Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east, and Estonia to the south across the Gulf of Finland.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialization, remaining a largely agrarian country until the 1950s. Thereafter, it rapidly developed an advanced economy while building an extensive Nordic-style welfare state, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Subsequently, Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. Finland is one of the best country in the world. Finland is also a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the World Trade Organization.
Higher education has a significant role in Finnish society and the national innovation system: higher education is crucial when working towards a world-class knowledge society.
Finnish higher education consists of two parts:
All studies are quantified as credits (ECTS, European Credit Transfer System). One year of full-time study corresponds to 60 creditsIntakes
The academic year in Finland is divided into two terms: Autumn term (from
August/September to December) and Spring term (from January to the end of May)
Most degree programmes only accept new degree students at the beginning of the academic year. So, usually your application will concern studies that start in the autumn term (August/September). In some cases, however, it may be possible to apply for studies that start in the spring term (January).
During the so-called summer term (June-August) it may be possible for already registered students to complete some individual course modules, but generally speaking it is "holiday time" and there is no separate summer term intake for degree studies.
Applying to Bachelor’s programmes
Note that the Finnish higher education system does not include "certificate" or "diploma/advanced diploma" level degrees. If you currently hold a one-year or two-year certificate or diploma degree, and are applying to an undergraduate programme in Finland, it is likely that your application would be based on your upper secondary school certificates rather than your certificate/diploma degree. See our FAQ on the subject!
If you are admitted, it may be possible for you to receive some credit point compensation based on your previous higher education studies, but this you should negotiate with the Finnish higher education institution after you've been admitted. It is up to the policies and decisions of the individual higher education institutions whether such credit point compensation can be awarded.
If you already hold a higher education qualification from your home country, and are applying to a Master’s or Doctoral level programme in Finland, then your eligibility is decided based on
Note that Master’s level programmes at polytechnics (UAS) additionally require that applicants hold a Bachelor’s degree followed by three (3) years of relevant work experience. The UAS Master's programmes are primarily targeted fro those already in the working life. The Master's programmes offered by the universities, as opposed to the polytechnic/UAS Master's, do not usually have any work experience requirements, unless otherwise specified in the entry criteria of the university Master's programme in question.
Education and Living Costs:
In Finland, education is funded by the government and students both EU/non EU and international are exempted from fee payment. Universities in Finland have no tuition fees! Education is subsidized by the state through the ministry of education, and students are exempted from fee payment. This also applies to the international degree students and visiting students as well.
The average monthly living expenses for a student may vary a bit, depending on your study
location in Finland – for example, accommodation and other living costs may be higher in the
Helsinki metropolitan area and other larger cities.
As a student you can get discounts in student restaurants and cafeterias, public transport, etc.
The Finnish Government has offered the Scholarships for postgraduate studies or research (after Master’s level but no for post-Doctoral and research) and that priority will be given to doctoral studies.
A person intending to stay in Finland for a period of over 90 days is required to have a visa.
Documents needed for entry to Finland:-
When arriving in Finland you may also be expected to show, in addition to your visa and a valid
travel document, insurance document for the duration of your stay and other documents related
to your stay in Finland. You must prove that you have sufficient funds (EUR 40 per day or a
scholarship or a training placement) for your stay and for your return journey or further
If you would ordinarily need a visa but have a residence permit valid in one of the Schengen countries, you do not need a visa to enter another Schengen country if the intended duration of your stay is no more than 90 days.
If you are a foreign national requiring a visa, you must always have one when entering the
Schengen area. A Schengen visa is applied for from the embassy or consulate of the destination
country. So when coming to Finland, you are requested to apply for it either from a Finnish
embassy or consulate or from a mission of a Schengen country that represents Finland. For
admission of visa one is always required to have valid travel insurance together with other
Upon submitting the application candidates are also required to submit a copy of their passport. Original passports would only be required for authentication. The embassy has the reserve right for asking any other authentication. Incomplete applications would not be accepted .All regulations consular fees or services are subject to change without any prior notice
While it is usually possible to apply to more than one study programme, there
may be a limit to how many alternatives you can choose. Please check the details on the
Generally speaking it is usually a good idea to concentrate on applying to a few programmes that you are really interested in, rather than sending in as many applications as possible just for the sake of getting “any study placement whatsoever”.
Do I need to take an English language test?
This depends on the programme you are applying to, but most degree programmes require that you prove your English language proficiency by means of an internationally accepted test (TOEFL/IELTS etc). Please check this and other detailed requirements in the admissions instructions of the institution you are applying to. If your native language is English, or if you can prove that your previous education has been completed in English, you may be exempt from the language test requirement.
I can not speak Finnish. Is it possible to study in English in Finland?
Yes. Finnish universities and polytechnics offer a wide selection of degree options taught in English.
Do I need to study the Finnish language in Finland?
If you apply to an English-language programme, it is not usually compulsory to study Finnish, but it is strongly recommended since it would help you a lot in your everyday life to know at least the basics of our language. Furthermore, Finnish language skills may be an important asset in finding part-time work during your studies, or employment in Finland after your graduation.