Part of the reputed University of the Arts Helsinki, the Sibelius Academy stands as Finland’s top provider of higher education in music. Set in the vibrant seaside capital of Helsinki – the largest and most populous city in the Finnish region – students here thrive off a tailor-made education dedicated to the art of music, fuelled by a passion found in one of the world’s most elegant urban spaces.
This institution served as a starting block for many influential international musicians; from Esa -Pekka Salonen, the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor to London’s Philharmonic Orchestra and globally-recognised composer; to Kaija Saariaho, the acclaimed Finnish composer; and Osmo Vänskä, Musical Director of the Minnesota Orchestra for more than a decade. As soon as you set foot in this hub of creative innovation, you join a legacy of music virtuosos known and celebrated in every corner of the globe.
“My time at the academy has really opened my eyes to the working methods and artistic variation that comes with the nationality and habitat of a musician, something that I had really underestimated… I’ve performed at or worked on professional projects as part of festivals, concerts, competitions, seminars and various other events in Helsinki and around Finland during my studies… To be offered such big opportunities on such a regular basis is lovely,” the student concludes.
As an institution ranked within the global Top 10 for Performing Arts, this specialised education knows no bounds. Hosting a community of creatives 1,400 strong, SibA represents one of the largest music schools in Europe, elevating artistic expertise and academic prowess in near enough equal measure.
The academy provides nine distinct programmes at both Bachelor- and Master-level, including:
- Classical Music Performance (Major Instrument or Voice)
- Composition and Music Theory
- Folk Music
- Global Music
- Music Technology
- Church Music (Bachelor only available in Finnish or Swedish)
- Music Education
Admittance to the school at Bachelor level incorporates automatic progression to Master level, without students having to go through a separate admissions process. Students love the flexibility of a SibA degree, customising an already prestigious education to fall in line with their future goals.
“I wanted to study arts management in a school with an amazing reputation that included internships and professional programmes inside the programme – and it all had to be taught in English. I couldn’t find that anywhere else in Europe,” says Susan Togra, an Arts Management student, originally from Ecuador.
“The curriculum is just so well designed,” she adds. “You can literally build your own degree to best benefit your professional goals. You can even take courses from other universities. We have a ton of great international teachers that very much encourage us to think for ourselves, and we learn a lot through discussions and reflection.”
This education would not be complete without high-end facilities to match. As one of three reputed operators of the Helsinki Music Centre – a visionary concert venue set in the heart of the city – SibA students have unparalleled links to the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, both established partners of the academy itself. There are also two more SibA buildings nestled in the city, set in walking distance from the campus itself; one of which was newly-renovated in 2014, while both come fully-equipped with the most cutting-edge facilities.
On top of the exceptional education on offer, there are many perks for non-native students studying at SibA, as well as in Finland at large. Ranked the safest country on Earth by the 2018 Travel Risk Map, international students will also be pleased to note that here they will be treasured and admired, enjoying a range of benefits that almost seem too most to be true…
Well, you had better believe it, because all students studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at a Finnish university are entitled to use the Finnish Student Healthcare Service, which offers general healthcare, dental and mental health provisions.
Your studies in this country also entitle you to a 30-50 percent discount in cultural venues and on public transport services. And with hot lunches being served at many student cafeterias in Helsinki for just €2.60, every spare penny can be saved for the quest to quench your wanderlust thirst.
But wait! There’s more; here at SibA, EU/EEA students pay absolutely no rate for tuition. Yes – you read that right: as an overseas student at SibA, you will not pay tuition. Non-EU/EEA students must submit a fee of €5,000 per year, the academy has launched a scholarship system to help cover the cost. SibA’s world-class education remains accessible and affordable for everyone, regardless of where you are from.
“I think Finland is the perfect place to study,” adds Susan. “It’s very safe and the Finnish education system is renowned for a reason. Just be open-minded – it’s a great experience!
“My time here has been everything I thought it would be and more,” she concludes. “I didn’t really choose Finland; I chose the Sibelius Academy.”
For more information on their open admissions go to www.uniarts.fi/en/apply-to-sibelius-academy