Finland Scholarship paved the way to Oulu for Finance major Ailar Ghorbani

Receiving the Finland Scholarship changed Ailar Ghorbani's mind about her study destination, and she enrolled in the Finance Master's programme at the University of Oulu. According to Ghorbani and her husband, coming to Finland has been one of the best decisions ever.
A woman wearing a red cardigan is leaning to her hands and smiling. Behind her opens a view from Tellus Linnanmaa to the central lobby.

Meet a Finland Scholarship recipient

Ailar Ghorbani had been working for seven years in one of the Iranian investment markets and had a Master's in finance already under her belt when she felt the pull to study more about international markets and maybe pursuing a doctorate. She looked at North American and European study opportunities and then started paying closer attention to a country up north, Finland.

”I was reading about the different countries and cultures when deciding where to apply. I have a friend who lives in Oulu and so I had access to first-hand experiences about living and studying in Finland”, Ghorbani says.

Oulu won over

Ailar conversed with her husband and said that she had a good feeling about Finland and really liked this option better than the others. She says that when she was accepted into a doctoral thesis programme in the U.S. and into a Master's programme in Oulu, there was a little disagreement between the two of them about where to go. After she found out she had received the Finland Scholarship for her studies in Oulu, the decision became that much easier.

”When I received the scholarship, I changed my mind about America. The grant helped us to immigrate and it has helped us with living costs. It is a really great addition and excellent motivation. And now my husband says that coming to Finland has been one of the best decisions we've ever made!”, Ghorbani says.

Settling in with a good attitude

Gharboni enrolled in the Finance Master's programme at the University of Oulu and has been enjoying her first semester and the course content. She says she got used to the rhythm of things fairly quickly and appreciates how the staff seems to go out of their way to help the students, if there are any questions.

Settling in Oulu was fairly easy, she says, as she had a pretty good idea of the place beforehand from her friend and her own research. Still, there have been some pleasant surprises.

Ghorbani says that going further in her studies to pursuing a PhD is still something she sees happening in the future, and it might happen in Finland.

”I think there are many options for me. Maybe I will find a great job here or maybe I will find a suitable position to continue my studies after my Master's.”

”I thought people would be more reserved but I find that they are very welcoming. They are a bit shy, though. They will apologise and say that they speak only a little English when they actually speak very well. It's like when Finns keep saying bad things about the weather and the winter and it seems so scary when it isn't at all. You just wear more clothes”, Ghorbani says with a laugh.

Text and photos by Janne-Pekka Manninen

Finland Scholarship nurtures talents

Finland Scholarships are awarded to the best applicants from non-EU/EEA countries who apply for international master’s programmes at the University of Oulu. The scholarships cover the first-year tuition fee and contain a relocation grant of 5 000 € .

Ready to join us?

Next application period for international programmes will take place on 3-17 January 2024 for studies starting in autumn 2024.

Applications are made online at . Please indicate your willingness to apply for the Finland Scholarship when you fill in the online application form.