Study in Finland
When it comes to top-quality education, Finland is one of the first countries that comes to mind. A Nordic country with a population of 5.54 million in 2020, Finland has succeeded in not only keeping up with educational progress, but also excelling at setting a global standard.
A member of the European Union and home to 35 higher education institutions, Finland is a good choice for students from around the world. An egalitarian society where knowledge and lifelong learning are highly valued, Finland offers a great social setting to foster your learning and personal growth.
For an international student, life in Finland is enhanced by the convenience offered by high-level infrastructure and technology, the security of living in one of the safest countries in the world, and the enjoyment offered by the nature with four distinct seasons that all have their unique flavor.
Finland is one of the most environment-conscious countries in the world, and as a result, almost everyone is participating in ways to be eco-friendly. Nature is an integral part of the Finnish way of life for a very simple reason: it is everywhere.
In Finland, bustling city life meets peaceful nature scenes within a walking distance. The towns and cities accommodate activities for all seasons, and provide plenty of opportunities for exploration or relaxation.
Higher education institutions are internationally-minded and there are over 400 English-speaking degree programmes available across the country. Largely state-funded, the institutions offer top quality teaching that is accessible to all. Campuses balance natural settings with high-tech facilities for all students to enjoy.
Being a student in Finland has many advantages. From high-tech labs to well-stocked libraries, university campuses are equipped with all the facilities that knowledge-hungry students need. A degree from one of the world-quality Finnish higher education institutions is your natural first step to paving the way for a great career in your field, whether it be academia or more practical sectors.
Why Study in Finland?
Finland is a human-scaled, cosy country, with cities and towns designed for people, not just cars. Rush-hours are a rarity.
Our higher education institutions are small enough to operate functionally and effectively. They are all internationally oriented with special regional features, and you can choose between very different study environments ranging from larger urban campuses to close-to-nature campuses.
Higher education institutions are highly autonomous, but largely funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Therefore the Ministry also closely oversees the quality of teaching. These efficiently managed institutions:
- react to the needs of the society, and business and industry in their curricula and teaching
- provide a wide range of high-quality programmes in English for exchange and degree students at all levels of education
- give their students transferrable skills on which they can build their future in academic fields and in the job market.
Trust and openness are important concepts in Finland, and getting networked at an early stage is the Finnish way. Here you can start getting connected with fellow international and Finnish students, organisations, and the working world already whilst studying your first courses. Often these networks and friendships last for the rest of your life.
- Over 400 Study Programmes in English Finnish institutions provide numeorus English-speaking degree programmes.Ranging from short courses as a part of an exchange programme or full degrees, you can find many study opportunities across all fields of education.
- Quality in research and education Our national policy underlines excellence on all levels of education, and Finnish institutions place great value on quality research and innovation. Most students in Finland consider higher education degrees a necessary step for establishing a solid foundation for their future careers.Thanks to their basic education and national entrance exams, Finnish students are highly motivated to study. Unlike in most countries, students also have a real influence on the quality of education. There is legislation in place that allows them exceptional influence in developing their institutions and studies together with their teachers.
- Excellent facilities for work and fun Studying at one of the higher education institutions in Finland comes with many perks.Well-equipped libraries offer comfortable spaces for productive study hours. In Finland, all students have the right to use the institutions libraries freely with a library card. As well as well stocked libraries , all higher education institutions provide their students free access to the internet. Also, municipal library services are open to all, and the basic services are normally free of charge.Cafés and common areas are busy social hubs where friends meet during study breaks. Various student clubs and organizations offer activities and outings for many different areas of interest. Sports facilities are widely available and used by international and local students alike.
- Well-organised country A solid infrastructure allows all of the public and private services to function smoothly. All registered persons living in Finland can rely on any of these services such as transportation, public and student healthcare, police and rescue services. Assistance with any of these services is always available and the opinions of the residents are valued. Our banking services are among the best in world: advanced, innovative and easy to use.
How to apply
The higher education system in Finland consists of two complementary sectors: universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS). The universities offer academic degrees on Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral level, whereas the UAS’s offer more practically oriented Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Both sectors offer a wide variety of degree courses available in English.
Visit www.studyinfinland.fi for more information!
How to apply
Applying to a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programme starts at www.studyinfo.fi. Eligibility and entry requirements, as well as the exact application period, are degree programme specific, so use the search function at www.studyinfo.fi to check these details.
Read more about how to proceed at www.studyinfinland.fi
Tuition fees and scholarships
Non-EU/EEA students in Finland are subject to tuition fees in English-taught Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. The universities also offer scholarship options for gifted non-EU/EEA students admitted into degree programmes with tuition fees. Each university has its own fee and scholarship system, but the annual fees vary between 5.000€ and 18.000€. Detailed scholarship information is available directly from the universities.
EU/EEA citizens do not have to pay any tuition fees.
Do you meet the English language requirements?
To study in Finland, you'll need an official English language certificate. To get one, you'll need to pass one of the popular international English tests. You can prepare for these tests on your own, or you can enrol in an English language preparation course; this type of courses are offered by many schools and other institutions worldwide.
Research & Careers in Finland
Doctoral studies and research
Are you interested in a Doctoral/PhD degree or a PhD-level visiting researcher period in Finland? Applications must be made directly to the universities. Some universities may accept doctoral study applications at all times, while others may have specific application periods. The universities all have their own Doctoral Admissions info pages, where you can find detailed information.
There are also Doctoral level scholarship schemes available.
Career & Working in Finland
You may be aiming for full-time employment in Finland, and already during your studies the Career Services of your Finnish university or UAS can help you get started by providing advice on how to look for jobs after graduation. As your graduation approaches, you may renew your residency permit up to one more year in order to stay and look for work in Finland.
Finding a part-time job in your field while you are still studying may act as a springboard to full-time employment. As a Nordic or EU/EEA national, you don’t need a special permit for working during your studies in Finland. As a non-EU/EEA citizen, you may work up to 25 hours per week unless it’s a full-time internship or trainee position.
Living in Finland
Let's take a closer look at the student life, tuition, and living expenses in Finland:
Student unions what are they?
In Finland, each higher education institution has a student union to look after students interests. When you get your Finnish student card, you become a member of your local student union.
The university student unions have a national umbrella organisation, the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL). Similarly, polytechnic students unions belong to the Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (SAMOK). Student union membership entitles you to a variety of student discounts and also, the student unions organise a lot of different activities you can take part in.
Student clubs and associations
On top of the student unions, which operate on a national and institutional level, your faculty or department probably has its own student club. In addition to that, there usually are several separate clubs and student associations that centre around some hobby, sport, or other interest. You will find information about these on your institutions noticeboards, from the student services, or your fellow students.
Tuition fees in Finland
Tuition fees at Finish universities vary on factors like the type of institution, student nationality, level of education (undergraduate, postgraduate), and so on. Public universities have the following tuition fee structure:
- 0 EUR/year for EU/EEA and Swiss students
- 5,000–18,000 EUR/year for non-EU/EEA students
- 0 EUR/year for PhD programmes for all international students
Private universities usually have higher tuition fees and might not differentiate between EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students.
Learn more about tuition and living costs in Finland.
Finns are friendly people who make for reliable and trustworthy friends. By living and studying in Finland, you will get to experience the easy-going lifestyle that comes along with the high standards of living.
Cost of Living
The average monthly living expenses for a student in Finland are approximately 700–900 EUR. This may vary a bit, depending on your study location in Finland – for example, accommodation and other living costs may be higher in the Helsinki metropolitan area and other cities.
Student accommodation in Finland, for both exchange and degree students, is usually organised by established student housing foundations. Many towns and municipalities also have dormitories maintained by the municipal community or the educational institution.
Read about student accommodation in Finland: https://www.studyinfinland.fi/life-finland/accommodation
Public transport is very well organised in Finland, and students receive a special discount that makes commuting affordable. It is not necessary to have your own car while living in the big Finnish cities.
Regulations & Advice
The essential things
Once you have received a study placement in Finland, whether for exchange studies, a complete degree programme or a research period, there are several practical things you need to start arranging beforehand, well in advance of your arrival. First and foremost, please make sure you have a realistic plan concerning the financing of your study period in Finland. This is very important, not only because of the financial requirements in connection with your student residence permit, but for your own financial security. Non-EU/EEA citizens should have a realistic plan on how they cover their annual tuition fees. Also, keep in mind that you will need to cover your everyday living expenses independently.
Remember to reserve enough time to complete all the necessary formalities such as obtaining a passport, arranging your residence permit and insurance.
After your arrival, you can ask for assistance in all practical issues from your hosting Finnish institution or student union. If you have any questions or are in doubt about some practical matter concerning your life in Finland as a student please do not hesitate to ask for help from the International Office of your hosting Finnish university, your student union, or your fellow students.
Visa and student residence permit
Non-EU/EEA students need a student residence permit. After you receive your official letter of acceptance, you can begin the student residence permit application online at Enterfinland.fi. Remember that you must personally visit a Finnish embassy or consulate as part of this process. Start your residence permit process as soon as possible, carefully following the immigration authorities' instructions and regulations, so that you can receive your permit in good time before your studies begin!
You can find detailed information and advice on the residence permit requirements and procedures on the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) website https://migri.fi/en/studying-in-finland
After your graduation, you may apply for an extension of your residence permit to look for work or start a business.
Finland is a country situated in Northern Europe and joins Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Norway to make up the Nordic countries. Finland is an EU member country since 1995 and a parliamentary republic with the government located in the capital city of Helsinki. Finland is home to 5.54 million inhabitants. Most of the population is concentrated in the Southern parts of the country in the biggest cities such as Helsinki, Tampere, and Turku. Finland is ranked as one of the top 5 countries in the world with the highest standards of living and equality. The Finnish welfare state is commendable for its upkeep of all its residents’ well-being.
Finland is often referred to as the land of the midnight sun or the land of a thousand lakes, and our nature and seasonal traditions attract tourists from around the globe all year round. With varying temperatures throughout the year, Finland experiences all seasons in their own unique way. Winters are all about snow, ice skating, skiing and hot chocolate, whereas spring sees the force of life awaken in nature. Summers are for picnics with friends and enjoying sauna followed by a dip in a nearby lake, and autumn paints its myriad of colors on the turning leaves as you go mushroom hunting in the woods.
Universities, colleges and schools in Finland
- EIT Digital Summer School (1 Short course)
- LUT University (1 Short course)
How to Apply to a Master's in Finland
If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Finland, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
What documents do I need to provide to apply in Finland?
To apply to a university in Finland you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:
- birth certificate;
- recent photos;
- your passport or national identity card;
- one or more reference letters from past employers or teachers;
- copies of past diplomas or certificates, including your graduated Bachelor's degree;
- academic transcripts;
- letter of intent;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- Some form of proof that you can support your stay in the country during your studies.
Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.
The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in Finland so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.
Prove your English skills
Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.
Application deadlines for Finland
The deadlines for applying to a Master's in Finland are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.
To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.