What a difference…

When I moved to Finland to study in the summer of 2000, 8.35 Mexican pesos used to buy one euro (the Finnish markka, still legal tender, was already pegged to the euro, and transition to banknotes would happen one and a half years later).  A non-EU student like me needed to show he had 30,000 markka (5,045 euro or 42,000 pesos of August 2000) for his living expenses for the year in order to be granted a residence permit.  I had to sell my car and got some help from my parents to reach that sum, but it seemed a better proposition than continuing studying at a private university where the tuition per half year cost 50,000 pesos (5,990 euro or 35,600 markka of August 2000).  Furthermore, I didn’t need to pay tuition in Finland.

Today’s rate is 19.1 pesos per euro.  Furthermore, a non-EU student now has to demonstrate that he/she has 6,000 euro every year in order to be given a residence permit, so my present-day equivalent would need to get 114,000 pesos every year to be allowed to come to Finland to study (a 271% increase in almost 9 years!).  The Finnish Parliament is also evaluating the possibility of adding tuition fees for non-EU students.

I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t expect many Mexican students coming here anytime soon.  I guess it was a matter of timing.

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