”Opiskelen joka päivä vaikka on raskasta.” Monikielisten korkeakouluopiskelijoiden kuvauksia suomenkielisissä tutkinto-ohjelmissa opiskelusta

“I study every day even if it is hard.” Multilingual higher education students’ descriptions of studying in Finnish-medium degree programmes



korkeakoulu, tutkinto-ohjelmat, suomen kieli, monikieliset opiskelijat, pärjääminen


Higher education students with a multilingual background are a small but growing group in Finnish-language degree programmes. In this article, we present the results of the first phase of our longitudinal study in which we use written descriptions and qualitative thematic analysis to examine these students’ experiences of coping in higher education in relation to their Finnish language skills. The data consist of the responses of 261 students to a web survey, with a focus on the students’ written descriptions of coping with their studies. Five main themes emerged in the data: 1) the overload caused by the feeling that studying takes a lot of time, 2) the independence of studying in academia and its consequences, 3) the effects of the progress of studies and the language proficiency level on the perceptions of coping, 4) comparing oneself to what we call here cis-speakers of Finnish language, and 5) the psychosocial burden of studying in Finnish. In addition, we present students’ experiences of receiving support for studying in Finnish.