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WTF? Why is there no career counselling for international students?

University of Tampere Career Services offers counselling services for employers and for students and graduates of the University of Tampere, but only in Finnish.

Kaisa Lammi, head of the Career Services, why are your services not available to international students?

"I wouldnÂ’t put it that strongly; we do serve foreign students. But with limited resources, we havenÂ’t been able to open our career counselling to international students in full extent. But itÂ’s not like we turn international students from our door."

If you offer services in English, why does the Career Services website state that services are only available in Finnish?

"So we donÂ’t send out the wrong message to international students. The needs of international students are more complex than the services Finnish students require. For now, we donÂ’t have the resources to fully service international students. The general principle at the University is, of course, to offer both Finnish and international students the same services."

According to studies, international students think finding employment is one of the biggest problems they encounter in Finland.

"The greatest challenge is to make Finnish employers understand how great a resource an international graduate student could be for them as an intern or an employee. Many employers turn down qualified international applicants just because they donÂ’t know Finnish."

Why are the Career ServicesÂ’ resources for serving international students limited?

"If we provided services in English, we would have to leave some other services unattended. The question some international students ask is "Can you find me a job?" That is not the kind of service we offer, neither for Finnish nor for international students. Instead, we try to support students in orienting towards work life at an earlier stage in their studies. We give guidance to students so they can find work for themselves.

We are planning to launch counselling services in English in co-operation with other higher education institutions of the Pirkanmaa region, but whether that happens depends on the rectors of the institutions giving a go-ahead for the project."

Samuli Huttunen

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Sivujen ulkoasu: Seppo Honkanen

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