Study in Finland – A complete Guide For international students

Study in Finland Overview

Is your study abroad destination Finland? If yes, then you will find this guide for international students who wish to study in Finland absolutely beneficial.

While reading, you will get to know the requirements for studying in Finland, the cost of living In Finland, and affordable schools for international students to study abroad in Finland.

When it comes to high-quality education, Finland is one of the first countries that comes to mind.  A Nordic country with a population close to 5.5 million, Finland has managed not only to keep up with educational progress but also to excel at setting a global standard.

What You Need To Know About Studying In Finland

Member of the European Union and home to 39 institutions of higher education, Finland is a good option for students from all over the world.  An egalitarian society where knowledge and lifelong learning are highly valued, Finland offers an excellent social environment to foster their learning and personal growth.

For an international student, life in Finland is reinforced by the comfort offered by high-level infrastructure and technology, the safety of living in one of the safest countries in the world, and the enjoyment offered by nature with four different seasons. They have His unique taste.

Finland is one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the world and, as a result, almost everyone participates in ecological ways.  Nature is an integral part of the Finnish lifestyle for a very simple reason: it is everywhere.

In Finland, the bustling city life meets scenes of peaceful nature within walking distance.  The towns and cities host activities for all seasons and offer many opportunities to explore or relax.

Higher education institutions have an international mentality and there are over 400 English-speaking degree programs available throughout the country.  Largely funded by the state, the institutions offer high-quality education that is accessible to all.  The campuses balance natural environments with high-tech facilities for all students to enjoy.

Being a student in Finland has many advantages.  From high-tech laboratories to well-stocked libraries, university campuses are equipped with all the facilities that students eager for knowledge need.  A degree from one of the world-class Finnish higher education institutions is your first natural step to pave the way for a great career in your field, be it academic or more practical sectors.

study in finland

Undergraduate Study in Finland for International Students

A Finnish university degree consists of 180 ECTS credits, and it takes approximately 3 years to achieve a full-time study pace.  As a general rule, students admitted to universities automatically obtain study rights for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

There is only a small selection of English degree programs available at Finnish universities.  Most undergraduate programs are offered in Finnish or Swedish.  Be sure to check the language skills requirements and proof of language proficiency before submitting your application.

Undergraduate degree programs usually include:

  • basic and intermediate studies in major and minor subjects
  • language and communication studies
  • other studies
  • work practice and
  • A final thesis (Bachelor’s thesis).

The universities are responsible for planning the content and structure of the degrees. Furthermore, the student may plan their own study contents rather independently, as long as they include the compulsory studies and follow the overall structural guidelines.

The universities’ student services and the faculties’ own international coordinators offer guidance for foreign students.

Undergraduate Eligibility to study in a Finland University

To be qualified to apply for a degree program at a university, you must have completed one of the following criteria:

  • the Finnish matriculation examination taken at the end of the general upper secondary school
  • vocational qualifications of three years or more in duration
  • the International Baccalaureate
  • European Baccalaureate
  • Reifeprüfung
  • a Finnish upper secondary professional qualification or an additional or specialized professional qualification as a skill-based qualification, or a comparable prior qualification
  • those foreign qualifications that provide eligibility to enter the university in the country in which they are granted.

Student selection is based on grades or an entrance exam, or both.  Be sure to check the specific admission criteria in the study program descriptions.

Masters studies in Finland for international students

You must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent to apply for a master’s degree program.  To be eligible to apply for a UAS master’s program, you must also have obtained at least 2 years of work experience in the field in addition to having a bachelor’s degree.

University master’s degrees require 2 years of full-time study, which is equivalent to 120 ECTS credits.

  The UAS master’s degrees take between 1 and 1.5 years to complete and add between 60 and 90 ECTS credits.

Apply to study in Finland

In Finland, member universities offer a wide range of master’s programs that qualify you for life. Before applying, explore programs and universities to choose what you want to study.  The application periods are normally from November to January of each year.


The next step is to verify the specific requirements of the program;  Be sure to do it well in advance.  All degree programs require a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent (minimum) three-year university degree in relevant fields of study and sufficient English language skills.  Especially doing language tests can take time.  Always check the university website for the specific admission requirements of the program, which are also listed in the program descriptions when you complete your application.


Remember to make a realistic plan to finance your studies.  As an international student, you are usually required to cover your daily expenses independently, such as food, lodging, insurance, etc.  If you are a non-EU student, you must generally pay the tuition fees.  Keep in mind that universities offer scholarships, which can cover both tuition and living expenses.


The application periods for our member universities are usually between November and January of each year.

Be sure to always check the specific application periods of the university and the admission requirements.

To apply to study, complete the online application at  Please note that you can leave your graduation certificate after the application period if you have not graduated before the end of the period.

Scholarship applications will be made at the same time and through the same portal.


Congratulations!  Once you have been accepted, be sure to start your visa application and residence permit process immediately, as they may take time.  It is also useful to check the requirements to enter the country in advance.


All ready!  Now is the time to get to know your university, student association, tutoring activities, and future hometown.  Most importantly, book your flights and accommodation.  Then pack your bags and head north.  Welcome to Finland!

Cost of study in Finland for international students

Can you study in Finland for free?  How high are the tuition fees?  Are there scholarships for international students?  Discover:

  • Can you study for free in Finland?

Yes, you can!

If you are a citizen of a European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss country, you can study in Finland for free; You do not have to pay any tuition.

If you are not from the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, you count as an international student.  Most international students have to pay fees, but there are some exceptions, always ask your school for exception conditions.

  •  Who has to pay the tuition fees to study in Finland?

Tuition fees at universities in Finland only apply to international students, that is, students from a country outside the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland.  Tuition fees apply to full-time students in bachelor’s or master’s degree programs, but doctoral programs are generally free.

However, not all international students have to pay tuition fees.  Exchange students from other countries do not pay tuition in Finland (although they may have to pay in their home country).

There are also some exceptions for those already in Finland under certain conditions;  If you already have a permanent or fixed-term residence permit, or an EU Blue Card, it is likely to be exempt from fees.  In addition, anyone who chooses to study in Finnish or Swedish, unlike a degree taught in English, is exempt from tuition fees.

The official website of the Finnish government has more detailed information on what applies to your situation in

If you have to pay the tuition, you may still be eligible for a scholarship.  More details are below.

  • How much does it cost to study in Finland?

So how expensive is studying in Finland, if you have to pay?  That depends on the institution: each university sets its own rates, and they also differ from one program to another.  In the table below, we have compiled the ranges of what some of the largest Finnish universities charge their international students.  Expect to pay at least 6,000 euros per year, and up to 18,000 at the prestigious University of Helsinki:

UniversityTuition fees
Aalto University12,000 to 15,000 EUR per year
Åbo Akademi University8,000 to 12,000 EUR per year
Arcada University of Applied Sciences6,000 to 9,000 EUR per year
Haaga-Helia UAS8,500 to 9,500 EUR per year
Hanken School of Economics12,500 EUR per year
Helsinki Metropolia UAS10,000 to 12,000 EUR per year
University of Eastern Finland8,000 to 15,000 EUR per year
University of Helsinki13,000 to 18,000 EUR per year
University of Oulu10,000 to 13,000 EUR per year
University of Tampere8,000 to 12,000 EUR per year
University of Turku8,000 to 16,000 EUR per year

When calculating the costs of your stay abroad, remember that these amounts only cover tuition fees; they still do not include a room or anything other than campus services.

  • Are there scholarships for international students?

Yes, there are various funding opportunities for students who wish to study abroad in Finland.

The most direct forms are university scholarships.  Each Finnish university offers a range of scholarships to international students.  These are based largely on academic merit, and there are often fees for each degree program.  Some scholarships grant a complete fee waiver, others may reward you with a percentage deduction for tuition, for example, a 50% tuition waiver.

When you start applying for Finnish universities, be sure to find out about the scholarship options available at each school and apply on a timely basis.

The requirements for studying in Finland

  • First cycle studies (bachelor’s degree)

If you have successfully completed upper secondary education in one of the signatory countries of the Lisbon Convention, you have a valid drop-out certificate and qualify for higher education studies in your home country, you may also qualify for higher education studies in  Finland.  However, you are asked to demonstrate your level of English.  In some cases, you are also asked to take additional qualification courses.

  • Second cycle studies (master’s degree)

If you are applying for a master’s degree program at a university in Finland, you must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

  • Third cycle studies (PhD)

In the case that you apply for doctoral studies at the University of Finland, you must have a relevant diploma or master’s program.

English language requirements

  • EU students

If you are an EU student, you may be exempt from the English language test at most Finnish polytechnics and universities, provided you present a certificate of your language skills.

  • Non-EU students

If English was not the language of instruction of your previous studies and you are not a student from another state of the European Union or the EEA, you must demonstrate your English language skills with one of the following:

  • IELTS: a minimum score of 5.5
  • TOEFL: 550 paper-based test / 213 computer-based test / 79-80 Internet-based test

The Finnish Enrollment Exam

Upon completion of high school studies, Finnish students take the enrollment exam.  The purpose of this exam is to verify the level of maturity and knowledge of the students.  Upon passing the enrollment exam, students can apply for higher education studies.

If you have not completed or passed the university entrance exams in your home country and wish to apply for undergraduate studies in Finland, you may need to take the Finnish enrollment exam.

  • Not sure if you have to take the Finnish enrollment exam?

If you are not sure if you should take the Finnish enrollment exam to qualify for higher education studies in Finland, we recommend that you contact the university or polytechnic you are interested in and ask about your specific situation.

  • Do you have any questions about the Finnish enrollment exam?

You can contact the Enrollment Exam Board of Finland through the following email address:

Minimum qualification requirement to access higher education studies in Finland

When applying for a place of study at a university or polytechnic in Finland as an undergraduate student, your grade point average from previous studies or the results you get on the entrance exams will determine whether or not you will be admitted.  Therefore, always check with the university or the polytechnic of your choice about the minimum qualification to pass that you must meet.

Study in Finland without IELTS

All we try to do on this platform is to give valid information that will benefit students who are reading them. And to the best of our knowledge, we have not come across any information that consolidates the question student ask about studying in Finland without IELTS. Therefore, till further notice, we don’t have any information on how to study in Finland without IELTS. But it is important that you visit this website as often as possible to know when information like this comes up.

Finland scholarships for international students

Each year, the Government of Finland offers a large number of scholarships to international students, especially those from developing countries.  In addition to that, several universities grant scholarships to foreign students with outstanding results in previous academic history.  If you have a good score in IELTS / TOEFL / GMAT / SAT, in terms of university or department requirements, you are more likely to be awarded scholarships of up to 100 in your tuition fees.

From the beginning of the academic year beginning in autumn 2017 onwards, non-EU / EEA students in Finland are subject to tuition fees in the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs taught in English.  Universities will also have new scholarship options to offer non-EU / EEA students admitted to undergraduate programs with tuition fees.  Each higher education institution will decide its rates and scholarships independently, but the annual rates will vary approximately between € 8,000 and € 25,000, and all institutions are expected to offer scholarships to support students participating in a paid degree program.

List of schools in Finland

Here is a list of the schools in Finland:

NoNameEstablished dateTypeLocationStudentsAdministrative staff
1University of Helsinki1640PublicHelsinki34,8338,000 
2Åbo Akademi University1918PublicTurku,and Vaasa 5,5001,300 
3University of Turku1920PublicTurku, Pori19,4883,319
4University of Jyväskylä1934Public14,4922,583
5University of Oulu1958PublicOulu14,2212,852
6University of Vaasa1968PublicVaasa5,048498
7University of Lapland1979Public4,349633
8University of Eastern Finland2010PublicJoensuu and Kuopio15,0002,800
9Aalto University2010PublicEspoo and Helsinki18,1164,424
10Tampere University2019PublicTampere, Pori and Seinäjoki20,6003,550

NoNameEstablished dateTypeLocationStudentsAdministrative staff
1Hanken School of Economics1909PublicHelsinki, Vaasa2200130
2Lappeenranta University of Technology1969PublicLappeenranta4900893
3National Defence University1993PublicHelsinki850350
4University of the Arts Helsinki2013PublicHelsinki1993729

Work and study in Finland

  Working part-time not only allows you to have more financial freedom but also gives you a great opportunity to better understand Finnish and Finnish working life.  As I had my share of struggles when it comes to looking for work in Finland, I thought this publication would provide future students with a better understanding of part-time work while studying in Finland.

  While working as an International Student Ambassador for the University of Finland, I was often asked questions related to part-time work and internship opportunities in Finland for international students.  Some of the most frequently asked questions were whether it is possible to find a part-time job without speaking Finnish and, if so, how to do it.  Let me present the options!

  Working while studying full time

According to Migri, international students have the right to work without restrictions if the work is related to their studies.  Students can also work in other jobs, but only for 25 hours per week (part-time) on average during the academic year and work full-time without restrictions during the holidays.

That means that if you can find a part-time job that fits your study schedules, it is entirely possible to keep a part-time job while studying full-time.  It is very common for students to work fewer hours during the school year, than work full time during the summer and vacations.

Depending on the jobs and personal situations, some students may work enough to finance their daily expenses.  However, as recommended by Study in Finland, you should not rely entirely on the income of part-time jobs and the possibility of finding one.

Is Finland A Good Place To Study Abroad?

Yes, Finland is a good place to study abroad. Finland has some of the best schools and high educational standards. So if you are a student looking for a good place to study abroad, Finland will definitely be a good option.

Can I study In Finland For Free?

Yes, you can study in Finland for free, but only if you understand Swedish or Finnish because study programs taught in either of both languages are free for international students.


For an international student, life in Finland is reinforced by the comfort offered by high-level infrastructure and technology, the safety of living in one of the safest countries in the world, and the enjoyment offered by nature with four different seasons  They have His unique taste.

Finland is one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the world and, as a result, almost everyone participates in ecological ways.  Nature is an integral part of the Finnish lifestyle for a very simple reason: it is everywhere.

Finland is in the race to become one of the best places for international students to study. The drastic improvement in their academics and the excellent structure of their education system have in recent years been attracting numerals, international students, to the country. If you’re an international student and you want to study in Finland, I’m here to encourage you that it is a good idea. And you can equip yourself with the right information like the one in this content which included almost everything that pertains to studying in Finland.

Hope this content was helpful, do well to leave us a comment in the comment section and we’d be glad to with the information you’d need.

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