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Abo Akademi University - Vasa Campus


Program Snapshot

Åbo Akademi University - Vasa campus specializes in research-based teacher education, providing an ideal location for students majoring in teaching-related fields or education. The city of Vasa overlooks the unique World Natural Heritage Site of Kvarken and is an important center for Finnish-Swedish culture, as most inhabitants speak both languages well. The Vasa campus is small and friendly with easy access to service and outdoor activities, and the location and university have been very highly rated by international students over the years.

Åbo Akademi University - Vasa campus is located in the city of Vasa, situated on the west coast of Finland with direct connections to Helsingfors (Helsinki) and Stockholm, Sweden. The region is one of the most innovative in Finland and an important center for Finnish-Swedish culture.

Vasa is a bilingual city - most inhabitants speak Finnish and Swedish well and use both languages in their everyday life. The city also has a lively university feel, as it is home to over 10,000 students attending its many institutions of higher education, including Vaasan Yliopisto (Vasa University), Vaasa University of Applied Sciences (VAMK), the Swedish School of Economics (Hanken) and Novia University of Applied Sciences.

For more information on Vasa, visit the City of Vasa website and click here to learn more about the Vasa Region.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate programs available for an academic year or semester

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.

Chance of Placement
Chance of placement for US students is generally Good.
Chance of placement for I-to-I students is generally Good.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

Program Dates
Academic year: September to May; Semester 1: September to December; Semester 2: January to May.

Fast Facts
Vasa, Finland (pop. 67,000)
Student Enrollment: 2,000
Language of instruction: English, Swedish
University Home Page
Courses in English
ISEP Finland

The Åbo Akademi University - Vasa campus fields of study are Developmental Psychology/Conflict Resolution, Pedagogy/ Education, Social Policy, Language Studies and Optional Studies.

Courses taught in English
Language Studies (Swedish, Finnish, English); Optional Studies (Winter Sports, Snow and Ice, Art); Pedagogy/Education (Pedagogical Leadership and Human Relations, Education and Society, Learning Disabilities, Content and Language Integrated Learning, Teaching Practice, Sustainable Lifestyle in Theory and Practice, Climate Change Education, Sports/Physical Education); Developmental Psychology/Conflict Resolution (Human Aggressive Behaviour, The Power of Nonviolence, Conflict Resolution in a Cross-Cultural Perspective, Peace Education, Media’s Role in Crisis, Conflict Studies: Theory and Methods; The Psychology of Evil, Nonkilling, Empowerment of Women, Domestic Violence: War in the Homes, School Psychology); and Social Policy (Finnish Social Policy, The Nordic Model of Welfare, The Complexity of Sustainable Development).

Academic Notes
The Åbo Akademi University - Vasa campus specializes in Education and Developmental Psychology/Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research. The university hosts approximately 2,000 students, most of whom major in teaching-related fields or education. Education and Developmental Psychology/Peace studies are particularly strong and recommended fields of study for ISEP students.

Courses in English for education majors can be combined with literature studies and practice. Accordingly, the 5 ECTS-credit teacher training practice at Vasa Teacher Training School is offered in English for grades 1-6 and pre-school, and also for grades 7-9. There is also an International Baccalaureate-track at the secondary school where courses are taught in English. These modules provide practice in addition to theory, helping students develop their professional skills. The training practice can be focused on subjects or areas of interest for the student, for example music, mathematics, language training, etc. Vasa Teacher Training School is a part of the Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies.

Courses are assessed by written essays and/or examinations at the end of the course. Examinations take place throughout the semester, as some courses only run for a few weeks. The typical course load is 4-6 classes per semester, equating to 8-12 class hours per week. The fall semester runs for approximately 16 weeks and the spring semester runs for approximately 21 weeks.

Language Notes
Language Courses: Beginner- to intermediate-level Swedish and Finnish

ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? Yes
Institutional TOEFL accepted? Yes
IELTS: 6.0
Other tests accepted: B2 or higher in Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages
English as a Foreign Language courses available? Yes, but not included in ISEP benefits.

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special Academic Conditions
I-to-I applicants: Please note that preference is given to students from institutions with which this institution does not have an Erasmus agreement.

Hints for Researching Courses
A complete list of courses taught in English can be found here. Look for the sections "Education and Welfare Studies (Vasa)" and "Other courses and programmes". In the course database, confirm that the courses of your choice are offered in Vasa. Please note that courses cannot be taken at both the Åbo and Vasa campus (except some web-based online courses), as they are situated far from one another.

Housing and Meals
Student housing is situated nearby, 1-2 km from campus. Students are housed in single rooms within a shared apartment with a shared kitchen and a private bathroom. Married/co-habitation student housing is available. Students receive a meal stipend to prepare their own meals or to purchase inexpensive meals at student cafeterias.

You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: fees not required of all participants (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month, including books, are estimated at: 250-330 Euros depending on personal spending habits.
Students do not usually need to purchase textbooks, as they are available at the university libraries.

Åbo Akademi University - Vasa Campus provides an orientation week, which includes activities such as a city and campus tour, information about studies, and personal one-on-one sessions. Students who want to be met at the airport or the train station are required to fill in the Pick-up Request, which is included in the Welcome package.

Student Activities
International students have many opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities through the many student organizations on campus. Students may also join the student choir. The international tutors also arrange programs and outdoor activities and can help you plan travel to nearby locales such as Lapland and Russia. There is also a staffed student union on campus (located in the two towers at the waterfront), with meeting rooms and computers.