Find universities in Finland and study in Finland, our guide for international students to study abroad. From the bustle of Helsinki, Turku and Tampere to the lazy beauty of its seaside towns, Finland has plenty to recommend it for international students looking for an undergraduate degree.
The Finnish education system is one of the most advanced in the world, with many universities using innovative techniques to improve their students abilitie, with a focus on problem-based learning.
Studying an undergraduate degree in Finland will allow you to live and study in one of Europe’s most exciting and unique countries.
How can you study a degree in Finland?
Finland’s higher education system is relatively young compared to some of Europe’s but it still has several high quality universities where you can study an undergraduate degree.
Finnish universities are split into two main types:
- Traditional universities – these institutions focus on research based degrees
Universities of applied sciences – these universities focus on vocational degrees
You should expect an undergraduate degree in Finland to take 3-4 years to complete at a traditional university, or between 3.5-4.5 years to complete at a university of applied science.
Most degrees in Finland start in August/September, so the initial application deadline is usually early February.
Higher education in Finland is currently free at the majority of universities - however, this is about to change.
From autumn 2017, non-EU/EEA students studying degrees in English will be required to pay fees at Finnish universities. The minimum that universities can charge will be €1,500 per year, but above this they are free to set their own fees.
Universities will reveal their own fees, which will then be listed on the studyinfinland.fi tuition and scholarships page as they are decided.
International students studying for degrees in Finnish or Swedish will not be required to pay tuition fees.
It is expected that scholarships will be introduced to make studying in Finland easier for international students on fee-paying courses.
EU/EEA students will not be required to pay tuition fees, however they will still be expected to cover all their living expenses.
Immigration and visas
If you are an EU citizen or Swiss national, you will be allowed to study a degree in Finland without needing a student visa providing you can show the following:
- You are studying for more than three months
- You have sufficient income or savings to support yourself during your studies
- You are enrolled at an approved or accredited institution
You have comprehensive health insurance
Non-EU students will need to apply for either a short-term entry permit or a student residence permit depending on the length of study. A short-term entry permit will allow you to stay in Finland for up to three months, whereas a student residence permit is required by students looking to study for longer periods.
Accommodation and living costs
There are two main housing options for international students coming to study a degree in Finland.
- University accommodation – such as halls of residence
Private accommodation – House and flat rentals
Most universities in Finland will be able to provide halls of residence accommodation for international students. You’ll share kitchen facilities, study areas and a common room with other students, while sleeping in a single, twin or triple room.
Private accommodation is usually arranged through student housing foundations, who can help you find shared apartments or even your own flat. This is perfect for students who are travelling with families.
Living costs: The cost of living in Finland is comparable to most other Western European countries. In order to get your student residence permit, you will need to show you have access to at least €500 each month.
Rent per month:
- One bedroom apartment (city centre) – €700 (USD$950)
- One bedroom apartment (outside city centre) – €575 (USD$780)
- Three bedroom apartment (city centre) –€1,200 (USD$1,625)
- Three bedroom apartment (outside city centre) – €900 (USD$1,220)
How safe is Finland?
Finland is generally considered to be a safe country for students. Finland is also a welcoming country, used to seeing tourists.
Students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:
- Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money
- Staying in groups, especially at night, and never walking alone
- Not making valuables obvious
- Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis
- Being wary of strangers
Being careful of traffic
Staying in touch
Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:
- Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection
- Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date
- Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill
What to do next
Thinking of studying in another country and not confident in about where? Then take a look at our country guide here. If you would like more information on studying in Finland, sign up for our Free Application Service and we'll be in touch with you promptly.