tasks, such as work on their job application materials
  • actively contribute to learning from each other by sharing questions, insights, lessons learned and best practices etc. with the other participating students, companies and other working life actors
  • actively network with the other students in the programme.

At the end of the programme, you will go through your learning portfolio in an individual review meeting with a coach.

As you know, the COVID situation keeps living. Therefore, please note that employers might require a COVID certificate.


You can also contact

University of Vaasa: Sami Ilomäki - Specialist

VAMK UAS: Francis Oyeyiols - Talent Coach

Åbo Akademi University: Charlotta Wendelin - Project Planner

Hanken School of Economics: Henna Konsti  -Career Coordinator

Novia UAS: Pia Jünger - Project Manager +358 504782005

Please also check out our website:

All programme participants will at the end of the programme receive a certificate of participation which can be used as future reference.

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