The beginning of a scientific career (part 2)

    The second part of the Beginning will be devoted to how you can "merge" into the structure of a foreign university at the bachelor's or master's program.

    Before proceeding to the main block, I want to clarify the main message of the previous part a little. A person who is going to pursue a career as a scientist in Russia probably guesses that his salary will be lower than that of his colleagues from Germany or the USA. But not everyone knows that our scientific process in most cases is separated from the "global" one (of course, there are striking exceptions, but we don’t live under the Iron Curtain). I do not say now whether it is good or bad. Just this fact must be known and taken into account.

    Now let's go further.


    Since we are talking about the "beginning" of a career, let's start from the beginning, that is, from entering the university after school. Immediately make a reservation, I'm not a great specialist in this matter, but I can tell you some interesting things.

    Firstly, there is a general rule: the lower the level, the more “political” factors are involved in the process. If you already have a PhD degree, you can try to break through at least at MIT, at least at the Sorbonne. The main thing is to have a good resume. If we are talking about entering the first year, the mere fact of considering the case of a person who has graduated from a foreign school is not guaranteed. It all depends on the university and on the country.

    Secondly, the "primary higher" education is very different in different countries. Somewhere it costs money (USA), but somewhere it’s completely free, and they also pay a scholarship so that there is enough money for life (Finland).

    Since I studied in Finland myself (although not on the bachelor's program), I will talk about how things are here.

    It may seem surprising, but an application for free education at a Finnish university can be submitted by anyone who graduates from school no matter where and who the state is not a citizen. If successful, the student will be issued an invitation to the country. As far as I know, non-citizens are not paid a scholarship, but a student (even a foreigner) has an official right to earn extra money, and this, in principle, can save.

    Why didn’t half of the world run for such a freebie? Firstly, contests are quite difficult. And secondly (though, probably, firstly) the Great Terrible Finnish Language protects the country no worse than the Great Wall of China. Far not everyone can study Finnish at the university :) On the other hand, there are plenty of students from neighboring Karelia (where there are schools with in-depth study of Finnish).

    However, he who seeks will find it. For example, North Karelian University of Applied Sciences (formerly Polytechnic) offers two bachelor's programs in English - “international business” and “design” (see Education menu). Education, again, is free.

    Apparently, similar programs exist in other universities, and not only in Finland. In the end, the aforementioned Polytech is a rather modest educational institution (they do not even have master's programs, only bachelor's degrees) and do not represent anything supernatural.

    As bonuses - all the social charms of the Bologna Convention, which I mentioned. Even the bachelor's program includes trips to other countries, exchanges, internships ... Moreover, the “outgoing” student acquires the right to a scholarship, even if he is a foreigner :) These are the paradoxes. You can find fault with the quality of education, but the experience of local student life is very interesting.

    They asked me in PM about the documents. There are no general rules, you need to read the specific requirements on the website of a particular university. You need to be mentally prepared for TOEFL (they ask not everywhere, but very often), for some composition on a given topic (“why I want to study here”) and for a school certificate translated into English.


    students with a bachelor's degree are allowed to graduate. Pretty vague wording, right? :) In practice, the following assumptions are reasonable:

    1) Our "specialist" is generally equated to their master. If anyone argues otherwise, I can advise a magic office, which for little money can make a beautiful certificate attesting to your correctness. I did not use their services myself, I did not have to.
    2) Our bachelor corresponds to their bachelor, our master corresponds to their master.
    3) Our specialist, having studied for four years, can be equated with their bachelor if the host institution agrees to this. In my case, agreed; the host institution’s awareness of our system, formal rules and positive past experience of accepting our students decide everything :)

    You can safely add a summary to the list of required documents, as well as a “study record”, that is, an extract from the gradebook.

    Free master's education is also possible. I would even say that the higher the level, the more places you can enter (for example, there are even more graduate programs). The logic here is simple: the state pays universities for graduates. To take our bachelor and in two years to make a master from it is the right thing (the student already has experience of training, travels specifically to study, is motivated, and even limited by visa in time). As an example, I can point out the native program IMPIT (until recently, everyone still paid a good scholarship on it). I also know about the programs in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland.

    I repeat, education is usually free, there is a chance (albeit not the largest) to get a scholarship, study in English. (The situation in Switzerland is slightly different - education is paid there, but at the same time you can apply for a grant to cover all expenses).

    As you can see, I write quite succinctly because I wanted to talk more about a scientific career, and not about studying at a university. Still, even a magistracy is not a scientific level yet :) But since I’ve taken it, I’ll finish it. Probably worth mentioning a few more things:

    - Our education was “Bologna” in a good way: there are few required courses, many courses to choose from. At the same time, it was necessary to gain a certain amount of “credit points” in two years. Each course “costs” a certain amount of credits. The answer to the theme of “wavelets or HTML”: a wavelet course with us would cost much more than an HTML course. In addition, the course on HTML, most likely, in principle, would not "pull" to the master's level, i.e. could only be defended in undergraduate studies. A really small university cannot offer too many different courses, so either you have to take almost everything (to earn enough loans), or take courses at other universities, since many are allowed to take courses remotely, or ask for additional coursework from teachers (this is also widely practiced) .

    - Even if there are few world-class teachers at the university, at least world-class textbooks are usually taken. For example, we studied artificial intelligence from a beautiful book by Russell and Norwig , and databases from brick by Ullmann and others .

    - A question with hostels and movements. Such terrible hostels, as in Russia, are nowhere to be found. And all because a different scheme is used. The student is allocated a monetary subsidy for housing, in principle, sufficient to rent a small room or apartment in the private sector. At the same time, there are special student houses (in our opinion “hostels,” I don’t want to use the word), where the cost of rent is slightly lower, but not catastrophically lower. Student houses are indirectly owned by a university or state. Thus, the student usually settles with other students (both cheaper and more fun), and the state receives its subsidy back. But if such housing looks like a cesspool, the money goes to the private sector, and the management of the department for the maintenance of student houses have to think hard :)

    Perhaps I will end there. Next time we will talk about graduate school and the scientific process :)

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