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Finnish/Scandinavian applicants

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I was wondering if there are any Scandinavian people around. It would be interesting to discuss and compare stats and the application process in general.

I'm from Finland and I'm applying to a couple of PhD programs in the US. There aren't that many Finns studying in the US, which is why I'm not sure how experienced universities are for instance in grade conversions, etc. According to WES, a Finnish 3/5 more or less translates into an American 3/4, but I'm not sure if universities refer to WES or other similar services when converting grades (after all, 60 % sounds a lot worse than 75 %, doesn't it).

Also, if somebody has any questions related to studying in Finland (it's free, after all!:)), I'd be happy to try to answer them.

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Da ist Norge..?


I don't even know if that's spelled right.. but in general asking Americans if they're of some heritage anywhere in the world is going to get a "yes" from someone in the group. We're mutts, proud mutts, who might only know of krumkaker and yulekaker and that's about it. 


As for your questions.. the folks at the schools will have whatever method they feel is apt for converting. You can always just write them and ask. We're a very informal country, you're not stepping on toes to get information and there's not very much heirarchy in who is allowed to speak to whom (which exists in many other cultures.)


Remember that applications are often more holistic and not based solely on academic scores. Being an appealing person with something about you that's interesting along with an obvious drive to succeed goes a long way. Don't confuse the American colleges with the Brittish - where outright ambition is frowned upon. We love ambition.


Your english seems more than passable. That's more than can be said for a lot of foreign applicants.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Im Norwegian/ Swedish and applying for masters degrees. My understanding is that grade conversions are a tricky thing. I think for example it far easier for a Swede to get a great GPA than a Norwegian (I have been to uni in both countries) simply because of the scale they use for grade translations. No idea how it works in Finland though!

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, I'm an Australian studying for a PhD in Economics in Lund. I'm applying to the US as a visiting PhD student, and wondering if anyone has any tip for sending money to the US? The US school wants a check/international money order addressed to that university and sent together with the rest of my paper application, and checks don't seem to be very common in Sweden (eg the Western Union office could only do transfers to a US account number, and cannot just produce a check addressed to the university).


Thanks in advance!

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Ha coincidence, I used to coordinate the econ PhD programme in Lund. Hope youre enjoying it.


Sweden completely discontinued money orders in 2009. Can you see if the school has an account with IBAN code that you can transfer to? Otherwise you might have to get creative- send the money to someone in another country who can send a money order from there or something?

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Oh that's cool :) Yeah I'm really enjoying it, I think we have a nice atmosphere and working condition in Lund :)


Ok looks like I'll have to get it sent from the US somehow. Thanks for the tip, good to know that money orders are definitely out (saves me visiting several more banks in vain).


Good luck for your Masters application!

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