A guide to studying in Finland 

Finland’s world-leading higher education system offers more than 400 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, which are taught in English within 13 universities and 22 other applied sciences. In addition to hosting Finnish higher education institutions, more than 20000 international students and students all over Finland. In this article, we will explain to you about studying in Finland in detail.

Why study in Finland

Diverse and numerous complexes

Studying in Finland provides you with a unique opportunity to mix and meet new people from different countries of the world, given the presence of more than 10,000 international foreign students in it. Most universities have International Student Ambassadors to help you settle in Finland and integrate into its community. They can take you around the city, help with your applications, or even find a part-time job.

mastering English language

The native language of Finns is Finnish and Swedish, however most people in Finland speak English well, so you will not have any difficulty communicating with the locals during your daily life. In addition, you can easily follow Finnish language courses, because universities offer more than 450 Finnish language instruction programs in the English curriculum, ranging from short summer courses to full study courses.

Many picturesque places

Finland is located in the northern part of the European continent, where this country has stunning natural landscapes due to the fact that most of the country includes pristine lakes and many green forests that you can explore.

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Tuition fees in Finland

Finland is one of the financial havens in Europe due to the lack of tuition fees for students from the European Union and Switzerland imposed by universities and technical institutes. PhD programs are free of charge for all students, regardless of their nationality. We will provide you with some of the costs of studying in Finnish universities.

University Name Association of Colleges (two-year study)
Aalto 12,000 to 15,000 euros
Åbo academy 8,000 to 12,000 euros
Arcada University of Applied Sciences 6,000 to 9,000 euros
Haaga-Helia UAS 8,500 to 9,000 euros
Hanken School of Economics 12,500 euros
Helsinki Metropolia UAS 11,000 euros
University of Eastern Finland 8,000 to 15,000 euros
University of Helsinki 13,000 to 18,000 euros

Living costs in Finland

In Finland, you will need between 700-900 euros per month, depending on the city you will live in. Helsinki is the most expensive city, while Bori and Tampere are the most affordable cities for students.

Expenses Monthly cost (in EUR)
Meal in the restaurant 8
beer 4
Cola 2
Water bottle 1.5
Bus ticket 3.5
Taxi 4

Conditions for studying in Finland

An appropriate bachelor’s degree or equivalent

The duration of study for a bachelor’s degree obtained must be at least three years as a minimum, or the equivalent of a university degree from academic higher education studies, in addition to the fact that the university that awards the degree is internationally recognized.

Satisfy the educational requirements and the required documents

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A student applying for a university program in Finland is required to submit the following mentioned documents:

  • Fill out the application form, which you can find on the university’s website.
  • Officially certified copies of high school and university diplomas.
  • If the requested original documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, they must be translated into one of these three languages ​​by a sworn official translator.
  • Certified copy of Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the original language.
  • A copy of the graduation certificate in the original language.

Good command of the English language

Applicants must meet at least one of the following requirements to demonstrate their English language proficiency:

  • Complete secondary education in English in a Nordic country.
  • Completion of secondary education in English in an EU country.
  • Completion of secondary education in English in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, USA or the United Kingdom.

In the event that the student does not fulfill one of the previous conditions, he must present a certificate in the English language proving his proficiency in it, which is either TOEFL or IELTS, the minimum scores required for admission are:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in the writing section).
  • TOEFL: overall between 90-92 (with a minimum of 22 in the writing section).

If an individual’s language test score is lower than the above required, he or she has to take the language test again.

Motivation letter in English

The letter of motivation (letter of motivation) should be a text written by the applicant, describing his motivation and ability to participate in the chosen study program. Applicants should describe their educational background, practical and international experience and language skills in the dissertation, and how previous factors will affect their study of the program. In addition, applicants must explain the funding sources they intend to use to cover their living expenses during the study of the two-year program.

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Recommendation letter in English

Applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from at least one university professor and be written in the English language.

Conditions for a student visa (study visa) to Finland

When you apply for a student visa, you must fulfill the following conditions:

  • A valid passport.
  • A CV with previous qualifications.
  • A color passport sized photo.
  • Colored copies of the passport’s personal data page and any other pages containing notes.
  • Certificate of acceptance from a Finnish educational institution.
  • Details of tuition fee payments.
  • A bank statement that includes documentation of the source of funding for your studies in Finland.
  • Health insurance and a medical report explaining the diseases he suffers from, in addition to the vaccines taken during the previous years.

Scholarships to Finland

Finnish universities currently offer more than 400 scholarships to study bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English, in addition to a doctoral degree. Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) offer most bachelor’s degree programs taught in English, while other universities offer most master’s and doctoral programs.

How to apply for a scholarship in Finland

Applying for scholarships in Finland is done online on Studyinfo , as there are two main application periods:

  • Applications for grants are submitted on undergraduate programs in January.
  • Scholarship applications are submitted to master’s programs between late November and early December.

You can browse the following universities’ websites to choose the appropriate scholarship:

  • FINLAND Foreign Correspondents
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Tampere
  • University of Oulu
  • Aalto University

Residence in Finland

The student has two main options when searching for housing, which are either student housing or private apartments.

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Student housing in Finland

The average monthly rent for one room in a shared apartment for students ranges from around € 160 to € 380. Single or family apartments are also available, but the annual cost of these apartments is likely higher compared to non-shared ones and you often encounter long waiting lists when applying to them.

You can also live independently by searching for apartments for rent in the open market or on social media, as market apartments and off-campus housing tend to be more expensive compared to student housing.

Shared apartments

It is a good choice for student housing, as they usually share 1 apartment with 1 to 4 students. Besides, each student has their own room in addition to a shared kitchen and bathroom.

Family apartments

Often this type of apartment is intended for couples or families with children, as it has two to three rooms in addition to a kitchen and bathroom. Often this type of apartment is located near children’s schools and parks.

Studio apartments

They are a good option especially for single students, but they are more expensive and not always easy to come by.

Can I work during the study period?

Both international exchange students and foreigners are allowed to work during their academic stay in Finland, but with some restrictions, those restrictions relate to the nationality of the student as well as the nature of the work.

If the student comes from the European Union and holds one of his nationalities, he is entitled to work in Finland without any work permit or restrictions on working hours, while students from outside the European Union who have a student residence permit are allowed to work part-time.

A foreign student (outside the European Union) has the right to work an average of 25 hours per week at most. The student can adjust the hours on a weekly basis as long as the average is about 25 working hours per week during the semester. During vacations and semester holidays, there are no restrictions on working hours.

Recreational activities in Finland

We compiled a list of 10 different activities, covering all of Finland throughout all seasons. Activities are directed mainly to nature, as Finland is well-known for its beautiful forests and clean lakes, as well as its stunning beaches.

Sleeping in glass houses

The sun never sets in the northernmost parts of Finland in the summer, hence the ultimate nickname for Finland, “the land of the night sun”. The opposite happens in winter, when the sun disappears for several months and it is not too dark. If you’re lucky, you’ll enjoy bright snow, moon, and stars, as well as auroras.

This activity will be the best way to experience these two seasons by sleeping in a cylindrical glass hut or hut surrounded by nature and tall trees.

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Stroll through the old wooden town

In the past, all Finland’s homes were built of wood and a large part of them are still intact, so you can see these unique constructions that date back hundreds of years. These towns are concentrated in Helsinki and Porvoo.

National parks

There are more than 40 national parks in Finland, where you can camp and ski in the winter, or climb mountains and explore forests in the summer.

Hot lakes (saunas)

Finland contains more than three million saunas lakes, most of which are concentrated in the Finnish “Lakeland”. Most of its area is water, in addition to the spread of summer cottages in it.

Is Finland safe? What about the health system?

Finland is famous for its pristine nature, air and water, as well as for its safety and security first. In 2019, Finland was ranked the safest country in the world by the World Economic Forum.

The Finnish healthcare system is based on public health care services, which everyone in the country is guaranteed to have access to. According to the Constitution of Finland, public authorities provide adequate social, health and medical services to all citizens and residents.

Government medical care

Health services are divided into primary health care and specialized medical care. Primary health care services are usually provided in municipal health centers, while specialized medical care is usually provided in hospitals.

Municipalities form medical facilities responsible for providing specialized medical care in their area. The health services that the municipality must provide to patients are determined separately according to the law of each state.

The difficulties you will face as a student in Finland

Anxiety and difficulty coping

The most common challenge that foreign international students face is adapting to the new environment, and this in turn includes people who interact with them on a daily basis, as they lack their own community in their home country in addition to their old families and friends.

Difficulty coping solutions

Join clubs, volunteer at sporting events or even attend local festivals.
Forge new friendships to speed up the process of fitting into the new community.

Financial difficulties

Living in a different country can be a little expensive compared to your home country, but there are many ways to organize your monthly expenses. There are many restaurants on the Internet that offer economical meals at a cheaper price than the market, in addition to free recipes and attractive offers on your daily necessities.

Adjust your daily budget accordingly, in the event that you face any financial problem regarding the study or other, you can come to the university to take some financial advice

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