Most Nordic countries are known for their academic excellence and one-of-a-kind culture, and Finland is no exception. Not only is it a top-notch study abroad destination for anyone looking for a unique Nordic experience, it’s also home to some of the best universities in Europe today and has once again been named the happiest country in the world in 2019!
Thinking of studying in Finland?
Finland is known as one of Europe’s most modern, most innovative countries, and its educational system is world-renowned!
So, if you’re interested in receiving a world-class education while immersing yourself in the fascinating Nordic lifestyle in the happiest country on earth, join the 20,000+ students studying abroad in Finland!
There are two types of higher education institutions in Finland: universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS). Doctoral programs are offered by the universities only.
There are 13 Finnish universities and they are owned by the state; their focus lies in scientific research and they offer students a more theoretical education. UAS’s on the other hand, are governed by local municipalities and private entities and are centered around developing practical skills and engaging in industry development projects.
As is the case with many European countries, the Finnish higher education system uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) to measure the amount of higher education credits.
Higher education in Finland grants three types of degrees:
- Bachelor’s degree: 3 years (180 ECTS credits) towards a professional bachelor or an academic bachelor. Offers students core teaching in the chosen discipline, as well as a broad general education.
- Master’s degree: 1-2 years (60 or 120 ECTS credits). Provides specialized content whilst allowing for further development of the scientific research process.
- Doctorate (PhD) degree: A doctoral degree in Finland usually lasts about 4 years. Furthermore, these may be ready made doctoral programs or a student can contact the department of interest for doctoral study options. PhD’s are only awarded by universities.
Each university sets their own fees, which can be different from program to program, but annual tuition fees are set somewhere between €5,000 and €18,000, not including general living expenses. Finnish higher education institutions offer scholarship opportunities to students who pay fees, so make sure to contact OFS to find out more about their funding options.
Housing & Living Costs in Finland
There are two types of accommodation in Finland: student or private housing. Renting privately can become expensive, especially in the main cities.
Fortunately, student housing is very accessible and staying at a university dormitory or student residence hall is an option in many institutions in Finland, so make sure to contact your university about their housing opportunities.
Monthly living expenses for students (including food, accommodation, travel, insurance, etc.) are on average around €700 – €1,000, depending on where you’ll be living and your personal habits, and are typically higher in larger cities than in smaller ones.
Fortunately, your student residence permit will allow you to work for up to 25 hours per week. Most Finnish universities provide career services for international students —they’re available to lend a hand during your job search, whether you’re looking for a student job or a full-time position for after you graduate.
Admission & Entry Requirements
Prepare the Paperwork
Each university or UAS has its own criteria and list of documents, but among the basic paperwork that is commonly required by all universities are:
- Copies of completed or soon-to-be completed qualifications documents
- Official translations for all documents in Finnish, Swedish or English
- Original diplomas and original official translations
Universities will provide a comprehensive list of the required documents once you start your online application. Keep in mind that all documents must be in one of Finland’s official languages or in English, and you may be asked to take an English-proficiency test if it’s not your native tongue.
Depending on the university, specific documentation could be required. Always consult the university website for specific admission requirements and contact the Admissions Services of the university if you have any questions.
In the case of Finland, be sure to check the official application deadlines because they can vary from institution to institution. And you may have to prove your English language proficiency which may require you to book either an TOEFL® or IELTS™ test.
Apply for a Student Residence Permit
Once you’ve received your official acceptance to a higher education institution in Finland, you can apply for a student [R1] residence permit.
You can either apply at the embassy or representative office in your country or online, but you will still need to visit a Finnish diplomatic mission [R2] to verify your identity and submit copies of other documents you might need during the application process, as well as have your fingerprints taken.
Reasons to Study in Finland
- A World-Class Education System
- Affordable Tuition Fees
- Equality and Freedom
- A High Standard of Living
- Otherworldly Travel Destinations
- Job Opportunities for Students
- Pathways to Permanent Residency for Expats