Study in Finland
Finland is located in northern Europe between our neighbors Sweden, Norway and Russia. We are part of the European Union and a unique member of the Nordic family. But Finland and Finns are different. The Arctic climate gave us guts - or 'sisu' as we call it.
We always look for a practical solution, turning potential setbacks into steps forward. Finns are strong believers in equality and education. Our higher education system is one of the best in the world with great international connections, low hierarchies, and academic freedom.
Studying in Finland is not just about the studies. It is a chance to make friends, build networks, and experience something new. Finland is a safe country where things work and nature is always close by. English is our third, unofficial language.
Finland is looking for thinkers with a mind of their own. If you want to stand out, don’t do what everyone else does. Instead, improve your potential and prospects: Study in Finland.
- Live in the most peaceful and sustainable country in the world (Fragile States Index 2016)
- Study in the best higher education and training system in the world (World Economic Forum 2015)
- Live in the healthiest ecosystem in the world (Environmental Performance Index 2016)
- Breathe the third cleanest air in the world (World Health Organization 2016)
- Improve your skills in the most innovative country in the world (World Economic Forum 2015)
Students love it here! (Student Satisfaction Report 2015)
Document Checklist for Study Abroad
- Passport photo
- Photocopy of valid passport
- Photocopy of valid visa
- Personal ID card
- Health certificate
- Certification of no criminal record
- English language proficiency certificate
- Letter of guarantee (parent or legal guardian of student signs a declaration by which he/she assumes responsibility for the student to abide rules and regulations of China and of the university)
- Proof that you can support your studies in Finland
- Certificate/diploma from last graduated school
- Academic transcript from last graduated school
- More documents may be required, depending on each school’s request.
For the pre-Masters courses, typical entry requirements are at least 3 years of higher education and UK IELTS 5.5 (minimum of 5.0 in all skills).
If you do not meet the English language entry level but have at let UK IELTS 4.5 (minimum 4.0 in all skills) you can do a course that includes extended English and skills (EES).
Students may be able to start in spring (January – April), summer (May – August) or autumn (September – November).
HOW TO APPLY?
In this section you will find some starter's advice on applying to English-taught higher education in Finland. Our Your Steps to Finland checklist is a good place to start, so if you have not yet done so, read that first!
You apply to studies online at Studyinfo.fi. The application period depends a bit on the degree course. For starter's advice, have a look at the sections
- Bachelor's Admissions
- Master's Admissions
- Doctoral Admissions
In questions regarding your application, entry criteria, application procedures etc. you should turn to the Admissions Services of the university/UAS you wish to apply to.
If you are looking for advice on how to apply to degree courses taught in Finnish or Swedish, have a peek at Studying in Finnish or Swedish.
BEFORE FILLING IN ANY APPLICATION FORMS
Preparing your groundwork properly makes the application process easier for you!
It is important that you take some time to consider where exactly you wish to apply to. Browse through the available options, and decide which degree courses interest you the most. This not only helps you focus your application to those particular degree courses that would be relevant for you, it also makes it easier and more straightforward for you to find out about the application requirements, deadlines, and other such details.
WE HOPE THIS SECTION ASSISTS YOU IN GETTING STARTED, AND WISH YOU GOOD LUCK IN YOUR APPLICATION!
TUITION FEES AND SCHOLARSHIPS
- Bachelor's and Master's level scholarships
- Doctoral level scholarships
- About post-Doc funding
PLAN YOUR STUDENT FINANCING CAREFULLY
One important aspect of study or research in Finland is considering how to finance your studies. As an international student you are usually required to independently cover your everyday living expences like food, accommodation, travel, insurance, etc. If you're a non-EU student, you usually also need to take into account the non-EU tuition fees in English-taught Bachelor's and Master's programmes.
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL YOU NEED?
For your everyday living expenses, we recommend that you reserve at least 700-900 euros per month - see section Cost of living.
If you are a non-EU/EEA student applying for English-taught Bachelor's or Master's programmes, you are also likely to be subject to tuition fees. The annual tuition fee depends on the degree course, varying approximately between 4.000 to 18.000 euros. The universities have non-EU scholarship options available for these fee-charging degree courses. Read more in the section Non-EU tuition fees and scholarships.
Part-time work is allowed for students of all nationalities, but part-time work may not be easy to find especially if you do not know Finnish or Swedish. That's why you should not base your financial plans solely on the option of finding part-time employment. Also keep in mind that earnings from possible part-time work may not in themselves be sufficient to cover all your expenses. Please refer to the section Working during studies for related information and advice.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR BACHELOR’S AND MASTER’S LEVEL
The Finnish universities and UAS's offer scholarships for gifted non-EU/EEA students admitted to fee-charging Bachelor's or Master's programmes. Each university/UAS has its own scholarship programme; you can read more about these scholarships on the institutions' own web sites. You usually apply for these scholarships at the same time when you apply for admission.
For EU/EEA students, Bachelor's and Master's level scholarships are relatively rare, as EU/EEA students do not need to pay any tuition fees. But you can check with the university/UAS of your choice if they offer any scholarship options that would also be applicable to EU/EEA students.
Master's level scholarships are however available both for EU and non-EU students admitted into Erasmus Mundus Master's programmes.
You might wish to check if you would be eligible to apply for some study abroad scholarships in your home country, and from international organizations and foundations. For information on these, please turn to the educational advisers and authorities in your home country. Additionally, if full degree studies are not an option for you, you could check if there are some student exchange options that you could apply for. See the section on Exchange programmes for more info.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR POST-DOCTORAL STUDIES AND RESEARCH
The governmental EDUFI scholarships are not applicable to post-Doctoral studies, but in the section Other sources of funding you can find general research funding links, for example the Academy of Finland website. Also your hosting Finnish university can inform you of the possible post-doc funding organizations and foundations in Finland.
Currently the annual tuition fees vary approximately between 4 000-18 000 euros, depending on the programme. To check how much your annual tuition fee would be, you should turn to the university/UAS that offers the degree programme you wish to apply to.
There are also some exemption rules - you are not required to pay tuition fees, if you are:
- a non-EU/EEA student and have started your degree studies in Finland before autumn 2017
- admitted to Doctoral/PhD level studies/research
- going to study temporarily in Finland as part of an official student exchange programme
- admitted to a degree programme taught in Finnish or Swedish (see section Studying in Finnish or Swedish)
- an EU/EEA citizen, or a citizen of Switzerland
- a holder of a permanent Finnish residence permit or long-term resident’s EU residence permit in Finland
IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT WHETHER YOU NEED TO PAY FEES
Check the details regarding the exemption rules at the 'Am I required to pay tuition fees?' section of the Studyinfo.fi application site. In possible questions, you should contact the Admissions Services of the university/UAS you're planning to apply to for advice.
ISAS AND STUDENT RESIDENCE PERMITS
Depending on your nationality, you may need a permit to reside in Finland as a student. Below you can find a general overview and some advice on permit matters – more detailed information and advice is available from the Finnish diplomatic missions around the world and from the Finnish Immigration Service Migri.
If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you do not need a visa or a residence permit to Finland. However, you are required to register your residence with Migri if your stay in Finland exceeds 90 days. Additionally, if your stay in Finland lasts for more than a year, you should register in the Finnish population system, see section on Registration.
If you are a Nordic citizen, you do not need a visa or a residence permit to Finland. However, you are required to register your residence at the local registry office if your stay in Finland exceeds 6 months. Additionally, if your stay in Finland lasts for more than a year, you should register in the Finnish population system, see section on Registration.
If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you will usually need a visa or a student residence permit. Which one you should apply for, depends on the length of your stay in Finland.
FOR SHORT VISITS, YOU MAY NEED A VISA
A visa is a short-term entry permit for maximum of 90 days’ visits. You may need a visa for example if you are invited to take an entrance exam in Finland, or if you take part in a course or exchange that lasts less than 90 days. Note that Finland has visa-waiving agreements with some countries, so whether or not you need a short-term visa depends on your nationality.
You apply for a short-term visa at the nearest Finnish embassy, or in some cases, at some other Schengen country’s embassy that officially represents Finland in short-term visa matters.
STUDENT RESIDENCE PERMIT
A student residence permit is a long-term temporary residence permit that is usually granted for one year at a time. If you come to Finland for a student exchange period exceeding three months, or if you have been admitted to a full degree programme, then you need to apply for a student residence permit.
To apply for a student residence permit, you need to have a valid passport and an official admission letter from a Finnish university or UAS. Also, you will be required to show enough funding at your disposal (means of support to cover your living costs, including a clarification on tuition fee or scholarship, if applicable), and that you have valid insurance. You can find detailed information on these requirements on the Finnish Immigration Service Migri website. See also our basic advice in the sections Insurance and Health and Cost of Living.
You can start your student residence permit application online at Enterfinland.fi, but in the process, it is also necessary for you to personally visit a Finnish embassy or consulate. This means that you need to travel abroad to a Finnish diplomatic mission, if one is not available in your home country.
After you have completed your student residence permit application process, the Finnish embassy/consulate will forward your application to the Finnish Immigration Service Migri for processing. If you are granted a residence permit, you will receive a residence permit card.
A student residence permit is usually granted for one year at a time. After your first year in Finland (in good time before your previous permit expires) you should apply for an extension of your student residence permit from Migri. Note that you can use the Enter Finland e-service also for this purpose!
You can read more about the student residence permit procedures, requirements, and processing times on the Migri website.
REGISTERING IN THE FINNISH POPULATION SYSTEM
In addition to your student residence permit, if your stay in Finland lasts for more than a year, you should register in the Finnish population system, see section on Registration.
In this section, we offer you some advice and links related to working in Finland during and after your studies. Browse through both sections as the same job hunting tips are valid for both.
- Working during studies
- Working after studies & residence permit extension
Note that we’re not a student employment office so we do not have any information on open job vacancies nor can we arrange work placements or seek out part-time jobs on your behalf.
We hope however, that the information and links on these pages help direct you towards helpful resources. A list of useful websites is located on the right-hand margin of this page.
It’s important to also get acquainted with related practical issues such as taxation and employment contracts. Check with employment agencies or the nearest Finnish tax office for assistance in these matters.