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 nearing 5.5 million, 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 39 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 flavour.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are from a country outside of the EU/EEA and want to study a bachelors or masters degree, you will have to pay tuition fees. The cost of studying will vary between different institutions, but the prices tend to range from €6,000 to €18,000. To get specific information regarding your course fees, contact your chosen institution. Your fees should be paid prior to the beginning of your studies, and once you have paid you will be able to start your residence permit application. If you do have to pay tuition fees, you may be eligible for a scholarship, contact your chosen institution for information about this.
Accommodation in Finland can either be arranged through your university or student housing foundation, or you can opt for private renting. Student housing of some sort will be the cheaper choice. Contact the international office at your chosen university for more information about accommodation and the related costs. If you choose to study in a bigger city, your living costs will be higher than in a smaller city or town.
For your living costs, it is recommended that you budget for between €700 and €900 per month. This is including accommodation, transport, food and course materials. On top of this, you need to make sure you have valid health insurance, and it is always useful to have a little money kept aside in case of an emergency!
As a student from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you are permitted to get a part-time job during your studies, with no time limitations. You need to make sure that your studies are your priority however, and it is not recommended that you rely on a part-time wage to finance your studies. As an international student you are also permitted to work, but only up to 25 hours per week during term time. There are no limits on working hours outside of term time. However, it is still not recommended that you rely on a wage to finance your studies. It would be helpful to have some Finnish language skills to help secure employment.
Another cost to consider is health insurance. If you hold an EHIC card, you will not need to purchase health insurance, and will be able to access the same healthcare as other Finnish citizens. If you do not hold an EHIC card, you are required to purchase a health insurance policy to study in Finland. There are several requirements that your insurance must meet. For example, your insurance deductible must not be more than €300, if your studies will take less than 2 years your insurance must cover medical bills up to €100,000 and if your studies will take more than 2 years your insurance must cover medical bills up to €30,000. You are permitted to purchase your health insurance in your home country, or from an international insurance company. The Finnish embassy or consulate will be able to provide more information about this if required. More information can be found on the Finnish Immigration Service website.
If you are an EU/EEA student, you will not need a visa or residence permit for your studies. However, if you will be studying for longer than 90 days, you need to register your residence with Migri. If your studies will be longer than a year, you will also need to register in the Finnish population system. This will give you a Finnish Personal Identity Code, something that may be requested by local authorities, banks and employers. You can register in the population system after your arrival in the country. The same applies to students who are Nordic citizens, however you must register your residence at the local registry office if your stay in Finland exceeds 6 months.
If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you are required to obtain a renewable student residence permit in order to study in Finland. To apply for this permit, you will need several documents. These include a formal letter of university acceptance, health insurance and evidence that you can financially support yourself. You can start this application either at the Finnish consulate or embassy in your home country, or via Enter Finland.
More information regarding the student residence permit applications and costs, visit the Finnish Immigration Service website.
Do I need to pay tuition to study in Finland?
Universities of applied sciences and universities charge a tuition fee from bachelor’s or master’s level students studying in languages other than Finnish or Swedish since 1 August 2017. EU/EEA area and Swiss citizens are not subject to the charge.
Diak has set the cost of bachelor’s level programmes at €4,000 and the cost of master’s level programmes at €6,000 per year.
The fee will not be charged from persons who are equated with EU area citizens or their family members. The exemption will also apply to those who have an EU blue card stated in the Aliens Act, a continuous or permanent residence permit or a long-term resident’s EC residence permit.
EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Can I apply for a scholarship?
All tuition-paying students who obtained more than 55 credits during the previous academic year may be granted a scholarship. The size of the scholarship is 50% of the annual tuition fee. Students may apply for scholarships for their final semester if they have obtained no fewer than 27 credits during the semester in which they apply. We do not grant scholaships for first-year students.
Scholarships are applied for by using a standard form. The application time is May for the following academic year and December for the final semester, after all study achievements have been credited.
The scholarships committee makes the decisions about scholarships within one month from the end of the application period.
Can I apply with a degree from a university or a university of applied sciences?
You may not apply with a university degree to our Degree Programme in Social Services. The eligibility criteria are different for our MA programmes.
How do I know if I qualify as a first-time applicant?
If you have completed a higher education degree in Finland, or you have accepted an offer to study at a university or a university of applied sciences as a result of a joint application process from spring 2014 or later, you no longer qualify as a first-time applicant.
Can I supplement or amend my application?
Applicants can change their study programme choices and orders of preference only during the joint application period. To make these changes, you must log into the Studyinfo service. For more information on making changes, see the Studyinfo portal.
All changes to the application form must be communicated to the appropriate Admissions Office in writing, for instance, by e-mail. The submission of certificates to the Admissions Office or for supplementing the entrance exam is not considered a change in an applicant’s application. Otherwise, changes must be specific and unambiguous. Please indicate your full name and application number in any messages.
How do I cancel my application?
If you wish to cancel your application, please contact the admissions office of your first choice programme. Contact information for the Diak Admission Services.
Will I be invited to the entrance examination?
All eligible applicants will be invited to an entrance examination by email.
Can I take the entrance examination outside of Finland?
We only organise our entrance exams in Helsinki, Finland. It is not possible to take the entrance exam outside of Finland.
How do I accept or reject a study place offer?
If you are accepted to a programme of your choice in joint application, Studyinfo will send you a notification that includes instructions for confirming that you accept or reject the offer. To accept/reject the offer, click on the link in the message and follow the instructions.
For additional instructions, see the Studyinfo portal. The official Diak website also has an information page for new students.
If you are accepted to our Master’s programme, you will be informed of the results by email that includes instructions for confirming that you accept or reject the offer.
Can I accept two offers?
You can only accept one offer from a higher education institution to begin your studies per term.
You have the right to pursue more than one degree, but the offers to study for these degrees need to be accepted in different semesters. The one study place per term provision does not apply to transfers to new institutions. Read more on the Studyinfo portal.
Can I postpone the start of my studies?
You can register as non-attending for your first academic year for the following reasons:
• service under the Conscription Act (1438/2007), Non-Military Service Act (1446/2007), or Act on Women’s Voluntary Military Service (194/1995)
• maternity, paternity or parental leave
• if you cannot begin studies due to being incapacitated by personal illness or injury.