I arrived in Turku almost five years ago, in august 2013. Since then, I have been both an exchange student and a degree student. After all this time, I still love Turku and today I just want to share why I think Turku is a perfect city for students.
Ok, ok, Turku can’t rival big metropolis in terms of nightlife, events of all kinds, etc. Turku is also too big to be considered a town. However, it combines the best of the two in many ways.
With about 180,000 inhabitants, Turku can provide all the services needed for one’s everyday life, and more. There are plenty of charming little pubs, as well as a satisfactory number of clubs. The choice of restaurants is excellent, and there are plenty of events, particularly during the summer. Turku even hosts a gigantic music festival every summer! (Ruisrock).
On the other hand, Turku isn’t as intimidating as other big metropolis in Europe. Even compared to Helsinki, Turku feels like a calm and relax city, where one can stroll around in peace. Turku also has an excellent public transportation system, which allows one to explore the city and its surroundings.
Though I agree that connections with other European cities are limited, Turku still enjoys an excellent position to visit other places. Its direct ferry connection with Stockholm is perfect for a weekend trip in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The cheap flights to Gdansk are also an opportunity to visit another of Europe’s historical cities.
More than that, Turku is sitting just next to the archipelago, which is both unique and gorgeous. And even though this point is common to most Finnish cities, Turku’s proximity to the countryside makes it very easy to get some fresh air by hiking in the forest in Kurjenrahka, or swimming in Ruissalo.
3. The Student Village
Since you are reading this on TYS’ website, I won’t pretend I’m not biased, but still, I think the student village is a wonderful thing. The concentration of the student population makes it the perfect setting to meet and hang out with fellow students. After my first year in Turku, I had to go back to Canada to continue my studies, and this aspect of student life in Turku was probably the one I missed the most.
Having your friends within a 2-3km radius is simply awesome!
With at leas four different universities (University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, Turku University of Applied Sciences, and Novia), Turku offers plenty of choice for students. In fact, university students make up a bit more than fifteen percent of Turku’s population.
In addition to this, the numerous student associations, such as ESN for exchange students, create a very dynamic atmosphere.
The famous Posankka, or Pigduck.
A Student City
Altogether, it’s pretty easy to argue that Turku is a good place to be a student. Yes, it could be closer to the ferry to Tallinn, but Turku has a lot to offer.
Let me know what you think: why is Turku as great student city, or why do you disagree?
Living in Finland for more than three years, Michel is a Canadian student who is now completing his master’s degree in ÅAU. His interests are quite diversified and include ice hockey, history, fishing, as well as many other things. He is also a member of the student ambassador network of South-West Finland.